Walt White, owner of Global DJ Academy, has transformed his dream of sharing electronic music with the world into his daily reality. White created Global DJ Academy in Denver to become a hub for aspiring DJs and music fanatics to learn, create and inspire. Global DJ Academy is a state-of-the-art, 2500 square-foot learning facility with two music production studios, a soundproof recording booth and a classroom with six work stations all packed with today’s most innovative DJ technology. They offer basic courses as well as more expert production classes, private instructions and even fun “Learn to DJ” birthday parties.
White has traversed many different paths on his way to becoming the owner and creator of Global DJ Academy. From computer programming to speed skating and Olympic coaching, White is a man of many talents. And next Sunday, at the first date the 303 Magazine Summer Pool Party Series, DJ Walt White will share his passion for electronic music with pool party-ers ready to get down. The busy DJ made time to chat with me about EDM, djing, the academy and the future of electronic music.
303: You’ve had a pretty colorful career. Your parents were musicians, you graduated with a degree in computer programming and then went on to become a road cyclist and world ranked speed skater. Then you decided you wanted to DJ and now you own DJ Academy. How have these paths are led to where you are now?
Well I grew up in an environment of amazing musical talent. My mom is one of the top oboe teachers in the world. My father’s marching bands have won many championships. And they are both accomplished professional classical musicians so teaching and performing music is part of my life.
My father was also an accomplished skater and coach and we even owned a skating center for a while… so skating was a big part of my life as well. After starting a family, I couldn’t keep up with the time commitment needed for cycling so I switched to coaching at the Olympic training center and personal training. So teaching has always been my strength.
My college degree is in Computer Info Systems and I’ve always had an ability to work with computers…. So electronic dance music which is most commonly produced and performed on computers was a natural progression for me. I was introduced to EDM by a friend and it just clicked with me. I went after it with a 100% effort and I was performing within the year. I struggled a lot to figure out how to DJ on my own and I was really disappointed in the lack of resources out there to teach EDM performance. So that’s where the academy comes in.
303: You fell in love with electronic music decades ago, what does it mean to you that it’s become such an integral part of music today?
It’s a great honor to work with these big shows and amazing artists. I learn more and more every year and I get the
privilege of passing that knowledge on to my students. It’s a real win-win situation.
303: Your company was named Westword’s Best of Denver in 2013, how exciting has that title been for this brain child of yours?
Well winning best of Denver in Westword was not so much because I was better then everyone else. Im really the only person in town offering this type of education at this level. The award was for breaking ground with a new frontier in music education. So it was a real honor to be acknowledged for that effort. I have been working on this project and positioning myself in the industry for about 5 years now. It is great to see it all coming together finally.
If you want to stay on top of your game as a teacher you need to perform too. The music and the technology we use changes so fast that you really need to be “in it to win it”. I bring my students into my performances and have them observe and sometime even perform with me… so performing and teaching really go hand-in-hand for me.
303: On that same note, how do you still find the time to DJ while still finding the time to teach?
I have cut down the amount I perform a lot so I have time for my family and the school. But I still manage to DJ one or two nights a week instead 5 or 6 like I used to.
303: Where do you see electronic music going (industry/genres/market/trends)?
I think eventually DJs will have no genre boundaries, DJ equipment will be universally compatible & wireless, and hopefully in my lifetime I will see software progress to the point where the user will just tell the computer what they want and the software will adjust and tweak it automatically. So we don’t have to spend years mastering how to operate a cumbersome audio software package.
303 Magazine: You’re DJing 303 magazine’s FIRST pool party of the summer series, have you ever been to one before?
This is my first year djing this party and it is also the first year for the dj academy and all my students. We are also doing to second stage which will be all dj academy students instructors the entire day.I heard from all my friends that the party last year was outstanding. I have dj’d many 303 Magazine parties and events and they are always top notch. I hope this one is the best yet.