DJ McBoy on How He's Prepping for His Big Gig at Wet Electric

Categories: DJ Dossier

DJ McBoy
It's going to be a big weekend for DJ McBoy -- and a very "electric" one at that. The 21-year-old is scheduled to perform at tonight's Summer Electric party over at the Arizona Event Center in Mesa, followed by a gig on the local stage during the first day of Wet Electric on Saturday.

And while McBoy, known to his mom and pop as Danny McMahon, is naturally thrilled to be pulling back-to-back sessions over the next 36 hours, it's the latter performance that he's most excited about. And maybe even a little nervous to boot, considering it's the biggest opportunity thus far in his seven-year DJ career.

McBoy has been doing the DJ thing since he got his first mixer at the age of 14. These days, the notion of embryonic mixmasters getting their starts as adolescents may seem a little passé, it was a relatively new concept back when McBoy started taking his first steps into the DJ world. And while he hasn't made as big of a splash (yet) like such fellow former teenage selectors like Hardwell or Skrillex, it isn't for a lack of effort.

See also: A Field Guide to Wet Electric This Weekend

McBoy, who balances his DJ career with studying for a Design Management degree at Arizona State University, has gone hard at such local clubs as INTL, The Pressroom, and Monarch Theatre, as well as such spots as Exchange LA and The Bunker in his native California.

He's also pretty damn humble for a club DJ and admits he still has a lot to learn and a ways to go before he makes it. And his hour-long session tomorrow afternoon at Wet Electric might just be a step towards the big time. McBoy told us how he's been preparing for the gig when we spoke with him earlier today.

Name: Danny McMahon


Preferred genres: I love electro and have been playing it for eight years now

Current gigs: Saturday at Wet Electric at Big Surf in Tempe.

Briefly, how did you get into the DJ game?
Well, when I was young, I was always very interested in DJing, but I just didn't have the money to buy a mixer and turntables. I saw my buddy mixing on a controller, and I realized that you can start DJing with [only] a $150 mixer. A couple months later, my [14th] birthday rolled around and I got my first mixer, my Hercules MK2.

What's the explanation behind your DJ name?
My last name is McMahon [and] in high school everybody called me "McBoy" because of my older brother. So I just decided to wear it and keep it as my DJ name. I always told myself, "One day everyone will remember McBoy."

What's your mantra when it comes to DJing?
When you FJ, you have to work your way up. As an upcoming DJ I think it is very important to know where you stand and keep your head right.

What's your favorite track of the moment?
I'm going to have to say "Don't Give Up" by Fedde Le Grand. Fedde is someone that I grew up on and this track is just a masterpiece. The song definitely fits the title. It has me thinking, "Don't give up."

What's the craziest shit you've seen at a gig?
[It] was my first EDC, which was the last in the USC coliseum. I had no clue what to expect when going to this event. I walked down to the mainstage and was enjoying it. Within an hour, people started jumping fences and it got real crazy. It was all over the news. It was a first event for the books

What's the one DJ stereotype you detest the most?
"DJs just go up there and press play." So many of my friends have told me that, and I have asked them to come up to my room and try it. Some do [and] I have never seen one of my friends actually try and succeed. They all say something along the lines of "Oh, that's harder than I thought." There is a lot more that goes into DJing than just pressing play. It is sad that people only realize once they try it.

Courtesy Photo
DJ McBoy opens for Cazzette at INTL in February.

So is there a story behind the cassette tape pendant you're wearing in your Facebook photo?

That is something I got the night I opened for Cazzette at INTL. It is their trademark thing.

Do you still wear it out when playing?
I do not. Now it just sits on wall, but it has a lot of meaning to me.

Is it harder to make it as a DJ here in Arizona or in California?
In the long run I think it comes down to music production; but as far as getting gigs goes, I think it is easier down here. The scene seems a lot bigger down here because everything in Old Town [Scottsdale] is so close together, and in L.A. it is more spread apart and harder to meet people.

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