Meet Nate

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About Nate

Ever since Nate was a small child, music was a huge part of his life. He and his brother Mike would beg their parents to play 1812 Overture so they could run around the house and fight battles. Nate started his DJ career at 16 years old, working with his dad, who DJed as a side hobby to pay for his love of music. Around the same time Nate also started playing bass guitar and formed a rock band with some of his best friends. As the frontman and co-lead singer of the band, Nate loved how saying the right thing at the right time made a impact far beyond what the music could do alone. That experience of being on stage and leading a party-hard crowd in a rock show shaped his approach to DJing. He DJed his first wedding way back in 2002 when his dad was leaving the industry. Afterwards, he began subcontracting for various local DJ companies in Tallahassee and had a chance to witness the workings of the established DJ industry. As a result of his findings, he started Amplify Entertainment in 2006.

Why 1812 Overture?

Because using a canon as an instrument is quite possibly the coolest idea anyone has ever had in the history of the entertainment industry. Can you imagine what it must have been like to hear and feel that boom in an era before subwoofers, amplifiers and 808s? It was written in 1880 and yet still raises pulses of adoring fans more than 135 years later.

Why did you start Amplify Entertainment?

I started Amplify Entertainment to fill some substantial gaps I witnessed in the DJ industry. To address these issues, I wanted to form a company that focuses on creating a personal connection with clients and their guests; embraces (not fears) technology and uses it to wow guests; is obsessed with detail and personalization while rejecting cookie-cutter weddings; and never accepts “that’s just the way it is” as a legitimate answer. We make it easy for our clients to build the framework of their wedding entertainment as we guide them through each step. Each night we take the mic and the controls, we realize it’s the biggest night of our clients’ life. It’s both incredibly humbling and unbelievably exciting to realize that we are the curators of a series of special moments that will comprise an experience cherished for a lifetime.

What is your favorite dance floor song at the moment?

“24k Magic” by Bruno Mars. An instant classic with lots of places for group participation and fun dance moves, and it’s the perfect follow-up to another favorite of mine: Uptown Funk.

When is latest into the night you’ve ever DJed?

I’ve DJed two weddings that went deep into overtime because no one wanted to stop dancing. These weddings each hit my current record of 3:30 a.m. for about 12-13 hours of DJing considering I also DJed the ceremony and reception. At one of these weddings an 80-something-year-old grandfather danced until the bitter end! I shook his hand and he is now my hero.

So rock and roll, eh?

Oh yeah! I played in three rock bands through high school and college. My primary love was a band called Lucid Blue. We loved to play high-energy songs and get the crowd moving. As the frontman of the band, I loved getting on the microphone and being a part of that energy. When the crowd gives energy back you get into this awesome upward spiral of energy where the crowd’s energy gives the performer more energy, which in turn gives the crowd more energy. You know you’re successful when everyone crawls out covered in sweat! Being in Lucid Blue taught me that entertainment is much more fun and rewarding as a participatory sport than a spectator sport. There’s no other way to experience rock and roll!

And this helped shape your so-called “DJ personality?”

Yes, that rock and roll mindset heavily influences the way I DJ. While every moment of a wedding is incredibly important, I live for the moment when I get to open the dance floor and try to win over a brand new crowd. At that point, it’s a legendary journey we all take together to achieve an evening to remember.

What was the first album you ever owned?

My dad used to make these mixtapes for me of ’70s era classic rock — you know, everything from the Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel and Paul McCartney to Chicago, the Eagles and the Steve Miller Band. I believe my first full-length album was News to World by Queen and Edge of Century by Styx. My dad bought them for me for my birthday from Vinyl Fever (may it rest in peace).

What else do you personally enjoy listening to?

There are few genres of music I don’t personally enjoy. One of my true loves is pop-punk (especially Starting Line, Fall Out Boy, Jimmy Eat World, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Head Automatica, Mae and heavier stuff along those lines like Saosin, Atreyu and Underoath). I love dirty south hip hop (especially Ludacris, OutKast, Rick Ross, Mystikal and Master P), but I also love some Drake, Busta Rhymes and Post Malone and the Weeknd. You can’t go wrong with the right RnB (R. Kelly, Emeli Sande, Anthony Hamilton, Ne-Yo and Boyz II Men — don’t hate — are my faves). I love EDM (especially Zedd, Kaskade, Seven Lions, the Chainsmokers, Purity Ring, Others: Afrojack, Klaypex, ODESZA and of course NERO). I have a soft spot for Indie Pop (Passion Pit, Grouplove, M83, Capital Cities, Postal Service, Phoebe Ryan and Two Door Cinema Club stand out). I enjoy avant-garde and piano-focused classical music (Chopin, Erik Satie, Phillip Glass, Debussy) and ambient stuff like Hans Zimmer, Hammock, the American Dollar, Helios, This Will Destroy You, The Album Leaf, Vangelis, Brian Eno). Of course rock (Foo Fighters, Pink Floyd, Queen, Ben Folds, Incubus, Chicago, Billy Joel, Journey, Third Eye Blind, Stone Temple Pilots, Radiohead). I also truly love reggae (Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Toots & the Maytals, Burning Spear et al), reggae rock (Sublime, Pepper, Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, Rx Bandits) and some good metal/heavy rock (Thrice, Avenged Sevenfold, August Burns Red, Atreyu, Protest the Hero, Iron Maiden). And just about everything else from City & Colour and As Tall As Lions to Circa Survive to Elvis Crespo and Kwesi K. Now we’re starting to scratch the surface! 🙂

How has Amplify Entertainment embraced technology?

As technology and social media continue to change the world in ways we never imagined, the wedding industry has evolved dramatically. Much of this has to do with the changes from digital natives and millennials who grew up on technology. I’m a tech and gadget geek, so naturally I’ve decided to embrace this wonderful shift wholeheartedly. In fact, Amplify Entertainment is the only wedding DJ company in the nation that can allow your guests the ability to send their song requests to the DJ using their mobile devices by text message, web app or tweet via our Hey DJ! Mobile Request System. And we did it waaaaay back in 2012. We also offer KidStation, which lets parents enjoy longer wedding receptions while their kids play games and watch movies on an all-in-one mobile entertainment station. With our “Story of Us” Presentation, we can even create a stunning wedding video of digital photos you provide, which we can display in full, high definition for your guests to enjoy. I personally custom design each Custom Monogram Lighting package from scratch, and our Uplighting options can be programmed to match your favorite wedding color(s) perfectly. We’re obsessed with details and making sure that your wedding is unique and special to you, and technology has helped us reach that goal.