Ithaca College’s resident DJ, Joel Almand ’17 (aka DJ Almond), has come a long way from DJing high school proms and the occasional wedding. This winter DJ Almond placed as one of the nation’s top three campus DJs at a competition hosted by Campus DJ in Phoenix, Arizona.
Almand began producing his own music at IC after downloading the audio software Logic and trying his hand at remixes. He kept refining music once he saw how receptive people were around campus.
“It’s a cool, tightknit community where it’s super easy for people to recognize and support you,” Almand said. “I wouldn’t have gotten that motivation at a bigger school where it’s harder to stand out.”
Almand said a classmate majoring in Television-Radio created all of his videos. His classes in mass media research and social media helped him know the best times to post and what makes people favorite or retweet a post.
Last spring, friends and supporters told DJ Almond he should sign up for the competition on College DJ’s website. To qualify, applicants had to attend college somewhere in the United States and produce their own music or remixes. Longtime electronic genre fan and music festival attendee, DJ Almond decided to enter the mix. Friends, fans, and peers around campus began tweeting their support soon after.
The buzz about DJ Almond on social media quickly caught the attention of College DJ representatives. They invited him and three other DJs to a regional competition at Colgate University. He placed first.
In December, Campus DJ flew him and other regional winners out to Phoenix, where they each performed 10-minute sets in the national competition. Soon after, DJ Almond was named the nation’s third best college DJ.
And of course, the campus community was even more supportive of DJ Almond after the competition than they were beforehand. “Even some of my professors posted about it, which is awesome!” Almand stated.
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