I’m LaDel The DJ, Virginia’s own and a member of the Music Makes You Happy crew who came aboard at an almost perfect time personally. Having attended college with founder and owner Chris and several of the team DJs, I was reaching the point where I was truly ready to jump after years of being prodded by friends and associates. Prior to that, I sort of suppressed the desire to start my journey as a DJ because, while I was being asked to play music for events often, I was still straddling the line between recording music of my own.
It became undeniably clear that I was naturally making less music and growing more intrigued by this transition. I was always the music guy in every circle; certainly one of them. But my lifelong love for music, especially hiphop, instilled a respect and appreciation for the DJ that wouldn’t allow me to jump in with the wrong motives. So before I made any full-on commitment to take to the tables, I actually called a few seasoned DJs who I’m close to to discuss my plans and get their feedback. I was met with blessings and encouragement that I didn’t NEED for validation but certainly valued as confirmation that I’d soon belong and would be embraced by those who I most respect in the field. Hearing things like “You? Oh yeah! You definitely should [DJ]!” surprised even me, but it ultimately felt like an extension of the love I got from making music under a different name some time ago.
I’ve always had a ridiculous music collection dating back to cassettes as a child on through the CD and mp3 eras. I used to put my tastemaker talents to task by making individual, one-of-one mixtapes for people in school crafted specifically to their personality and interest. I still remember the first DJ to fully catch my attention back when I was in elementary school and we now are friends who still keep in touch and speak about music occasionally. I also recall which of my peers was the first to have his own DJ equipment when we were young lads. We too remain in contact and it’s funny now because he has transitioned into music production and I am now on the 1s and 2s where he started.
So here I am, fully immersed in this new role and enjoying it. I’ve done weddings, race events, tailgates, private birthdays and more and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s in store for me. I remain a music fan who gets out to hear some new stuff every now and again and constantly combs all resources for the latest and greatest tracks. Now, though, I listen differently because my title calls for it. You see…LaDel has always had a rich music past but now, I am LaDel The DJ.