DJ the night away with Aaron Bonnema


Sondos Elbershawi

MIXING IT UP: Students go wild as Bonnema plays one of the crowd favorites: “Dancing Queen” by ABBA.

Dylan Yee, Staff Writer

Behind every good school dance is a good DJ. DJs need to balance hype songs with mellower ones, all while keeping their audience engaged and lively, despite everyone’s varying music tastes. Simply put, not every song can be “Sicko Mode” or “Mo Bamba.” Artist Aaron Bonnema was the DJ for this year’s Winter Formal at AV Irvine. In an interview with The Howler, Bonnema talks about his passion for music and his goals as a disk jockey.

The Howler: How did you start your career in DJing?

Aaron Bonnema: I started DJing in high school parties and at school during lunchtimes just to get practice with my $100 mixer. Anyways, word got around that I was apparently pretty good and one of my friend’s friends asked me to DJ at a house party. I didn’t even know it was a job because I do this for fun, but I got paid for it, and that’s when I realized that this could be a really profitable business. And that hobby progressed into getting paid as a DJ for people. Soon, I found out that N Effect was hiring. N Effect is a Southern California-based entertainment company that caters to people who want a fun time.

TH: What do you think of Northwood students when they’re partying?

AB: Northwood kids were hype! They are definitely one of the most energetic kids in Orange County and ASB kept the energy high all night!

TH: What do you think is the hardest thing about being a DJ?

AB: Believe it or not, I would say advertising. A big part of being a successful DJ happens off the dance floor. DJs need to be known, and the more I put myself out there, the higher likelihood that I can DJ some more. The songs that I choose to play need to resonate with the high schoolers. It’s also hard to keep the dance floor packed and consistently play songs that work for the audience. There’s a diverse group of people with a lot of different music tastes, so I have to balance the interests of many people.

TH: What kind of advice would you give to an aspiring DJ?

AB: Don’t be afraid of failure. Use the experience to grow and become a better DJ. Always be practicing consistently and get used to being uncomfortable. Play lots of shows and learn how to read the crowds.