Every great wedding needs a fun and energizing reception, which is why selecting the perfect DJ is key. You'll need to find someone who understands how to match your musical preferences for your big day, and can keep your guests engaged and entertained all night long. I've seen the crowd that Dan Hawkins from MusicMasters can draw with his services. Keep reading to see if he might just be who you've been looking for!
What sparked your interest in DJing?
Honestly? I wanted to be in a rock and roll band. In high school, I played keyboards, a little bit of guitar with a couple of small time bands, but it didn't take long for me (and many others) to discover that while I could play the notes (most of the time) I couldn't make the music; you know what I mean? As much as I loved playing, it was clear that my dreams of becoming a super rock star jamming in front of a huge audience would most likely never become a reality. My passions switched to radio where I eventually became an on-air radio DJ. I figured if I can't play the music myself, I'll play the records of those who can. One thing led to another and I started doing radio station appearances at school dances and such. That rush of watching an audience reacting and dancing to the music I was playing was enough to convince me that this was my new best thing. Since my humble beginnings to now, I've been extremely fortunate to have been able to support my family with a successful career of doing what I love.
What's the MusicMasters origin story?
Having worked for another DJ company years ago, it didn't take long to realize that things could be done better. What was most missing with the other company was the attention to detail that's critical to pulling off an event as important as a wedding. That company, as many unfortunately are today, was primarily interested in making the sale, with client satisfaction somewhere lower on the list. We knew we could do better. We knew providing stellar service and quality entertainment would lead us to the successes we enjoy today. We're well established in the wedding/hospitality industry, having comprised one of the strongest teams of professional DJs in Maryland. Our motivation is that when the client is happy, they'll tell two others and we'll do their events who will tell two others and so on. Word of mouth is by far the main reason we're keeping ourselves busy.
What's your favorite part of the process?
There's no part of the process I don't like. From my first contact with the client to the last song of the night, I love being a part of the team that made it happen. Unless someone has been through this experience, they just don't realize what it takes to orchestrate a successful event. Most of our clients have never done this before. So if I had to name a favorite part of the process, I guess it would be that moment when they realize they're finally in good hands and can now relax. They're comforted knowing we have their back and truly want to see their wedding day succeed as much as they do. Oh - hugs, high fives, and accolades at the end of the night aren't so bad either.
What can people expect when they book with you, and on their wedding day?
We've worked with thousands of clients over the years, every one of them having a different idea of what makes for great music and a DJ. It's our responsibility to find out what the client wants, then tailor our approach that reflects their wishes. Because we do this full time, we have the resources, tools, experience, availability, and responsiveness that our clients find invaluable. Expect the day of, we'll be set up in a timely manner, properly prepared with everything we promised. We feel strongly that working together as a team - caterer, photographer, etc. - ensures that things run smoothly. Our goal is that the newlyweds can simply enjoy being with their family and friends, eat, drink, dance, have fun and above all - relax!
What do you wish people knew about DJ services? What should they keep in mind?
Oh goodness, I could write a book about this subject. At the risk of getting too wordy, I'll offer these brief notes instead...
You'll want to work with an established team who genuinely wants to please and has the credentials, experience and expertise to back it up. Be careful of weekend warriors or a friend of a friend. We hear horror stories all the time. You'll pay a little more to have a true professional, but the outcome will be well worth its weight in gold.
There's WAY more hours dedicated to an event then whatever the start and end time on the contract says. Consultations, meetings, calls, emails, education, equipment prep/upkeep/storage, researching/acquiring music, travel, set up, tear down are only a few things a professional DJ does beyond actual play time. We work hard ahead of time to ensure the clients day turns out spectacularly!
Be careful about using videos as a tool that showcases a particular DJ or service. It's easy enough to put together a slick video of all the best bits but rarely is it able to show you the complete picture. Many times clients have become disappointed because what they saw in a video, didn't pan out for their event. Sometimes clients will see something in a video they didn't like and will automatically rule them out even though that could have been the perfect match. Reviews, references and recommendations should be given lots of weight in the decision making process.
What's your style when it comes to wedding?
We see our role as making the announcements, talking, ad-libbing, and having fun when appropriate, but primarily we're there to keep the flow going, coordinate everything with everybody involved (bride, groom, caterer, photographer, etc.), and simply let an awesome mix of the music do the entertaining. It's all about reading the crowd, figuring out the dynamics and adjusting our approach accordingly. Some groups need a little bit more of a nudge than others in which case we have the skills and techniques to get guests motivated. But if the vibe's good, energy's good, people are dancing, socializing, smiling, having a great time... let the music play without disruption!
What's the best way for clients to reach you?
Being a full time, full service DJ company, our clients find that we're readily available. It would be ideal to set up an initial consultation either via phone or get together. It's a great way to establish a rapport, plus we get to learn about the client's vision so that we know what we need to do to make it happen. Clients can check our appointment availability and reserve a date and time that works for them by visiting MusicMastersMaryland.com/appointments. Of course we enjoy our chats and can be reached at 410-252-2299. Email works as well: firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep up with us on Facebook. Learn more by visiting MusicMastersMaryland.com.