By Mike Peterson
I’ve had the privilege of getting to know a local and talented DJ, who goes by DJ Mace. He has aninteresting story and defines what it means to strive for your dreams and that with enough hardwork, you can make it. Take a read!
After5: How long have you been in the DJ business?
DJ Mace: We started back in 2011. I had always wanted to DJ and my fiance wanted to start a business to bring in extra money. I had the idea and she made it happen. We started buying theequipment, doing advertising, taking care of music. We did a few open dances and birthday partiesin Grafton, ND under the name of Sonido Azteca (Aztec sounds) as the business name and I cameup with my DJ name as DJ mace, which is actually the initials of all of us. That same year, My fi-ance who is also owner with me, was diagnosed with cancer. We took a break from the businessand moved away for her treatment and to be with family. We came back fall of 2012. We threw a big dance party in grafton nd to let everyone know we were back in business, thats when wechanged the name to Mace Productions. People seemed glad to have us back because there hadn'treally been many dances since we took a break. We had raffles for bottles of tequila, games, it wasa really good time and we got quite a bit of jobs out of that night.
A5: Is this your sole way of making a living?
DJ: No. I used to do maintenance in Grand Forks for several apartment companies. I really love being a maintenance technician and i also would have weekends free to do my dances. We movedto stephen mn in 2013 where we now own a house and i started work at Marvin windows anddoors in grafton ND and even though it's hard traveling right now because of the crazy weather, imglad I still have weekends free for the business.
A5: What's are some your preferred songs or styles?
DJ: I love techno music. I know its not very popular here but I really love it. Now that I live herethough im getting used to country music and I've gotta admit there's some really great songs andartists in that genre. I play it all though, from regional Spanish, Cumbias, rock, new country, Pop,all the way to Elvis Presley!
A5: Briefly, what's your life story and what kind of hardships have you encountered on theway to being a DJ? How did you find your way to Minnesota?
DJ: My family moved us to St James MN from Mexico city when I was in first grade. I grew upthere and I would visit the rest of my family in Mexico City every summer. In high school I metmy fiance who's family was from Stephen. She moved to Grand Forks to go to Northland Collegeand I decided to join her and permanently move to Grand forks. Now her mom has given us her house in Stephen for us to raise our family. We are very grateful to her because our children reallylove this small town.
A5: What sort of venues do you play?
DJ: We do it all. From weddings, graduation parties, birthday parties, Quinceañeras (sweet six-teens), anniversaries, open dances, any special ocassion where people want to have a great and funnight. We travel wherever we are required as well.
A5: You're from Mexico, originally. Are there any similar challenges here that you may havefaced over there?
DJ: ve never DJ'd in Mexico but I do follow some DJ's from mexico city on YouTube, just be-cause I love spanish music. I think the biggest challenge I have here is getting exposed, advertise-ment. There's a couple other DJs around the area that play spanish music like I do and becausethey have lived here all their life, people know them and give them preference. People are afraid of change, or trying something new I think. But we still keep advertising with flyers and on our face- book page so hopefully we start meeting more and more people. Would you consider the Ameri-can Dream to be alive and well? I feel it is. There's many opportunities out there you just have tosacrifice a little bit of time and put a lot of effort into something in order to succeed at what you'redoing or want to accomplish. And being successful and loving what you do is my version of theAmerican dream.
A5: Any interesting or fun stories from your DJ'ing experience?
DJ: We got hired for an outdoor wedding last fall. We got to the venue, set up all of our equipment,the lights, the speakers, the mixer. All was up and running so we decided to take off to the cere-mony where we were going to play some music there as well. After that was over we went back tothe venue and as we were pulling up we see this big gush of wind blowing away the tarp whereour equipment was set up and just as we thought, all of our equipment had been blown down to thefloor. I thought I was gonna start crying! It's expensive equipment and we didnt have the insurance onit yet. Thankfully everything was fine. Nothing broken, nothing damaged. Westill bought new lights and of course insurance.
A5: How about DJ'ing etiquette. Are there certain things that people re-ally should not do while you are on the board?
DJ: Touch my laptop! I cannot tell you how many times people get a bit tipsyand they want a certain song right there and there, get impatient and decide tofind the song for themselves on my laptop. Or maybe they just want to knowhow it feels to be a DJ for one night but either way, it's one of my pet peevesas a DJ. I also get a lot of weird requests from weddings... crazy song re-quests and I have to end up asking the couple if its ok with them for me to play certain songs. Maybe sometimes guests forget there's family and kidsaround.
A5: Anything else you want me to squeeze in there that I may havemissed?
DJ: If people are looking for an amazingly fun night, we are theones to hire. We are the full package. I get people fired up with my Emceeand entertainer skills. We do games with couples, activities with the audienceto get them involved, raffles, prizes. Our motto is to serve our client with thehighest of professionalism for maximum entertainment and fun. No one has been disappointed. We guarantee fun. Not many DJ's can do that. How can people book you? I welcome everyone to Like our Mace Productions page at www.facebook.com/dj-mace4. Or send me a friend request, facebook.com/djmace. They can also call (701) 317-6690 for Rates and Bookings.
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This Month’s Feature at Canad Inns
MAR 2014 •YEAR SIX • NUMBER THREE | AFTER5GF.COM •PAGE 3 | /After5GF @After5GF