SF Bay Area Wedding Pro Spotlight DJ Salim, owner Envy Soundz
How did you get into DJ’ing? I’ve always been actively interested in music. When I was 12, I became a drummer and joined a band. I started playing music for parties and gradually got into DJ’ing. I started off with high school and college parties and after about 6 years started doing weddings.
I DJ all kinds of weddings: small intimate with 100 people to larger weddings at convention centers. I also have experience DJing a range of weddings from multiethnic, Muslim, Hindu, Jain, Sikh etc.
How many events do you do per year? About 80 total. About 60 of them are weddings and out of those about 50 are desi weddings. I also do the AIF and TieCon annual galas. How long have you been DJ’ing professionally? 19 years. For the 1st 6 years I was mostly doing high and college parties. About 13 years ago I moved into weddings and corporate events. And this is what I do full time now.
How did you get into the desi wedding scene? You start with one event. Since I’d already been DJing for several years at that point, I got hired to do a wedding and then things took off from there. How do you keep up with the latest music? I have DJ friends in India and Dubai. We regularly talk about what’s new and what works.
I’m also in 2-3 big record pools, which means I get to hear music before it’s publicly released. I spend time listening to that music on a weekly basis to determine what would work for my events.
How did you get into these record pools? I used to DJ at club events and radio stations. On weekends radio stations invite DJs to mix live. So through that I got into these record pools. What sets your company apart from others?
Experience: Since I’ve been DJ’ing for a while I think my experience speaks for itself. The first generation of South Asian DJs had to learn the hard way by understanding beats, rhythm and tunes of each song in order to be good at our craft. We learned how to match beats and ensure the transitions are smooth – not choppy – and learned how to meld beats live. My music background is what has enabled me to do that for all these years. Nowadays everything is a lot easier and it’s layed out for DJs. It’s almost as though anyone can become a DJ and mix since software takes care of everything now. However, I still do live sets at my events.
Customer Service: I don’t say yes to everything and not deliver on the day-of. Listening to our customers and setting expectations is key.
What services does your company offer? DJ’ing with top of the line sound systems, high-end lighting which consists of moving heads, laser lights and disco lights along with LED uplights, and custom gobos. Our visual services include screens with projectors or TVs and more. We also offer mobile baraat DJs, dhol players and live musicians.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a DJ?
Do your homework – make sure the person knows what they’re doing. You don’t want to babysit your DJ. Your wedding is the most important day of your life and music at your wedding is very important so make sure you hire the best and not go for someone cheap; you get what you pay for. The skills that set great DJ’s apart are being able to read the crowd, knowing the music, knowing what different genres to play. A lot of Djs just play one genre of music. I’m known as a versatile DJ who caters to the client’s needs and not what I want to hear when I’m DJ’ing.