Asian Business Association of San Diego Lunar New Year Party - Emerald Chinese Cuisine

President and CEO of the Asian Business Association, Wendy Urushima-Conn and San Diego DJ, Justin Kanoya.

The Asian Business Association of San Diego held its 22nd Annual Lunar New Year Celebration on February 23, 2016 at Emerald Chinese Cuisine restaurant.

ABA of San Diego is a non-profit organization that facilitates the growth and development of member businesses through ongoing entrepreneurial education, communication and business networking programs. Currently it has nearly 500 members.

The Lunar New Year event attracted a handful of attendees, including ABA members, San Diego community leaders and San Diego elected officials. It also featured an appearance by the Lucky Lion dancers, a delicious spread from Emerald, Starlight photobooth and of course live DJ service.

Here’s a look at the setlist for the night:

  • Rick James - Mary Jane (19Sixty Quick Hitter)
  • Mary Jane Girls - Candy Man (Hot Classics Remix)
  • Duke Dumont - Ocean Drive
  • Who Is Fancy f./Ariana Grande & Meghan Trainor - Boys Like You
  • Giacca & Flores - Last Night A DJ Saved My Life  
  • Base On & Jean Bacarreza - Back 2 Basicz  
  • Mary Jane Girls - Candy Man (Hot Classics Remix)
  • Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls Pt. 2 (Select Mix Remix)
  • Erasure - Chains of Love
  • Phil Collins - Sussudio (Select Mix Remix)
  • Usher, Nicki Minaj - She Came To Give It To You (Select Mix Remix)
  • Mariah Carey - Emotions (Select Mix Remix)
  • Patrice Rushen - Forget Me Nots  
  • Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake - Love Never Felt So Good
  • Whitney Houston - So Emotional (Edge Remix)
  • Prince - Raspberry Beret
  • DJ Dan & WhiteNoize - Hey Ho  
  • S.W.V. - Right Here (Human Nature Duet) [Select Mix Remix]
  • Bobby Caldwell - Open Your Eyes
  • Taylor Swift vs Lauryn Hill - Blank Space (DJ Skillz Throwback Blend)
  • Lauryn Hill - Doo Wop (That Thing)
  • White Town - Your Woman (Select Mix Remix)
  • Wang Chung - Dance Hall Days (Edge Remix)
  • Terence Trent D'arby - Wishing Well (Select Mix Remix)
  • Chaka Khan - Ain't Nobody (Hot Classics Remix)
  • DJ Cassidy f./Chromeo - Future Is Mine (Promo Only Intro Edit)
  • Chainsmokers ft ROZES - Roses (Adam Foster Remix)  
  • Seinabo Sey - Younger (Kygo Remix)  
  • The Whispers - Rock Steady
  • Johnny Gill - Rub You The Right Way
  • Billy Ocean - Caribbean Queen  
  • The Spinners - I'll Be Around (70s Classics)  
  • Rappin' 4-Tay - I'll Be Around (Select Mix Remix)
  • Bell Biv DeVoe - BBD (I Thought It Was Me)
  • Stevie Wonder - I Wish (DJ Joey C Edit)
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air (Le Boeuf Remix)  
  • Justin Bieber - Love Yourself (Alan V Redrum)  
  • Tori Kelly - Nobody Love (DJ Mustard Remix)
  • Justin Timberlake ft Jay-Z vs Biggie & Next - Suit & Tie (Too Juicy Blend) (Intro Clean)
  • A Tribe Called Quest - Electric Relaxation
  • P.M. Dawn - Set Adrift On Memory Bliss
  • Cassie - Me & You
  • Mya - Case of the Ex
  • Adele - When We Were Young (DiscoTech 2AM Radio Edit)
  • Laid Back - White Horse (Select Mix Remix)
  • Sa-Fire - Let Me Be The One (Select Mix Remix)
  • OMC - How Bizarre (Select Mix Remix)
  • Prince - When Doves Cry (DJ Joey C Short Edit)
  • Paula Abdul - Cold Hearted (Select Mix Remix)
  • Charlie Puth - One Call Away (Lash Radio Edit)
  • Jess Glynne - Hold My Hand
  • Big Tymers - This Is How We Do
  • Ice Cube - Check Yo Self (Select Mix Remix)
  • Ella Henderson - Ghost (Dave Aude Remix)
  • OMI - Hula Hoop

2016 Los Angeles Marathon - Fitbit Fitness DJ

San Diego DJ, Justin Kanoya, with the Fitbit crew at the 2016 Los Angeles Marathon.

San Diego DJ, Justin Kanoya, with the Fitbit crew at the 2016 Los Angeles Marathon.

The mile 22 cheer station at the Los Angeles Marathon had nearly as many cowbells for cheerleaders as there were runners ... okay, not really. But if you wanted a Fitbit cowbell, you received a Fitbit cowbell.

At the beginning of 2015 I wrote down a list of goals and among them were to DJ an event with at least 10,000 people and DJ at the start line of a major running event. Of course, if that second goal was met, that first one was pretty much in the bag.

A year later, I’m happy to report that I can essentially check mark both, thanks to my friends at Fitbit.

As one of the corporate sponsors for the Los Angeles Marathon, that took place on February 14, Fitbit has a major presence at all things related to the event. From the race expo, to a tent at the finish line to a cheer station at Mile 22. And that’s where I came in.

I was set-up -- along with a handful of amazing members of Fitbit’s marketing team and super volunteer Erin -- at Mile 22 to play music and cheer on runners as they made their final 4-mile push to the end.

And while it wasn’t at the start line, I can now check off “DJ for several thousand people” (20,000+ runners) and “DJ at a major running event” (the LA Marathon is kind of a big deal). You can even read about my own LA moment, with Josh Duhamel, which will probably go down as one of the most unreal coincidences in my life.

Lastly, I still have not run a marathon myself, but I can now say I DJ’d one, and in a way it was a marathon all on it’s own.

Here’s what a six hour setlist looks like.

  • Anuhea - Higher Than The Clouds
  • Crystal Bowersox - Midnight Train to Georgia
  • Oasis - Wonderwall
  • Magic! - No Way No
  • Flo Rida - My House
  • Prince Royce f./Snoop Dogg - Stuck On A Feeling
  • Charli XCX f./Rita Ora - Doing It
  • Iggy Azalea f./Jennifer Hudson - Trouble
  • Coldplay - Adventure Of A Lifetime
  • Aloe Blacc - The Man
  • Fifth Harmony - Sledgehammer
  • OneRepublic - Love Runs Out
  • Maroon 5 - Maps
  • Pitbull f./G.R.L. - Wild Wild Love
  • Demi Lovato f./Cher Lloyd - Really Don't Care
  • Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)
  • Pink - So What
  • Ariana Grande f./Zedd - Break Free
  • Kid N Play - Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody (Select Mix Remix)
  • Monie Love - It's A Shame
  • MC Hammer - Turn This Mutha Out (Select Mix Remix)
  • Coolio - 1-2-3-4 (Sumpin' New) (Select Mix Remix)
  • Mariah Carey - Emotions (Select Mix Remix)
  • US3 - Cantaloop
  • Tony Toni Tone - Feels Good
  • Imagine Dragons - On Top Of The World
  • Lorde - Team (Select Mix Remix)
  • Fergie - L.A. Love (La La) (Select Mix Remix)
  • Natalie La Rose, Jeremih - Somebody (Select Mix Remix)
  • Imagine Dragons - I Bet My Life (Select Mix Remix)
  • Paramore - Ain't It Fun (Select Mix Remix)
  • Ariana Grande f./Iggy Azalea - Problem
  • Ja Rule - Livin' It Up (Select Mix Remix)
  • Nelly - Hot In Here
  • Wayne Wonder - No Letting Go
  • Fat Joe - Get It Poppin'
  • Big Tymers - This Is How We Do
  • Usher - Yeah (Wedding Crasherz Break)
  • K7 - Come Baby Come
  • Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation (Select Mix Remix)
  • C&C Music Factory - Gonna Make You Sweat
  • Icona Pop - Emergency (Ghassemi Remix)
  • Alesso - Heroes (Basic Tape Remix)  
  • DNCE - Cake By The Ocean (Select Mix Remix)
  • Ed Sheeran - Sing
  • Pitbull, John Ryan - Fireball (Select Mix Remix)
  • Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne - Rather Be (Select Mix Remix)
  • Chromeo - Jealous (I Ain't With It) (Select Mix Remix)
  • Afrojack, Mike Taylor - SummerThing (Select Mix Remix)
  • Ariana Grande, Zedd - Break Free (Select Mix Remix)
  • Maroon 5 - Sugar
  • Robin Thicke f./Nicki Minaj - Back Together (Clean Edit)
  • Tupac - California Love (Original Version)
  • Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg, Kurup & Nate Dogg - The Next Episode
  • Dawin f./Silento - Dessert (Remix)
  • Jackson 5 - I Want You Moombahback (FeestDJRuud & Naffz Bootleg)
  • Beyonce ft Jay-Z - Crazy In Love (Mayeda Remix)  
  • Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On (Mayeda Remix)
  • Discotron - Disco Ballin'  
  • DJ Cassidy f./Chromeo - Future Is Mine (Promo Only Intro Edit)
  • Boyz II Men - Motownphilly
  • INXS - New Sensation (Edge Remix)
  • J. Geils Band - Centerfold
  • Paula Abdul - Forever Your Girl
  • Paula Abdul - Opposites Attract
  • Whitney Houston - How Will I Know (Select Mix Remix)
  • Madonna - Holiday
  • Beastie Boys - Brass Monkey
  • Young MC - Bust A Move
  • Usher, Nicki Minaj - She Came To Give It To You (Select Mix Remix)
  • Justin Bieber - Love Yourself (RENAIR Uptempo ReDrum Edit)  
  • Disclosure ft Sam Smith vs Justin Faust - Latch (Digital Dave Disco Fix)
  • Avicii - Broken Arrows (Promo Only M-22 Intro Edit)
  • Adele - When We Were Young (DiscoTech 2AM Radio Edit)
  • Milky Chance - Stolen Dance (Uptempo Pop Mix)
  • Beyonce - 7/11 (Tracy Young's Smack It In The Air Radio Edit)
  • Nicki Minaj - The Night Is Still Young
  • Jess Glynne - Hold My Hand
  • LunchMoney Lewis - Bills (Promo Only Clean Edit)
  • Zedd f./Selena Gomez - I Want You To Know
  • Prince f./Zooey Deschanel - FALLINLOVE2NITE
  • Charlie Puth - One Call Away (Lash Radio Edit)
  • Krewella - Enjoy The Ride
  • Calvin Harris & Disciples - How Deep Is Your Love
  • Nelly Furtado - Do It
  • Journey - Don't Stop Believin' (Live)
  • Walk The Moon - Shut Up & Dance (G Duppy Remix)
  • A-Ha - Take On Me (Kygo Remix)
  • Disclosure ft Sam Smith - Latch (G Duppy Reggae Remix)
  • Mutya Buenya - Real Girl
  • Mack Wilds - Love In The 90z
  • Nelly f./Jeremih - The Fix (Riddler Remix - Clean)
  • Years & Years - King
  • OMI - Hula Hoop
  • Demi Lovato - Cool For The Summer
  • Hailee Steinfeld - Love Myself
  • Rudimental f./Ed Sheeran - Lay It All On Me
  • Tove Lo - Talking Body
  • Ariana Grande - One Last Time
  • Mariah Carey - Heartbreaker
  • Heavy D & The Boyz & Al B. Sure! - We Got Our Own Thang
  • Mase - Feel So Good

Feel Me Flow: Programming the Perfect Yoga Playlist

Scorpion DJ? Or just a scorpion pose with DJ gear. Programming music for yoga is more than just picking out random downtempo beats. 

NOTE: For a sample yoga playlist, scroll to the end of this article

As a special event DJ, I find myself gigging at all types of events. There’s the usual wedding, birthday party, graduation party, pool party … okay, basically anything that ends with the word party. But it was not until 2015 that I found myself playing tunes in situations many would not consider a party at all … fitness events. And more specifically yoga events.

Yoga, as an activity, was something I engaged with more in 2015 to supplement all the running and other physical activity I do each week. Yoga has benefits both mentally, physically and spiritually. But yoga as an event, where hundreds gather outside of the traditional studio and into unconventional spaces and waterfront places, found me.

In fact yoga events have really taken off during the past few years. Check out this list of seven massive yoga events. Events such as Wanderlust, Seawheeze and the summer solstice in Times Square attract thousands of yogis. Why are people stepping out of the warm confines of a yoga studio to tree pose in the outdoors? There’s just something about 500 people all simultaneously saluting that sun, while actually under the sun, that seems so much fun.

I had the opportunity to “live DJ” a yoga flow for the first time last March. I was excited as it was an opportunity to do something completely different. But it was also done with a bit of hesitation, because like anything that you are giving a go for the first time, there is the wonder on how to do it. I asked the yoga instructor, Helen Cloots, for any of her preferences and she simply said “I can teach yoga to anything, so just do your thing.”

Since that first event, I’ve DJ’d a handful of other yoga events and feel I have a good recipe for creating the perfect yoga playlist. Just like building the energy on a dance floor, there is an energy you can build on a yoga mat.

For those old enough to remember making mix tapes, preparing music for a yoga flow is similar to creating one of those. When you handed someone a mix tape, they took it to heart and truly listened to it. Unlike creating 45 minutes of background music, the students in a yoga class are tuning in to what is playing. The music becomes one with all of the other senses that are at play during their yoga practice.

Here are few tips for programming a yoga playlist, both for DJs that might find themselves playing one of these events, and for yoga instructors who program their own music.

DJ Justin Kanoya plays music for a yoga event sponsored by Fitbit. 

Do Yoga
Obviously aimed at DJs who have never taken a yoga class before, I want to stress how important it is to actually experience yoga before creating music for yoga. As with any type of new gig, it’s always better to have previously been engaged in or attended the event that you are playing music for. In the same way that it’s not wise to DJ a wedding if you’ve never been to one, it’s not a good idea to blindly put a yoga playlist together if you’ve never flowed from cobra to chaturanga to downward dog.

Yoga studios are everywhere and offer classes everyday at all hours. Go check one out, and of course, pay close attention to the music.

Take it Slow
Yoga, at least at the beginning to intermediate level is taught at a soothing, slow pace. Naturally the music that goes along with it should have similar characteristics. But that doesn’t mean playing tracks that average 80 BPM. It means listening to your music and recalling certain tracks that have harmonic breakdowns. When listening, imagine doing yoga poses to the beat. Are the sounds, beats and vocals soothing or annoying? If it’s the latter, then it’s probably not right for your playlist.

What Genre Works Best
The practice of yoga prides itself on being open to all and so, naturally, the genre of music one might hear during a flow should be open too. It’s easy to get caught up in the cliche sounds of Enigma, Enya or downtempo lounge. But realize, if you fall into these cliches, you’re not setting yourself apart from the other yoga playlists people have heard.

Since super downtempo music is not exactly on the list of club bangers and dance floor fillers, this is a good opportunity to explore genres that you typically do not listen to or play.

When researching music I start with previewing dozens of downtempo tunes. Genres such as “Downtempo,” “Chill” and “Lounge"; and there are probably dozens of other sub-genres. I’ve also found the “Trap” genre to have many sound characteristics suitable for yoga

House music also has tracks that work. Artists like, Kygo, Purity Ring and Roger Shah have all found their way into my yoga DJ sessions.

San Diego based yoga teacher, Helen Cloots.

To Sing Or Not to Sing
You may think 45 minutes of instrumental tracks is the way to go. And it makes sense, especially realizing there is a yoga instructor who is, well, instructing. This means if you’re playing vocal tracks and the instructor is giving commands over that, things could get a bit messy. While this can be true, there is a way to mix in vocal tracks appropriately.

I generally start the first 7-10 minutes of a yoga set with non-vocal tracks. I then like to insert a vocal track, usually something Indie or unfamiliar to most. Remember the music, in this case, is supposed to create an atmosphere of calm. I don’t want someone to hear a song and think about the last party they were at and how they were jamming to it.

The reason for mixing in a vocal track is to change things up a bit. If the entire 45 minute yoga session was ambient, non-vocal music, it would just sound like white noise after a while.

Following up an “unfamiliar” vocal track, I like to put in another instrumental or play a more familiar vocal track. Recently I’ve been playing Adele’s “Hello” and Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams,” however not the mainstream radio versions that EVERYONE has had enough of by now. The “Dustin Que” trap mix of “Hello” is pretty amazing. This is where research and finding remixes really benefits in setting yourself apart from the others.

I do like to play at least one recognizable track, generally at the peak of the flow when things are moving a bit faster. This could be anything, but I tend to play hip-hop or R&B, reggae would probably also work well. In this instance, I want those ears to perk up but I want people to also feel that they’ve come to the space to practice yoga and have some fun too.

Sweet Savasana
The final pose in every yoga flow is savasana, also called corpse pose. It’s when the entire class lays flat on their mats, like a corpse, taking their bodies to complete relaxation. Ironically, it’s been billed as the most difficult pose in yoga because many find it difficult to relax their body and free their mind of all thoughts.

As a music programmer, you can help by selecting the right piece of music. In this case, a vocal track is not recommended. The track should also not have a distinctive beat. This is when you need to find something that is ambient and non-descript. Beats, vocals and instruments can cause someone to focus on those sounds and they will have a difficult time relaxing.

Finding the perfect savasana track, is just like finding that perfect dance floor filling song. The best way to discover these tracks is to find a quiet space and listen to different pieces. Close your eyes and see if you can get lost in the sounds and venture into relaxation.

In summary, my recipe and sample playlist for a musically appealing, 45-minute yoga flow is this:

  • 0-10 minutes: Non-vocal, non descript ambient sounds; no dominating instruments or beats
  • 11-20: Start to introduce light beats, less familiar vocal songs
  • 21-35: A mix of familiar vocals, but not often heard remixes (think Trap or downtempo house versions of popular songs); introduce one or two, straight from the radio tracks; mellow hip-hop like a Tribe Called Quest or Tupac, even reggae sounds work well here.
  • 36-45: Begin to bring the tempo down, reverting back to the mix of sounds and non-vocals in the first 10 minutes of the flow, preparing the students for savasana
  • Savasana: Mellow sounds without any vocals, slowly fading the music to complete silence after about five minutes or at the discretion of the instructor.

Have you DJ’d a yoga session before? And for the instructors out there, who are some of your favorite artists or genres to teach to?