DJ Zarza could go on to become the next Skrillex, but for now he is just a student who enjoys spinning for his fellow classmates.
DJ Zarza, known by the first name of Josh, has been attending MCCC since his sophomore year. He is majoring in computer science and even thinking of picking up a secondary major with math when he transfers to the University of Michigan.
Zarza found his musical talent at the young age of 13. The first time he showed his talent was when a friend asked him to compile a playlist for an upcoming party.
“A few more parties like that happened, and then I decided rather than making a playlist, I could be like my uncle and start to mix,” Zarza said.
Mentoring and teaching Zarza all the skills to become a disc jockey was his uncle, Brent Zarza, who has been a DJ himself for 20 years.
“I’d say the music is what led Josh to start deejaying. His own desire to be a better musician compels him to learn new things, anywhere he can,” Brent said.
Being a DJ does require a good amount of musical knowledge, background, and definitely requires the skills of carrying rhythm. According to Zarza, having good taste in music is also something that is highly beneficial, but not essential.
“Music doesn’t matter. If the DJ is having a blast, everyone is having fun,” he said.
Zarza cultivated his musical talent by joining Airport’s high school band in his sophomore year. He played the saxophone, grabbing first chair in the section.
“I loved being in band. We played awesome songs that were from wellknown bands like Metallica, My Chemical Romance, and so many otherhuge band names,” he said.
Knowing to play an instrument may only be a small benefit to the spinning. The huge benefit to being in band is the conducting; spinning beats is similar to what a band director does.
“A conductor has to be aware of the sound of the whole orchestra the way a DJ has to be aware of all the sounds in his ‘composition’ – a mix,” Zarza said.
He loved band so much in high school that it gave him the guts to try out for the college symphony band.
“While I can play my sax, I can’t compete with the men and women in the MCCC band who have master’s degrees in their given instrument,” he said.
Zarza moved on and found a different group that really works with his talent. This group happens to be Michigan Electronic Dance Music Association (MEDMA).
MEDMA was founded at the University of Michigan in the fall of 2005. Members of the group range from music lovers, producers, DJs, and even those who just love to get down and dance; however, it is only open to students and potential students of University of Michigan.
“Finding the group was an accident in disguise. I more than likely am going to transfer to the University of Michigan, so making it in the symphony band was not such a big deal,” Zarza said.
According to Zarza, all the disc jockey’s in the group take turns spinning for the events. Events draw crowds of more than 500 people.
He typically plays for a wide variety of events ranging from weddings, birthdays, school events, to even spinning for MEDMA.
According to Zarza, starting off as a DJ can be quite expensive with all the equipment one must have. Getting started at the age that he did, he had to seek alternative routes of finding the funds.
Needing help with getting started with the equipment, Josh could only think of one person, his mom Karen Zarza.
“Helping Josh with the cost of the equipment was a hard decision. I did have reservations because that money could have been used toward his education. Then I realized that part of his education is his life experiences,” Karen said.
This life experience was one that took Karen a while to get used to.
“I was happy and I tried to be supportive, although, I don’t really like him being out until 3or 4 a.m.,” she said.
Zarza also has done things with the community college. Hanging out in The Cellar was how he got to be part of the Student Government.
“It is not what you know, it is who you know,” Zarza said.
When students realized that he knew how to spin, he was asked to spin at a couple events at the college.
“First, it was the black light party, the Welcome Back BBQ, and then it eventually leads to the Halloween Bash,” he said.
The Halloween Bash was the recent event that Zarza has performed at where the crowd heard his mixture of Halloween songs with everyday hits.
It is without a doubt that Zarza has made fans at the college. Kristopher Lampson had nothing but praise.
“He is a great DJ, hands down,” Lampsonsaid.
Another student who attended the event, Klarissa LaFlure, also enjoyed his performance.
“His performance at the bash was great,” LaFlure said.
Dylan Jobin, Zarza’s best friend, has been at an event Josh has performed at for moral support.
“I love watching him work and I can really tell he loves it, too,” Jobin said.
The feeling of making a party successful is something Zarzah enjoys, and it is one of the many things that keep him wanting to pursue more events.
“Before I started deejaying, I wasn’t as comfortable meeting new people and now it is something I have to do,” Zarza said.
With Zarza, it doesn’t matter how many people he plays for. He enjoys giving people a great time to remember, with music that gives it a memory.
“I’d rather play for an event of 50 who love the music than play for a room full of 2,000 who don’t care for the music,” Zarza said.