Best DJ (tie)
DJ Bayati – DJ Bayati is 21 now, but when he was 17 he’d sit outside Sharkeez in Hermosa Beach and listen to DJ Dik as he worked the music and crowd inside. Although his first gig as a DJ was at the nearby Shore, not long afterwards he went to Sharkeez at 8 a.m. and waited all day to speak with them, asking for a chance to audition. And so how did that go? Well, he’s been there every Thursday for the past three years.
DJ Bayati decided to go with his real name (Bryan Bayati) because he likes how it flows, and because, when he was in high school and other students heard his name being called out – Bayati! – they always knew “that trouble was coming.” These days, presumably, when they hear “Bayati!” they know that what’s coming is an evening of good vibes.
“You aren’t there for yourself,” he says; “you’re there to please people,” and having the flexibility, and the knowledge of all kinds of music, works to his advantage. But one also proceeds by trial and error, too. One has to be very good at anticipating and deciphering what people are in the mood for, and then going with that based on how the crowd responds.
There’s also a lot of homework involved, DJ Bayati says. One has to always be up to date with the latest sounds, and that means a lot of time on the computer checking out blogs and other DJ sites.
“What sets me apart is my severe case of ADD,” he says after a while. “I believe that’s what makes a good DJ.” That’s because there’s a lot of switching from song to song, always moving into something new, and apparently having the one enhances the other. Who knew?
DJ Bayati has gigs from San Luis Obispo down to San Diego, so whatever he’s doing, he’s doing it well.