DJ NiteCrawler: Your Friendly Neighborhood DJ Superhero
Robert Owoyele Jr. (’13), perhaps more famously known as DJ NiteCrawler and a senior Economics major with a minor in History, has been rocking the Bucknell music scene since 2010 with his awesome DJ sets and versatility as a musician. Apart from seeing him at Sig Chi or BSU events and the recent Go Greek Fest, I caught up with at the Seventh Street Café and learn about his journey in music thus far and his plans for the future. How did you get your start?
“I’ve always been interested in music. My mom sang in the church choir, I played drums in church sometimes. Throughout elementary school to high school, I was always the one providing music to others: I’d make playlists for people’s iPods; I’d make CDs and mix tapes. I’d ask what they want and they’d be like “You know what kind of stuff I’d like [chuckle]. People would have parties and I’d provide playlists for them. My sophomore [at Bucknell], I was in my room just sitting there and I thought I’d download Virtual DJ and try it out. I completely taught myself how to use it. “
Where did DJ NiteCrawler come from?
“Well, it actually came from when we were doing drills for football and we were being timed. I set a new record for my position and I was wearing all blue and my friends said that I moved so fast that I looked like Nightcrawler from the X-men. Then I asked my little brother, when I was coming up with DJ names, which one he liked best and he said that one. And then it was DJ NiteCrawler.”
When/where was your first performance?
“We used to throw parties in the basement of Sammy House my sophomore year, and I deejayed an unregistered party but we ended up getting shut down. Officially, I did a meet-and-greet for alumni for the Black Student Union for the Black Arts Festival.”
Where do you perform?
“I do a lot of events for BSU and I’m almost always there for Sig Chi events and registers and I do a lot for Kappa Alpha Psi too. But you can catch me at a lot of places really.”
Do you have certain style that you like to stick to?
“I think have a versatility that sets me apart from other DJs. I’m kind of biased towards hip-hop but I like to mix different genres together. I like dancehall, EDM, pop, R&B, country, backdoor, everything really and put them together.”
Do you play any other instruments or do you sing or rap?
“I wish I could sing [laughing], sometimes I think I should trade in my DJ skills so I could sing. But I used to play drums and piano. I played trumpet through junior high. Right now, I want to get into producing and beat making in hip-hop and EDM; that’s what I want to eventually do with my music. I am starting to work more with Ableton Live too.”
What else are you involved with on campus?
“I’m on the football team and I’m also the President for BSU.I'm a member of Omicron Delta Epsion, the international economics honor society. I’m also on the advisory board for Multicultural Student Services. I was also a mediator for the Bucknell Community Conversation Committee last semester. I think it’s great to talk about what we are trying to target and tackle. Through football, I’m also part of Get in the Game and Save a Life, a bone marrow drive and I help find people to get on the donator list, even I’m on the list.”
How much time do you spend practicing? How do you find the time to make new music?
“A lot of people don’t realize that DJs have to practice too. I spend at least 6 hours a week just downloading and listening to new music and overall 12 hours a week devoting time to my music. I’m practicing different sets and everything, having something like 900 songs available at a time, but my performances are usually spur of the moment, so it’s mostly sharpening my skills.”
What/Who are some your inspirations?
“DJ Jazzy Jeff, definitely. He is DJ Pioneer, a god really. Nine times out of ten, doing my homework is actually watching videos of him. He’s a really eclectic DJ, he encompasses different things and he tries to educate people through his music and I want to be able to do that later on too.”
How do you honestly feel about the Bucknell music scene?
“I feel like it’s really limited, people are listening to what everyone else is listening too. It’s a problem. Even though people at this school participate in everything, there are a lot more followers than leaders, and they’re easily influence by others. There are songs that are played at every party and people should be open to new music. I was once asked while I was playing some dancehall music if I could play “normal” music. I mean, what is normal? What do people classify as music?”
“But also, music at Bucknell isn’t limited to what’s played on the radio. There are things like the Jazz Band, a piano department, the orchestra; different considerations other than pop.”
What are you listening to now?
“I’m listening to Big Krit a lot lately. He produces his own stuff and he doesn’t have a lot of features, it’s all him. It’s his own flavor and he’s not influenced by time.”
Where can we listen to your music?
“You can find a lot of links to my music from Twitter. I’m also on Hulkshare. Every Thursday from 7-9, I play a radio show, Bet that Radio, and we talk about the latest news, music, gossip, everything really. You can catch me playing a lot of Sig Chi parties and I’m at the Town Tavern every Friday night.”
He then left me with these thoughts:
“Be open and don’t be closed-minded to everything. I’m from the south and I didn’t know a lot about dancehall music or things like that, only hip-hop really; I wanted to listen to new music. Appreciate music for what it is; people put everything into their music. Take the time to listen to someone’s music if they ask because it could be great.”
“Can I just say that I am thankful for all of the opportunities God has blessed me with and that people around campus shouldn’t be afraid to stop me to say hi or chat about some music.”
You can check out his profile here on Campus Vinyl BucknellU and get more info about his music and performance with this link. With that, make sure you check out Bucknell’s very own DJ NiteCrawler while he’s still around! He moves fast and you could miss him if you don’t keep up!