It’s common to hear someone say that with faith, hard work and dedication you can be or do whatever it is that you want in life.
The journey to success will not come easy though. It takes a lot of dedicated time, focus and concentration. Just ask DJ Royale, a 24-year-old Philadelphia-based DJ and a graduate of Temple University.
At Temple, DJ Royale studied film and media arts. He began spinning during his freshman year and has been evolving as one of the region’s best and most wanted DJs. He credits fellow Philadelphian DJ Jazzy Jeff, among other DJs, as being an influence on his art.
Even through these rough economic times, Royale still manages to maintain his DJ career (check his Web site for his packed schedule) and locally spins house and techno music at Atlantic City’s Dusk at Caesars on the venue’s Global Fridays. While he has several regional gigs during the week, Royale is also releasing a new club mix, which will be out Aug. 13.
DJ Royale is one of the hardest working DJs around and has even started to bring his skills to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Hawaii.
With the International DJ Expo celebrating 20 years in Atlantic City this coming week, we chatted with DJ Royale.
If you could give advice to an aspiring DJ, what would it be ?
My advice would be, first, that you hopefully love music. You see, it’s hard. You have some guys who are more connected to the lifestyle vs. the [DJs] who are like, “Yo, I really love music and I want to play dope music.” It almost became a fad thing lately. It’s like this, have patience and stay motivated. If you’re patient and you really love it and you put the time in — like actually practicing — when it comes down to it, [you’ll be ready]. Be home, have your shit set up, and practice. I spend hours and hours a week ciphering through new music and all that just because that’s how much time it takes to be on top of your game and to be able to adapt to different crowds and know what the people want. And with this Internet age and the music industry nowadays it’s never ending.
When and how did you determine DJ Royale would be your DJ name.
This could be interesting. I actually have a story. My mother is white and my father is half black, which makes me 25 percent or a quarter black, and so in college, my freshman year, a couple of my fraternity brothers started joking with me and gave me the nickname “Royale with Cheese” referencing the movie Pulp Fiction. There is a scene in the movie with John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, talking about how in Europe since they don’t have the same measurement system, as they use the metric system, there is no such thing as a Quarter-Pounder at McDonald’s. They call it a “Royale with Cheese.” So they started calling me that and at the time I was still only spinning at parties and bars and I needed a DJ name, so I made it my DJ name since it was already my nickname.
How important is it to your career that you release mix-tapes? Do you feel obligated to do so to stay afloat with the competition?
Honestly, you don’t have to be making mix-tapes and all this stuff to be a legitimate DJ, but, again, at the end of the day not only are you good at your craft you essentially become capable of handling multiple positions at different business levels. I want to be good. I want to be universally good at everything. I want to be making my own music, original stuff. I want to be putting out mix-tapes. And it’s a great creative release to show people what you’re capable of and it shows people that you’re versatile and that you’re dedicated to your craft [as opposed to] the “I just want to go make some money and get drunk” type of DJs.
VIDEO: JayCeeOh with DJ Royale at Dusk:
What’s a typical workday for you?
Well, I usually sleep later than most people [laughing]. Once I’m up, I spend time handling regular things, whether it’s going grocery shopping or visiting family. Usually, depending where I’m spinning that night, I’m either catching cabs or trains. I get to the venue and do my job. If it’s a night when I’m not spinning, I still go out, even though sometimes I would rather be in the comfort of my own home, I have to go to other DJ events just to network. You always have to know what’s going on. “Out of sight, out of mind” is very true! So I’m constantly keeping that in mind. But I’m always out staying on top of my game.
You have been spinning at Dusk at Caesars since it opened in July 2009. Do you like the nightlife scene here in Atlantic City?
Actually, I do. Before me getting the gig at Dusk, I didn’t come down here really that much because it’s quite a hike from Philly and besides that I’m not much of the gambling type. But the few times I have, I had a ball. Now that I’m at Dusk, I love it. I’m more in tune with what’s going on. It would be nice to get out more in Atlantic City and see more DJs and more clubs. Another reason why I was excited about being brought down to play in Atlantic City is because it’s more of a destination city. You get people and acts from all over the world. Now I’m able to connect with people all around the country and around the world. A lot of DJs don’t have access to that.
Talim Adderly is a 2010 summer intern with Atlantic City Weekly.
Deadmau5, aka Joel Zimmeman hails from Niagara Falls, Ontario. His career began in the 1990s in concert with the “chiptune” movement.
Throughout the expo, that vibe will be even stronger as parties and special events are scheduled with DJs such as DJ Skribble, DJ Shiftee and DJ Jazzy Jeff making appearances.
The Wrecking Crüe
Laughing with George Lopez
Fight Night at Boardwalk Hall