DJ-K heading off to Los Angeles to pursue DJ dreams

Since practicing at UAF DJ-K’s equipment list has evolved with him acquiring an ipod, his DJ console and his laptop.

Since practicing at UAF DJ-K’s equipment list has evolved with him acquiring an ipod, his DJ console and his laptop.

Max Erickson / SunStar

Since 2008 university student Kenji Machida, also known as DJ-K, has been pacing campus, playing an assortment of music on portable speakers. Kenji will be leaving around December 2016 to head to Los Angeles, California to further his DJ aspirations by attending Scratch DJ Academy.

Kenji defined a DJ as “someone who has a big passion for music and cannot stop listening to it” and said his motivation stems from an intense love of song. He has done some minor DJ work, but is waiting until DJ school to meet others and start working on big productions. He currently has a Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud where people can follow him.

Kenji has aspired to be a DJ since middle school, when he heard his current inspiration, DJ Jam-Matthew-Jay from the hip-hop band Run-D.M.C. Jam-Master-Jay helped define the sound of Run-D.M.C. as well as the black-hat-and-adidas-shoes style that has become synonymous with the band’s name.

What Kenji admires most is Jam-Master-Jay’s tenacity and how he pushed himself to redefine the hip hop genre. That inspiration travels over to Kenji’s personal career goals; he plans to work with some big people in the DJ field.  When he does his own production work, he’ll focus on both electronic dance music (EDM) and Hip-Hop.

His plan is to attend DJ school, where he will learn how to scratch, how to mix a song, how to pick the right song order and music production.

Kenji has been promoting his music since 2008 both inside and outside the Wood Center and has encountered positive and negative reactions from the staff and students.

“Inside the Wood Center I’ve encountered trouble, but they tell me to go outside which I do,” Kenji said. The Wood Center declined to comment about any incidents

“I kinda think it’s weird not to like him,” is what one poster on the anonymous social media site Yik Yak said. “He just plays music and minds his business, I wish he had his own official station. He’s really a school gem.”

His music always makes the stroll to class more enjoyable, Sydney Pool, a wildlife biology major, said

“I mean he’s the school’s DJ,” Poole said.

Because Kenji has been a student since 2008 students say that he’s been around as long as they can remember. Poole said that he adds character to the university.

Some students enjoy Kenji’s music so much that once, when the iPad he used to play music on was stolen, students banded together to start an online fundraiser to get him a new one. While the amount raised was not quite enough to buy an iPad, Kenji used the money to buy an iPod classic. Kenji was grateful for the student’s efforts.

Kraig Smyth, a student who is finishing his masters in linguistics, found the music irritating when played inside.  However, now that Kenji plays outside Smyth is not bothered. Both Poole and Smyth expressed that they are happy Kenji will be moving to California to attend DJ school.

“I hope things work out for him, this is not a place that accepts him very well and it’s not a place where he can do what he wants to do, moving on might be what’s best for him, I really do want what’s best for him,” Smyth said.

Poole agreed saying while she will miss his music, she’s glad that he’s moving onto bigger and better things.

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1 Response

  1. Christopher Smith says:

    As a non-traditional student at UAF, I saw and heard Kenji’s music in the Wood Center often. He is one of the nicest people on campus and I wish him the best of luck. He will go far in the industry.

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