Now that the President Obama’s position has officially been replaced by Donald Trump, many members of the team responsible for his event planning, home living and more are transitioning with him. Among them is resident DJ Mel Cavaricci – or DJ Mel – who made a name for himself after playing several of the President’s most memorable events and occasions, including the Inauguration Ball and the afterparty to Obama’s Farewell Address last week. DJ Mel also has played shows at the Tour de France, Lollapalooza and with the University of Texas as the official DJ for their basketball team.
In honor of his time in the White House coming to an end, SPIN caught up with DJ Mel to get his take on the outgoing President and his preparations for the closing Farewell Address party.
When choosing his selection of tracks for the party, DJ Mel said he drew most of his inspiration from previous campaigns.
“I recall being told to play a lot of music that was being played in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns. When the event started, it took a while for everyone to get in, because everyone was listening to the address.
“It was really amazing and it really touched me and a lot of people. I think everyone was still trying to process that speech, so I think just a lot of people being in that room at first talking about it and talking to each other and everything. So while that was going on, I was playing a lot of music from the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, and not necessarily like dance music? Y’know, so yeah. That was pretty much the plan.”
He got the gig, surprisingly enough, from a friend of his who happened to work for the President.
“I have a friend who works with the president and I always thought that was cool. He lived in Austin at one point and we would hang out a lot. He’s a total music nerd and we had a lot in common. And we would talk, hang out, go out to eat or something, and I’d always just say casually, ‘I would like to DJ for Obama one day, because he’s Barack Obama!’ He would just look at me and kind of nod and we just left it at that.
“One day, it was like a Saturday morning and it was like noon, he was like ‘Hey, what’s up man? What are you doing on Tuesday?’ And I said like, ‘Nothing, why?’ ‘Do you want to DJ for Barack Obama on election night?’ I was like, ‘Really?’ ‘Yeah, dude’ That was Saturday and by Tuesday, I was there.”
Even though DJ Mel said he only crossed paths with Obama once or twice during his stint as his DJ,
“You know how when you meet people you don’t know and you get this amazing energy from them? And it’s kind of contagious, so you just kind of feed off that? That’s how it felt. I remember when I walked up to them because I was told they wanted to meet me and get a photo taken with me. I remember walking up and Michelle was like, ‘Who are you?; I was like ‘I’m the DJ. I’m DJing the [Presidential Ball].’ She was like ‘Oh my God, come over here.’ I hugged them and took a photo with them and you could just feel … I don’t know, it was just really awesome. You could feel their energy as people. They’re just happy, positive people.”
To learn more about DJ Mel’s experience spinning for the Obamas, visit SPIN‘s full interview here.