Atlantic City, N.J.—For the 23rd straight year, DJ Expo will bring the industry together with its unique schedule of events.
Produced by DJ Times and Testa Communications, DJ Expo—set for Aug. 13-16 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City—will present exhibits, educational seminars, sponsored entertainment and valuable networking opportunities for mobile and club DJs.
One of the more popular evening events is the “DJ of the Year” competition. Set for Aug. 15 at The Casbah, the event will bestow upon mobile jocks several awards for a variety of performance-oriented categories. This year’s overall winner—the 2012 “DJ of the Year”—will win a Chauvet Intimidator Spot LED 150 moving-head light, perfect for DJ apps.
Our always capable host, Mike Walter of Elite Entertainment in Eatontown, N.J., sat down with last year’s winner Jack Bermeo of Belleville, N.J.-based LJ Productions/Entertainment to discuss what winning the 2011 competition meant to him. Here they are:
As the producer and host of the DJ Expo’s “DJ of the Year” competition each year in Atlantic City, I’m constantly in search of great DJs and MCs who are willing (and brave enough) to get on the stage and compete for the coveted title. So I decided to speak with last year’s winner, Jack Bermeo and see what led up to him competing and if the title has made a difference in his professional life.
MW: First of all, congratulations once again on your win. Can you tell me what you remember about that winning moment?
JB: It was definitely surreal. I immediately thought about all the years I spent watching the competitions and wondering, “When am I going to get up there?” Just as I grasped the situation, I was being bum-rushed by my own crew and at that point I just rode the feeling.
MW: What was the impetus to competing last year? Did someone suggest you do it or did you watch it the year before and think, “I could do this?”
JB: A little of both. The year before I threw my hat in the ring, I consulted with my partner, Jorge Vincentty, and thought that we could make a solid go of it. Then, when we approached [former winner] Marcello Pedalino about how to go about entering, he asked simply that we make him a promise that we would put forth a solid and heartfelt effort. We shook on it and promised that one year from that day, we would have at least made him proud by competing. The win was the icing on that promise.
MW: The routine that you performed was to Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me.” Tell us about how you prepared for this.
JB: There was a lot of discussion and brainstorming with my team. We would go through different mixes and different steps. Then we would try it out at various events, judging the routine, reaction of the crowd, and how easy it was for them to grasp the steps. Then, I basically listened to the song and did the routine in my head over and over again.
MW: Did you seek out anyone for advice before performing, maybe a past finalist or winner?
JB: Honestly, I was in my own zone. Being that I was the last slot, I tried to keep my composure and focus on one thing—the performance. I went through the routine with my crew and felt comfortable knowing they had my back and would put forth their every effort to make us look good. Once I was secure, all I thought about was the performance, not even the chance of winning.
MW: Have you been able to utilize the title of “DJ of the Year” in any marketing? How has it helped your business?
JB: The title has definitely increased my visibility on the net and we have been making a push to brand our service throughout the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York areas. (Ed. Note: Take a look at Jack’s website and Facebook page. He’s done a tremendous job of “pushing his brand” and promoting the title of “DJ of the Year.”) Being that my personal performance is now in higher demand, not only did my rates go up, but my team has now been working more events than before because of the residual weddings that I cannot host. It has certainly helped the bottom line. We also noticed many more professionals within the industry have come to know me and my company. I bumped into a DJ from California who told me that he follows us on Facebook.
Thanks, Jack! If you’re interested in competing in this year’s competition, please reach out to me as soon as possible. You can email me at Mike@EliteEntertainment.com for the quickest response. We only have room for 10 or 11 finalists, so the sooner the better!
And don’t forget to register for DJ Expo!