Written for FLARE’s 9-5 series.

What does it mean to be a DJ? I’m the party captain. I have a crowd where some people are wasted, some people are sober, some people don’t want to be there but their friends dragged them out. It’s my job, within the first 10 minutes of my set, to get everybody on the same page and from there, take them through a storyline of different beats and ways to dance—from really bassy to disco to remixes of songs they love. Then at the end, I build it up, do a huge drum solo over some tracks and everyone freaks out and then I get off the stage.

How did you make your brand unique from what’s out there? Most DJs kind of just walk up, plug in a USB key and hit some buttons. Then you have full bands with synths and all these original songs. I’m this weird in-between. I play drums and DJ at the same time while wearing a cheerleading uniform with cartoons blasting behind me. Anyone who sees me says it’s like nothing they’ve seen before.

How did you pick the name hey! dw? D.W. are my initials so when I was trying to figure out a DJ name I thought of the opening sequence of the children’s television series Arthur when he says “Hey! D.W.!” to his sister. I thought it was really catchy and that people would remember it from their childhood. And now people just scream “Hey! D.W.!” at me.

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