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DJ Distrakshun will be emcee at this weekend's Hagerstown Hispanic Festival

September 14, 2011|By MARIE GILBERT | marieg@herald-mail.com
  • Domingo Deejay Distrakshun Mencia is known for his work as a DJ for La Nueva 87.7 FM in Silver Spring, Md., but the Hagerstown resident will make his mark this weekend as emcee for Hagerstown Hispanic Festival in Fairgrounds Park.
Submitted photo

HAGERSTOWN — Domingo Mencia knows how to navigate a turntable.

One minute, he’s playing a request from a fan, the next, he’s giving new life to an old song by doing a little “scratching.”

Pushing the music envelope is part of Mencia’s job.

He’s a disc jockey who works for La Nueva 87.7 FM based in Silver Spring, Md., has his own online radio show and is a turntablist — creating music by turning a record and phonograph needle into musical instruments.

It’s quite an impressive resume for the 21-year-old Hagerstown resident, who has made a name for himself as DJ Distrakshun.

“Just the thought that people appreciate my work makes me feel happy about what I do,” Mencia said.

While Mencia juggles many different genres as a DJ — including hip-hop, electronic and rock — his roots are in Latin music.

That’s why he considers it an honor to be included in the entertainment venue for the Hispanic Festival, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 18, at Hagerstown Fairgrounds Park.

“It shows me that people have noticed my work and talent,” Mencia said.

This is the fifth year for the festival, which is a salute to Hispanic culture. In addition to live music, there will be food, dancing, a soccer tournament, artists and exhibits. Proceeds will benefit academic scholarships at Hagerstown Community College.

Mencia said he doesn’t remember a time when he didn’t love music.

“It’s something that has been passed down from my grandparents and parents,” he said. “At an early age, I would sing alongside my sister. Something about music clears my mind and gets me moving.”

Mencia has inherited his interest in music from other family members who are in the music industry, he said.

“One of my cousins in particular, Prince Royce, has ‘made it’ so to speak,” he said. “He’s a very famous pop Latin artist who has gone double platinum and won multiple Latin Grammy awards. My drive to become better at what I do comes from his success.”

Mencia said he also has the support of his family, “who has always helped me achieve my goals.”

He was about 12 years old when he began experimenting with different DJ software, he said.

“It’s been something I’ve grown to love. I do it mostly for my love of music, not to mention it’s something that’s very fulfilling. Think about it. I have the opportunity to make people dance and have fun just by what I do — play music,” he said.

Though he’s been doing it for a number of years, Mencia said he’s still learning.

“It’s a never-ending craft, so to speak,” he said. “So I push myself to get better 24/7.”

Mencia said his venues have included clubs from New York City to Washington, D.C. But he developed a true fan base when he began working with Chris “Mr. Hypnotyc” from La Nueva 87.7 FM (WDCN-LP), which provides music to listeners in the D.C., Maryland, Virginia area.

“My following has grown greatly since then,” he said. “I also developed a following after I became one of the official DJs for La Nueva. I do a live mix Monday through Sunday called ‘La Gozadera Mix.’”

The show is a 15- to 20-minute mix of a variety of music — though mostly Latin.

Mencia has an international following, thanks to his online radio show Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on www.hypnotyc.com and is a member of the Dictators DJ Crew, a group of deejays from the United States and South America.

While this will be DJ Distrakshun’s first appearance at the Hispanic Festival, he’s hoping it won’t be his last.

“It feels great to get so much local support, since my main following is mostly based outside of Hagerstown,” he said. “Getting the opportunity to show Hagerstown what I can do is a real big deal for me.”


If you go ...

WHAT: Hispanic Festival

WHEN: Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18

WHERE: Fairgrounds Park, 351 N. Cleveland Ave., Hagerstown

COST: Admission is free

CONTACT: Email info@hagerstownhispanicfestival.org or go to www.hagerstownhispanicfestival.org.

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