The inaugural Dusk DJ Series is underway and will decide who will claim a coveted residency at Caesars’ cutting-edge, multi-tiered nightclub.
If you can look past the demons that haunted him and eventually ended his life at a young age, the Philadelphia-born Adam Goldstein, best known as DJ AM, was an American success story.
The love of music that steered him toward deejaying would eventually evolve into a multi-faceted business brand that included producing records, managing artists and partnering in prominent nightclubs. That latter category included Caesar’s 10,000-square-foot diversified nightlife complex called Dusk, where DJ AM, who summered in Margate throughout his childhood, was a business partner and the club’s first official resident DJ.
On Dec. 14, Dusk initiated a search for what it hopes may become the next recognizable name in the nightclub business. Its inaugural Dusk DJ Series runs every Friday night and has featured dozens of DJs yearning to earn a residency at the club. A different group is brought in each Friday and eventually the auditions will be whittled down to six or eight finalists competing for a guaranteed set of six dates to headline at Dusk in 2013.
Interested candidates submit recorded videos or music tracks, and those chosen to compete are judged by a panel that gauges crowd reaction, their ability to read the room, music selection and technical skills. The grand finale is tentatively set for Friday, Jan. 18.
“We’ve had over 100 submissions so far — people have submitted their information from Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and even a DJ from India contacted us to participate,” says Craig Slotkin, director of operations and marketing for the Dusk Management Group, the nightclub’s parent company. “We’ve been really impressed with the level of talent that has competed so far. However, when you think about it, it’s not really surprising that there are several talented people out there just waiting for their shot. Many up-and-coming DJs spend hours each night practicing, just waiting for an opportunity like this.”
The infiltration of DJs beyond the traditional sense, and in many cases their collaboration with some of the musicians whose songs they electronically remix — or alter from their original versions for artistic purposes or for heightened nightclub appeal — was part of the motivation behind creating the competition.
“The DJ world has evolved over the past few years,” says Slotkin. “With the emergence of Electronic Dance Music and the collaboration of DJs with top 40 artists, DJs have become a vital component to modern day music. You see major artists like the Foo Fighters performing alongside Deadmau5 at the 2012 Grammys, and then look at the past year’s major Billboard hits and see collaborations between [Swedish DJ] Avicii and [American rapper] Flo Rida, [Scottish DJ] Calvin Harris and [British musician] Florence Welch — the list goes on. In the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, kids grew up wanting to be rock stars like Mick Jagger, Eddie Van Halen and Kurt Cobain. Now they look up to David Guetta, Tiesto, and our late partner DJ AM.
“We have great resident DJs in DJ Sat-One, DJ Royale, DJ Mark Stylz and many others already,” adds Slotkin. “We thought it would be a fun idea to explore the underground DJ world and try to find our next resident DJ. [The residency] will include a guarantee of six dates in 2013 to headline a night at Dusk, however we expect there will be a few other participants in the competition that we will invite back for a date in 2013.”
Those interested in competing can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dusk DJ Series
• Every Friday night, starting 10pm
Grand Finale: Friday, Jan. 18
Pride abounded during Dusk’s guided tour and ribbon-cutting ceremony inside Caesars during the summer of 2009 — and with good reason. The multi-tiered, 10,000-square-foot nightclub was cutting-edge to the core, more spacious and designed differently than anything Atlantic City had seen to that point, and bolstered by a top-flight lighting-and-sound system and some of the best house and special-guest DJs in the business.
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