DJ Roueche at the Olympic beach volleyball venue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (credit: DJ Roueche)
The beach volleyball tournament has been one of the most lively and exciting events at this year’s Olympics in Rio. To help get the party started, the Olympics has called on Jeremy Roueche, aka DJ Roueche, the official DJ for the Los Angeles Lakers and UCLA Men’s Basketball Team. A 17-year veteran, Roueche has also served as the official DJ for the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour for the last eight years. NBC recently spoke with him about what it’s been like DJing at the Olympics and how he approaches his sets.
Becoming the official DJ for the Olympic beach volleyball tournament:
“I worked the 2011 Arab Games with Christy Nicolay, who is the Executive Producer – Sports Presentation and Victory Ceremonies for the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee for Olympic and Paralympic Games. When she reached out to me about DJing in Rio for the Olympics, I didn’t hesitate to respond with a ‘yes.'”
Reading the crowd:
“I feel that gauging the crowd is my number one job as a DJ. I can read when the crowd needs more energy and also when they need a little bit of a break. The flow of the match can determine what I play as well. When the score is 1-1, I’m not going to play as high energy of music as I would when the score is 20-19.”
Last night a DJ saved my life!! pic.twitter.com/4Gn0f4ABKX
— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) August 13, 2016
Customizing his playlists for each match:
“I’m definitely trying to give each country’s fans a little taste of home. I’m also trying to add a little Brazilian flavor as much as possible to give everyone the feeling of where these Games are taking place.”
Songs that are fan favorites:
“They always chant along to ‘Seven Nation Army‘ by the White Stripes and sing to ‘Barbra Streisand‘ by Duck Sauce. But my favorite song they’ve responded to so far, which I wasn’t anticipating, is ‘Sound Bang‘ by Major Lazer. The drums are so contagious in the song that even the people next to me in the DJ booth have to clap along.”
DJing at the Olympics versus at domestic matches:
“The Olympics is a much different animal on it’s own regardless of sport. But the biggest difference in DJing an international event versus a domestic event is domestically you don’t have a ‘home and away’ team. The fans generally like both teams on the court, so they’re not cheering for one team over the other. Internationally, you could have the whole crowd cheering for one team. At the Olympics, the fans are so much more invested in their team that when their team loses, they feel the pain a lot more than they would at a domestic event.”
Favorite moment of the Olympics so far:
“Seeing my friends from the AVP perform on the biggest stage and hearing that Mike Tirico said ‘the MVP might be the DJ’ referring to me and Tobias live on NBC has been special, but so far the Samoilovs/Smedins (LAT) vs. Schalk/Saxton (CAN) match still gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. It was the last match of the day, I was tired, I had been awake for 18 hours at that point and we didn’t have any Brazilian teams during this night session, so I was worried about the crowd leaving before the match ended. The match turned out to be amazing and the crowd was totally into it. I felt connected to the match, the crowd and everyone on my team putting on the show behind the scenes. Every time the announcers asked the crowd to participate, they did, every song I played, the crowd raged, and Latvia and Canada put on a show with Latvia coming out on top in a third set thriller.”
Top 10 songs that he knows will get the party started:
“It Takes Two” by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock
“Hypnotize” by The Notorious B.I.G.
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston
“Pursuit of Happiness” (Steve Aoki Remix) by Kid Cudi
“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
“Apache” by The Sugar Hill Gang
“You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC-DC
“Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon
Anything by Michael Jackson
Any hit by Prince
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