The Festival lower drum proved to be the perfect space to breakdance on the evening of Saturday, February 6. University Program Board’s Spotlight Sounds held its second annual DJMU, aimed at giving students the opportunity to see a mix of local and well-known DJ talents. With a popular headliner, and member of a nationally-recognized DJ community called Soulection, attendees couldn’t help but admit, “I came here to see JRobb.” JRobb, or Jay Roberts, is a young and successful professional in his field, known for remixing mainstream music into cooler, newer sounds.
“I was actually super surprised when I heard he was coming here; that’s big,” said AJ Vitaliz, a recent JMU alum and breakdancer who discovered JRobb while looking for good music to dance to.
Starting with headliners DJ Katazui and Ryan Clark, the energetic and fun-loving atmosphere stayed all night long. True fans of DJing took over Festival, most wearing modern hip-hop and hipster styles, and some even sporting DJ Katazui T-shirts. A large group of DJ Katazui’s friends and supporters including Vitaliz, as well as some other attendees, took advantage of the vibe and good music and were breakdancing almost all night. Others sat and stood around the stage, soaking up the creative tunes.
DJ Katazui took the audience by storm and hyped everyone up with his classic hip-hop remixes. His returning and new fans danced their hearts out, some having dance-offs and introducing themselves to the best break-dancers. He even let some bystanders rap along to more neutral beats. His final song included a remix of the Little Einsteins theme song and “Gagnam Style,” leaving everyone laughing and cheering. Although this was his first official gig, he had another one downtown right after and hopes to score many more.
“Music should be fun,” said DJ Katazui, or Danny Nguyen, former JMU sophomore aspiring to tour officially as a DJ. He is passionate about this message and hopes to make it known at all of his gigs.
Ryan Clark, the second opener, kept up the hype but with a different vibe. He remixed popular music with an almost relaxing sound to them. Students listened avidly, many still breakdancing and others crowding around him to stand, head-bob, and listen. Even though DJ Katazui had run-off to his next show, his friends stayed to support and dance to Ryan Clark’s music.
“We got JRobb in the building,” shouted Clark, a touring DJ and JMU alum, to the audience, clearly excited to hear the DJ he was opening for.
When JRobb finally stepped onto the stage, the students cheered for the moment they had been waiting for. His music was mainstream but not all current music remixed into different sounds. It gave off a very energetic vibe and people raved when he played songs by singers like John Mayer, Justin Timberlake, and Rihanna. He also played some songs that made the crowd go wild like the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” and The Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps.”
Ryan Clark stuck around, happily standing near the stage to listen, moving his head along to the beat. Several students started copying each other’s dance moves, forming some semi-coordinated dancing to JRobb’s music. Some of DJ Katazui’s friends also formed a circle on the floor, stretching, linking arms, and swaying. At one point they were having what appeared to be a dabbing séance, at another they were actually doing yoga.
All in all, the night full of breakdancing and listening to creative music was a success for everyone involved. It was a fantastic opportunity to host JRobb, the audience loved his music, and the openers were a huge success too. Attendees raved at how amazing JRobb was and spoke to him after the event ended. Like several others there, Vitaliz hopes that more JMU students come to hip-hop events in the future and broaden their horizons.
“It’s fun to hear music you like, but in a different way,” said Vitaliz.