Student Profile: James Walker AKA Cakewalk

It’s time for another student profile! We checked in with our former student, James Walker, to hear about his DJ career since graduating from Mmmmaven.

James AKA Cakewalk got his start DJing at Franklin Pierce University after teaching himself how to DJ using Youtube and online tutorials. He wanted to learn more about the craft, so he began searching for DJ schools in Boston. His search led him to Mmmmaven, where he began taking classes in 2012. Early on, James started exploring different genres and Mmmmaven helped him pull from these influences to find his own sound.

One thing that has stuck with me from Mmmmaven is “imitate, imitate, innovate”. In other words don’t be afraid to “sound” like or take things you really like from artists that you really love. Eventually you’ll find your own sound but still be able to show your influences in your music or sets.

Cakewalk is currently a resident DJ at the monthly parties, BINARY at Wonder Bar and Flight 617 at Good Life. He loves playing at BINARY parties because they are always packed with fun and energetic people. Flight 617 parties also appeal to him because of the diversity and high-energy feel that they have.

Cakewalk has accomplished some amazing things since leaving Mmmmaven, including opening for Purple Disco Machine at a BINARY party, playing at Boston summer party, Dancing at the Charles, and doing a set at Habitat Living Sound in Calgary.

James describes the type of music he plays as New Disco/ House. He likes to play any funky, feel-good music that will get people dancing.

When asked who his biggest DJ idols are, he cited Soul Clap and no regular play.

Listen to a mix by Cakewalk below:

 

As far as DJing goes, James considers it a part-time job for now. He works full-time as a Kindergarten Teacher’s Aide in Brookline during the week. Even though this job doesn’t primarily deal with DJing, he is able to network with people by inviting them to his shows and has even been able connect with other musicians through work.

James still maintains his DJ career by doing his monthly resident gigs and shows on the weekends as well. Luckily, James has summers off from his full-time job so he is able to focus on DJ gigs during this time. He definitely keeps busy DJing even though he considers it a part-time job.

 

Here’s some advice James had for aspiring DJs:

Work your hardest, but be patient too. That was definitely the toughest part for me, but just keep at it.

 

Catch Cakewalk at our new free event this coming Saturday (3/25) at Hojoko in Boston. Come in for one of their signature dishes, a designer cocktail, and some house music tunes.

3/25/17

FREE

Posted by: Tori Leche

Student Profile: Jose, Juliana, and Mike

We had a check in this week from Jose this week! It is such a cool thing when old students check in with us and let us know how they are doing!
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“I just wanted to send you a brief note about the lastest developments of our group of Mmmmaven alumni from the DJ 101+102 classes. After our graduation in June 2015, Juliana Chalsen (Jayana), Mike David (MFD) and myself (Brian Drey) have kept tightly in touch and worked our ways to the Boston musical scene.

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Juliana has kept working on her classical music teaching, while at the same time DJing and maintaining a monthly podcast of mixes called Miles per Hour. Mike on his end has made strong ties with several DJ collectives from the Boston and Providence areas, and has played in several underground events all over the interstate area.

And for myself, as a still in school student, have managed to make a solid reputation in on-campus college and grad parties, as well as individual gigs at the Liberty Hotel, Berlin clubs and most recently Burning Man.

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But above all, I wanted to let you know that we have been working together a lot as well as a DJ group, as a result of the friendship we started at Mmmmaven. This has resulted in the establishment of Flight617, a monthly night at Good Life, with the help and reference of Damien, which next January will celebrate its first anniversary. The three of us have consistently played as residents at these nights, covering for a guest DJ every week. The latest iteration of this night is here

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And on top of that, we are very happy to have achieved as well one of our DJ dreams: playing together at the House of Blues Boston! It was in the framework of a Harvard Halloween Party, and let me tell you… it was a blast, we had the time of our lives!

All of this to say that Mmmmaven has meant a lot for us, that we wouldn’t have reached these goals without the mentorship of the school, and that we hope you help many more students achieve higher musical goals, the way we are starting to do

 

Cheers!

JL

Want to know more about the DJ Program at MMMMAVEN? Drop us a line below and get a free introductory DJ lesson.

Interview w/ Alum Poizon Ivy

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So I had the pleasure of getting to interview former MMMMaven student Poizon Ivy (Ivy Nguyen)

From just a fan of EDM to having one of her tracks signed to a label she’s ready to make her name in the scene! Some of her musical inspirations might just surprise you.

Even a superstar DJ or famous producer gotta start somewhere. When people know them, they’re already big. I think not many people realize that they did struggle to get themselves known. I think the first step is to start small then work your way up. – Poizon Ivy

  1. When did you know you wanted to produce electronic music?
    • I listened to Basshunter, ToyBox and European Dance music when I was a kid. But not until I started playing piano and guitar in 2011 and wanted to capture my ideas. I found FL studio – a DAW that originally for making hip hop beat. So I was doing RnB with my rapper friends back then. Going to MMMMaven and being exposed to different genres of electronic music made me want to produce EDM.
  2. Advice for young kids/adults wanting to pursue a life in music industry?
    • My advice: don’t expect to make money from music, do it because you love it, don’t give up on pursuing your dream. And when you’re about to quit your job or being put down by someone who don’t believe in what you’re doing, just think of the day when you make it and to prove them wrong.

  3. What are some tips you can give up and coming producers/DJs?
    • Learn to play an instrument, either piano or guitar. Or learn some basic music theory at least – major chords. And listen to a lot of music, use critical listening 🙂
  4. What are some of your inspirations for your music?
  5. Who are some of the artists that have inspired you?
    • Katy Perry, Lana Del Rey, Zedd, Laidback Luke, Martin Garrix, Avicii, Hardwell, Kygo and any good Spinnin artists.
  6. You are really big into the digital push of the music industry. Is there something that you saw that caused that or did you just know that this is where the we need to start having a huge focus on?
    • Even a superstar DJ or famous producer gotta start somewhere. When people know them, they’re already big. I think not many people realize that they did struggle to get themselves known. I think the first step is to start small then work your way up.
  7. If you had to pick one song that represents you what song would it be and why?
  8. If you weren’t doing music what would you be doing?
    • I am working full time right now, and not related to music at all. I work to support my music hobby.
  9. Poizon Ivy, is that a tip of that hat to one of the famous Batman’s Villians?
    • Poison Ivy – one of Batman’s most enduring enemies. I also love green and long curly hair! 
  10. What was it like for you to get your track signed to a label?
    • It is like finally I am heard. After all the hard work and searching, I finally found an open door. Since the requirement for a song to get signed is much higher, I am more motivated now to make even better music, that means I have to go back to all my kindergarten projects and perfect them .

Want to know more about the DJ Program at MMMMAVEN? Drop us a line below and get a free introductory DJ lesson.

Student Success Story: Joey Flaherty

Joey Flaherty

Joey Flaherty was going into his junior year at Bryant University when a friend took him to Identity Festival in Mansfield, treat Mass. Although the festival no longer exists today, ask the feelings and memories that Joey took away from the experience are still alive.

“I absolutely fell in love with the crowd energy and the music.”

While at the festival Joey recalls a moment that can only be explained as fate. A little flyer rolled past him “like a tumbleweed in one of those old western movies” and without thinking he picked it up and learned of a DJ and Music Production school called Mmmmaven that was searching for young interns. He applied immediately.

Identity Festival really began the spark of interest in DJ and producing but interning at Mmmmaven is really what ignited the flame.

“My interest in personally becoming a DJ and producer came from the numerous people I met and worked with while interning at Mmmmaven. I was lucky enough to work alongside some of the coolest and most talented people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting”.

Joey became fully emerged in the EDM lifestyle; interning, attending every electronic show Boston possibly had to offer, and signing up for classes with Mmmmaven really helped him gain an understanding of what was happening at his favorite shows and how he can achieve that sound.

Since graduating from Bryant University with a degree in Marketing and from Mmmmaven as a DJ and Producer, Joey has continued to be involved in the music and entertainment industry. He has worked as a booking agent for different small agencies booking concerts, comedy shows, and keynote speakers at various colleges and events.

Currently, he works at the American Program Bureau which is known as one of the biggest keynote speaker agencies. He has the privilege of working directly with organizations and corporations to book politicians, business leaders, journalists, and celebrities for events. Some of his most recent and impressive bookings includes Kristian Nairn, also known as Hodor from Game of Thrones.

This is my new prized possession @kristiannairn

A photo posted by j o e y (@joey_flaherty) on

To this day Joey is extremely grateful for the experiences and education that Mmmmaven has introduced him to, as both an intern and student. “My internship was my first experience in entertainment booking and marketing, and I’ve been working with agencies and artists ever since.”

Intern with us today.

When asked if he had any last minute advice for anyone pursuing their passion in DJ or Music Production, Joey wanted to remind everyone to just keep hustling and love what you do.

Be like Joey! Our classes are constantly enrolling. Drop me a line via email or call 617.849.9321.