Michael Warkentin, aka Greensleeves, is the DJ and co-emcee of the alternative hip-hop band, Broken Tongues. He started DJing in 2001 and incorporates elements of rock, jazz, funk, reggae, soul and livetronica. He owns Dancin’ Shoes DJ, a mobile DJ, audio and lighting company in Denver, and also works as a professional audio engineer at CCM Recording Studios. Read on and get to know more about him.
1. How did you get started as a DJ?
I became interested in turntablism in high school while listening to Paul’s Boutique, DJ Shadow, The Avalanches, Portishead, Invizibl Scratch Picklz and Jurassic 5, among others. I began scratching and learning to beat-match in college and eventually started DJing the set breaks for a few different bands. I try to be as dynamic as possible and cater to all kinds of events ranging from live-band shows, clubs and festivals, to themed parties, weddings, corporate events and school parties.
2. Is this a full-time job or something you do on the side?
I DJ part time and work roughly 40 events per year. As a professional audio engineer at CCM Recording Studios, I mainly record, mix and master music, but I also do a lot of music production, audio logos and voice-over work. I live and breathe music daily, whether it’s at the boards, behind the glass, on stage or in the booth.
3. What fixtures are included in your setup?
I have several SlimPAR™ 56 and COLORstrip™ Mini wash lights, a slew of lasers and a Hurricane™ fog machine. I like the SlimPAR fixtures because the mixture of RGB LEDs provides a smooth wash for uplighting, and the COLORstrip™ Mini fixtures are really good for chase effects and scrim lighting. I would love to add more wash lights and a few Circus™ effect lights.
4. What is your favorite fixture and why?
I don’t really have a favorite fixture, but I love using the fog machine because it enhances the effects and creates a cool depth to the lighting. I also love using guitar pedals as turntable effects when performing with my band.
5. Best advice you can give someone just getting started in the DJ industry?
Practice a lot and use the internet to learn. Be humble and have a strong portion of your DJ set be well rehearsed, or use a well-catalogued database to freestyle from. It’s all in the practice and preparation.
6. What are your top three most requested songs?
Anything by Rihanna, just about anything from the 90s and “something for my girlfriend.”