The art of… The DJ

It is 7 p.m. on a Friday night. Campus is starting to scatter within the top floor of Dion in anticipation of the Madaila show, the first in a three-part concert series put on by the Student Association. In the hour before the headliner, DJ Stephen Scarangella, ’18, feeds the excitement of the night by laying down loud tracks and energized beats. The spacious Roy room is dim, lit only by the vibrant splashes of light from the stage, where Scarangella performs.

In the world of the DJ, the setup is everything. On the stage in the Roy room stands Stephen’s station: a wooden table with his Macbook and sound controller, a large electronic box with a collection of flashing buttons, sliders, and knobs. Through these controls comes the audio manipulation. As the sound pounds from the speakers in the room, Scarangella’s hands move across the controls, adjusting every little slider and knob at the exact moment to produce the exact sound he wants.

Scarangella had to sell his previous audio controller, along with a remix deck, in order to purchase the controller he has now. The purchase was worth it: “This board has two remix decks built in, as well as easy Stems compatibility.” Stems is a program that allows the DJ to divide a track into four different parts, allowing for easier mashups and remixes.

Different venues mean different atmospheres. At his paid gigs, Scarangella has less personal freedom in his music selection, and the atmosphere tends to be more tame.

More often than not, Scarangella can be found mixing upbeat tracks at unpaid weekend parties on campus, where the atmosphere is much more energized. Electronic dance music, or EDM, is Scarangella’s favorite genre to play, and is a popular genre for college parties. These shows may be unpaid, but for Scarangella, the value is in the music and the experience. “I enjoy playing at parties because everyone is usually much more lively and into the types of music that I like to play.”


The Art Of… is a recurring photo column for The Defender that features a different art form with each publication.