New to Oxford nightlife this semester is a team of student-DJs operating under the name of Knuckle Up Productions. Knuckle Up is a subsidiary of the student-run MIOX Records, from which it receives its funding.
According to senior Eric Southwell, operations manager for Knuckle Up, the executive team of MIOX, which was looking to grow, originally thought up the idea of a student-DJ team.
“It was (MIOX executives’) idea to expand MIOX bigger than it already was, which was just the normal three artists, and they wanted some other way to get involved on campus,” Southwell said, who described Knuckle Up as an inexpensive team of DJs who also promote. “Having a DJ team is something that Miami really hasn’t seen yet.”
Southwell noted the convenience and the low price tag for the service of the DJ team for events as reasons for customers to pick Knuckle Up, which takes care of transportation and setup for free. He says the overall rate comes out to about $300 for four hours, whereas most DJs charge between $550 and $600 for their services over the same amount of time. He says that MIOX takes about a 15 percent cut from a DJ’s earnings for performances.
“Live entertainment that’s hassle-free for them, something they don’t have to worry about,” Southwell said concerning what Knuckle Up brings to the table. “A lot of our DJs have prior connections, which helps us out a lot. We have DJs who have spun in clubs in Chicago and New York, so we have those connections already. On top of that we also have letters sent out to social chairs (of Greek organizations) and we also have members of the MIOX team that have connections already.”
Current DJ Eric O’Bryant sees working for the DJ team as a great opportunity, as he is DJing uptown in Oxford for the first time this year after gaining experience elsewhere.
“I’d been getting more into the DJing aspect of it and spinning uptown and I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to expand my horizons and learn,” said O’Bryant, a graduate student who performs at Balcony Tuesday nights.
Currently the Knuckle Up team, established in November and faculty advised by Jill Kickul of the Farmer School of Business, consists of four DJs and has performed one gig-an event at the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. This semester, however, Southwell and others, such as sophomore Daniel Albert, president of MIOX, are looking to establish themselves further.
“This semester and next semester we’re hoping to be signing some bands but we’re looking to branch out more into the entertainment and nightlife aspect of music instead of just rock and acoustic and things like that,” Albert said. “A lot of Greek events play music at their events off their iTunes laptop, and with Knuckle Up, we’re trying to provide the physical aspect of the DJ actually spinning and mixing them up and creating a whole new level to your event.”
Albert also was careful to point out the fact that Knuckle Up is not competing with WMSR, which performs via radio instead of live, according the to CFO of Knuckle Up, senior David Elias.
“We’re not competing against WMSR’s DJs-we’re kind of providing a DJ service for a different crowd,” Albert said. “You don’t really see (WMSR) providing services for Greek events or whatnot. Knuckle Up, to us, means ‘get ready, we’re coming at you.'”