DJ Seagrist

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By: Stephanie Baghai

It’s midnight on a Monday and Will Seagrist, a junior entrepreneurship major in the College of Business, is sitting in his two-bedroom apartment at Maryland Court. Staring off into a large display of monitors, he holds his headphones up to his ear and rocks back-and-forth to the various beats, while simultaneously fiddling with his keyboard and adjusting the beats of a new song.

Making a name for yourself in the music industry can be a lifelong journey, but Seagrist – known by his stage name “Apollo” – is paving his own way with his original electro-house mixes.

Seagrist first hit the Milwaukee club scene in 2011 at Marquette favorite, The Rave. This was a time when he claims all his music was “terrible.” He prepared for the early 8 p.m. slot for weeks since it was the first time he would ever perform his original work to a live audience.

“I was super nervous,” Seagrist says. “I kept thinking this was my big break. I didn’t even care that it was so early.”

Since his first “big” set, Seagrist has matured his style by incorporating his past hip-hop experience and his love for eclectic music. Trying to stray away from the popular style of most electronic music, he consciously tries to make everyday music. “I get into different realms, I try to make it a song,” he says. “My music is very melody-orientated. I don’t do the four-by-four intro, snare build then drop.”

Seagrist’s music and efforts have cost him a lot of time and sacrifice, but when asked about why he continues to work, he’s taken aback.

“I work tirelessly to do what I love,” he says. “I’m kind of a workaholic. I’m in it for the long haul; this isn’t some hobby I wanted to try out.”

Making music, promoting that music, and finding a label that wants to purchase that music is risky and not worth it to some, but Seagrist argues otherwise.

“The rewarding feeling is when people listen to it and say, ‘man I really like your music, I’m a big supporter of it,’” Seagrist says. “When you finally complete a song and somebody says that, it’s pretty awesome.”

Finding that unique sound and passion was no easy feat. Seagrist left a potential soccer career and found himself with an empty void. With no major commitments, the Ohio native followed his brothers to Marquette and somehow everything fell into place. Seagrist reminisces on the spontaneous decisions that led up to his career:

“Once I got to Milwaukee, there were so many opportunities. Soccer was pretty much my life, so I just got burnt out and wanted to try something new. What started as a hobby, turned into an obsession. It just kind of happened.”

Since coming to Marquette, Seagrist is more excited for the future than ever. Meeting a whole music community of people through classes, social outings, and sites like SoundCloud has opened doors for the disc jockey.

“It’s all word of mouth,” Seagrist says. “People know I’m serious about it. I reach out, call, email, post things online. It all comes down to a person who knows someone who knows someone.”

And these connections are paying off. Seagrist’s first paid gig was this summer at Rumor Upbeat Lounge on Water Street. His persistence has also landed him a record deal with New York-based label, Nanobeats Records.

“The toughest thing is doing it on your own,” he says. “People don’t realize the insane amount of work it takes and just being able to keep up with it. That’s the biggest obstacle.”

Even through all the obstacles and challenges, the ever-positive Seagrist keeps a clear perspective on his rising stardom.

“I’m not a big believer in having my life planned,” he says “I know what I want to do but I don’t have this template for my life. I just want people to be inspired by my music in a powerful way.”

 

For more of DJ Apollo visit his SoundCloud account or listen to this MUJournal playlist of some of Apollo’s favorite song picks this month.