Originating from Richmond, DJ CARTER BALDWIN has always had a strong affinity for music. Starting at a young age, he played numerous instruments including the keyboard and guitar. Once he began college, he found himself DJing at local house parties, which sparked his initial interest.

He continued his path to becoming a professional DJ by gaining recognition at local clubs, which built connections that helped him gain numerous residencies. Starting with The Lucky Buddha Lounge, he has since gained residencies in Richmond and Washington, DC, including the renowned dance club Off the Hookah and Opera Ultra Lounge, where he performs to over 1,000 people.

DJ CARTER BALDWIN’s shows are energetic and lively, which can cater to any individual with any musical taste—an ability he is especially proud of and useful to the constant changing of venues. We had the opportunity to talk with Baldwin about his career as a DJ, his inspirations, and a potential album in the works.

How did you fall into becoming a DJ?

I have always been a huge music fan. I played instruments, like the guitar and messed around with keyboards. When I went to college, I found myself supplying the music at house parties and it stemmed from that. Then, finding a connection at a venue in Richmond led to working Tuesdays, which led to Wednesdays and so on.

Who are your main inspirations?

As far as inspirations go—A-TRACK, AVICII, TIESTO—they’re huge inspirations. I can only hope to be as big as them, and it’s a huge dream of mine. Also, DJ AM; he took the term, “turntablism” to another level. He could throw any type of genre together, and it seemed seamless. I can only hope to play at the level he did.

With musical acts like AVICII and SKRILLEX, electronic and house music has become bigger and more well-known. What are your thoughts about the genre becoming more mainstream outside of clubs and parties?

I think it’s great. I mean three years ago electronic music was just hitting the scene in Richmond, and now we have EDM radio shows and clubs who play electronic music strictly. People are now paying a ton of money to see them, and it’s getting a lot of publicity.

What do you think separates you from other DJs?

Personally, I’ve always capitalized on the ability to play to any sort of crowd. I’m essentially a chameleon; I can blend into any club and any clientele. I can play whichever type of music is needed to keep the party lively and I can have a great time doing so.

How do you get the crowed hyped up during your performance?

It’s all based on a swing. There are ups and downs to where the venue is happy and the crowd is enjoying themselves. It’s all about reading the crowd and playing the right song at the right time to get the people hyped up. Knowing the atmosphere is key.

How do you practice for your performances?

a. I just kind of empty my room, place my turntables on my desk, and combine sounds to see what works well. I like to practice mash-ups and song combinations that I’ll use live as well. Just to practice hours and hours a week, performing mixes and analyzing all the new music I’m exposed to.

I also read that you maintain residences at multiple locations. How exactly does a residency work?

Getting a residency is about putting yourself out there. Going up to the bar owners and managers as well as making friends with the bartenders and establishing connections. Then hoping the owner will give you a chance to play in the club. I’ve been fortunate to play at a lot of places in Richmond and numerous spots in DC as well. I love to DJ, and getting to play at all these unique places is awesome.

In 2012, you headlined SoRVAFest. Does the festival hold any personal significance? How did you gain the opportunity to headline the festival?

Actually one of my friends had this idea of putting all sorts of musicians, DJ’s and producers into one venue, where every genre of music came together to make a giant festival. He came to me and asked if I would like to be a part of it, and when it came down to it, I got to headline the event. I was one of my favorite moments DJing, and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to perform.

Are you working on any new material?

I’m still in the learning stages of production, and I definitely have visions of putting an album together sooner rather than later. This summer is grind time for me to know the programs and system I use to try and create the best bootlegs, mixes and originals, and anything I can think of and eventually, with the end goal to put out an LP or EP that I can showcase to everybody.

For more updates on DJ CARTER BALDWIN, be sure to “like” his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter and Instagram, and check out his music on Soundcloud.

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