Whether you’ve seen him tearing down the house at Chasers or bringing the beats at nightclubs all across Chicago, Ian Ross is the man with the music. His interest in music started at a young age and he's now turned that interest into a career. We caught up with DJ Ian Ross to find out more about how he first got into DJing and where we can catch him next.
HerCampus: When did you start DJing and how did you become interested in it?
Ian Ross: Like a lot of other DJs, I started out collecting albums and CDs because I love music. It turned into a hobby of mine when I started playing music for friends and parties and everyone seemed to enjoy my music, then I branched out of that. I started getting booked at private parties and eventually the local clubs. It’s been a big movement the past few years in my life and I really love music. Just this past year I began writing and producing my own remixes and music. I really owe a big thanks to DJ Shi (Kerry) & DJ Dirtywork (Norberto), who were resident DJ’s at Chasers, for helping me get started and teaching me the fundamentals of being a DJ.
HC: What is your usual process when creating a new song?
IR: Usually I spend a good amount of time thinking and putting together ideas in my head until I have a pretty solid a vision of what I want to do with the song or remix. Then I create the track using Logic Pro, along with a few other programs. It takes a lot of time and effort to produce music, but the final product is always a rewarding feeling.
HC: What is your favorite part about DJing?
IR: Everything. I enjoy sharing the music I love with everyone. I love traveling all over to play at some unbelievable events and parties. It’s an awesome feeling to be able to control the energy in the building based on my music. I also get to meet a lot of amazing people through different shows and events.
HC: What is the hardest part of DJing?
IR: Not everyone is going to be a fan of my music but I always try to please the crowd with my personal style. Besides that, I don’t get much sleep between my DJing events so I am pretty tired. Along with pursuing my masters degree, it gets to be very exhausting but it’s worth it.
HC: Do you remember the first DJ gig you ever had?
IR: The first real gig I ever had was Thursday at Chasers featuring throwback hip hop tracks and dance music. I actually really miss doing those, throwback jams are the best! I'm really thankful I was chosen to be a resident at Chasers, its by far the best dance club to be at every weekend at ISU.
HC: Who are your musical inspirations?
IR: My dad is the reason I became involved in music to begin with, ever since I was young he has supported me and taught me a lot. He was a well-known musician around the Detroit music scene during the classic rock era and he played lead guitar for Bob Segar. Because of that I grew up with a deep appreciation for the fundamentals which create the music that is so appreciated in today’s bar scene.
HC: Do you have any DJ’s you look up to?
IR: The list could go on and on about who I follow and who inspires me; but I look up to a few specific DJ's all for different reasons based on their producing talent, creativity, mixing & DJ abilities, as well as attitudes and personalities that are fun and humorous. Some of these artists are Prok & Fitch, Tony Arzadon, A-Trak, Dada Life, Dave Silcox, Stefano Noferini, Carl Cox, & TJR. I also love Johnny Mac for his ability to produce some very talented mashups & bootlegs.
HC: What are your top five favorite songs at the moment to play when you DJ?
IR: My top five songs to play currently, in no particular ranked order:
1: Ode to Oi - TJR
2: Scream & Shout - Will.I.Am Ft. Brittany Spears
3: Don't You Worry Child - Swedish House Mafia (David Silcox Remix)
4: Zumba Socks - Abel the Kid & Keylanders
HC: Do you have any other hobbies besides DJing?
IR: I play guitar, which has been a hobby of mine since I was young. Outside of music, I really love spending time with friends and family.
HC: Celebrity crush?
IR: Sandra Bullock.
HC: Where’s the next place we can come see you DJ?
IR: I DJ weekly at Chasers bar in downtown Bloomington as well as all over Chicago. I’ll be at Proof nightclub December 22 with the United2Nite & House Music Saved My Life crew. I’ll also be DJing with Milk & Cookies, along with a really good group of other DJ’s, for New Years Eve at the Spotlight event in Chicago.