A great DJs knows all about music, mixing, and working the crowd. But most aren’t experts in all the moving parts of events, from the sales process to the full event coordination. Maryland’s DJ team member Brian Doane is a wedding and event ace who knows it all and has done it all!
Brian grew up in Severna Park, Maryland, about 30 minutes south of Baltimore. He studied communications at Salisbury University on the Eastern Shore, but even then he knew he had a future in events. So Brian took a track in event management where he learned the basics about planning and servicing events like weddings and corporate functions.
After college, Brian hopped straight into event life, doing sales and event management. He enjoyed that work, but wanted to try something more. Soon, he was learning the art of the DJ from Ocean City DJ Sean Rox in an event planning internship. After some practice at local house parties, he landed his first gig at Banditos in Federal Hill.
While working on his DJ skills at night, Brian continued to work in the coordination side of events as a Cruise Coordinator and then Sales/Event Coordinator for Marriott Hotels. This education and work experience makes Brian one of the most well-rounded DJs you’ll ever meet. Not only does he know exactly what’s happening on the dance floor, but he also knows what’s going on behind the scenes at any given moment.
Brian’s next step was to gain a little international flavor, which he did over 15 months DJing on two Royal Caribbean cruise ships. He traveled throughout the Caribbean and Northern Europe, learning about music from all over the world and playing for crowds from dozens of different countries — all on the same dance floor. This is where Brian mastered reading a crowd and creating a set that would keep everyone happy.
Back on dry land, Brian has earned his local stripes. He DJs at some of the most popular clubs in Baltimore including Bond Street Social, The Horse You Came In On Saloon, Raw and Refined, The Rockwell, Wayward, and Banditos. He still does event sales for Hyatt Regency. And of course, he DJs weddings all over Maryland with Maryland’s DJ.
After 8 years of study and practice, there’s not another person on the team that eats, breathes, and sleeps events like Brian. He loves to work weddings and corporate parties — preferably by the water.
In the rare moments when Brian isn’t working on events, he records his annual summer mixtape. This 30-60 minute mix showcases all of his favorite songs of the moment, beat matched and blended together.
We asked this water-loving event expert what he likes most about weddings, what his first dance song would be at his wedding, and what his favorite wedding venue is. (Hint — it’s by the water!)
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
What makes a great DJ?
Reading the crowd, song selection, and mixing skills.
What’s your favorite local wedding venue and why?
Chesapeake Bay Foundation. My sister got married there and it’s a great beach venue.
What’s your favorite thing about weddings?
Bridal party intros! I’m always excited to see what the bridal party will do for their introduction. There is usually at least one couple that will always go for the laugh which is my favorite. The whole room gets super excited when you finally announce the Bride and Groom and play a killer song for them to walk out to.
If you were getting married this weekend, what would your first dance song be?
Thinkin Bout You by Frank Ocean
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen at a wedding?
A flash mob to September by Earth Wind and Fire.
What's the most unique processional song you've ever played?
A violin cover of Kids by MGMT.
What do you think is the most overplayed wedding song?
The Cupid Shuffle!
What’s one thing you wish people knew about working as a DJ?
It makes for amazing people watching.
When you're not working, what kind of music do you listen to?
Reggae, rock, deep house, and 90s hip hop.
Friday, June 12, 2020