10 Questions with Jesse Palencia

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most popular and highly sought-after wedding DJs in Illinois, Jesse Palencia. Chicago based Jesse is the owner of DJ Persist.

DJ Persist

DJs - Jesse Palencia

10 Questions with Jesse Palencia

1. Introduction: What's your story?

My name is Jesse Palencia, owner and operator of DJ Persist. I've been around music since I was born since my father was in a cumbia band. I have always been musically inclined being from the southside of Chicago, house music was always the soundtrack. I began my interest in djing at the age of 17 and began mixing house music in my bedroom just like any other DJ. The name "Persist" comes from persistent, a name that was given by my fraternity who had seen the characteristic my work ethic.

I started to leave the bedroom and hit the radio waves and house parties. Soon after I went off to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in order to pursue my degree in Business Administration. Being that I wasn’t in Chicago anymore, I had to adapt to another environment. UIUC crowd wasn’t a big fan of house music as I realized it during MY first gig at UIUC. During MY freshmen year I began to learn how to mix other genres like hip-hop, top 40, and Latin. Being in college gave me a lot of networking opportunities as I began to mix out of the state such as Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas.

After I graduated from college, I moved back to Chicago and became a DJ for the biggest Latin event promotor in Chicago. This allowed me to DJ at some of biggest nightclubs in the city. At this time many of my friends started to get married and want to reminisce their college days by booking me as their DJ. Word spread like wildfire and was beginning get booked every weekend. This had caused me to focus my work on just weddings.

2. What's your experience as a wedding DJ? How many weddings have you done?

I have about 10 years experience DJing at weddings. My background as a club DJ allows me to mix music without any awkward transitions and have a seamless flow in between genres. Not only do I take interest in programming your music correctly but the flow of your events as well. I want to ensure that you are stress free as possible to enjoy the night with your family and friends. That is why I generally take the lead in the flow of your timeline and coordinating with your vendors

3. How far in advance do couples need to book your services?

I generally tell couples to book at least 1 year in advance. But, I may have availability in a shorter time frame

4. What's your rate? What does that include?

My starting rate for weddings starts at $1,400. This includes the following:
-Initial event consultation
-Personalized online account with music requests, planner, and timeline
-Full reception coordination
-State of the art sound system
-Sound Activated Dance Floor Lighting
-2 Wireless microphones
-Set Up and Break Down time
-Custom song edits for first dance, father/daughter dance, etc
-Full MC service (Bilingual: English/Spanish)
-Final Meeting to go over all the details

5. Are you available to travel if needed?

Yes, I am open to domestic and international weddings

6. How would you describe your style?

When people think about wedding DJs, they think that they are just there to play music (which I do GREAT by the way!). I like to take a different approach as I am generally interested in the perfect execution of your event. I want to make your reception as stress free as possible. Let me worry about your timeline and coordinate with your vendors. I will give you step by step reminders when an event is coming up such as the first dance, that way you can glam up or go to the restroom before the show begins.

When the dancing begins, believe me, I get down! I consider myself an open format DJ, which means I can pretty much rock any genre. I can also mix between genres with no awkward transitions. I can go anywhere from Motown to 90s Hip-Hop to Salsa to 80s Hair Band Rock to Current Top 40.

As far as MC style goes, I only get on the mic for necessary announcements. Your wedding is about the couple, not about the DJ.

7. What's your backup plan if there's an equipment malfunction? Do you bring backup equipment?

I generally play off my Laptop and DJ turntables. In the case that my computer crashes I always carry a back up hard drive and an ipad full of music

8. What's your sick day policy?

The beauty of my online planning forms is that I am able to give all the details to another DJ. I belong to a big network of DJs that I can simply send those forms over and they will be ready to rock your party!

9. How do you motivate a shy crowd to dance? What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?

Having a club DJ background is key in this situation. I can read a crowd and know when a crowd is not feeling the genre or song that I am playing. I am able to transition quick to another genre. One of my hidden weapons is to go with a line dance such as the cha cha slide, wobble, or caballo dorado. Generally those get people from all ages on the dancefloor

10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?

If cancellation is initiated by the client in writing and agreed to by DJ Persist in writing, the client shall be required to pay any unrecoverable costs already incurred by DJ Persist, LLC. (but not more than the total fee agreed upon).

-Up to 45 days prior to the event: DJ Persist is entitled to the Contract Signing Payment for the event.
-Between 30 days and 45 days prior to the event: DJ Persist is entitled to 75% of the amount for services.
-If the event is cancelled 30 days or less from the date of the event, DJ Persist, is entitled to 100% of the amount for services.

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Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2020