DJ Kai Song - NYC’s Youngest Professional DJ
If you swung by the Epic DUMBO Stoop Sale in June, you may have been lucky enough to see DJ Kai Song (or just hear…he’s kind of hard to spot behind that massive turntable). In case you missed it, passersby quickly formed a crowd under The Archway as the 8-year-old sensation spun his own mix of pop-house beats and his cousin performed the robot for an awed crowd of kids and adults. Things quickly turned into a miniature dance party (with participants mainly under 4’ tall), and Kai’s 1-hour set felt like it lasted 5 minutes. Because we just couldn’t get enough of Kai, we sat down with him at One Girl Cookies in DUMBO, for chat and a snack of pumpkin spice whoopee pies (Kai’s favorite).
Obviously our first thought was how did Kai get so good? Some credit has to go to his dad (also a professional DJ), but Kai’s natural curiosity seems to be the basis of his success. He used to play with his dad’s DJ equipment, initially just using it as a stereo but gradually wanting to know what all the buttons did. His dad began to teach him, and soon (when we say soon we mean SOON!) Kai had his first gig. At 3 years old, Kai DJ-ed for the first time at a DUMBO Block Party. A few months later, he played at the Children’s Museum of the Arts and the rest is history. He now plays gigs frequently- the weekend of the Stoop Sale he had three- including sets at the PS29 Block Party and the Daylife Festival on the Lower East Side.
His music has changed a lot since his age 3 premiere, back then he would just play one song and then another. But 5 years of hard work and practice has made him pretty darn good at mixing more things, beat matching and even recording his voice into a microphone to add to music. He’s also been taking music production at the Dubspot School in Manhattan, which helps. So far he’s produced 3 CDs, and has posted videos of himself recording music online (you can find them through his Facebook page). In the future he plans to be a professional DJ and create his own beats, but also mix other people’s music too.
DJ-ing isn’t the only thing that makes DJ Kai a pretty cool dude. He also sings (in French!) at the Brooklyn Youth Choir Academy, does Tae Kwon Do, Karate, plays soccer and calculates with an abacus (it helps him do math in his head). Perhaps most impressively, he drinks a wheatgrass shake every morning.
Kai loves living in DUMBO - he’s particularly fond of the Brooklyn Bridge because they share the same birthday (May 24th), and working at his mom’s store (Half Pint Citizens). His favorite thing to do there is something he has termed “shipmendising” (a combo of shipment and merchandise), and he’s a great salesman too!
If you’re out on a celebrity sighting hunt you might spot him playing in Brooklyn Bridge Park. He’s a big fan of Star Wars and will most likely be out there impersonating General Grevious (an evil, four-armed character who is trained in seven forms of light-saber combat and wants to destroy all Jedis).
So, if we haven’t convinced you that Kai is a super talented 8 year-old, you have a chance to see him for yourself this Sunday! He’ll be playing at the Kimberly Hotel’s Sea to Sunset extended brunch, on a beautiful rooftop patio. And even though he’s playing penthouse parties in Manhattan, he hasn’t abandoned his local crowd - he’ll also be DJing PS8's DUMBO’s Fall Festival on October 13th.
For all the latest news and events keep an eye on Kai’s Facebook page, he updates it frequently with his adventures.