Maryland native and junior broadcasting telecomunications and mass media major Brady “DJ SYLO” Ettinger opened for Kid Cudi this summer and Chiddy Bang this past Saturday night. Before he heads to London for the fall semester, The Temple News sat down to have a chat with him about his business.
The Temple News: Where does “SYLO” come from?
Brady Ettinger: It’s actually an acronym that stands for “sort your life out.” It’s more of a reminder to me than anything else. I’m still learning how to organize my life and set goals and really make it all work out.
TTN: What got you into DJing?
BE: When I was in high school I watched this documentary called “Scratch” at my friend’s house. It’s about turntables and DJ battles. We must have watched it 20 times. It grabbed me so much. I was also really interested in new music that people didn’t necessarily know. That same friend, Gabe Barouh, gave me his turntables as sort of a gift. He helped me get it all started.
TTN: What are your thoughts about music being all digital today?
BE: It has pros and cons. The good thing is, that because music is so accessible, you can make your own music without the help of a label and become popular and travel around the world without being a crazy superstar. A lot of people do that. MP3s are so instant. The good thing about “pre-digital” is that you had to go to the record store and wait for the album. You had to take really good care of it. It was more of an appreciation and connection with the music that I think is sometimes lost in the digital area.
TTN: Who inspires you?
BE: Inspiration is a crazy thing because it can come from anywhere. As far as DJs go, there’s A-Trak, Diplo and Jazzy Jeff. Those are big names that I always will look up to. I like how Diplo and A-Trak especially are able to weave in a bunch of different genres and still make people party. That’s how I want to take my DJing. Nowadays, it seems like genres are fading away and everything is becoming a “mass music.” DJ Damage, who just graduated from Temple, is another inspiration. He was on the radio when he was still in college. It was great for me to see that there were no boundaries, no excuses. You could do anything.
My friends are really inspirational and are making amazing things that I admire. No one in our generation wants to work in a cubicle. Everyone is about DIY (do it yourself), make something entrepreneurial… it’s really cool. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.
TTN: What do you observe in your audience?
BE: I’ve been at a lot of parties and clubs and sometimes I look around and it seems like no one is having fun. Everyone is there looking for a girl or a guy. No one’s smiling, it’s weird. Why are you even at a party? You’re supposed to have fun. What I’m trying to do with my style of music is bring fun back, bring back the boogie. I would rather have people dancing with each other side by side with their hands up than grinding. It’s more fun and more expressive. I haven’t really pushed that too much yet.
TTN: How do you plan on pushing that message?
BE: It’s the selection of music that creates the atmosphere. If I play some funkadelic or old school hip-hop, it’s different. There are still songs nowadays that are more fun than grinding dirty songs. I like DJing because it brings people together, even for a moment. It’s an experience. I have bigger plans for all of this, to treat it as more of a social justice thing. Once I’m more financially stable I’d like to do charity events because I think it will snowball anyways and I’d like people to see that it can be positive.
Matt can be reached at email@example.com.