Lead DJ Karyn Adams has something in common with most of Sound Precision Entertainment’s clients: She is engaged!
She and her partner, Andy, met in college while working at the same coffee shop on campus. They haven’t started planning their wedding yet, but she’s learned a lot about the process while working for SPE.
Adams has been in the DJ business for almost a year, but she’s a natural. It might have something to do with her friendship with Matt Hribar, one of SPE’s most popular DJs.
“I got into this business almost by mistake,” she said. “Matt told me that SPE was hiring, and he thought I would be perfect for the job.”
The Erie, PA, native attended John Carroll University and now lives in Old Brooklyn, so she’s familiar with the Cleveland wedding scene.
“My favorite part of the job is when I can feel the reactions of the crowd when the music changes or the mix was really smooth,” Adams said. “People are outwardly appreciative of music in their body language even if not in words.”
While Adams plays fail-safe songs that are sure to please the crowd, such as “Hey Ya!” by OutKast, “Yeah!” by Usher or “Livin’ La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin, she’ll also play tunes like “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” by Shania Twain to encourage the ladies to hit the floor, followed by a hit like “Africa” by Toto to bring the men out. She’ll round it out with a song everyone knows and loves, like “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire.
“I’m also a big fan of mixing in guest requests because that has the potential to send us down a musical avenue that maybe I or the guests didn’t expect,” she said. “A lot of times I’ll do some mic work to hype the crowd, saying things like, ‘I know you know the words; let’s hear it!” and filtering a little so the crowd can hear themselves. The crowd really gets a kick out of being asked to be involved in their own show!”
When Adams isn’t DJing, she enjoys reading, yoga, journaling, snowboarding, longboarding, watching TV and cuddling with her dog, Evie. She is also interested in scriptwriting and is currently writing a scripted comedy podcast with her friends called “Nondenominational.”
“I like to describe it as similar to shows like ‘The Office’ or ‘Parks and Rec’ but without visuals – only audio,” she said. “It’s about the antics of a very passionate pastor, her liturgical minister and their less-than-passionate congregation. It can be found wherever you listen to podcasts!”
Adams is also an avid reader and recommends Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights to fellow bookworms.
“I feel so happy and at ease in there,” she said. “I love visiting even if I don’t get a book. (But I always get a book.)”
Q&A with Karyn Adams
Who or what inspires you?
My grandfather inspires me to be the best version of myself and to sit with good posture no matter what. My dog inspires me to laugh and enjoy life and maybe chase a squirrel every once in a while. I also find creative and artistic inspiration from artists on Instagram, which sounds like a Millennial cliché, but whenever I’m having a bad day, I look at the wonderful work people are creating and putting out into the world and I feel inspired to join them.
What is your favorite place in Cleveland?
During the summer, the city hosts free outdoor yoga in Voinovich Park, which is the park by the harbor behind the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland sign. I love yoga and being outside, and those summer events merge both. And, hey, it’s free!
Who is your favorite actor or actress?
That tends to change, honestly, but I will forever be obsessed with Julie Andrews and Robin Williams (RIP).
What is your favorite food?
Pizza – without question! Caramel M&M’s make a very close second.
I can’t live without …
My dog, a white German Shepherd named Evie but whom I call Sugar, and a good book.
What is on your phone’s background?
My phone background is twofold. My lock screen is a picture of my dog with my fiancé. My home screen is actually an abstract photo that I did not intend to take. If I had to guess, it happened at a concert, and I didn’t realize the camera was open. It is completely incoherent light streaks with lots of crazy colors moving around. It’s hard to explain, but it’s one of the coolest things I never intended to do.