Do you have great taste in music? Are you always making mixes for your friends? Are you not just the life of a party, but its beating heart? Then maybe Sound Machine, Haverford’s student DJ collective, is for you. Currently led by Ash Khayami ’16 and Blair Rush ’16, Sound Machine not only trains students interested in learning how to DJ, but also holds its own genre-based dance parties, such as the ‘90s Dance and Heaven and Hell (at which heaven, the upper floor, is soundtracked by future bass, while hell, the lower floor, features a dubstep playlist).
Khayami was thrust into the world of DJing thanks to his passion for music. “I had always been into electronic music and passionate about getting more active in the music scene,” he says. “I sort of jumped into DJing without even knowing what it was or how it would be. I do a lot of different genres, but I guess I most like EDM.”
Sound Machine has an intimate membership of about ten and opts for casual chats and meetups in lieu of set weekly meetings. “We’re all part of different messaging apps and are in constant communication,” says Khayami. “When we meet [in person], we make mixes, talk about event ideas, try music production, or just share music in general.”
Prospective members, who usually either want to learn to DJ or are already DJs looking to meet other DJs, usually find Sound Machine by word of mouth, but the collective is always open to new dedicated members. “We’re always looking for passionate music buffs,” says Khayami. “We can teach the skills and event setup, but we can’t teach the passion and taste.”
The Student Events Committee (SECS) has a working relationship with Sound Machine and has “hired” the club to DJ events it sponsors, such as the ‘80s Dance and the Halloween Dance.
“We switch around our slots so no one gets the same graveyard shift or headlining shift in a row,” explains Khayami. “Sometimes DJing early is better because people are more relaxed. As the night goes on and people start getting on stage, things can get pretty hectic.”
Still, Khayami says, the dances are a lot of fun, as those who attended last weekend’s Snowball, which he, Tav Haffner ’16, and Miles Lee ’18 DJed, can attest.
To learn more about Sound Machine, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Jenny Ahn ’17
Photos by Rae Yuan ’19.