Creating the right atmosphere to make memories, “the tool that you use is music,” says the owner of MixxStar DJs, Bobby Dunston, aka “DJ Bobby D!” From backyard gatherings to swanky soirees, the right music, use of lighting, and skillful use of the microphone set the mood, get the party started and keep it going. DJ Bobby D! keeps the turntables spinning and the next song queued as the microphone maestro of the Hilton Village-based disc jockey (DJ) and master of ceremonies service that operates with the combined efforts of 11 experienced and conscientious DJs. Offering a full range of services from party music to direction and event lighting to sound support, MixxStar DJs ensures a good time.
“A high level of customer service is what our customers can expect,” Dunston says of his business model. “We interview our customers, before, during and after each event we do.” Dunston’s role, in addition to being a lifelong professional DJ, is that of a savvy business owner, who networks, promotes his company, allocates engagements to his crew of DJs, plans events and generates new business, all while handling the company’s logistics.
“The DJ’s job is to create the right atmosphere of whatever is going on. He’s playing the music that folks are going to remember when they recall a memory of that event.” MixxStar provides DJ service for weddings, birthday parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, graduations, corporate and community events, book signings, basketball games and teambuilding seminars. It also hosts trivia night at local eateries.
“If you are hosting an event and you need someone to talk or someone to introduce people, we offer that service too,” Dunston says. MixxStar DJs has access to an in-house event venue capable of hosting 100 people and a veritable boardwalk of event service providers conveniently located together. “We interview our customers to determine exactly what music they like using our music database with thousands of songs. To enhance our skills as DJs, we practice and rehearse during weekly meetings.” To ensure that his customers feel appreciated, Dunston has made it customary to send a handwritten thank you note to each after his follow-up meeting.
“One of my aunts bought me a little radio when I was a kid,” Dunston says. “You don’t know what radio station you’re supposed to listen to; you just turn it on and listen.”
“I have always had a love for music. When I was 16, I got a turntable for Christmas from my grandmother, and that got me excited about being a DJ, and I started making mixtapes. As I got older, I realized that this is something that I loved, and I liked the thought of making people happy with music. In 2008, I decided to open up my own DJ company and begin a full-time career with it. I even got to open up for Stevie Wonder,” Dunston says.
Before becoming a DJ full time, Dunston was employed as a real estate agent with Long and Foster and Re/Max Peninsula. “In my mind, I wanted to run my DJ business similarly to the way I approached real estate. The way we follow up with people. One of the best things I have ever done in my life, though, is work with United Way,” Dunston says. “I wish everyone could have a chance to do it. It’s eye-opening.” For six consecutive years DJ Bobby D! hosted an annual Halloween costume party called “The Monster’s Ball,” with all proceeds going to the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula.
“Who I am when I am not working is synonymous with DJ Bobby D! I am a people person, I love music and I love making people happy. It’s like there isn’t even a separation. The only thing is, on occasion, when I am not working, people will invite me to a party, and I won’t want to go. I’ll be partied out,” Dunston says, smiling. He and his wife of 25 years, Darchina, a school nurse and Mary Kay consultant, have two sons, Christopher, 25, a supervisor at Busch Gardens, and Julian, 19, a sophomore at VCU. He enjoys spending time with his family and riding his bicycle.
“It’s almost subliminal,” Dunston says. “I always begin each event by introducing myself and saying, ‘We are about to have a good time!’ And then,
TO THE POINT:
Contact: Bobby “DJ Bobby D!” Dunston
Address: 9912 Hosier St., Ste. J,
Newport News, VA 23601
Phone: 757-744-4151 (office); 757-344-0852 (cell)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, BDONE1000@gmail.com