For his college essay, Arjun Patel wrote about the euphoric feeling of people dancing and singing to his music when he would DJ an event with his uncle.
“It’s a euphoric feeling knowing that you are the reason the crowd is enjoying and having a good time,” Patel said. “You have so much responsibility to make every person enjoy themselves and the moment you can see everyone dancing is a surreal feeling. That’s how I know I’m doing my job right.”
Patel, a sophomore computer science major, has worked with his uncle since he was 14 years old as a DJ for JP Entertainment, an event planning and audio production company. At first, Patel went to weddings with his uncle’s company to watch him set up; he watched his uncle for a year before deciding to try it out for himself.
“In 8th or 9th grade he just brought me with him and taught me how to set up the speakers,” Patel said. “Eventually, I got my own controller and started watching YouTube videos to do it on my own.”
The Bensalem native has DJed for weddings around the East Coast including New York, New Jersey and Virginia Beach. Since coming to Temple, he has DJed at Chinatown Beer Garden, Pace and Blossom, ROAR and Rec and Royal.
“Whenever I would go out last semester, I would introduce myself to the DJ or I would DM them on Instagram introducing myself and asking for gigs,” Patel said. “I would always try to keep them in my circle. I don’t get my gigs from club managers or promoters.”
DJing feels like hitting a game-winning shot in basketball, Patel said. Even when he is unsure of how the crowd may feel about a certain song or remix, the crowd trusts him.
While performing at Pace and Blossom, a nightclub in University City, Patel played “Love Story” by Taylor Swift, and the crowd went wild. Everyone was jumping up and down and singing the lyrics.
“For DJs, people are there for your music and they aren’t to complain,” Patel said. “There are obviously requests and stuff, but people are there to enjoy themselves and there’s a guy doing his job and he knows how to do his job. The crowd just has to trust.”
When preparing for a show, Patel researches the type of music a club typically plays along with the type of music past headlining DJs have played and creates a tracklist. His collection includes hundreds of folders and playlists for every type of event, crowd and genre. The process can take anywhere between two to five hours, Patel said.
Despite working at JP Entertainment since 2009, Chintan Patel, a family friend, worked with Arjun at wedding events for the first time this summer. Despite already knowing Arjun personally, this was the first time Chintan got to know Arjun professionally as he assisted him in different events.
“Not many teenagers are willing to give up their Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays every single week to work,” Chintan Patel said. “I feel like Arjun, he doesn’t see it as a job or a way to make money. In his eyes, DJing is something he has the privilege to do and has fun doing it.”
Sophomore finance major Harsh Shah has been Arjun’s friend since elementary school and has watched him grow professionally after attending every one of Arjun’s sets.
“I’ve been to a lot of Arjun’s sets because he’s fire and knows the crowd,” Shah said. “From every crowd from EDM to rap, his growth this year has been crazy.”
Arjun Patel aspires to work full-time in his field after completing his degree in computer science and DJ on the weekends for his uncle’s company. Eventually, he would like to inherit JP Entertainment.
“I would definitely love to continue DJing, whether it’s a side hustle or my full-time job,” Arjun Patel said. “Maybe one day if my name becomes big enough, I’d love to be doing festivals and playing at clubs in Vegas, but time will tell how my storyline goes.”