Meet the DJ
DJ Alex Reyes
Alex Reyes is a DJ who doesn’t let things like disabilities get in his way. Forming his own DJ business on January 1st 2001, aged just 14, Alex made becoming a successful, professional DJ his new year’s resolution – and he hasn’t looked back since. “The reason I wanted to become a DJ was because I wanted to give back to the community,” Alex tells us. “As a disabled man I work hard to make my life as happy as possible.”
The disability Alex speaks of is in fact Cerebral Palsy, a disorder that causes physical disability and difficulty in communication, and one which can cause significant social barriers for those who suffer from it. This hasn’t stopped Alex from getting out playing gigs though. Hailing from Fremont, CA, Alex serves the SF Bay area, playing birthday parties, graduations, block parties, pool parties and charity events, as well as providing live sound reinforcement for musicians and small bands. “The only challenge I always have when I DJ is that I get nervous once I’m all set up and ready to start,” Alex explains. “When this happens I ask God to be with me – at all my events, actually. You never know what could happen; you have to have your guard up at all times.”
As his surname – Reyes – suggests, Alex has Spanish roots and he loves to pay tribute to his heritage through his DJing. “The type of music I really love to spin is Spanish music,” Alex enthuses. “I always start my mix with ‘Suavemente’ by Elvis Crespo [American-born Puerto Rican singer]; it always gets the party started so we can keep going until 1am!”
Explaining his technique, Alex tell us how he “like[s] to play one song at a time and then beat match by listening to the BPM towards the end of the song before switching songs when the time is right.” Relying little on high-tech gear, Alex honed his skills on a very basic set-up when he first started out: “When I started the business, I was using one karaoke machine, two microphones, and one basic CD player,” he says.
As with his basic equipment setup, Alex doesn’t let his physical limitations get in the way of his DJing either, using it instead as something to spur him on and inspire him to give back to others in the community with disabilities. “I have nothing but love and respect for anyone who suffers from a disability and my best party ever was when I DJed for a client whose daughter was disabled” says Alex. “At the end of the night I got a big round of applause and an encore to continue. Then, after, when I was packing away to go home, the client came up to me and said, “Alex, we can’t thank you enough for making the event a complete success – you’re the best DJ ever and I would totally higher you again!” and I said, “thank you” and explained that it meant a lot to me.”
Through self-determination and a passion for giving something back to the community, DJ Alex Reyes has emerged on his own terms, and continues to share his passion for music with others across the SF Bay area, supporting and inspiring those with disabilities as he goes. Does Alex have any advice for up-and-coming DJs, though?
“My advice to all up-and-coming DJs is to: one, have the right DJ equipment to get the job done; two, be professional and respectful to the client and their guests at all times; and three, work to the best of your ability to make their event a complete success!”
To find out more about DJ Alex Reyes, pay his official website a visit or connect with him on social media:
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