Your great-grandma thinks DJs work at radio stations.
The rest of the world believes that disc jockeys have replaced rock stars, living to rule the pop charts, make multi-millions, and play the biggest festival stages on Earth.
Oddly enough, neither great-grams, nor the rest of the world is entirely wrong. Or, uh, entirely right. Just ask Markus Schulz -- the German-born, Miami-based electronic dance music superstar (and America's Best DJ titleholder) who also happens to be the host of a massively popular weekly online radio show, Global DJ Broadcast.
He contemplates the question, "What is a DJ? And what is his or her job?" for a nice, long moment and then he answers, philosophically: "I think the definition of DJ is just totally blurred now."
On a practical level, it's simple. "For me," Markus says, "whether it's 50 people or 50,000 people, it's about creating an atmosphere and taking everybody on a journey through the night.
"But," he concedes, "DJs have turned into popular entertainers, playing all of their own original music. People specifically come out to see them and hear the music that they've created."
And undoubtedly, that's the new pop paradigm. The top jocks are drawing 100,000 people per day to Ultra Music Festival and 3,000 a night to South Beach megaclubs. They're earning $46 million a year. And they're owning the Billboard Hot 100.
"Still, though," Markus laughs, "if I meet somebody on an airplane and I tell them, 'Yeah, I'm a DJ,' they might think that I do weddings and bar mitzvahs."
Markus Schulz. With Laurent Simeca. Saturday, October 19. Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The show starts at 11 p.m. and tickets cost $30 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-695-8411 or visit mansionmiami.com.
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