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DJ Keith Erickson Has A Gift For Bringing People Together Through Music

By S. Mathur

It was on Halloween night of 2004 that Keith Erickson moved to LA from Florida to begin his musical career as a professional drummer. To help pay bills, which were considerably higher than in Tallahassee, he began working at wedding venues and discovered his talent for DJing.

"I couldn't help but notice the DJ's at these events and thought to myself, well, if I'm going to be working here, I might as well be doing a job that's musically related," he said."It will be a lot more fun and comes and I bet pays a lot better too!"

Erickson already had a musical background, with a B.A. in music, and he played both piano and drums. A DJ apprenticeship with Mark "DJ peace" taught him the ropes and the little details that set apart successful DJs. He began DJing in Santa Monica 11 years ago, and now works with a team of site coordinators and vendors to produce weddings and other events. Each event is customized, through hours of planning. Communication with clients is key to a successful event, and consultations begin with an easy to fill out worksheet that helps with the planning.

Clients find Erickson to be both professional and down to earth.

"My job is to show up at couple's biggest day of their lives and provide the musical soundtrack," he said. "I especially enjoy watching the dance floor going off. It's an amazing feeling when the flow is going perfectly and it seems as though I can do no wrong. Bringing folks together through music has always been a thrill that I've been addicted too since a young age."

Erickson has the ability to read a diverse crowd and to play the music that will bring them on to the dance floor. The music is specific to each client and he does not attempt to impose his own tastes, even though he is an expert on the oldies.

"So just because I like a song or artist, if it's not good for the event, then I won't play it," he said. "Many couples tell me they don't want 'cheesy' music like the YMCA, Macarena, chicken dance, etc? and I know immediately what they are talking about and steer clear. However, sometimes these 'cliché' event songs are very appropriate and I've learned to get over what I personally like and play to the crowd."

Erickson enjoys DJing weddings because he says it's a wonderful experience to be around all of the love and excitement. Clients feel that his presence is the highlight of the party and the key to a successful evening.

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