THE CDJP STORY:...
I've pursued music my entire life. Growing up, I sang in church, in chorus, in show choir and played drums, sax and ultimately trumpet in the band. When I wasn't playing sports, I was doing something with music. As a DJ, I began in High School doing our school dances in my hometown of Houlton, Maine. I went to college at Elon University in Elon, NC. When I arrived there, I went to the campus bars/clubs and asked them to try me out as a DJ. Put me on any night of the week I said, don't pay me, and see how I do. If you like me, give me a job. It worked in my favor as I became the house DJ at the top spots on campus. From there, my network of gigs grew as I would get asked to do fraternity & sorority parties, school events, outside venues, and in my sophomore year, my first wedding.
While in college, I would rent my equipment from a large production company. I'd sometimes make less than $100/gig after paying my rental fees. We eventually worked
out a "rent-to-own" setup, which helped me start building my equipment inventory. Better than that however, was the experience and guidance they gave me with sound production, live performances,
troubleshooting and producing a quality event.
After I graduated, I spent my 20s traveling the country working as a golf professional, TV broadcaster, radio DJ and writer. I worked for CBS, FOX and helped cover the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City for NBC. I even auditioned for several reality TV Shows like MTV-VJ3, Real World, Road Rules, Amazing Race and Making the Band. Yes, I even tried out for O-Town! But everywhere I moved and lived, I continued to DJ. I would apply the same approach I did in college, going to establishments and asking them to give me a chance for free...then a job if they liked me. Not only did it keep me hungry and fresh, but I developed great diversity, experience, skills and execution. I was able to DJ in over 12 states and in places like Tavern on the Green in New York City's Central Park, several spots in Atlanta and even the Florida Keys. I did everything from backyard birthdays to events with thousands.
I moved to Charlotte in 2003 and DJ'd all over downtown at places like Grand Central, Dixie's Tavern, Have A Nice Day Cafe and others that aren't even around anymore. We'd have lines down to the corner of Trade & Tryon at Grand Central (which is now NEWK's cafe across from the Bank of America corporate building). My wedding & event business was growing rapidly, as it had gone from friends...to friends of friends...to companies and more. In 2006, I decided to form my 1st DJ business. It was a TERRIBLE name. It hurts to just say it. It was T-Time Entertainment. Yeah, I know. Bad. I had this dream that I was going to combine my passions for golf and music. Teach golf to men and women in the wedding party who were going to play golf on Friday...then DJ on Saturday. So it was a play on golf's "tee-time" and the formal "tea-time." Yeah. I don't know how I even got business with that name. The logo was even worse. But I did, and it continued to grow.
In 2011, I met my now-wife and decided I didn't want to work every single weekend anymore. It was time to bring on others and find a way to make this a living, while being able to start a family. So I rebranded our name to Carolina DJ Professionals and hired my friend Patrick Ryder as my first DJ, who I had known since college. Then we doubled to two DJs, then four, then eight...and now sit at a team of over 30 DJs and total staff approaching 50. We're on nearly 200 preferred vendor/venue lists, and have over 1,000 combined reviews on Wedding Wire, The Knot and Google. What a crazy, wonderful journey!
So as you can see, music and DJ'ing has been, and will always be, a passion of mine. It can enhance or transform the mood of yourself, your friends and your event. I enjoy so many different genres of music and always love to learn of new artists and songs. More than that, I still LOVE weddings and events. I love meeting new people, building relationships and helping people put together weddings and events that make them smile.
Myself and my team cater to you, but we have experience from thousands of events to pull from to help with any questions you have. We're able to give you more ideas, convey how things really could play out, identify potential unwanted situations, think on our feet, and overall make it memorable, fun and easy. Our favorite (hyphenated) word is "stress-free." Thank you again for considering us for your wedding or event. We'd love to get to know you better and help execute your perfect vision!