The hills are alive…with the sounds of Dane Suarez

Have I ever told you guys the Pelonkey-Dane Suarez love story? It happened one day before Christmas, in the warmth of the office…

Dane, participated in our office 1776’s Random Acts of Culture by serenading the entire 12th floor with his tenor voice and Christmas carols. Pelonkey was mesmerized, we had to have him for a NYE event, and the rest is history. Read Dane’s full interview below.

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What genre of music do you perform?

[Laughing] I do everything. I started out in choir, and from there I went to school for music, receiving my undergrad degree at Butler and a Masters Degree at the University of Illinois in Voice Performance. When I was in college I did a cappella, which is where my pop background comes from. I taught myself piano as a freshman in high school, then took lessons a year or two after, and I am classically trained now. I performed at a piano lounge for probably five or six years, playing & singing. But I’m also a classically trained opera singer, which is [oh, right, nbd] kind of my main career.

What operas do you sing for? [Is that even how you phrase that question?]

Being an opera singer is kind of a freelance thing. As of right now, I have six really big gigs lined up in 2016. I recently performed with the Washington National Opera at The Kennedy Center [in Appamatox]. It was my premiere there, which was pretty cool. I do a lot of traveling. Up next I’m performing in NY, then Memphis, then Colorado.

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How do you find those opportunities as a freelancer? 

I go to a lot of auditions in NY. Most [openings] post an opportunity, I apply, and then audition in person. Some gigs are with people I’ve worked with before asking me to do new [roles or performances].

So tell us about the New Year’s Eve gig you got through Pelonkey.

I was doing an outreach event for the Washington Concert Opera [at 1776]. During their lunch break, I sang an opera aria and a Christmas song. Pelonkey approached and asked if I had a New Year’s Eve gig lined up already and if I played piano. [He hadn’t, and he did. Bingo! Booked for Big Night Baltimore.]

There was a lot going on [at BNB], my room was the chill room, where people could come and have a drink, chill out, sing along with me. Outside my room, there was a huge ballroom that had a DJ going all night long, a room that had multiple bands playing sets throughout the night, a guy playing an acoustic guitar, a smaller DJ dance room, and my room was me and the piano. It was a “choose your own NYE event.”

People would want to take a break from the loud noise, come into my room, and sing along. I was trying out some new stuff, everything from Adele to Billy Joel to… I don’t know, trying to throw a little of everything in there.

What do you have coming up?

As far as my opera career goes, I have a lot coming up. My debut with Loft Opera in NYC is in March [in Tosca]. Then I go directly to Opera Memphis for Carmen, then I will be in Colorado for La bohème, and back in Memphis in the fall for their “30 Days of Opera.” They have pop-up events all around the city every single day of September. [They perform any place you can think of, Whole Foods, the library, the street, wherever.] It’s not my first time doing random stuff.

Top two songs on your playlist right now

Adele, “When We Were Young”

Puccini, “Vissi d’arte” from Tosca

Where can we check out more of your stuff?

Pelonkey.com, danesuarez.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Is Dane not the sweetest?? Answer: he is. A lovely guy with a lovely voice. And so multi-talented. That’s what Pelonkey is all about, yo! Great talent for dayyyyyys. Would be great to serenade you and/or your office, loved one, whoever, for Valentine’s Day, just sayin’… Book him now! Thank us later.

Snowpocalypse 2016

While the PelonkTeam used the blizzard to catch up on some work and some R&R (OK, eat. We ate a lot. All the things… Snowstorms make us hungry.), a number of the talented Pelonkey gang were actually quite busy doing real, creative things.

Take a listen to Biks‘ new Bhangra mix…and jam out!

Zombie Max Major took over an “abandoned” grocery store… and never let his Vlog rest.

DJ Alkimist began work on an original recording for a friend’s upcoming NYC exhibition.

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DJ Sean J played videographer capturing a time-lapse vid of the snow outside his window.

As did DJ Trayze

Richard Mixin wowed us with his graphic skillz and this Bowie print. (Check out more stuff HERE.)

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And AJ Smith braved the blizzard NYC style to film his music video for “Brooklyn Nights,” his first single off his new EP, and the namesake for his show at Jammin’ Java on Wednesday night!

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And Eagle Eye made three-minute microwave cookies, which definitely worked. And are definitely dangerous.

What did you do this blizzard?

Entertainers, update your profiles!

Do we sound like your mom yet? Pick up your room, eat your veggies, update your Pelonkey profile. Are we at that level? We can’t believe you’re tired of hearing us ask you to update your profile because not all of you have done it yet! So we say it again. Update your Pelonkey profile. Like, yesterday.

And just as when Mom tells you if you finish all the veggies on your plate you can have dessert, we are telling you if you update and promote your profile you will make money. (And in the dessert vs. money race, there really are no losers, am I right?) We won’t waste more of this post nagging you, but we will shame you into logging in and customizing your photos & bio by showing you some fab examples of users who have already done so.

There are three steps to updating:

Step 1 – Fill out your Profile details. (You know, your name, your Bio, your social media links, your keywords to show up in event planners’ searches. Get witty jiggy creative with it.)

Step 2 – Choose a profile picture. (Come on, we all have Facebook. You know what profile pix are and how disturbing it is when someone doesn’t have one – are they real?! are they a bot?! are they catfishing me?!)

Step 3 – Upload three (3) profile slider photos. (These pictures will slide behind the text at the very top of your public profile like a scrolling marquee.)

Now, watch & learn…

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You do all these things, and that’ll lead to glowing reviews (aka: you booked a gig, you put on a killer show, you made the $$). And those reviews lead to more gigs, which lead to more $$, which lead to general merriment and all around good times, ya dig?

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Now, let’s get to business. Hop to it!

Pelonkey at 2015 SXSW Interactive

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Austin, is it time to come back yet?

It was just a couple months ago that our CEO Nicole and social media intern Danielle hit the road in their swanky Chevy Volt, courtesy of Buick and Digital DC, and headed to Austin, TX to exhibit Pelonkey at SXSW Interactive. 22 hours of driving led them through Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, and parts of Texas where they met local talent, checked out the entertainment scene (or at least what they could see of it during their hour-long rest stops), and spoke to a few performers about their life on the stage.

Once in Austin, Nicole and Danielle hit networking events, parties after parties, and conferences meeting local and remote companies and representatives, their only goal to make sure that everyone knew the name Pelonkey by the time they left. Arriving with a fairly open game plan, the two also spent time in the convention center and on the city streets checking out talented performers (and not only musicians!) that make Austin the live music capital of the country.

The highlight, for sure, was taking part in the Monday night WeDC House event, which was the place to be. Pelonkey was the most sought-after table inside, passing out swag left and right, and DJ Neekola made an appearance outside, spinning between live acts as the evening’s host. A surprise visit and shout out from DJ Kool sealed the deal as the best night of SXSW! No doubt about it, Pelonkey will definitely be back next year.

Throughout all of SXSW and the journey traveling to Austin from DC, Nicole and Danielle had their GoPro turned on, gathering footage of daily events, parties, and interviews with local entertainment.

Below, check out our little photo diary of Pelonkey’s trip to SXSW 2015!

 

We started our drive bright and early on Saturday morning, March 14. Taking a car down to Austin instead of a plane allowed us the freedom to stop whenever and wherever we wanted to explore. We were out to discover any kind of local talent we could. After conducting some research and outreach at home before the trip, it turned out that hitting the streets yielded the best results. On Day 1, from Knoxville to Nashville to Memphis, the Pelonkey duo was uncovering talent and native flair around every corner. And also eating some crazy good southern BBQ while enjoying the sites!

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On the second and last exhausting and exhilarating day of the road trip (you try squeezing 22 hours of driving into two days without wanting to stop, drop, and nap), we were anxious to finally arrive in Austin. We took a pit stop in Little Rock and then flew straight on to Texas, where we only stopped for more BBQ (never enough) and finally arrived in the heart of downtown Austin. Our first party (and main event!) that evening was with Tech Cocktail at Maggie Mae’s. From there, we wandered the city streets, hopped to more bars and parties, made new friends, and soaked up as much of Austin as we could until 3am, running on fumes from little sleep.

        

Continuing with the motto “sleep is for the weak”, we were up and at ’em Monday morning preparing for a long day in Austin. The first half of the day was spent party-hopping, chatting up new people, plotting and planning the Pelonkey launch, and sniffing out free food & drink. Finally, after a focus meeting, it was time to get ready for the We DC House event, where DJ Neekola donned her pink ‘do to hit the decks and Danielle worked the Pelonkey table inside. We DC has been a great supporter of Pelonkey, and partnering with them for their SXSW event was just one of many collaborations to come. Thank you guys so much for helping to bring us to Austin and for putting on such a great party! You guys rock!

                        

The highlight of the night was when Neekola was blasting “Let Me Clear My Throat”, and DJ Kool himself walked over to say “Hey, that’s my song!” He grabbed the mic and gave Neekola and Pelonkey a shout-out, essentially rocking both the party and our world.

The last few days of SXSW, Nicole and Danielle did more of what they came to do: network. Beautiful Austin weather followed them everywhere, and introductions were made to individuals and companies from all across the country.

We are so grateful we were able to go to SXSW 2015, and we can’t stress enough how much we learned and how many great contacts we made. Pelonkey is close to launching, and the excitement we felt in Austin surrounding our venture and the tech culture in general was infectious! Thanks to everyone who helped get us to Austin, and we can’t wait to come back! 

              

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!

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!

DJ Charity and DJ Neekola steal the scene at the new iPic Theaters in North Bethesda!

Last Friday night, our awesome Pelonkey DC DJ babes rocked out the new iPic Theaters in North Bethesda!

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DJ Neekola and DJ Charity were on fire! Not only did they keep the movie-goers and City Perch patrons in a great mood with fabulous tunes, these two beautiful ladies stole the show – people were late to their movies stopping to watch the pretty DJs spin!

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Thank you to TAA PR and iPic for having both DJ Neekola and DJ Charity perform last weekend – what a fun night!

DJ Charity rocks out iPic Theaters!

Last week, Pelonkey CEO DJ Neekola and Pelonkey artist DJ Charity totally rocked out the new iPic Theaters in North Bethesda with TAA PR! Each night featured a stellar DJ performance, and proceeds from ticket sales went to select local charities, making the opening parties both fun and fulfilling.

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DJ Charity really knows how to make people bounce! She was spinning and remixing all of Monday night, much to the delight of the theater-goers! Pelonkey is proud to have such a beautiful, talented lady DJ on board, keepin’ it cool every time!

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A big thanks to the new iPic Theaters and The Aba Agency PR for having her!

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Interested in booking DJ Charity for your next event? Hit up ciera@pelonkey.com for any inquiries, and we will make sure to match you with her quickly!