2 Minutes With … is a series of short features to introduce us to the passions and interests of Lawrentians on and off campus. Find more 2 Minutes With … features here.
Story by Awa Badiane ’21
Being entrusted with the aux cord in any situation is an honor, but to be trusted with controlling the music at almost every campus event is a sign of huge respect … and talent.
De Andre King ’20 has gone from being an Aux at small-scale Lawrence University fraternity parties to launching a DJ’ing enterprise, King SZN, that has him traveling the Midwest.
Music for the computer science major from New York City is never far away.
“That’s one of the first things I check for when I leave my room, my headphones,” he says.
De Andre’s passion for music started young. He recalls listening to WWPR-FM 105.1 in NYC while on the school bus. Coming from both New York City and a Caribbean household, different styles and genres of music have always been present in his life.
Filling a void
That passion for music followed him to Appleton, where he quickly created a platform to share his music with others on campus.
“My first weekend here, I remember calling my friends back home, ‘I DJ’d a party here on campus.’ I was really just using my phone. I had thought that was DJ’ing at the time.”
It took off from there. Now, at almost every campus event you will see De Andre controlling the turntables. He’s also been a frequent voice on WLFM.
De Andre said he set out to fill a void after seeing “a need for actual disc jocking.” He watched YouTube videos, shadowed veteran DJs during their sets, and learned by trial and error.
“Mixing, blending, beating, matching, crowd control, energy, and overall passion of music,” he says of the learning process.
He has become an established name on campus. From hosting Lawrence’s first-ever Tailgate to Lawrence International’s annual Fall Formal, De Andre has filled the void he first noticed as a freshman. Today, he goes beyond the boundaries of Lawrence, creating his own brand with King SZN Enterprise, traveling and sharing his talent across the Midwest, and even performing on trips back to New York.
“It’s a blessing if you had asked freshman year Dre DJ’ing in Sig Ep,” he says. “… If you would have told him you are going to be doing gigs outside of Lawrence throughout the Appleton community, but also back home in New York, I would have been in disbelief.”
He now spends most weekends traveling to host events at other schools. It’s a huge commitment, but he’s made it look effortless. He’s found his groove.
“Never really think about it, I just try and do,” he says.
Take a spin
Looking for new music? You’re in luck, we asked De Andre to give us some of his favorite music to rock out to.
Song on repeat: Hustle and Motivate, by Nipsey Hussle
First favorite song: Rockin That Thang, by The-Dream
Favorite gym song: Hustle and Ambition, by 50 Cent
Favorite DJs: DJ ByFarMega, DJ TrueBlends , DJ Tech 12, DJ Iz Lit, DJ Jhasire Powell
Awa Badiane ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.