Mark DerenbergerCO-CEO | Disc Jockey
Back in the early 90s, I was simply the guy who brought the music and controlled the stereo at all of my friends’ parties and get-togethers. But in 1994, I got my first real taste for the DJ business when I accompanied a friend to an event at which he was hired to entertain. That night – due to an unfortunate situation involving keys locked inside of a Mercury Cougar – I ended up in charge of most of the music selecting and crowd motivating, which ended with an applause when the night was over. Immediately, I was hooked.
By the middle of 1995, I had entertained at my first wedding and landed my first DJ residency at a nightclub in Lancaster, OH. School dances, private parties, and corporate gatherings were not far behind, further expanding my knowledge of how to entertain varied types of crowds for different events. What started as simply having fun playing CDs at parties as a teenager had become an actual job, and one that I fell in love with, at that.
It wasn’t long before being an entertainer became my primary occupation. In over 20 years since my first paid performance, the one constant has been my unconventional career as a DJ. Clubs, pubs, elaborate weddings, tailgate parties, company holiday events… I’ve truly done it all. While some of my peers got into (and out of) the industry just to be the center of attention, the life of the party, or to “drink beer and pick up chicks”, I knew my reason and passion for entertainment was far deeper and more pure. It truly was never about me. It has always been about creating an amazing atmosphere and taking a crowd on a journey. I wanted to create magic, but not just so that I could be a flashy magician of music. I wanted to see the faces of those experiencing a level of enjoyment that only the emotion of music can bring. I still get those tingles to this day, I can’t imagine they will ever go away, and I’m feeling them right now as I write about it.
Some of my career highlights include opening up for mainstream music artists of every genre, including Confederate Railroad, Joe Budden, Twista, Neal McCoy, DJ Unk, Lil Flip, and Juvenile to name but a few. And while I certainly have enjoyed the opportunity to work with famous individuals and bands, the thing that has always been more of a sense of pride for me is being part of creating the perfect personalized atmosphere for lesser known individuals. Brides and grooms. Students at their first dance or prom. A couple celebrating their 50 year wedding anniversary. Once a year corporate parties. Formal balls. Those are the events that drive me to forever continue in this wonderful line of work. I don’t think anyone could pay me to stop. And while I’ve lost track of the exact number, I can truly say that I’ve had the honor of DJing dozens of school dances, over one hundred corporate and private parties, hundreds of beautiful weddings, and thousands of events in total.