Local DJ, Shavaughn Morris, also know as “DJ Shevy,” has been making waves in the State College music scene since he began DJing his freshman year. Now, as a senior, Shevy is booked every weekend to play at bars and clubs like Primanti Bros., Champs and Envy, among others.
On top of balancing the many priorities that come with being a college student, Shevy makes time to pursue his passion for DJing and grow his platform. What began as a hobby for Shevy has evolved into a professional business and one that he hopes to continue even after graduating.
“I got into DJing because when I was at parties at my fraternity house I realized that I had the most fun when I knew the music that was playing,” Shevy says. “I thought I might as well learn how to DJ so I could have more control of what was being played.”
Shevy mostly DJed at parties and for fun in the beginning of his career, but he saw a shift when he got asked to DJ at formals for different organizations and was paid to do so. It then became more of a time commitment and something he could see himself doing beyond the realm of a hobby.
“It was around second semester of my sophomore year when I started getting paid and I thought that was pretty cool,” Shevy says. “By then I was learning a lot more about it from people who were already DJing and just from doing more research.”
His first professional booking was at Envy during finals week of his junior year when another DJ called off and the club reached out to him as a substitute. Though not a lot of people were in the audience that night, it transitioned his DJing from parties to venues and took his business to the next level.
“At first it’s a lot of just filling in for other DJs, but if you’re doing well, management will hear so and you’ll get rebooked more and more frequently,” Shevy says.
Since then, he has grown in popularity tremendously and now his weekends consist of performing at some of the most popular spots in town. He credits his success to meeting a wide variety of people during the first two or three years of college.
“It’s all about knowing people and connections,” Shevy says. “Having that network of people ended up being more influential for clubs and bars than anything else.”
In his short two and a half years of DJing, Shevy has managed to log about 200 events which have audiences that range from 10 to 1,000 people in attendance.
Shevy describes his music style as a combination of electronic, hip-hop and pop, but he mostly plays whatever he thinks will get people dancing. While DJing three nights a week and staying focused on school the other four days keep him too busy to make original music, he has put out two remixes and hopes to make more soon. In terms of artists he aspires to be like, Shevy says that lately he has been into Party Pupils.
“They have a very cool funk, electronic disco and pop kind of vibe, so if I could get to a point where I could make music like that, then that would be ideal,” Shevy says.
Academically, Shevy is studying industrial engineering here at Penn State and, career-wise, he hopes to get an industrial engineering job after college in some sort of big city while DJing on the side.
“Since a lot of DJing is referral-based, I think I’ll be able to network while working in a city and then hopefully continue DJing at a larger scale,” Shevy says.
Shevy discusses his dreams of one day being able to travel for DJing as he likes the idea of getting to see different places and has various venues across the U.S. that he wishes to play at. Some of the infamous Las Vegas clubs are among them.
When he’s DJing, Shevy especially enjoys playing something he’s never played before and seeing if it’ll work out. Plus, he says being able to pump up the crowd and create a fun atmosphere is always a rewarding feeling and gives him an adrenaline rush.
“It’s really great when you catch someone during a song and watch their face light up or start screaming the words,” Shevy says.
Big things are sure to continue happening for this talented, up-and-coming artist.