Originally from New Jersey, Gavin Boss is a professional DJ who moved to Rochester for work at IBM. He has a degree in finance from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He owns Apollo Music Group in Rochester.
Top artists at the moment?
The Killers. Kings of Leon.
Favorite local band?
Suite. Push & Turn. Second Story. The Shift.
Favorite song this week?
Electronic remixes of popular songs.
What equipment do you need to become a DJ?
Historically, a DJ would need crates of records and CDs to enter the market, but now people can download apps and software on a laptop computer that allow them to drop songs into them.
Tell me about Apollo Music Group’s new app.
One of our engineers has developed a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence for our DJ parties. In cases where we are overbooked, we can offer this app to our customers. This is the first of its kind. We created the technology, and now we are creating the market for it. People at the event can download the app for free and put requests into the host app. The only person that pays for the service is the host.
What would you advise people who are looking to find work as a DJ?
First, understand what you want to do in the DJ realm. Find your passion. Find a niche. Second, start to do free events. Don’t come out and charge right away. Plug into charity events, a friend’s party, a school dance. Learn how to be a DJ first. Third, find a mentor and tag along. Shadow them. Watch them make musical choices.
What is the strangest request for a song you’ve ever received?
I had a group that wanted to hear ‘Crocodile Rock’ by Elton John. They had an entire dance routine to this song. They were lying on the floor doing this dance.
One book you think everyone should read?
‘Pre: The Story of America’s Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine’ by Tom Jordan. For five years, no runner could beat him in the US. It is a great up-and-down story of America’s greatest running legend. He went through some troubles, and he died driving drunk. It’s a story worth reading.
Show rituals or superstitions?
I am really into having people around when I perform. I bring friends and other DJs. I definitely believe in energy levels, and people change the energy for the better.
What is your musical philosophy?
Music is what drives me, but there is this whole other field of energy and connection involved. The reason people go to a concert isn’t because the guitar player plays certain riffs. It’s because they can put all their troubles aside and be with other people. Music has always brought people together because music is connection.