Local DJ spins his way to success
DJ Vladi bumps and pumps beats intended to get any audience mixing and moving on the dance floor.
When the beat drops, bodies begin to move. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, the dance floor does not discriminate, and neither does a good DJ.
Whether you are a fan of hip-hop, rock or country, a DJ’s job is to make you get up and dance.
As the founder of Gulf Coast Entertainment and Productions, DJ Vladi’s turntables have provided the soundtrack for weddings, special events and charity functions up and down the Gulf Coast, throughout the state of Florida and across the Southeast.
Born Vladimir Jimenez in the Dominican Republic, Vladi and his family spent time in Puerto Rico, New York and Orlando before he discovered the Emerald Coast in 2001, where he worked at The Red Bar, owned by Oli Petit, as a waiter.
“I really learned a lot working for the Petit family,” Vladi says. “They were really good to me, and they let me do some DJ work for them, as well.”
The DJ bug bit Vladi while he was in high school in Central Florida.
“There was a DJ at a house party, and the movement he was doing and the attention that he was getting was really cool,” Vladi says. “People were dancing and having a good time. I looked at him and said, ‘That’s what I want to do.’”
Over the years Vladi has defined his personal style, which, unlike other DJs, isn’t based on a specific type of music or genre. Vladi is in the business of pleasing people, so he made a conscious effort to learn as many different styles and types of music as possible.
“Music has no language,” Vladi says. “That’s the beauty of it. I may be at a Russian wedding or an Indian wedding and not understand a lot of what they are saying, but I can tell when they are having a great time.”
The key, he says, is being able to read the crowd and recognize what songs and styles get them moving. Vladi plays everything from the Top 40 to rock, country, electronic dance music, funk, merengue, salsa and the blues.
As a DJ, Vladi’s hard work and commitment to his craft has paid off. He is regularly booked at shows up and down the Panhandle as well as in other locations, including Nashville. Vladi has also performed at celebrity weddings and for the likes of musician Zac Brown.
Now in his mid-30s, with a wife and two children, Vladi doesn’t perform in clubs as often. He still spins at The Red Bar and other special shows, but most of his attention is now on weddings, special events and giving back to the community that has given him so much.
Vladi is known to lend his talents to local organizations. Each year he helps collect toys for children through the “Stuff The Bus” program in Panama City. During the Thanksgiving season, he and his family and friends will cook dozens of turkeys with all the trimmings for anyone in need.
“My mom always said, ‘If you can help, help,’” Vladi says. “Why not wake up a few hours early and help (people) out a little bit?”
- Uptown Funk | Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
- Don’t Stop Believin’ | Journey
- I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) | Whitney Houston
- Shut Up And Dance | Walk The Moon
- Shake It Off | Taylor Swift
- Happy | Pharrell Williams
- Sweet Caroline | Neil Diamond
- Cupid Shuffle | Cupid
- Thinking Out Loud | Ed Sheeran
- I Gotta Feeling | Black Eyed Peas
- Livin’ On A Prayer | Bon Jovi
- Marry You | Bruno Mars
- Wobble | V.I.C.
- Yeah! | Usher
- Brown Eyed Girl | Van Morrison
- We Found Love | Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris
- Cha Cha Slide | DJ Casper
- Sugar | Maroon 5
- Love Shack | B-52s
- Party Rock Anthem | LMFAO