Interview With Dee Jay Silver (@deejaysilver1): Everyone’s Welcome at this Country Club
Dee Jay Silver
“Everyone’s Welcome at this Country Club”
By Christian Cipollini
When the phone rings… there’s a faint ‘hello?’ It’s slightly muffled by the distinct background sounds of summer fun. Dogs barking, water sloshing, and was that a beer falling? Why yes it was! This is the scenario when country music’s most prolific turntable master calls while hanging out on a beautiful summer day with Jason Aldean. DeeJay Silver is his name, and he’s spent the last decade creating some of the most irreverent mixes of kneeslapping, hootin and hollerin, danceable tracks under the sun. Wait… danceable? As in club mix? Yes indeed. Silver never saw any reason for pure country music to be segregated from the infinite possibilities available with a good set of equipment, and the creative mind to merge it with everything from hip hop to pop. He’s a nonstop busy guy. A new record deal, tons of touring with pals like Jason Aldean and Brad Paisely, plus his own radio show. DeeJay Silver loves every damn minute of his hectic life. It’s his very own Country Club, and you’re all invited in!
Dee Jay Silver: We got that interview right now don’t we? I’m at Aldean’s house swimming. Let me get my beer. Alright alright!
Rebel Row: You sound more than happy. Did you imagine a decade ago you’d be in this amazing situation?
DJS: I had no clue man. I had a passion for country music and deejaying but I had no idea the possibility I’d be doing what I’m doing. At that time I was just doing what I loved. It wasn’t because nobody else was doing it, but because it was something I loved to do. Five years ago those dreams of playing CMT and IHeart Radio was just a dream. I always had lofty goals. I wanted to be playing London, New York, Miami. But I never thought in a million years I’d be playing in places like Vegas.
RR: Mixing country with, well, everything – did anyone ever tell you back then you were basically crazy?
DJS: Every time I ever did anything! The first time I put out a country club mix tape, in 2002, I was in Texas and there’s a line down the street to get in. Everyone pays five bucks to get in and they get a cd. Well, a certain lady walked up to me and said, “Why the hell would you ever do this?” The first person and I was like, “Thank you.” You get ten people says they love you, and one will hate you. You can’t please everybody.
RR: You put out an EP, but then landed a major label deal recently right?
DJS: Ep came out last June, called “Country Club”, same name as my radio show. I told my manager I wanted a record deal, and we started getting calls and took it more seriously. We met with Sony RCA Nashville and I told my manager this is where we’re going and he said, “But they haven’t made an offer yet.” I told him this is where we’re going.
RR: Years ago, not that far back really, the mixes you do must’ve been unusual to some audiences, to say the least.
DJS: I’ve always played nightclubs and festivals, and I’ve always been the guy to throw country in. But, I always had to hide it! Now, sometimes these clubs will change to country for a couple days just to let me play. I tell people, I play country music the way I hear it, as a deejay, and for people that wouldn’t give country music a chance – this is what I do. Maybe make you a Jason Aldean fan, become a Kenny Chesney or Brad Paisley fan. And at the same time I want to keep the country people happy. I want to let them know I love country music. If you pulled out my ipod – it’s an eighty-five year old man’s ipod! Waylon and Willie, ya know. I think country music fans know, for the most part, the respect level I have for country music. I play the music I love for a living.
RR: Looking back at the evolution of country, and how popular it and all the subgenres are now, do you think it was all about the timing?
DJS: Absolutely. There was no subgenre for this. Now, what I play – these are subgenres of country music. There will be eight year old boys there wanting to me and sixty year old ladies. It just shows you that country music cannot be pigeonholed. Country music is the new cool. It’s party music. It’s fun. Turn on the music and just smile, drink, party.
RR: You seem to always be working. Will you take a break this summer or big plans?
DJS: We are doing all the LiveNation festivals. Watershed festival. Lot’s of festivals. My life’s a vacation! I try to do two-hundred to three hundred shows a year. I was just telling Brad that I cannot wait til Monday night. It just never gets old to me. The shows and the crowds, the party and you’re addicted to life. I’m very blessed to be doing it and don’t take it for granted. A vacation for me is this, hanging out at the pool with Jason Aldean right now!
RR: Has the dream come true for you then?
DJS: We’re nowhere near where I want to be though. I do my radio show and we’re in all forty markets, but I always think, “How can I do this better?”
RR: For listeners just now discovering the popularity of all this, how would you characterize the music for them?
DJS: People that don’t know me, just come with an open mind. I play music, good music. And good music is good music. It’s a party where we’re at. I want people who come to a show to want to do it again. I want people to listen to my music and understand the passion behind it. I want them have the meaning behind it.
RR: Where can fans find out more about Dee Jay Silver?
DJS: www.deejaysilver.com, Twitter and Instagram, and you can listen to my radio show, which just turned a year old, on Soundcloud called Country CLUB.