DJ Corey Johnson is planning to throw quite a party later this year with some help from his friends at American DJ. The 26-year-old Bronx native has rented a hall, arranged for food and decorations, and even lined up some guest DJs from Germany to provide the entertainment. Johnson and his fellow guests will have plenty to celebrate. They'll be partying to mark the return of their US Army unit to Germany after an extended tour of duty in Iraq.
Johnson, who is also known as DJ Hypnotiq in civilian life, has been serving proudly in Iraq since March 2004 -- but still, he'll be glad when his tour of duty ends. Looking ahead to that date, Johnson came up with the idea of holding a party to celebrate and honor the service of his fellow soldiers.
When American DJ learned of Johnson's planned Welcome Back Event, the company quickly volunteered to help out by donating invitations, banners and other promotional material at no charge. Much to its pleasure, the company also learned that Johnson had recently purchased an American Audio Pro Scratch 2, and was using the CD player to entertain troops and hold DJing classes in Iraq.
Inspired by what Johnson was accomplishing, American DJ has also donated gear to the DJing GI. "We're very happy to help Corey," said Scott Davies, general manager of the American DJ Group of Companies. "He's a brave and remarkable young man, and we're touched by the way he's brought his music with him to Iraq to make a difference in the lives of other soldiers."
Johnson has been DJing for nine years. "The first time I put my hands on some turntables was at a community basketball game in my building project," he recalled. "From then on, I couldn't keep my hands off them. I eventually became the "project DJ." I used to do house parties for different people. I never got paid for them. It was more than about money for me. I found out that through playing music, I could express myself in ways no one understood, but only me. To me, music is my life. "
About two years ago, Johnson said he "started becoming a digital DJ." He now prefers digital to turntable, because "you can do more," but is quick to add, "I will not knock vinyl because that's where I came from." Johnson's personal favorite DJs include Grand Master Flash, Kid Capri, DJ Red Alert, DJ Green Lantern, Funk Master Flex, DJ Epps, DJ Gerald and American Audio endorser DJ Skilz.
For now, Johnson is honing his own DJing skills during his free time in Iraq, and appreciating the escape it provides. "Music puts me in a place that is happy and wonderful," he said. American DJ is proud to be a part of that special, welcoming place that Corey Johnson and his music are creating against the backdrop of war in Iraq.