Every Tuesday night from 10:30 pm till past last call, Stella’s Bar and Lounge on College Ave. has been providing an electronic fix to accompany their already dazzling array of drinks. DJs Bryan Winther and Phil Johnson, two Cornell students, continue to transform Stella’s from a chill hang-out to a pumping, small club atmosphere throughout each performance. With their tag-team format and personal blend of electronica from french house to progressive, the duo are doing their part to make Tuesday into the night it should be. daze had an opportunity to sit down with Bryan to talk about what he loves to do.
daze: What do you like about being a DJ? Why do you do it?
Bryan Winther: Well, originally I got into it simply because I found the music interesting. First off, owning records was a little bit backwards, but I loved the music … I had been to a bunch of clubs and seen the whole air that surrounds the DJs and how they can control, more or less, the ups and downs of peoples’ nights; they can send people into a frenzy or they can have people just upset and sad because they aren’t playing anything that, you know, is energetic. That’s what attracted me to it and I liked the idea of just making someone’s night go up and up and up. And my best friend Phil had gotten into DJ-ing too, and he had turntables. I started using his and eventually I got my own.
daze: What type of music do you like to spin?
BW: I think a lot of DJs kinda evolve as they get better. I started off with some real easy hard house, trancey stuff, and I’ve gone through spinning hard techno and now mainly I spin house, french house, and progressive.
daze: Where have you been DJ-ing, do you have a production company?
BW: We have our own production crew; we’ve put on a bunch of parties all across Cornell and Ithaca. We’re called Electronic Project and there’s four DJs [along with] artistic support from my girlfriend Melanie. We’ve put on parties at Republica and Risley, and now we’re manly focusing on Stella’s every week.
daze: How do you vary it up Tuesday to Tuesday?
BW: Well, mainly, it’s all dependent upon the crowd of people that is there … the crowd kinda drives you and you can drive the crowd back. It’s an interesting relationship … Generally, on a Tuesday night … We’ll just start off very basic with something very easy to listen to, like something on Subliminal, very housy, like Jason Jinx or something with some nice vocals, then as more and more people get there, you notice a definite shift in the way the music goes. Like I’ll start playing some St. Germaine with some really good jazzy riffs … it’s got the right amount of energy to get people moving on a Tuesday night. It’s kind of a weird night to be energetic, but it’s become a night where people are actually showing up regularly and getting pretty excited about it …
daze: So is Tuesday the new Friday?
BW: Tuesday is the new Friday definitely! ut more regularly Tuesday nights than on Friday. There’s just such a great atmosphere there that I’d rather do that than go to Dino’s on a Friday night.
Archived article by Andrew Gilman