Sunday, May 4, 2008

Yet Another Testimonial from a Happy Bride

The dance set I played at Pat & John's wedding had by far the most multi-generational music I've ever played on a gig: everything from old school ("Pretty Woman", "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", etc.) to new school ("Crank That" by Soulja Boy and "Low" by Flo Rida feat. T-Pain). Thanks to Pat and John for the opportunity to DJ their beautiful wedding at Hycroft, and for the wonderful testimonial:

"DJ Wongski added so much to our wedding reception! From start to finish we were impressed with Chris’s creativity, professionalism, and creative abilities.

"To begin with, our initial “consultation” with Chris benefitted from his attention to detail. He wanted to be sure the music truly reflected us and our tastes, and he took great care to understand what we wanted and didn’t want to hear on our special day. He had some great suggestions – particularly the overture from Star Wars for our entrance music to the reception dinner – that really reflected our personalities (well, at least my taste as a sci-fi buff, not too sure what the groom thought of it!). From there, we didn’t have to worry for a second about logistics, timing or details - Chris took care of everything seamlessly.

"Throughout the reception Chris did a superb job to manage the mood, respond to the numerous requests (particularly from our younger guests!) and ensure that there was something for everyone. We got so much positive feedback, particularly from families who said they couldn’t remember the last time they had so much fun dancing as a family! Chris set a wonderful tone and really contributed to everyone’s good time.

"We recommend DJ Wongski unreservedly. He’s a fabulous DJ and his work is an invaluable contribution to a successful event!"

Dancing to - you guessed it - "YMCA"

Even the little kids got down

My posse at the DJ table

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Irony of Being a DJ, and Why I Like Doing It

I've always been a big supporter of live music. Given the choice, I'll always pick hearing a band over a DJ. And if I'm at a club or some place with music from a DJ, I don't spend a lot of time grooving on the dancefloor. As for the music I listen to for pleasure, it's definitely not dance music. I prefer depressed singer/songwriters, alternative rock, jazz, world music and country.

So why do I DJ?
  • Simply put, it's fun.
  • At times DJ'ing is even exciting. There's nothing like the feeling of exhilaration when filling a dancefloor. (Later I'll talk about the deflating, panicky feeling when the dancefloor empties.)
  • It's a way of keeping my hands in music.
  • DJ'ing enables me to bond with my Macs and play with cool software.
  • It gives me the chance to volunteer, to give something of value to friends, family and worthy causes.
  • Sometimes I get paid!
Need I say more?

DJ Meowski, behind the wheels of steel

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another Testimonial

Rachel gave me a wonderful testimonial. It was great fun to DJ Rachel & Andrew's wedding, and STRESSFUL. I'll blog about the stress later, but first, here's that testimonial. Thanks Rachel!

"Thank you so much for DJ'ing our wedding. The music could not have been better. Every note that was played, from the classical ceremony music to the reception dance mix, was perfect. You were so professional and approachable.

“I greatly appreciated meeting with you to review our selections beforehand — you had such great suggestions. The dinner music you selected added elegance to our meal, and the party afterwards was fantastic. There was nonstop dancing. Everyone was out there busting a move — the old, the young and everyone in between.

“We want to thank you for really understanding the type of setting we wanted to create. Many thank you's!”

How I Got My DJ Name

I am not part Polish or Ukranian. But back in my university days, a friend started calling me Wongski, for no good reason. It caught on and other pals began referring to me with the nickname. Those friends still call me Wongski to this day.

When I started DJ'ing, I thought it would be fun to give myself a stage name. It didn't take me long to come up with DJ Wongski. I like the moniker because it gets people curious - is he a Chinese-Polish DJ? What kind of exotic music will he play? I got DJ Wongski engraved on the back of my iPod and now it's the name of this blog. What's next? T-shirts? Baseball hats? I can see it now - a whole catalogue of DJ Wongski merch. Never underestimate Wongski power!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My First Testimonial!

Lesa graciously gave me this testimonial for my LinkedIn profile. Now that I have this blog, I'm porting it over here. Thanks Lesa!

"Chris is an excellent DJ. We had the honour of having Chris as a music DJ at our wedding last year and he really knew how to please the crowd. It was not an easy feat to satisfy the wide spectrum of listeners, ranging from conservative seniors, to alternative and finicky friends, to teenagers, all of which spoke a combination of German, French and English. Within the first hour of our reception, Chris' music made my religious father dance for the first time in his 70 years! DJ Wongski had the ballroom hopping until late into the night when venue staff began to turn the lights on.

"It wasn't luck. Chris consulted with my husband and me well in advance of the wedding day and gave us a sample of his selections. He asked us for our input about our favourites and our not-so-favourites. He inquired about the guests, and specifically our parents, and asked us questions that led into key deciding factors. Chris is methodical, organized and most importantly passionate about music and about sharing his immense collection of music and knowledge with others. I would recommend DJ Wongski to anybody planning a venue where they wish for people to enjoy themselves (and maybe even get up and get down)!"

My daughter, DJ Wongski & The Bride

Thursday, August 16, 2007

How I got into this racket

It all started in early 2006 when I was chatting with my friend Lesa about her impending wedding to Jildaz. We were talking about what music would be played during their big event when somehow the idea came up of me being the DJ. On my Mac!

At that point I had zero experience as a digital DJ, but an eagerness to learn how to do it and a passion for music. So I investigated what software to use, and eventually chose DJ-1800. I taught myself the software and talked to Lesa & Jildaz's sound engineer friend Jeremy about how to connect the Mac to a sound system. At the same time, I built up playlists for listening and dancing.

The wedding night arrived, and the debut of DJ Wongski was a success. At times my segues between songs were rough, but no one seemed to notice - the dancefloor saw a lot of action. Lesa still credits me for inspiring her usually non-dancing dad to get on the dancefloor and boogie to "Jambalaya" by Hank Williams. Thank you Lesa and Jildaz for placing your faith in me and giving DJ Wongski his start.

DJ-1800: My digital "wheels of steel"

Sunday, August 12, 2007

DJ Wongski enters the blogosphere

Welcome to my new blog. I used to blog about my life in general: family, work, music, running and much more. This blog will take a different approach and focus solely on my alter ego: DJ Wongski, digital DJ for hire. While the blog will contain information for potential clients - playlists, info on gear I use, etc. - I want to go beyond just selling myself. I'm going to blog honestly about my part-time life as a DJ and convey the funny, scary, and satisfying experiences I've had on gigs. So bear with me as I gradually lock into the groove of this new blog.