With weekly gigs at Tongue and Groove, Luckie Food Lounge, and Velvet Room, to name a few, it’s a wonder DJ Trauma ever sleeps. Hailing from New York, Trauma knows just what makes Atlanta’s club scene so hot.
Did you always want to be a DJ? Definitely not. I started deejaying in high school. I came to college [Clark Atlanta] and was an electrical engineering major. I never thought about it until my junior year . . . I thought it might be my second job, but I got out of school and stayed with it, and it turned out to be great.
How did you choose your name? We used to throw these parties at this club called the Ethiopian Vibration. It was really hot and the AC didn’t work, so people would drink a lot of beer and liquor. People would pass out and be taken to the “trauma truck.”
How do you keep the crowd happy? I like to call my style an aggressive style. I talk in the microphone and change records fast. I like really high-energy parties.
What’s unique about the Atlanta scene? Atlanta has so many women, so the parties are always beautiful. You never want to go to a party where there are too many men because it’s not comfortable . . . [The women] love to party, and they love to dance. More than other cities, dancing is a big part of the culture.
Your best experience as a DJ? In general, it’s getting to meet all the people I look up to. I deejayed a party and was walking across the VIP [section], and in front of the DJ booth is Michael Jordan. I couldn’t even breathe. Another time, Forest Whitaker was in the DJ booth kicking it with me. And I was like, wow.
Photograph by Donna Permell