Creating tunes on the turntablesBeing a deejay might look like a lot of fun from the dance floor. But for Tim Dao piecing together the perfect music set is a challenging art.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Being a deejay might look like a lot of fun from the dance floor. But for Tim Dao piecing together the perfect music set is a challenging art.
“There’s really a science to being a deejay — if you don’t pull it off right, you just have a gap there in between the music,” said Dao, a 2009 Woodbury High School graduate, who is pursuing a career as a deejay while he studies music technology at Inver Hills Community College. “What defines a deejay is how you present your music and how you can switch it up.”
Dao has been performing as a house deejay at parties and events in the community for the past three years. He plays electronica music —primarily house, trance and progressive music.
“The genre you play defines your character, so I always have to have songs that define my character,” he said.
For the last two years Dao has deejayed events at Bridge 121, a popular youth center for teens at Woodbury Lutheran Church.
Dao’s partnership with Bridge 121 developed through acquaintances and the various events the organization holds for area teens.
“I just kept visiting there to talk with people and hang out and I really liked the vibe,” he said. “So I asked one of the event organizers if it would be alright if I deejayed.”
From dancing to deejaying
Dao said his path to becoming a deejay was sparked out of his interest in the popular video game Dance Dance Revolution.
When he was in middle school, Dao really enjoyed the games, as well as the electronica music featured in the game.
“I really loved the music in DDR — that was my childhood right there,” he said. “I was totally into that dance music electronica stuff, so my love of music just continued to build.”
Dao’s love of music found him in choir class in high school where he met a classmate who happened to be a deejay.
After chatting it up with his friend about the ins and outs of deejaying, Dao set out on his own to develop and manipulate beats.
“I really started getting into it after that,” he said. “It was just that style of music that really caught my attention.”
A visit to a local music store is where Dao began developing his passion on the turntables.
“I went to Guitar Center and I just messed around with their turntables trying to figure out how they worked — and I just kept going back there,” he said.
Putting on the show
When Dao performs, he uses one of two different monikers he has developed over the years — Ravepulse and Binaryemotion.
“In the rave scene it’s all electronica, and pulse is just there because it sounds cool,” he said.
However, Binaryemotion, has a bit more of an underlying meaning to it, which is why Dao finds himself using it more and more.
Dao said he tries to ignite some sort of emotion through the music he’s playing whether that’s happiness, depression or something else.
“It kind of defines what my music is supposed to be like,” he said. “It’s not supposed to be a song with beats, it’s supposed to be a song, with beats and a twist.”
Down the road, Dao said he hopes to begin studio work and production of various projects. Additionally Dao said he would like to develop a college radio station dedicated to electronica music since Minnesota doesn’t currently have a dance radio station.
“I really do put a lot of passion into this,” he said.
Tim Dao will be performing at Bridge 121 on April 23. For more information go to www.myspace.com/binaryemotion