The Definition Of A “Real DJ” – Interview With DJ Wellman

DJ Wellman Las Vegas
Where it began
Born and raised right here in Las Vegas, NV. Home schooled my senior year of High School to graduate 6 months early and move to Hollywood for music school. Studied music business, production and record engineering at musicians institute. Graduated and returned back to Vegas where I started working at the Hard Rock Hotel as a stagehand/soundtech which quickly turned into being the resident DJ for Rehab, Vanity & Body English. I had other residencies like LAX and Pure as well, but Hard Rock was my main hub for 10 years. Now I'm putting out music and traveling all over the U.S. doing shows and spreading the name. #GetToKnowMeWellman.. see what i did there.

What is something that annoys the hell out of you about the DJ scene?
Where do I start haha. Nah JK. One thing that really bothers me is people abusing the term “Real DJing” or “Real DJ”, this really makes no sense and I'll tell you why. People think an EDM DJ for example isn't a “Real DJ” because they aren’t up there cutting and scratching and doing tricks etc... but in reality that's not what a “DJ” is or started as. That is what a “Turntablist” is. The label “DJ” or “Disc Jockey” came from like the 1930s (well before “scratching”) which meant to play recorded music for an audience whether it's a radio audience or a nightclub audience. That means if someone is up there playing music and has full control and attention of their audience then they are in fact a “Real DJ”. So start saying “Real Turnbalist” if you’re gonna be bitter. lol

How will the nightclub music change in 2016?
Everything is shifting very rapidly back to open format music. The EDM scene took over for a while but it was never 100% in full control. There was always those open format venues that never gave in and now they are right back into the fold of what programming should and will be in the 2016 nightclub scene.

What songs will always be popular in the club?
There is a good amount of records that will never die, just to name a few of the top of my head you have songs like DJ Khaled - “All I Do Is Win” which will wake any audience up. LMFAO - “Shots”. One of my best friends Eric Dlux wrote that one. Genius. Then of course you have records like House of Pain - “Jump Around”, Crooklyn Clan ft. Fatman Scoop - Be Faithful, Ludacris - “Move B*tch” etc etc.. the list goes on.

What is one track that got popular that you can't stand?
This year? Omi - “Cheerleader” lol. This song means perfect time for a bathroom break.

You recently just headlined at Tao Nightclub. What has kept Tao relevant as one of the top clubs in Las Vegas?
Yea it was incredible. Tao is just a really well oiled machine. The amount of attention given to every little detail of operation is exactly why Tao and Tao Group have done so well for so long. Its awesome playing there because it has launched so many DJ careers into the stratosphere, so hopefully I'm next haha.
DJ Wellman Tao Nightclub

There has been lots of rumbling from DJs about Sound Cloud banning users. With this platform going away what will DJs use instead?
I don't think anyone really knows yet. You have sites like Mixcloud and Audiomack but even those are getting hammered by labels. I've had remixes removed off them and even off YouTube. The biggest surprise was when I released my Drake - “Back to Back” Remix, I put a video clip on Instagram with the cover art and a snippet of the track and that was flagged by Universal and removed for copyright infringement. I think I'm the first DJ ever to be flagged on IG lol. I guess I'll just have to create the next big site for DJs and producers to showcase their work.

What are some of the most irritating things about DJing in Las Vegas?
Nepotism. End of story.

Nightclub or pool party? Why?
It's an even balance. Nightclubs because people are there to dance and party and everyone is pretty much on the same page where at pool parties a lot of people are just relaxing and enjoying themselves not really paying attention to the party. On the flipside there are some days at the pool where you have a huge name on the bill and it is just a sea of thousands of people going absolutely insane, nothing can top seeing that as a DJ.

If you could play any club in the world where would it be? Why?
I want to play every club so everyone has the chance to experience me as an artist/ DJ at least once.

People are saying EDM is dead, is this true?
Dead is a strong word but is it what it used to be? Nope not at all.

Which DJ is currently the most overrated?
I plead the 5th haha. People look at a DJ and say “oh he gets paid that much to play music for 2 hours, that's ridiculous” which in some cases it may be, but I know what it actually took to get there. The countless hours of going through and organizing music, the all-nighters producing new music, and trying to create a social media presence and image. It's a 24/7 job, not just those 2 hours they are in the spotlight. So the hustle is respected even if it seems undeserved to the everyday person.

Which of your tracks are you the most excited about currently?
Well I just put out a trap style remix to Kygos - “Stay” which I'm really proud of and love the sound of it. So make sure you check that one out and add it to your playlists! I put out new music constantly and always try to out do myself track after track. One day hopefully I can go from #GetToKnowMeWellman to #YallKnowMeWellman haha. Stay tuned! Thank you!

IG/Twitter: @DJWellman

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