July 22, 2021 By Ryan Songalia
Three disc jockeys from the New York City region will battle it out for turntable supremacy in Ozone Park next month.
VIBES Music Game, a national DJ competition that organizers envision as Iron Chef meets Battle of the Bands, will host the New York City championship at Nasty Stylez Club House, located at 97-52 87th St. on Aug. 7.
The winner will receive a cash prize of $500 and the competition’s championship belt, plus an opportunity to compete for the national championship in November. The winner will also receive prizes from the event sponsors, including Piki NYC, Wake Up Suckas, Bad Business Records and Holmes Apple Sauce.
One of the contestants, DJ Jay Oh of Springfield Gardens, Queens, will have a home borough advantage against Brooklyn’s DJ Diddyy and Long Island’s DJ Mixsta Hype. The three advanced from a select field of 15 DJs who competed at BYKLYN Yard in Brooklyn in May and June.
A live audience of up to 100 people will watch the battle at the venue, which has been open for approximately a year, and features indoor and outdoor areas, including a dance floor, a pool room and a VIP area. There will be projection screens where visual elements will complement the music, which is expected to focus on the New York music scene, plus top 40 hits and throwback classics.
The competition is scored based on the playlists that the DJs curate to excite the crowd. More points are scored for playing newer songs, with bonus points generated by transitioning genres. The audience will be able to award points to their favorite contestant at the end of each round, and the DJ with the highest score at the end of the competition wins.
DJ Jay Oh ended the preliminaries as the third ranked seed with 49 points per game, while DJ Mixsta Hype was in second place with 81 points per game, and DJ Diddyy was in first place with 104.8 points per game.
The preliminaries were hosted virtually or as “silent disco” parties, where a limited audience listened to playlists through headphones. The championship round, with a live audience, will have more of an “authentic bar feel,” said the event’s producer Jamahn Warren-Bey.
“We’re trying to put party life and night life DJs on competitive platforms and then also allow them to have direct interaction with the audience in the scene that they’re in,” Warren-Bey said, who started the competition in Washington D.C. in 2017.
The competition has now branched out into radio and broadcast platforms, and has been featured on Brooklyn station BRIC TV as well as the cable channel Noire TV.
Warren-Bey says the organizers elected to hold the event in Queens after looking at venues in Manhattan. He says the location is close enough to where the three DJs are from so that their supporters can follow them to the show.
The national championship will feature DJs who have won similar competitions in Texas, California, Ohio, Washington D.C. and Florida.
Tickets are priced at $15 and $30 and can be purchased through Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vibes-nyc-championship-tickets-164053411169). The show is expected to run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.