DJ Alkimist to Mix Up Your Best Night Ever

A little Q P & A (Pelonkey & Alkimist) with another of our fave DJs, DJ Alkimist. She’s classically trained in viola, and didn’t you know formal teaching translates nicely into rockin’ deep house parties? Read on.

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P: How long have you been DJing?

A: Professionally, for about five years now. I’m actually a classically trained musician. I’ve been playing viola for almost my entire life, and I taught myself violin shortly after that. When I moved out to DC [from Washington state] I had for whatever reason stopped playing. I missed music. The Beat Refinery had just opened; I took classes, and I learned from other Pelonkey DJs; Stylus Chris & As-One taught me how to DJ and how to get back into music.

It’s totally different from the classical scene. When I moved out here I was just looking for adventure. Getting into the artist and DJ scene, those have been so fun. The more I get involved with it, the more people I meet… it’s a really solid good group of people.

P: How did you go from taking classes to playing professionally?

A: I had a job in DC – I was an executive assistant and hated it – but the timing worked out really well. When I was finishing up my education at Beat Refinery I got fired from my other job. There was a moment of me sitting in my apartment thinking Wow, I have no job, and I’m living in one of the most expensive cities. With nothing to fall back on, what if I just try the DJ thing? I’m going to roll with it and see what happens. I put myself out there. I was writing my information on napkins for people, crashing gigs, crashing places where corporate people were, saying “If you need a DJ for your party, call me!” Stuff like that. For some crazy reason it all worked out.

P: What was your first official DJ spot where you realized, “I’m making a name for myself”?

A: I got an opening spot at Josephine for DJ Impulse, which was really cool, and I booked a company holiday party.

This is a wild story: It was my birthday, and I was celebrating at the 9:30 Backbar, and there was a guy there who had heard of Beat Refinery. I said, “I’m a DJ!” and he said “Really? Our company is looking for a DJ for our holiday party.” I wrote my email address on a napkin and gave it to him. He asked me what my rate was, I named a number that at the time I thought was really high, and they said, “Great! You’re hired!” That’s when I thought, Woah, I could make this work, but I need to organize it better.

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P: Have you been able to combine your viola training with DJing?

A: DJing is all music theory. Everything I studied as a classical artist has come into play. In terms of combining the two, it’s still an experiment. I have an electric viola, and it’s been fun to plug that in to crazy pedals, loop pedals, and beats – I also produce music – and I’ve been thinking of putting together beats that I’ve made and doing crazy effects and viola stuff on top of that. Maybe adding in a vocal element too.

P: DJing is music theory?

A: A really good DJ, whether they’ve been trained or not, has a good understanding of keys that sound good together when you’re mixing or blending songs, keeping things in complementary keys, and all of the counting and phrasing and beat matching. All of that is music theory.

P: What genre do you play?

A: Right now I play everything. I have a lot of open format gigs, so depending on the crowd, you could literally be playing everything from reggaeton to EDM to hip-hop. For a year and a half to two years, I had a deep house party that was a weekly thing that was really cool.

P: What do you love to play most?

A: I really love super underground stuff that people hear and go, “Oh my God, what is this?” and you’ve been digging for weeks to find the coolest tunes that no one has heard before. I really like bass [jungle bass] and new funk, alternative R&B, some latin music, future house, all of that stuff.

P: What kinds of gigs do you play?

A: I do a lot of clubs and bars, I’ve done fashion shows and artist exhibitions, a lot of private parties, corporate parties, birthday parties, weddings, bar mitzvahs, divorce parties. Just everything and anything. In-store gigs. I love just watching people come in, and they’re grooving and dancing. You never see people dancing while they’re shopping; it’s so fun.

P: Anything crazy that has happened that stands out?

A: Recently I opened at Soundcheck for Anevo. I’d never spun at Soundcheck, and I rolled in and they had this huge LED screen. They put my logo up there, and the crowd was amazing. They were all loving it, having so much fun. I don’t know if I’ve ever played for a group where 100% of them were super happy, wanted to be there, loved the music. I didn’t even know how to contain myself. I was really happy with the whole thing. Then Anevo showed up, and he was like, “Hey, do you wanna keep going for another half hour?” He could tell I was out of my mind having so much fun. And I got to play all deep and future house, so that was fun, too.

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P: What’s it like hunting for new songs all the time?

A: Oh man, I love it. Before I had lots of gigs, in the beginning days when I had one gig a week, I would spend 40 hours a week getting music. I’ve become more efficient with how I find it. I’m part of a couple record pools, but for the cool underground stuff, you have to dig for it. I scour music blogs, Soundcloud, cool YouTube channels that will put up artists that nobody has heard of but are making cool music. I look at sites like beatport, but mostly I just have a list of blogs I go through.

P: Do you plan out your set before your gig?

A: [Laughs] No, I usually roll in and do it all on the fly.

P: Even with thousands of songs?

A: My organizational systems need some work, but I start with the venue; sometimes they’ll give you guidelines: ‘we want to hear these genres,’ but if it’s an open format, I already know like 5,200 songs that are good party starters but aren’t bangers, so you won’t be giving everything away in the beginning. A lot of times I’ll sneak in stuff that I like that’s still dance-y to test it out. I squeeze it in between two good songs that I know they’ll love, so just in case it fails I can say, “Just kidding!”

P: Favorite song right now

A: The Major Lazer remix of Nobody Has to Know by Kranium – I love listening to it, dancing, playing, watching people dance to it. I’ve been addicted to it ever since I heard it first come out.

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Ready to book DJ Alkimist yet? We know, we know, she’s fantastic. No really, we know. One of our featured entertainers and a sweetheart to boot, she will rock your party socks off.

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Pelonkey’s DJ Wizdom spins at L2 Lounge

DJ Wizdom really knows how to drop a hot house beat, and there’s no better place for it than Georgetown’s sexy L2 Lounge.

Saturday night was poppin’ for L2, sporting all of DC’s hottest socialites and “in” crowd. Wizdom had no problem playing some deep and vocal house, transitioning into the party vibe as the night progressed.

Interested in having DJ Wizdom perform for your next event? Email ciera@pelonkey.com to find out how through Pelonkey!

Our DJs really know how to make Heist pop!

Last month, a few of our incredible DC DJs stole the scene at Heist in DuPont!

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As one of Pelonkey‘s partner venues in DC, Heist is one of the most unique nightclubs in the city. It has a fun bank robbery scene (hence the name!) and all gold embellished decor. Including Dirty Hands and Neekola, the music was bumping! One of our other partners, the Beat Refinery, had their main lady DJ Alkimist pop in to party as well! Selfie time!

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All around another amazing night at Heist for their Industry Tuesdays. Catch you there next time!

Industry Tuesdays at Heist!

Tuesday night was crazy at Heist! We had a great line up with four of our sweet Pelonkey DJs who spin it to win it: DJ Neekola, DJ Oz, Phlipz, and Carlos DeLarosa!

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The entire lounge was packed, and everyone wanted to dance to the amazing beats of the DJs!

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It was a house and hip-hop kind of night.

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Heist is always crazy on Tuesday nights, and everyone was looking to get in one more big night before Thanksgiving festivities began.

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Thanks to Heist for always having all of our super dope DJs come out and perform!

Our CEO, DJ Neekola, had an amazing birthday party at Heist last month!

Content modified from Ciera Gallub‘s post on DJ Neekola’s blog on 11/5/14.

Were you there at Pelonkey CEO DJ Neekola‘s birthday party at Heist last month? What a great night!

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Not only did Neekola want to celebrate turning 21, she also wanted to show off her amazing tech startup, Pelonkey!

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We were giving away awesome swag and raffling off some super cool prizes! Chuck Levin’s sponsored a couple pairs of headphones as well as an entire JBL sound system!

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Congrats to our Pelonkey winners!

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All proceeds from the raffle ticket sales went to both the Meant 2 Live Foundation and Pelonkey’s crowdfunding efforts!

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Neekola had such a great time rocking out with all of the Pelonkey DJs on the decks that night, and she even hopped on herself for a minute!

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A big thanks to all of our DC DJ’s that played that night at Heist – Hi Def, Wizdom, Welbot, Oz, Alkimist, Vicious, Phlipz, Ri5e, Dirty Hands, you’re all amazing!!

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And thank you to Heist for hosting such a great event!

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Huge shoutout to everyone who came out and partied with us – you’re all the best!

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Make sure you all sign up for Pelonkey! We want your talent and your party needs – our Pelonkey team will take care of you!!

Tonight is Pelonkey CEO DJ Neekola’s birthday at Heist!

Tonight the Pelonkey team celebrates our wonderful CEO, DJ Neekola turning 21 again! We are all rockin’ out at Heist tonight to celebrate, as well as give away some awesome raffle prizes from Chuck Levin’s! Featuring a killer line up with a DJ Takeover, the city’s best Pelonkey DJs will be shredding the decks to make for what is fo sho to be a truly epic night!

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Pelonkey will be reppin’ some awesome swag and announcing the raffle winner late in the night for our amazeballs prizes, including a JBL sound system and DJ headphones! Buy a couple raffle tix at the door, and these will enter you in to win the booty! Note – if you’ve already signed up on the Pelonkey site before 5pm today, you will automatically receive 2 free raffle tix! If you sign up tonight at the event, you will receive 1 free ticket entry! Otherwise, everyone is welcome to purchase the tix, 1 for $5 or 3 for $12. Purchase away because proceeds will go to the Meant 2 Live Foundation, as well as Pelonkey’s crowdfunding! Heist bartenders will be shaking up some fantastic specialty cocktails and drink specials, so come on out for a good time! Everyone will be there anyways, so you may as well come and show Neeks some love on her birthday and say hi to your Pelonkey team. See you tonight!

DJ Neekola and DJ Hi Def shred the decks at Heist!

Modified from Ciera Gallub‘s post on DJNeekola.com 9/17/14

Last Saturday was completely nuts (in an awesome way!) as Pelonkey‘s DJ Neekola and DJ Hi Def spun out some crazy beats at one of DC’s most popular night clubs, Heist, one of Pelonkey’s partner venues!

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DJ Hi Def opened up the night with his heavy house style, adding a kiss of hip hop and modern jams, making the crowd go crazy!

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Around midnight, Neekola rolled in with her pink hair a’blazin’, creating waves with her bass beats!

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The dance floor was full the entire night, with people still partying when the lights turned on. Nobody was ready to go home! Make sure you check out Heist the next time this Pelonkey duo hits the decks – the party doesn’t stop!

Pelonkey DJs rock the decks at Heist for Industry Tuesdays!

Written by Ciera Gallub, COO and Staff Writer

Our amazing DC DJs were back at it again last Tuesday night! DJ Oz, DJ Vicious, Phlipz, and Pelonkey‘s very own CEO DJ Neekola shredded the decks at Heist for their Industry Tuesdays!

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Switching back and forth for various sets, some heavy house, hip hop, electro, and modern hits were mixed and mashed, keeping the bottles popping, the tables full, and the dance floor packed the entire night! We can’t wait to have our awesome Pelonkey DJs rock the night at Heist again! Catch different peeps every Tuesday night, making magic happen. To make your table reservations, click here – see you there!

Pelonkey Advisory Board Member Spotlight: Charles Koch (aka: DJ Dirty Hands)

Written by Ciera Gallub, Pelonkey COO

His name is certainly popular around DC, known by his night time role as DJ Dirty Hands! Our awesome Pelonkey Advisory Board member, Charles (Chuck) Koch is a hard-spinning disk jockey as well as a savvy business man. He is a partner at Heist Lounge in DuPont, which he generously allows us to use for Pelonkey events.

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Chuck has the great ability to connect people together and is an excellent networker. He believes that Pelonkey will help to stabilize the industry, especially pertaining to nightlife. The growing trend of becoming a DJ has been increasingly prominent in the DC nightclub scene, and Chuck feels Pelonkey will really help both the entertainers and the clients navigate the growing industry. Dirty Hands plans to use his awesome DJ network and connection skills to help Pelonkey scale and continue to grow, offering great insight from the DJ world, nightlife scene, and venue owner perspectives.

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Heist has been doing so well this summer that Chuck is excited to see what the cooler months will bring! I asked him what one of the most ratchet moments DJing was like. One time while he was spinning at a club, six girls got into a huge fight behind him at the booth! Good beats can make people go bananas sometimes.

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Outside of his Advisor role and his other occupations, Chuck enjoys flying (planes!), golf (FORE), and snowboarding (watch out for the yeti!). He rolls out to Cabo every year for vacation and says he could live on a beach, easily.

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We love having Chuck on our Pelonkey Advisory Board! He gives us great insight, excellent advice, and graciously opens his venue to us for Pelonkey events, which is the perfect atmosphere for getting up close and personal with the DC DJ scene. Thank you, Chuck!

Pelonkey Partners & Advisory Board Happy Hour!

On Wednesday, Pelonkey brought together its fabulous partners and Advisory Board members together for a meet and greet group happy hour! One of our great Advisory Board members, Tony Cord with DC Innovates, hosted the happy hour at his beautiful penthouse over in Thomas Circle, with yummy food sponsored by Chix (Eat Responsibly).

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Stylus Chris and DJ Alkimist came out from the Beat Refinery DJ school to meet our awesome Pelonkey Board! The Beat Refinery teaches people how to be an awesome DJ, and they have partnered with Pelonkey because they believe in the mission – this business will disrupt the events and entertainment industry! Performing artists aren’t always the savviest on the business end. Pelonkey provides a secure business platform for the entertainers and puts the power of their contracts back into their own hands. The Beat Refinery is completely on board with that! Another Pelonkey partner, Heist Lounge owner DJ Dirty Hands came out for the celebration! Heist allows Pelonkey to host sponsored events at their venue at no additional fee, with a heavy emphasis on the DJ market for entertainers.

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Other awesome Board members that came out were Victoria Michael with VM Relations, Rich Shea with HiBall Events, Eddie Fam with Meant 2 Live Foundation, and Steve Britt with Leach Travell Britt Law. DJ Neekola gave a quick update to everyone about all the exciting things that have been happening for Pelonkey, including our most recent win at Tech Cocktail in Vegas a couple weeks ago!

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It was an awesome evening, and everyone had a wonderful time getting to know each other and being the DREAM TEAM that they are! Thank you, guys! Pelonkey wouldn’t be what it is today without all of your awesome support!