When Taylor Gerkin came to college, he liked playing music — but he had never tried his hand at disc jockeying.
Gerkin, a junior who goes by the stage name “T-Gerk,” began DJing in college instead of continuing to pursue his high school hobbies.
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“I was very into orchestra and band in high school,” he said. “I couldn’t really pursue those things in college, so I tried my hand at DJing — it was like the last frontier.”
Gerkin is performing tonight in “Mixology,” a showcase of several student and local DJs.
Ian Porter, who came up with the idea for “Mixology,” said the event will celebrate local talent and the individuals behind music heard at parties.
“Our main goal is to promote the local talent and to make sure student talent is being seen,” he said.
Patrick Carney, co-director of Carolina Creates Music, one of the sponsors of the event, said he wants to promote established talent as well as give up-and-coming artists more exposure.
“We function sometimes as consultants and mostly as resources for students,” he said.
“Mixology” is also sponsored by the Carolina DJ Collective, Gerkin’s brainchild.
Gerkin said he noticed that fledgling DJs faced two main barriers: finances and networking. He said his organization seeks to reduce those barriers so that those interested in DJing can try it without tremendous burden.
Gerkin said he enjoys DJing because he can give people the opportunity to blow off steam for a few hours through his music.
“The more people the merrier. Nobody likes playing to an empty dance floor.”
Everardo Vidaurri, another DJ playing at “Mixology,” said when he moved from Miami to North Carolina, he was afraid there would not be any electronic music.
He said “Mixology” is a great opportunity for him to widen his audience.
“Most shows are usually 21 and up, so it’ll let more undergraduate classmates enjoy my music,” he said.
“The more people there are, the easier it is to read the crowd. The bigger the better — it gets me more amped.”
Student DJ Trevor Dougherty — who goes by the stage name “good ratio” — is also performing tonight.
Dougherty said his favorite part of “Mixology” is getting the chance to play with his peers.
“It’s a sad thing that music is so competitive and individualistic. But when artists team up — it should be fun,” he said.
Dougherty said he is most inspired by college-aged DJs who made it by themselves.
“I’ll always be passionate about music,” he said.
“I don’t see myself stopping right now.”
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