By: Justin Edwards, Kayla Horne, Lyric Evans, Carson Meredith
Everybody listens to music and nearly everyone has been to a high school dance or a party. The one thing that will make or break a party is the DJ. Some know him as Zeta, some may just know him as Blake Rawlings, but few know where he drew his inspirations from between now and when he began in 2015.
“My first involvement with music has been life long, but the DJ stuff all kind of started in Jr. High. I was on the Student Council and we had a really low budget for the dances, so to save some money I agreed to DJ basically for free. After that I fell in love with DJing and kept going, learning, and upgrading gear,” Senior Blake Rawlings said.
DJing is not easy. It is a very hard business to get into because there will always be critics no matter how well you perform.
“The hardest part of being a DJ is dealing with other people’s criticism and negative opinions. Especially in the early days, I took things to heart way more than I should’ve. But I’ve learned the best way to deal with it is to grow thick skin and be confident while performing. People really respect confidence and stage presence.” Rawlings said.
“Inspiration is funny, I’ll get inspired by a certain song or genre, then go to a concert of another genre and get totally inspired by that. I used to make a lot of pop-driven music, like what was on my Foundations EP. But as soon as I went to my first festival I fell in love with house music and that’s all I make now. I leave concerts a different person every time. So I really think that I get inspired as I go,” Senior Rawlings said.
Zeta has always had a dynamic musical flow, keeping things interesting by switching up what he does and how he creates. Rather than going with the simple chord progressions we typically hear on popular radio stations, he likes to go for a more unique sound.
Brandon Grover, Zetas’ Producer, has been working with Rawlings for two years, and knows he will go far in this industry.
“Blake has a very unique style. He always is true to be himself. He may learn from many of the top DJ’s but he is always trying to create a sound of his own. Blake is driven and determined, he’s always had a passion and love for music in this Industry that I’ve never seen before.” Grover said.
DJing is a very hard and intimidating thing to do. You have to have lots of confidence to be able to become a good DJ/Producer.
“One thing I always try to do is make my music as far from what you would hear on the mainstream radio as possible. Personally I think some artists get overwhelmed with their success that they just start doing what they know makes money, rather than what they love. For me it isn’t about money or radio play. It’s about music,” Rawlings said
Zeta has worked hard, and continues to work hard to achieve his dream. He found what was important to him and though he doesn’t have a million fans, he still get’s to do what he loves.
“I don’t claim to be a big deal at all. I mean honestly I have 170 followers on soundcloud but it’s all about hard work. People think that dreams are unreachable, but if you have the right mindset and work hard you’ll get there. That right there is what I live by,” Rawlings said. “If you want to get into this kind of music, or have ever thought about DJing/Producing, do it. It’s opened so many doors for me and it’s become my life. Also, never let ANYONE discourage you and your dreams. Keep your head down and work hard. Everything will fall into place,”