WALLINGFORD – It’s been a crazy few decades for Bill Mazzucco, professional DJ and owner of Local Motion Entertainment in Wallingford.
The Record-Journal recently sat down with Mazzucco to talk about changes in the industry and some of his most memorable experiences, such as being a DJ for actress Julie Andrews and bumping into singer Ed Sheeran at a wedding.
Q: What is your role as a DJ?
Mazzucco: Our thing is more weddings than anything else, we kind of focus on that. We do planning with brides, meetings with brides, we’re tied into a lot of reception halls in this area and on the shoreline. Our office is pretty busy.
Q: How did you get started?
Mazzucco: Totally by accident.
I was working at Mountainside Outing Club...and the company up there, which is now down the street here, Sound Spectrum was doing the music. They had a couple of characters that would walk around and one of the guys that did that didn’t show up one day so they threw the outfit on me and I liked it. So I did that for a little bit, walking around shaking the kids’ hands and all that.
Q: Where did you go from there?
Mazzucco: The guy that owned it, Johnny Rozz from Wallingford, asked if I wanted to do music during these picnics, DJ a little bit. I didn’t know anything about music at all.
He started teaching me the dance music and the feeling of having all those people dancing in front of you, sometimes thousands of people, was just addicting.
That was my senior year of high school. Then I went to college and started DJing on campus.
Q: What kind of skills do you need?
Mazzucco: You have to be great with people, you have to be energetic, you have to be able to handle a large group of people and people can be pretty annoying sometimes especially towards the end of the night...especially if there’s alcohol involved.
Q: What are the most popular music requests you get for weddings?
Mazzucco: Popular requests now, Uptown Funk. Bruno Mars is pretty big.
Q: Is there any song that has stayed popular throughout the years?
Mazzucco: Shout. You can play Shout for any group and it’s great. It surprises me every year.
Q: What are some songs people request you not to play?
Mazzucco: The Chicken Dance is usually the first one people think of. Celebration, We Are Family, YMCA, those are songs people don’t want to hear anymore.
Q: Have you had any celebrity encounters during your DJ career?
Mazzucco: A few of them. I went around with Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music) for a little while. She was doing a children’s book, she had two books, and she was going around to different places to promote the book and she needed sound for luncheons and all that kind of stuff. She was great.
Q: What was it like meeting singer Ed Sheeran at the wedding he was invited to recently?
Mazzucco: That was the biggest surprise to me. I mean the picture went viral.
I was sworn to secrecy. It was like, he’s coming to be a guest, he’s going to be a regular guy don’t even pay attention to him. So that’s what I did. I ignored him all night and at the end of the night he came up to me and said ‘do you want to take a selfie,’ and I said sure because he was partying all night long right in front of me. He had a blast. I asked if I could post it, he said yes, no problem and it went crazy.
Q: How many weddings have you done in 36 years?
Mazzucco: Maybe about 3,200 weddings.
Q: What is the biggest change in the business since you first started?
Mazzucco: Just in the music, really from what it used to be in the early 80’s with Boppers being in downtown New Haven and you know you bring in props and do skits along with the music.
We kind of brought that to weddings and that was fun...to what it is now it’s basically just playing dance music and mixing it. The music really changed.
Q: What kind of equipment do you use?
Mazzucco: It changed throughout the years. We would always go with records in big milk crates, there was a turntable. Now everything is so digital, I can grab anything off the cloud – Amazon Music, ITunes. So the equipment is very small.
Q: What do you see as the future of your DJ career?
Mazzucco: I don’t know, that’s a great question. My son wanted to get into this and I said ‘ I don’t think it’s going to be the lucrative career that it has been for me.’ I’m not sure, with the way the technology is going and the way the music is going, I think it’s going to be just more button pushing. I don’t know where it’s going.
I don’t just play music though, we emcee the whole (wedding) day.
Q: What makes you really love what you do?
Mazzucco: I love hanging out with people.
When you’re standing there and you’re responsible for taking a group of people who don’t know each other; the bride’s side, the groom’s side, their friends, their family, and kind of pushing the right buttons and working it so that people halfway through the night are on the dance floor together having a great time – that is a feeling that was addicting to me when I first started and it’s still addicting.