Visually impaired student discusses life as a DJ

Will Walsh, junior communications major from Richmond, shows off his DJ skills at an event. Walsh has been doing local events since the spring of 2017.

Will Walsh, a junior communications student from Richmond, has been a professional DJ for the past four years, and he is visually impaired. Walsh’s love and interest for music goes back to when he was a child.

“My interest in music goes back to when I was a little baby in my room with the old analog radio flipping channels,” Walsh said. “I would be going all over that spectrum, just exploring different stations.”

Walsh was in band throughout middle school and high school. He played snare drum and keyboard and was in the marching band in high school but was really interested in turn tabling.

“I had heard a lot of guys on the radio doing their thing on Friday nights, broadcasting from clubs, and I picked up on all that,” Walsh said. “I liked music, but I knew I wanted to end up DJ-ing.”

Walsh made the decision that he wanted to become a DJ

as an eighth grader, dedicating entire days to studying and listening to different DJs. He knew that with the right help he could learn to do the same.

“I would dedicate days, from when I woke up to when I went to bed, studying and listening to different DJs,” Walsh said. “I just really liked how the other DJs that I was hearing were making transitions and making connections with bars and beats.”

After two and a half years of listening to DJs, Walsh found a company, LG Event Entertainment and Production, founded by Lewis Grell in 2002, that did DJ-ing for events throughout Texas and had an academy to teach people how to DJ. After teaching him basic skills needed, Walsh became self-taught through watching videos, memorization and his natural instinct.

“I met the instructor of the DJ Academy, and they took me in with an open mind and showed me everything that I would need to know,” Walsh said. “They just taught me

how to execute. After that, I taught myself everything.”

Walsh says his inspirations are any Electronic Dance Music (EDM) DJs, because for the first two years as a DJ, that is what he saw himself as. After that, he began to listen to hip hop DJs and began to change his style.

“When I heard the hip-hop DJs that I started listening to and heard how sophisticated they were with the transitions and the art in general, it completely rocked my world,” Walsh said. “It inspired me to be the best that I could and never settle.”

LG Event Entertainment and Productions ended up hiring Walsh as a professional DJ. Grell, the owner, would push Walsh during big events where the stakes were high because he knew that Walsh had the type of music the crowd wanted.

“I got a lot of exposure during that time,” Walsh said. “I started doing weddings, parties and private corporate events. To have those opportunities when I was just starting off was a dream.”

Walsh started attending SFA in the spring of 2017 and began doing events in the area at various locations such as Lumberyard, private sorority parties and Piney Woods Country Club. Walsh was able to meet a friend who also has a passion for DJ-ing here at SFA, who spins with him at events.

“The past four years have been me growing my skill set and my experience at all different types of events,” Walsh said. “We really didn’t make anything. But we did it because we wanted to get better, and we wanted to learn.”

Through DJ-ing, Walsh has received a lot of diverse experience and has been able to share his passion with others and does not allow obstacles to get in the way of doing what he loves.

“Don’t let obstacles deter you from doing what you want to do,” Walsh said. “It just takes time, a little bit of homework and a lot of determination.”

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