At first, it was just pregame music.
Tyler Marshall, who has been a life-long soccer player and continues his career at Rhodes on the men’s varsity team, started listening to electronic music before soccer matches to pump himself up for the game when he was fourteen years old. The fascination has only grown since then. This summer Marshall, known to his fans as DJ T.Marsh, put on a show in Clarksville, TN that attracted over 300 people. And next time, he wants to go even bigger.
It all began when Marshall transferred to Rhodes College his sophomore year and became involved in the GlobeMed organization. With only a month to prepare, he was asked to DJ for one of the GlobeMed Raves, and loved the experience. According to him, djaying allowed him to get even “more into the party, and have an absolute blast.” Since then, he hasn’t stopped. While many Rhodes students may remember T.Marsh for his opening for Ghostland Observatory at last year’s Rites of Spring, this summer, Marshall toured with Girls and Boomboxes out of San Francisco for their Memphis/Nashville/Knoxville tour, and produced his own show, Glow Wars, which drew a crowd of over 300 people.
When asked about his favorite type of party to DJ, Marshall simply shrugs his shoulders. “For me,” he says, “it’s all about people getting into it and having a good time. As long as people are throwing down and getting nasty, I’m happy.”
This audience-oriented emphasis can be directly correlated to Marshall’s own start as a DJ. With very little background experience in music, Marshall based everything he knew about djaying on the “fan perspective.” For him, being a DJ is all about “creating a whole, mind-blowing experience,” from music to lights to special effects.
This sort of attention to detail can be time consuming, as Marshall explains that a single show can take over a month to prepare. For his show this summer, Marshall was the single producer, taking care of everything from lighting to sound to advertisement for the event. However, all the preparation in the world can’t simplify the djaying process during the show. “I’ve had whole playlists made that I’ve completely ignored once I got on stage,” Marshall says, explaining his in-show decisions. “It’s all about seeing the crowds reaction. If something I’m playing isn’t working, I’ll switch. When I’m feeding off the crowd and the crowd is feeding off me, you know it’s a good show.”
Yet, complications still arise. At one of his previous shows, Marshall was dancing so hard on stage that he hit a piece of machinery and screwed up one of his tracks, forcing him to make a quick recovery before the audience could notice. At another show, his headphones went out, making it impossible to hear the tracks before he mixed them. For the remainder of that show, he “winged it,” combining what he knew with what he could hear from the speakers, and hoping for the best. It worked. “You’ve got to stay on your toes,” he says with a shrug.
When Marshall djays, it isn’t about making money or getting famous. In fact, he tries to keep the admittance prices as low as possible for his shows. What’s most important to him is “making a really, really good party, and exposing people to good music.” Currently, Marshall’s favorite songs to get the crowd moving are Fabrication by Emalkay and Time Stretch by Bass Nectar.
While he’s taking a quick break from gigs during soccer season, Marshall plans to produce more shows this spring. In the future, the junior neuroscience major would love to travel to England for grad school, where he can continue his passions for soccer and djaying.