The White House is a dream gig for any deejay, but what if you’re 11-years-old? Despite not being that far along in his deejay career, that’s the story of pre-teen Dylan Curtis.
The Philadelphia native, who goes by DJ D-Ill, scored the gig after learning his skills from his father, also a deejay, and honing them enough in a short time that he was invited to spin at Philly’s Fourth of July celebration.
From there, he scored gigs for the DNC and the White House, where Dylan played at the Kid’s State Dinner and was called back for another event, the details of which he couldn’t disclose.
“I always tell people, when they ask him to deejay, you know he’s 11,” laughed his father, Amos Curtis, 38, also a professional deejay, who goes by “DJ Nochaser.” “He’s an old soul.”
Dylan’s dad and mother, Zandra Lodge, were high school sweethearts. Dylan is their second child behind brother Devon, 20, also a professional deejay. who performs under the name “DJ Swelly.”
But he didn’t get serious about it until two years ago. after getting sidelined by a soccer injury. It wasn’t long before he was deejaying kids’ birthday parties, even after a setback when a house fire destroyed his equipment. His dad also enrolled him at Scratch Academy, at Second and Market Streets, to refine his skills. Still, his parents were surprised when he got a call earlier this year from Welcome America! Organizers needed a deejay to play music for the kids’ stage.
“I’m like, OK, they want him to play. That’s interesting. He’s only 11. But they were really impressed,” recalled Lodge, 37, a nursing assistant. “It’s still kind of unbelievable. It’s been like a crazy three months for us.”
Other jobs quickly followed, including the White House and DNC gigs. For Dylan, it’s been one exciting summer. He’s been places and experienced things that a whole lot of adults will never get to enjoy. I can’t get over his getting not just one, but two invitations to perform at the White House.
“I like being at parties to play music and I actually love music. That’s what made me want to be a deejay,” he told me last week. “I like hip-hop, some R&B, and I do a little bit of house and old school.”
PHOTO: White House