DeVoted: DJ ShaR4 Makes Music Something More

Article & Photography by Tim Monahan
 

"Although I consider myself to be a fan of most all kinds of music, through the years I had heard of but always dismissed this thing called “House” or “Techno” music. I had always considered it to be cold, unemotional and dare I say, an unskillful. DJ Shar4 has vowed to change all that for me.

The night was cold, snowless, in White River Junction, Vermont. It seemed to me an uncommon place to hear pounding bass leaking from an older brick building, the frosted doors constantly changing color. Stranger still, the Tupelo Music Hall is more known to host acts like the Mickey Hart Band, New Riders of the Purple Sage and Dr. Burma. Tonight, however, is for DJ Shar4.

 

DJs like Shara help prove that House DJs put the same amount of emotion and feeling into their music as traditional bands. She composes her own beats and for this show mixed in some live keyboard playing.

DJ Shar4 has been an Upper Valley staple with the House crowd and dance club followers. In just a few years she has amassed a following among young and old alike. Recently she has been playing at the Salt Hill Pub in Hanover, NH, a stones throw from Dartmouth College.

“I have recently reached several international students who found out about me when they stumbled across my event in their town. It makes perfect sense that they love it because House music is huge in Europe and South America! For example, one student is from Greece and another from London; they are now huge fans who help spread the word.”



Shar4 is also very involved in the community for which she generally plays. When asked about how her current philanthropist gigs got their start: “My first charity dance party was in August of 2007; the idea of bringing people together to dance while helping humanity was with me at the very beginning of my DJ career. To this day I'm not completely sure where that idea came from, but it stuck! As I continued to throw these types of parties and they kept growing; I decided the party needed to have a name so I searched "Charity" in a Thesaurus and "Devotion" came up. Hence, "DeVote" was born.”

 

DJ Shar4 estimates about half of her performances fall under the name “DeVote” where attendees are asked to bring toys, children's books, canned goods or whatever the theme of the night happens to be.

 

She shares that her favorite show was a weekend long house party in “The Middle of Nowhere, Alaska.” The host had converted the basement into a bar and light show. But for her, a perfect show is one where she raises sufficient money and donations.

 

Her Montreal visits helped foster her love of the sound and the scene. Not long after, she had her own turntables and was playing to her own crowds. Montreal - Boston - Providence - Alaska - NYC - and now, White River Junction. We sometimes take for granted the musical talent that can found locally. Shar4 is proof of a good time, and proof passion comes in all forms."



MEET THE DJ: INTERVIEW WITH SHARA DEE



Shara Dee is a dj accustomed to moving audiences with her grooves. She is a woman with a mission, whose catch phrase of move for me resonates far beyond the dancefloor. 

 

It was a pleasure to interact with her for this interview….

 

1. Please introduce yourself to the audience.

2. How did you come by your DJ name?

3. How does your musical background incorporate into your djing?

4. Is it comfortable for you to be a female in a male-oriented profession?

5. What are the biggest misconceptions people have of you as a DJ?

6. Who has influenced your life as a person the most?

7. If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be?

8. What advice would you give to new DJs?

9. How do you create your sounds?

10. What is essential for you to have in order to be a successful DJ?

 

ANSWERS:

 

1 & 2.) My name is Shara with the alias of ShaR4. 4 having been taken from my favorite phrase "Dance 4 Me." I grew to love the idea of making people dance 4 me 4 years ago. 4 is also my lucky number and seems to be popular in my life one way or another, so it only seemed natural to take it with me on my DJ journey.

3.) My musical background has helped a lot with my DJ journey, especially on the music production side of things. Having a good foundation of rhythm is obviously key for beat matching and I have my parents to thank for surrounding me with music ever since they put me on this planet. My mother also blessed me with dance lessons for many years, so I think I have decent rhythm for the most part! :)

4.) I love seeing that more females are making themselves known in the DJ world. I feel very comfortable even though I am a small number compared to the males in this profession. But I like being different than the majority so it works out so far!

5.) I'd say the biggest misconceptions of being a DJ is that it's an easy job. After getting enough experience, then yes it can become easy in some ways, but it is still a very stressful job at times. Sometimes the sound is not good in the room which can throw your mixing capabilities off and you don't know this until you're about to go on. Also, you'll always have someone in the crowd that isn't completely happy with you. Those two things alone can make your gig a very stressful situation, especially when that person in the crowd let's you know how they feel! Sometimes I wish I had an invisible sheild around the booth to keep out the meanies.

6.) Maybe cliche, but my mother has influenced me the most. Her love for music and drive to help others has made a huge impact on who I am today. She is an amazing person and I hope that I can become half the woman she is!

7.) If I could play anywhere in the world, it would definitely be in Italy. I would love to make my roots dance 4 me!!

8.) DON'T give up. As frustrating as it will all be in the beginning, it is all worth it. Mixing will get easier, and the joy of looking up and seeing people smiling and dancing to your beats is simply priceless.

9.) I create my sounds through the passion of movement and happiness. The creation of other people's sounds that I play for others is chosen carefully to make sure my taste is projected to those listening ears!! Bet you weren't expecting that answer!

10.) It is essential for me to have an extended supply of music with a variety of genres available in case I'm needed longer or if it looks like I should change the style up a bit. It's also essential to go into a gig with a good attitude and energy.


DJing is very powerful and is something I am very passionate about. Making people move to my selection of music, along with my own productions now is an amazing feeling. Running events that accomplish those things ALONG with helping others at the same time, is a feeling that I can't explain. I hope others use their powers to do what I've been doing for a couple years now; bring people together to share a dance floor while helping others. Even if you ask your attendees to each bring a can of soup to the event, it's a small donation but you are putting food in someone's belly that probably needs it more than you. I know others do events like this, so I hope they continue that path and I hope others catch on too!

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