Sky SLC Rooftop Series preview | Music | Salt Lake City Weekly

Sky SLC Rooftop Series preview 

DJ Bangarang on providing mentorship opportunities for young local DJs

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Bangarang - BRAD SIMMONS
  • Brad Simmons
  • Bangarang

Imagine watching the sun setting behind Salt Lake City's renowned mountains on a warm, summer night while listening to groovy house beats. As the day shifts to night, you sip cocktails and dance with friends while overlooking the city. This is the vibe of the rooftop music series at Sky SLC, which began in early May and will continue throughout the summer every Thursday to Sunday, with the finale to the series on Oct. 6. This is a unique experience in downtown SLC, curated with great attention to detail by local DJ Bangarang (aka Ryan Chisolm) and his team with the unified goal to provide a quality experience for the city.

Bangarang is a well-known, friendly face in the SLC music scene. Along with being a DJ himself, Bangarang is also the talent buyer for the ever-expanding entertainment company LNE Presents.

Because Bangarang is a DJ, he offers valuable personable skills for LNE. "Since I'm one of the more seasoned DJs, I was absorbed into it as someone who could foster the relationships with the DJs. I book DJs within all these rooms for the company," he said.

This ensures cohesion and flow throughout a night of music. "I'm able to look at somebody and say, based on hearing them play, that I think you would be better-fitted to play in this room. Like, you wouldn't put an EDM (electronic dance music) DJ in an open format/hip-hop room," he added.

Utah is quickly becoming fairly well-known as a hotspot for genres EDM, as well as hip-hop, though it has unique challenges. Bangarang points out that "Utah's not an attractive market for many artists, whether it's hip-hop or electronic. I would say the biggest challenge has been convincing people that hey, there's a culture out here that, you know, supports your movement. If you come out here, people will show up."

Despite this challenge, Bangarang has successfully secured booking several top artists, including NBA-legend Shaquille O'Neal, known as DJ Diesel during his EDM performances. "I can't tell you how many times we book an artist and [they] are like, 'That shit was fun.' Even Shaq was like 'Yo, I wanna come back,'" said Bangarang.

The Utah EDM scene is young compared to other markets, which presents an opportunity to curate and have an impact and influence on the next generation. At this point in Bangarang's career, he is taking on a mentorship role.

"There's a lot of younger DJs beneath me who are hungry," he said. "I've had the opportunity to travel and meet DJs in different markets. Taking my experience from my travels, I'm like, this is how you get there but more importantly this is how you operate on a local level in order to get there. Especially now with social media and the importance of building a brand and being known for something."

The mentorship opportunities are a valuable aspect for local DJs playing the rooftop series. Each night has been curated with different vibes and subgenres: Thursdays are eclectic and soulful, with DJs like Andy Doors and Spaz, whereas Fridays are for house music, with DJs like Silent Reign, Nate Lowpass and OBAŸASHI. Saturdays are open format and include Bangarang DJing himself. Sundays are for Melodic House and Latin house for a more chill and mellow atmosphere, with DJs such as Audeamus and Benny.

Bangarang has purposely designed a series with DJs from different walks of life. "There's a lot of younger DJs in there because I believe mentoring is important to get them used to how professional night-life is ...especially nowadays, there's a lot of DJs. Everyone wants to be a DJ, but they don't know the logistics, so what I want to do is get the DJs to a point where they know everything, so the talent as a whole, the city as a whole, can rise," he said.

While this is the second year for the rooftop series, the changes and improvements extend beyond the pristine lineup of DJs and include visual changes as well. Bangarang wants to keep the element of surprise and encourages everyone to check it out themselves. All he will reveal is a few clues.

"Think Bungalow in L.A., that type of experience. The DJ's there, but the experience will be more about the people you're with. Instead of the DJ being the focal point, it will be more like, 'I want to get a table up there,'" said Bangarang.

LNE Presents already provides top-tier concerts and events in Utah, Florida, Nevada and Maryland with mid-to-large-scale concerts and festivals. Therefore, the future of LNE Presents is directly connected to the future of music in SLC. "Between Ivy & Varley, Granary Live, Soundwell, Sky ... even some of the things we're doing in Park City, there's a lot of opportunity for growth. We have a lot of great team members who are all on the same page about it. I would say our future is bright," according to Bangarang.

Check out the LNE Sky SLC Rooftop Series all summer long Thursdays-Sundays until Oct. 6. Doors open at 9 p.m. and is free with RSVP before 10:30 p.m. Go to lnepresents.com for RSVP/tickets, VIP tables and monthly fast passes as well as all other event information. As the sun and lights go down on the rooftop each weekend, you can look forward to shows filled with great music and chill vibes. CW

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Arica Roberts

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