DJ Fanci: For when a casual night in just won’t do

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DJ Fanci is fierce, energetic, charming, and talented. I’ll let her do the talking.

How long have you been DJing?

I’ve been DJing for five years now. It definitely was supposed to be something I started for fun – my first job out of school was in radio, so I had already formed an interest starting in college – but when I could finally afford to buy my first set of equipment, I started playing around and realized it could be a career. I’m all self-taught. I looked at a lot of videos on YouTube, but never formally took a class.

When did you realize you were good enough to go pro?

A few months in. I was doing mixes and having my friends listen to them, and they were saying, “Hey this is really good,” and it turned into a few gigs. I already knew my music, and I realized I could really rock a party.

How did you move from amateur to pro status?

I just linked up with another DJ who heard one of my mixes; he was one of my cowers, so we were both beginner DJs, and we wanted to get into lounges. I started doing hookah spots and lounges where [the DJ] is more of the background music. Then somebody had a birthday party there, and that brought the biggest crowd I had ever played for. They were dancing the whole night, and I thought, Oh my God, I am doing this! This is me right now! So I started to do clubs after that.

Do you have any tips for someone looking to break into the club scene?

Link up with somebody! I feel like a lot of people are always so scared of people taking something from them or stealing their stuff… Link up with someone to become a dynamic duo or with someone who is where you want to be. I knew this was something I wanted to do, but having somebody to link up with in general made the pressure less intense. That’s a lot to have on your shoulders [when you’re just starting out].

And just do it! [Practice DJing.] That’s so basic, but truly, if it wasn’t for my homeboy, who was like, “Hey, do this gig with me,” I wouldn’t have gotten out of my bedroom. I was too scared to mix live in front of people. I would make a prerecorded mix and send it to people, but you have to put yourself out there. You have to fall.

Do you have times where you fall?

Sure! Recently this happened to me during the holidays. I don’t know what I was playing, but the guests were looking at me like, “Girl don’t ever play that again.” I have go-to songs and go-to playlists. I used to have a joke: “When in doubt, play Beyoncé.” There are certain hits that no matter how many times they’ve heard it, the crowd loves it. Those help me reset and go into another mix.

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What is your preparation like before gigs?

I don’t create a playlist. I do have a collection of “new shit,” anything that’s really hot that just came out. I strategically play that stuff because some people know it, some people don’t. I do prepare a lot with new music, practice how I would transition. For the most part I’ve been doing it so long I feel very prepared when I go in there. I know I have the music so I can go in any direction I want to go. If it’s less club and lounge then I will prepare a bit more; especially with an all-ages event, I want the flow to be right. Sometimes I do think we get into a flow that we are used to at clubs, but it’s a different type of flow for a corporate event.

What’s it like when you’re a guest at a club?

I just like the party. I started DJing because I love to party, so as long as [the DJ] is paying attention [to the crowd,] I’m good Sometimes I feel like DJs DJ for themselves, but it’s for us! Not you. As long as they can keep me dancing.

I do love when DJs randomly throw it back. Some of the time DJs get into default mode, so we [in the audience] think, Now they’re probably going to play this song. Well, when they can throw you a curve ball, throw some old Nelly in there, then I’m like “Heeeey!” That’s when I start paying attention. When they start playing something cool, then I want to know who the DJ is.

What might surprise people to learn about a DJ?

There’s a lot of music out there – people don’t realize how much – and it takes a long time to really get your library up. I know a lot of DJs are just like, “Oh, you need a few popular songs, and you’ll be good to go,” but some of the stuff people ask you for, the reactions you get to those good hits, that stuff takes a lot of time. It’s a constant thing. You’re constantly looking for music.

Where do you find your music?

I’m on MP3 websites. I’m registered to a couple of sites where DJs share music. A lot of times I like going out and listening to other DJs because then I say, “Hey, what’s that? Is that a mashup or your original?” Of course, Soundcloud. Exchanging music with other people. I just recently had a gig where I had to play a lot of house – non-vocal house – so I reached out to Neekola and said, “I know house is your thing, shoot me some artists you’re looking into.” I like to link up with those people who have a niche to find some cool stuff.

Top three songs you’re loving right now

Work” by Rihanna; I love that song right now! “Alingo” by P-Square; he’s an African artist, oh my God, he’s amazing. Also “$ave Dat Money” by Lil’ Dicky.

What genre do you specialize in?

“I love remixes. I’m hip hop at heart. But I love pop-type dance music. I spend a lot of time researching hip hop remixes that have a dance movement. Something that gets a lot of attention. Even among other DJs, they’ll say, “Where do you get these remixes, these are crazy!” I spend a lot of time looking for those crossover trackers.

What type of events do you do?

All types. Lounge, club, retail. I’ve been booked for fashion shows, and I do regular in-store DJing. Exclusive retail events with giveaways; I do that kind of stuff.

What should people know about you?

I am a girl power enthusiast. I am all about women doing great things. I love when I meet girls and they say, “Oh I wanna be a DJ…I could never do that!”— Yes you can! You can do that! I love doing awesome women things.

 

Go book this fine DJ immediately! No doubt you’ll be in good hands tunes.

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Pelonkey Spotlight: Alexander Morozov, Photographer

He photographed our launch party. He photographed the Prequel launch party. He’s been capturing magical weddings for years. He’ll make your corporate event look enchanting even if it isn’t. His name is Alexander Morozov, and he’s your new photography superstar.

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How long have you been a photographer?

Since I was a kid, for fun, but that eventually evolved into doing it full-time since 2005.

How did you make that transition?

I was in Baltimore just walking around when I saw a photographer capturing a wedding outside. I was excited to see this and began thinking, This would be so cool to help out and learn the skill, so I approached the guy – without interrupting his work too much – and said, “Hey can I reach out to you later?” He gave me his card and that’s how I started, by helping him out.

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How would you describe your style?

I understand that an event just flies by in a few hours, or a day, then it’s gone. So my goal is to capture it in a way where a couple [for a wedding] can look back at it and relive the event with as many details as possible. I want to bring that emotion back to them. I call it “creative storytelling.” In reality it’s a combination of different styles blended together: photo journalism, fashion, fine art, product photography, nature photography, scenic shots.

A pure photojournalist will capture the day as it unfolds. I take it a step further. I pull from fine art, dramatic lighting, shadows, depth of field. A little bit of fashion comes in handy for bride and groom shots. [Laughs] I can make the groom look tougher if he wants to. It’s part of my skill to make sure [the clients] are happy. Now, if someone falls on a cake, if something happens, a dress gets torn or dirty, or someone is injured, I don’t capture that. That’s not what the day is for. I capture the day beautifully.

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Now that you have your own studio and brand, how do you ensure your other photographers stick to your style?

When I train my associates I tell them the same thing: what to do, how to pay attention [to the guests and their surroundings]. Sometimes people skip the architecture of the place or the outside shots of the venue, which is very common in corporate photography. Some photographers don’t pay attention to where the event was held, they look at the speakers and people. But I see that the venue is kind of neglected, and I like to capture it and do the scenic shots and architecture shots to tell the full story.

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In what other ways does corporate event photography differ from your wedding shoots?

Take a fundraising gala or something. In addition to lots of different details and environmental shots, my goal is to show that it was a successful, highly attended, exciting event. I look for the angles that will showcase the most people, I capture the best sides of the event. Like in PR, I want to portray the event in the best light possible. But again I think what’s neglected in corporate photography are the detailed shots. They’re not important in the sense that the speakers and the VIPs are, but in the scope of [telling the story] and shooting the ambiance, they are. It’s similar to a restaurant. It might be a hole in the wall with delicious food, and that’s great, but in my opinion, it would be more enhanced by [strategic] ambiance – low light, comfortable seating – these things are not important to the taste of the food, but will enhance the experience. I try to recreate that with my corporate photography.

Even if you don’t have an event coming up, you should hire Alexander to take photos of you and your family at home. Or just hire him as your own personal paparazzi throughout the day to capture you in your best light from breakfast to dessert. It’ll be so worth it!

Because he’s so fancy, he has two different websites you can check out : [uno] & [dos]. He’s also on your favorite social media sites, so go, run, Like! Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

WeDC 2016 SXSW Kickoff

WeDC has this great way of making everyone at their events feel like one of the gang. I mean, hello, it is We DC after all! We the people… Well, another WeDC event later, and we are just as obsessed with these guys!

The SXSW kickoff was a blast, and we brought DJ Duffin, DJ Civil, and DJ Rene to rock the house as the guests mingled, networked, and checked out the startup tables (um, ours was the best, le duh).

 

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Notice the company you see wherever you look? 😉

DJ Duffin kicked off the night with a fun mix of music to pump up the arriving guests. From high above the evening’s Pelonkey perch, he had the best vantage of anyone there!

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We met a ton of great people, exchanged more than a few business cards, and let’s be honest, did what Pelonkey does best: told people what we’re all about, and probably cracked a few bad jokes as well 😉

Prior to Black Alley, the band for the evening, taking the stage, DJ Civil had us grooving to some R&B, some throwbacks, and like the rockstar she is, she made WeDC’s recap collage, so for your viewing pleasure… (Bottom red tee haaaaay girl!) –>

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And after Black Alley finished up, it was DJ Rene with the closeout. Another rockstar, I tell ya. But, really, when you come to Pelonkey, it’s rockstars left and right. The talent we’ve got on our side are serious performers. In case you didn’t already know based on the amount of bragging we like to do about them.

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Great day for the PelonkTeam, and anytime we’re able to hang with WeDC it’s a great day overall.

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Rene, Ciera, Nicole, Danielle, Duffin, Civil

Until next time, WeDC!

So… the rest of y’all ready to get this SXSW wagon on the road to Austin?? We sure are!

O City Perch, how we love thee

“For more than a year now, Pelonkey DJs have been exclusively supplying the soundtrack to City Perch brunches and nighttime parties!” –> Nicole, giirllllll, those words are music to my ears!

You heard right – in the past year, if you’ve eaten at City Perch before catching a weekend movie, you’ve been grooving in your seats to one of Pelonkey’s fantastic DJs. Of the 26 (and counting) entertainers who have rocked the City Perch house so far, we’ve rounded up a number of them to weigh in on the Pelonkey-CP love affair.

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DJ Civil: “I’ve had the pleasure of entertaining patrons and staff at this great establishment since August 2015. The experience has been beyond what I ever expected. First, at the bar area, it’s always nice to see heads nodding and feet tapping. Second, the restaurant is a beauty. Third, and most important, City Perch has a selection of food on its menu that competes with no one in the area.

I recently DJ’d City Perch for Brunch Super Bowl Sunday. Of all the great times I’ve had at City Perch, I’d say the ‘whispered rap battle’ to the beat of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ is the best so far! The staff and managers always show how much they enjoy my tune selection. And if it wasn’t for Pelonkey, this new experience would have never happened.”

DJ RAW: “Fantastic food with great presentation from the staff. Great servers. The outdoor area with the fire places lit at night and the outdoor lighting are perfect for the spring, fall and early winter. The space has a ginormous back dining area. It is a hidden gem in Rockville-Bethesda area. When the area is completed you will have to wait in line for a table. Perfect for a dinner before a movie and cocktail afterwards.”

Trayze: “Spinning tunes at City Perch is always a good time!  I have fun setting the vibe at the balcony and getting people in the mood to dance at their tables or at the bar. Booking through Pelonkey is always a breeze. From contracting to payment, it’s always smooth!”

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DJ Dirty Hands: “I’ve been playing here for a few months now, and I love the people that come here. Everyone is surprised that [the DJs] are mixing live. Raasikh [General Manager] is the man!”

LJ MTX: “It was my pleasure to help City Perch kick off 2016 as their DJ. The management and staff were super accommodating from the time I walked through the door. The venue is beautiful and food is amazing. I highly recommend this spot if you are looking for a nice low key night of great food, drinks, and music.”

DJ Dimmy: “DJing at City Perch is always a treat. The staff is great, and the clientele is fun.  Thanks to Pelonkey, the booking process is smooth and flawless.”

DJ Bo: “City Perch continues to be one of my favorite places to DJ because I’m trusted to play a vast amount of music I do not get to play at most bars. The lagers are to die for, and I can’t get enough of the crab cakes. The staff is always awesome, and I look forward to seeing them again in a couple weeks.”

DJ Sean J: “City Perch is one of those great places that DJs love: A cool vibe that allows you freedom to play really cool music along with great food! The Brioche Crusted Maryland Blue Crab Cakes are amazing! For me, playing the music is all about creating the right atmosphere wherever I play. The look and feel of City Perch compliments a lot of the music that I listen to and often don’t get a chance to play out!”

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Gavin Holland: “I love DJing at City perch! There’s a vibrant bar scene, and the build-out of the whole place is really organic and inviting. Musically, I strike that balance between hooks people know and beats that are futuristic and warm. It was a high compliment the other week when someone came up to me and said, ‘I didn’t think I would hear this tonight!’ That’s always the goal. — And it’s great booking through Pelonkey; everyone’s on the same page as far as expectations and payment. By the time I get home, I have an email from Pelonkey letting me know the event is complete, and within a few days, my fee is deposited directly into my bank account. No need to annoy a manager at the end of the night for a check she’s trying to close up shop!”

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DJ Oz: “City Perch is a lot of fun. I get to play a wide array of music and the partons really enjoy it. I think it enhances their experience at the restaurant.”  

DJ CYD: “City Perch has a great staff and amazing food. It’s a very diverse group of people  from youthful business professionals to wholesome families.”

As-One: “City Perch is a must visit for those in Montgomery County. Great vibes within a gorgeous setting, friendly staff, and delicious menu. I always have a blast DJing there!”

DJ Neekola: “City Perch has been a most wonderful event planner to work with, taking very good care of our DJs, with patrons bouncing up and down while enjoying their meals before peeping a movie in fancy chairs… We love having them on Pelonkey!”

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DJ Alkimist: “I love spinning at City Perch; it’s a place with a cool vibe with even cooler people.”

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We think our entertainers did a pretty sick job of showing how much we LUV this venue…

City Perch, y’all deserve a huge THANK YOU and a full house from now until 2025. Talented DJs, you guys deserve all the success, dancing, and future bookings in the world. Readers, let’s get on that, yeah?

Neeks in Cancun con la Marriott!

I bet I know where you wish you were right now…

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Cancun. Am I right? Knew it.

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Pelonkey CEO, DJ Neekola was there recently as part of the Marriott’s Fearless conference… because Pelonkey’s supporters are always awesome sauce clients who host conferences on tropical islands. (Thanks to Entertainment Exchange for hooking up Neekola with the Marriott!) And cue the jealousy. Well, you can pretend you were also there by listening to the playlist of all the jams Neekola played throughout the duration of the convention. And then look at the sunshine outside and pretend it’s not going to drop to 40 degrees tonight.

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Alright, alright, DC. Just throw on your bikini and this playlist & dance around your apartment. No one will ever know.

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To JAM:

SLEDGE – Croatia Squad, Me & My Toothbrush and Peter Gabriel
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Groove Conductor’s Remix) – Daft Punk
Bright Lights (Extended Clean) – VICE Ft. Estelle
Can’t Feel My Face (Joe Maz and Adam Foster Remix) – The Weekend
We Found Love (Toy Armada Diamond Remix) – Rihanna
September (Taylor Wise Remix) – Earth Wind and Fire
Geronimo (Sunstars Remix) – Sheppard
Barbara Streisand – Duck Sauce
Thunderstruck (Shameless Bootleg) – ACDC
Uptown Funk (Neekola Disco Remix) Bruno Mars
Don’t Stop the Party – Pitbull
Bamboleo (Neekola Remix) Gypsy Kings
Malosax – Afro Mix – Stan Courtois
Fun – Mixshow Intro – Pitbull
Should’ve Been Us (Noodles Remix) – Tori Kelly
Sweet Dreams Vs. Just Dance, Lady Gaga Vs. Eurythmics
Call on Me – Eric Prydz (Neekola Remix)
I Love It – Icona Pop (Neekola Remix)
Sexyback – Scooter Remix – Justin Timberlake
Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop tip you Get Enough – Gigamesh Vs. Neekola
Dance – Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez, Party Starter Neekola Remix
What’s My Name Moombahton Remix – Rihanna
Latch Vs. What Do you Mean – Sam Smith Vs. Justin Bieber
Levels Die Young – Avicii Vs. Ke$ha
Let Me Clear My Throat – Party Favor Remix – DJ Kool
Temperature Vs. Americano – Sean Paul Vs. Yolanda Be Cool
Five Hours – Chris Brown

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To CHILLAX:

Adore – Jasmine Thompson
Dreams – Gigamesh Remix – Fleetwood Mac
Promise – Kaskade
Bondye – Never Too Much
Cream – Flyosphy – Claptone Remix
Aint Nobody Loves Me Better – Felix Jaehn Remix
One Thing (Nora en Pure Remix) – Me and My Toothbrush
Clocks – Coldplay Vs. Rythims Del Mundo, Cuba Salsa Remix
Hello (Paul Damixie Remix) Clean AXB Cut – Adele
Say My Name (Kids Want Techno Remix) Odezsa
Colors – Leo Perez
Oxas – Gamper Dadoni De Hofnar
Summer Sippin – Boehm & DVNNI
Sugar – Robin Schulz
Cold As Ice – Louie Fresco Remix
Shades of Grey (Nora En Pure Remix) – Oliver Heldens and Shaun Frank
Night – Janet Jackson
Groove is in the Heart – Gigamesh Remix – Deee Lite
Hotline Bling – Kue Remix – Clean AXB Cut – Sam Smith / Drake
Show Me Love – EDX Remix – Sam Feldt

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Spotlight on Our Amazing DJ Stylus Chris

We here at Pelonkey love to spotlight some of our original supporters and entertainers, and DJ Stylus Chris has been bomb from the beginning. Also a Pelonkey partner with the Beat Refinery DJ School, Stylus sports both real talent with his art and commitment to making the industry better every day.

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Over the holiday season, Stylus performed for a super fun casino-themed corporate party. Representing Pelonkey well, the client had rave reviews. You da man, Chris, and we can’t wait to collab on some more awesome events with you!

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If you’re interested in having Stylus Chris at your next event, please reach out to ciera@pelonkey.com for more details.

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!

Champagne models are a huge hit for Pelonkey clients this holiday season!

This holiday season, champagne was easily the most popular celebratory beverage of choice. What makes it even better? How about having a beautiful model serve you a cold, crisp glass from her tiered skirt, fully loaded with sparkly champagne flutes?

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Yes, it is the coolest thing ever, we know! A huge corporate client of Pelonkey‘s had a champagne model at each of their holiday parties and loved them.

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The champagne model & skirt are a fabulous add to any celebratory occasion, giving the event that extra pop of fun!

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Interested in booking a champagne model at one of your next events? Reach out to ciera@pelonkey.com for more info! We’d love to hear from you!

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!