As The Community Spins: Interview with DJ Mitchell Ledbetter

The Conscious Column
By L. Barker

As The Community Spins: Interview with DJ Mitchell Ledbetter

It’s amazing when you go to an event and the people are smiling, the crowds are moving and the mood is just right for the feeling. You get to release your day with your favorite tunes to lift your spirits and take your mind off of anything that deters you. Who do we have to thank for this? The DJ!! The art of spinning started as an original centerpiece for the world of hip hop and has grown into pushing emcees into the limelight. However, nobody ever forgets the disc jockey that gets the adrenaline pumping with the rhythm of synchronicities. Although it may seem like an easy job, it is no small feat. I got the opportunity to sit down with local DJ Mitchell Ledbetter who is very well-known and respected for his talents he displays within his community.  Grab a tune, listen and enjoy the read.  You just might take up being a DJ after this, the sky is the limit!
Lashana: What is it like putting together events that enrich your community through entertainment? What is the main inspiration for doing it? How do you feel after seeing a successful event that you put together and seeing that your crowd is satisfied?
Mitchell: Community based events are great.  Whether I'm the DJ or not, I give support in [these] events and assist how I can. It's always a good feeling putting together something great for my community, especially when music is involved. The inspiration, I love my city. It's a surreal feeling seeing people have a good time through my work [and] it’s cool to receive compliments and to see/hear people are pleased. 
Lashana: If you could permanently exist in one musical era which one would it be? Why?
Mitchell: 70's [for the] originality of the music [and] the cool behind it. The women were beautiful then, also.
Lashana: What is the go to song you keep in your playlist when the crowd seems to be dragging their feet?
Mitchell: The Wobble by V.I.C. usually gets people moving. Back That Thing Up by Juvenile gets an honorable mention.
Lashana: What is one mistake you see a lot of DJ's making? What advice could you give to those seeking to get started as a DJ?
Mitchell: I usually don't listen for mistakes honestly. I try to hear/watch how other DJ's blend, song selection, and just overall timing. A mistake I made first starting out as a DJ was music selection at certain events.  You have to know your crowd AND know your event.  A DJ shouldn't play break up songs at a wedding reception! (Laughs) The best advice I can give to a future DJ...Practice, arrive at least 2 hours early, if you can, and always have a card on you, always.
Lashana: What is it that you enjoy the most about being a DJ? 
Mitchell: I enjoy mixing the most. Blending songs together and telling a story through my DJ sets. The initial shock of [hearing] "he's a good DJ" is a great feeling as well. Especially from people who haven't heard me DJ before. 
Lashana: How often do you hone your craft? 
Mitchell: I used to practice daily for hours when I first started. Now, at least once a week I try to get a good couple of hours in of just grooving and free styling.
Lashana: Let me into the “behind the scenes” version of your night. What measures differ when setting up for an indoor/outdoor event? Which do you prefer to do?
Mitchell: The set up usually is the same whether it's indoor or outside. Indoors usually have stairs and outdoors it's usually a walk, so it's a workout at least.  I don't have a preference either indoor or outside. I try to set up the same way each time. Just to make sure everything is good and I don't skip anything. Loading up takes about 5 minutes [while] unloading and setting up usually depends on how far I have to set up. Average time is about 30 minutes. 
Lashana:  What are some major challenges that you face when preparing for a set? How do you overcome these obstacles in a timely manner?
Mitchell: Cord shortages, blown speakers, computer freezing, microphones going out, physical fatigue, people, mental freeze, weather, miscommunication, forgetting equipment. Showing up early helps [in setting] everything up early. I can make sure my equipment works right and everything is cool. Also, I DJ alone before each set to get mentally ready.

Contact Information:

Contact Information for Mitchell Martell Ledbetter:

Instagram @MitchellMartell
Twitter @MitchellMartell




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