DJ Associates: Rusty B

Also known as Rockmaster Rus B, DJ Rusty B. is one half of DC funksters All Good Funk Alliance, co-owner of the Funk Weapons record label and blog.
[Also my wife Katie’s second favorite DJ. He played our wedding and absolutely crushed it!]

Besides DJing in clubs and rocking weddings, Rusty B aka Russell Belicek also records music with his partner Frank Cueto in the band the All Good Funk Alliance and runs 2 different record labels Funk Weapons and Baffin Island Beat Brigade and helps run Super Hi-Fi. Currently a resident at Eighteenth Street Lounge and Dodge City, he also DJs around the world playing everywhere from Vancouver to Australia or wherever the funk groove is needed. He has opened for the godfather of soul James Brown, recorded music for Coca-Cola, several video games and a couple of T.V. shows and continues to produce and release music for several different labels. He learned the fine art of DJing the hard way, by practicing, buying 1,000’s of records and taking every gig he could so that he could learn how to properly read a crowd and make people dance. He is now settling down a bit and staying close to home and kids so DJing weddings was a natural fit, seeing as the market lacked DJs that had real heart and soul he saw an opening and took it. Rusty loves DJing and it shows in his enthusiasm behind the decks, in the end do you want a DJ that is there with you and having a good time or some stone faced guy just waiting for the night to end so he can get paid.

Read Rusty B’s blog posts

How often do you get on the mic?

Only when needed, for the introduction, for the first dance, cake cutting and to announce the last song.

How long have you been DJing?

Since 1990

How long have you been DJing weddings?

Since 2008

What are some of your all time favorite wedding songs?

  1. Jackson 5 “I Want you Back”
  2. The Temptations “My Girl”
  3. Madonna “Into the Groove”
  4. Outkast “Hey Ya”
  5. The Junkyard Band “Sardines”

What kind of music do you DJ when you’re not at a wedding?

Depends on the event, vibe and time. I play everything from house, funk to indie rock and everything in between. I love djing and I love challenging myself, I recently did a 4 hour night of 50’s and 60’s soul and rock & roll and it went over gangbusters. I love music and I love dancing and it’s something that I take seriously.

What is your philosophy on weddings?

My Philosophy is that the bride and groom are the star of the wedding, all the music should reflect their tastes and likes and should also represent what their guests like. Your guests will follow your lead, so if the couple is dancing and having a good time, 99% of the time all your guests will be doing the same, adversely if the couple just wants to sit at the bar and or hang outside the whole reception they should expect their guests to do the same. I also try work with the staff and wedding planners to make sure your event runs smoothly, I feel like you only get one chance at this and I view it as my job to make sure the whole evening flows well.

What size wedding do you prefer to DJ?

Any size wedding can be fun, I have done 60 person weddings which were simply amazing and I have done 200+ size weddings that match any club experience that I have had.

What makes you different from your competition?

I was blessed with the ability to make dance floors rock

I was born to DJ; I didn’t just go out and buy the equipment and learn how to use it at weddings. I spent years honing and mastering the craft of DJing, then spent years playing every type of event and club, learning what works and what doesn’t. DJing is something that comes from the heart and soul, you either have it or you don’t, luckily for me I was blessed with the ability to make dance floors rock.

What do you do to motivate the crowd if no one is dancing?

I try to find a song or group of songs that will motivate the crowd to get out there, I don’t get on the mic and yell at your guests to dance. Sometimes dancing just isn’t in the stars, but like I said before if the couple is out and dancing the guests will follow that lead.

What training have you received?

I apprenticed with another wedding DJ in DC for a year, learning what works and what doesn’t before I DJed my first wedding. I also spent years learning about music, playing every size party and learning what works and doesn’t.

What problems have you encountered at a wedding and how have you solved it?

I recently did a wedding where none of the power outlets around the dj booth would actually work, so we worked out a better spot for the dj booth near a working outlet and moved it before anyone was there so it seemed like there was no issue by the time the guests arrived.

Who are your preferred DJ gear Manufacturers?

Rane, Vestax and Novation

What are your favorite record labels?

Motown, Fort Knox Five, Homebreakin, Funk Weapons, Baffin Island Beat Brigade, Ghetto-Funk, Breakbeat Paradise and Jalapeno Records.

What are some of your preferred clothing labels?

LRG, Calvin Klein, Adidas and Levis

Where are your favorite DC nightspots?

U-Street Music Hall, Dodge City and ESL

What is the best DJ moment of your career (so far)?

DJing at a festival in Canada called Shambhala in 2007, I was in the Fractal Forest with about 2,000 people dancing. The entire festival lost power in the middle of my set, but the sound system I was on was the first to start working again and I dropped Toto’s “Africa” which I mixed into Neighbours remix and had everyone losing it. Kinda perfect in my book.

What is your favorite live show(s) (strictly as a member of the audience)?

My Bloody Valentine at the Gothic in Denver, CO. I was right in front and got to witness them at their best.

What are some of your favorite restaurants?

I have simple taste so something like Edy’s Peruvian Chicken, Off the Record (Hay Adams) or Aditi’s for Indian are my favorites.

“I can’t hear myself think in here!” Favorite spot for a quiet cocktail?

Jimmy Valentine’s

What are your five six desert island discs?

  1. Michael Jackson Off The Wall
  2. The Orb Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld
  3. The Avalanches Since I Left You
  4. The Pharcyde Labcabincalifornia
  5. De La Soul 3 Feet High And Rising
  6. Dee Lite Dewdrops In The Garden

What’s your dream DJ gig?

An after-hours gig in the Air and Space Museum opening up for Trouble Funk and LCD Soundsystem.

Britomart Beach Club NYE 2012/2013

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