Finding the Music

 

When I was twelve years old, I was introduced to what would become a lifelong passion. When you’re twelve, you want to be so many things; a rockstar, an astronaut, a doctor,  but something about being a DJ resonated with me and left an indelible mark on my young mind. It started simply, I was playing DJ hero on my brother’s console, but I soon realized that I was finding music in all elements of my life. 

My passion for music didn’t start with DJ hero, I had played the drums in a band with my friends, but there was just something about the motion and feeling of spinning the disk, taking existing music, and using transitions, hooks, and loops to create something new and unique. After that, I leaned into the dream of becoming a DJ. I began to subsist on the music of Daft Punk. Then, I watched a VHS documentary on the world of “underground music” so much it stopped working (true story). At the end of the day, there was nothing left for me to do: I was smitten. 

Like lots of childhood dreams, I had to put my DJ career on the back-burner. Through high school and college sports and academics dominated my life and took up the majority of my time. I would find time to play around with music every now and again, but the consistency wasn’t there. Even though I wasn’t creating music as much as I wanted to, I was always listening and learning, studying the techniques of professionals like  Kaskade, Benny Benassi, and Carl Cox. I watched countless concerts online and was mesmerized by the power that music had over the audience. Crowds of people danced for hours with no end in sight, ragged breath, and fluid bodies echoing every note… it was euphoric, cathartic, and magical. 

I began to pursue music more consistently after graduating college. It meant a lot to me to share my passion with others and use music as a means to teach. Teaching has played a significant role in my life, from mentoring my teammates to becoming a special education teacher. Knowledge and skill are wonderful, and to share them with others is glorious. Expressing myself in this beautiful way and sharing it with others has been transformative for me. I modeled myself and my tastes after the masters. These artists shaped more than my taste in techno and dance music, and they really helped to shape me. I didn’t realize that exploring my passion would actually be a road map to finding myself and the music in my heart. I had always known that music would be a large part of my life, regardless of whether my dreams were realized, but now I know that music is my life. So find your music, and no matter how it changes, keep on dancing.

by: Jerod Velasquez