What seemed to be a complete no show quickly escalated, as The Depot filled with Gator students who witnessed Ryan Pau win the 2016 DJ Competition Wednesday night.
“In my opinion, I thought it went really well,” said Sam White, the special events assistant for the Associated Students, Inc. “We’ve had some troubles in the past years with planning and organization, but I thought it was really organized tonight and everything went as planned.”
The competition featured DJ Sparky, DJ G.A., DJ Aguros, IZ, Beach Master and Ryan Pau.
The competition consisted of two rounds, with the first featuring fifteen minutes of freestyle. The three judges, Gilbert Guillen, Michael Soto and Ryan Cavalier, then judged each band based on stage presence, crowd reaction, mixing, skill and song choice.
“It was a learning experience for me to be on the other side of the table,” said Guillen, one of the judges and winner of the 2014 regional final for Campus DJ. “Not so much judging, but challenging myself to listen closer. We all have our own attributes and sounds that set us apart. I was honored when I was asked to help with the competition.”
By spinning their way past the first round DJ Sparky, Ryan Pau and DJ Aguros advanced to the second round. The judges then gave the three remaining DJs ten minutes of playing time to compete for the spot of champion.
“I’m pretty happy I advanced past the first round; some of the other DJs were pretty good,” said Antonio Gonzalez, also known as DJ Aguros. “I actually was really surprised now I have to make the best of it.”
The crowd attendance grew as the competition made a lot of noise and moved on to a thrilling second round.
“It has been really amazing; everyone here is so talented,” said Meredith Coon, one of the events attendees and second-year math major. “I was a music minor for a while, so I really understand how much work and effort each DJ has put into this, and it’s amazing how much they are able to do.”
After an intense 10 minutes of spinning, turn tabling and disk scratching, the judges crowned Ryan Pau the 2016 DJ champion. DJ Aguros won a $200 gift card to Guitar Center by placing third place, and Mark Garcia, also known as DJ Sparky, came in second place, winning a $300 gift card to Guitar Center.
“To be hones,t I did not expect to win,” Pau said. “My music choice tonight was all over the place. I wanted to show that I have the ability to DJ different genres.
The winner of the 2016 DJ competition was awarded a $500 dollar gift card to Guitar Center and a chance to open for Kehlani tomorrow night and play music in between sets.
Pau mentioned that now that this hurdle has been achieved, another hurdle is yet to come.
“I’m super worried about what I will play to the crowd in order to keep them engaged, and the headliner of tomorrow’s festival is R&B,” said Pau. “Although, I’m super excited to be able to play for a large crowd again.”