DJ Spotlight: AJ Southerland
Today we're spotlighting one of our most seasoned veterans. DJ'ing since the age of 12, AJ Southerland is a Penn State nightlife staple and a versatile wedding DJ with over 150 weddings under his belt. AJ is known and respected by his peers and is highly regarded as Mint's most technically gifted DJs. AJ's chameleon-like style allows him to criss-cross genres with ease. Here's our Q&A with AJ.
DJ Stage Name: DJ Cashous
What is your favorite type of music to spin?
When it comes to spinning tracks, I enjoy whatever moves the crowd. As a DJ, I consider myself to be a conductor of energy, so I formulate my playlists to keep up the intensity.
Outside of the DJ world, what is your favorite type of music - and why?
I have southern roots, so I grew up listening to rhythm & blues, soul, disco, and funk thanks to my dad. Also, I was born in the 80s, so my mom had me jamming to anything Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston related.
I guess I blame my passion for music on my parents.
What is your favorite thing about being a DJ?
Turning an empty venue into the place to be. I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside every time I hear a person say "Ah, that's my favorite song!" As Kesha once said, "The party don't start til I walk-in."
Tell us your most memorable DJ story...
I attended the DJ Expo in Atlantic City a couple years ago with the Mint Crew, and I remember sitting in on a Q&A panel with industry artists, when a young lady in a bright green bathing suit, cape, and sun glasses sat right next to me. I mean literally right next to me. It was Lady Gaga! Besides being a bizarre dresser, Lady Gaga smelled like passion fruit and hair spray...hahaha...True story!
Yeah, I know this isn't about djing exactly, but I was surrounded by DJs, so it kinda works.
What are your hobbies outside of DJing?
Producing tracks for unsigned artists in New York and California under the AmaZns moniker where my partner and I are signed to DJ Skee Productions. I'm also an avid world traveler, a sneaker fanatic, and of course... Penn State Proud!