On Thursday, The Union Bar and Grill will continue its series of EDM-style music nights.
‘Alexa Play Some Bangers’ is a series of open-format EDM nights presented by DJ B-Funk, an Athens local who has been DJing for more than 20 years. DJ B-Funk, Marcellus Doe, DJ LogieBear, Jibbz, and DJ Cooki3 are all part of the lineup for the night.
Brandon Thompson, who goes by the name DJ B-Funk, got his start DJing because he didn’t like the DJ scene at his high school. Thompson then DJed throughout college and now uses the job to share the thing he loves most — music — with the Midwest.
“Some people enjoy music, and other people take real emotional peace from it, and I’m the latter. … I think it’s integral to life,” Thompson said. “Like, people ask ‘Would you rather be blind or deaf?’, and I’d rather be blind because I could still listen to music and everything like that. … When I find good songs and am able to share them with other people as well, it’s just an amazing feeling.”
Caity Stegmaier, also known as DJ Cooki3, uses DJing as an opportunity to escape. She got into DJing through her brother, and now she’s made a hobby of DJing around Athens.
“I’ve always liked the rave scene, but I don’t like crowds,” Stegmaier said. “So, DJing is a way to be onstage and play my own music but not be in the crowd.”
However, Jacob Caudill, also known as Jibbz, DJs specifically because he loves the crowd. He has his own style, which is “trippy/rhythm,” and he got into the scene in 2014 through his first concert.
“Hopefully, (the venue) is packed, and hopefully there’s a good turnout where I can just play my music,” Caudill said.
Kaylen Spears, who goes by Marcellus Doe, began DJing in high school after a bad football injury crushed his dreams of playing sports in college. Due to his love of music, DJing was his second choice, and he instantly fell in love after DJing for a fundraiser at his school. Now, Spears DJs around Athens and is incredibly excited to play hip-hop and EDM trap music at the concert.
“I love (DJing) because it set me free,” Spears said. “It takes me out of my shoes. … I feel more comfortable.”
Thompson is excited to have an open-format show at The Union because it allows each artist to give their own individual twist to the show. Thompson usually plays techno, house or trance, but he also occasionally plays dubstep and trap.
“I’m older, so I’ve been listening to music for a long time, seen a lot of trends come and go,” Thompson said. “I’ll bring back stuff from my childhood. … Everyone playing is in college, and they’ve been playing for maybe four years at most, or something like that. I’ve been DJing for over 20, and I’ve seen a lot of different parties. But, we will all bring our own unique styles and things that we’re into.”
The last EDM music night at The Union was strictly one style, but this show gives artists the freedom to play what they like. Logan Senhauser, also known as LogieBear, will focus on playing mostly house music, and Stegmaier plans on playing remixes of rap or hip-hop music. House music is a bouncy, bass-heavy brand of EDM made popular in the early 1980s, and the remixes of rap and hip-hop add a modern-day twist. Each artist’s unique style and taste will add variety to the music night.
“I have no clue what the other DJs are planning on doing,” Senhauser said. “It’s gonna be a smorgasbord of a lot of EDM music for sure.”