Meet the man behind the music at Faurot Field
Columbia’s own DJ Beatz will be a game-changer on game days.
Sep. 01, 2015
Tyrone Williams listened to Michael Jackson often when he first received a CD player in seventh grade.
Williams — better known as DJ Beatz — has resided in Columbia since he was six years old. For the graduate of Hickman High School and former drummer for the Mid-Missouri High Steppers, listening to that first CD player was only the beginning of DJ Beatz’s music journey.
Two weeks ago, the Missouri athletic department announced that Faurot Field would host a DJ at every home football game. In the works for months, if not years, DJ Beatz was selected to handle the turntables.
He said it’s been a long time coming, but that he “relishes the opportunity.”
“I’ve been a DJ since 2001, and I’d say I’ve been professional since 2003,” DJ Beatz said. “After producing a new album for fellow Missourian Nic Danger and doing a series of commercials and songs with him, we crossed paths with the content marketing team for GaryPinkel.com.”
Following a series of meetings that Williams said involved “many cool ideas,” the thought of Missouri having a DJ on gamedays came up.
With a resume that boasts opening acts for the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Wiz Khalifa, along with a number of productions including the “Gary Pinkel Dance” video, DJ Beatz fit the bill.
“We had a meeting about a related project, and after completing that, we started coming up with some cool ideas,” DJ Beatz said. “One of which was a DJ for football. And after a long back-and-forth process of making sure everything was right, it got approved and I got the DJ gig.”
Having gone through many-a-tough-time after his dad left two years after moving to Columbia, DJ Beatz made a commitment to music. Now, that commitment has brought him below the Rock M each and every Saturday.
At a young age, with that CD player, his connection with music was born. By middle school and high school, that connection dawned on him even more.
“I started out going to house parties and two things would be true: either they’d have no DJ or someone who was controlling the music didn’t know people,” DJ Beatz said. “I love a great party, but it wasn't happening. So I would literally volunteer to take control the music and it would change the whole mood of the party.”
But if it wasn’t for a beat-producing contest on one summer day prior to DJ Beatz turning professional, this opportunity wouldn’t be here.
Walking past J.W. Blind Boone Center in 2001, the center that led to his becoming of a drummer with the highsteppers, he glanced at a sign that advertised a beat-making contest.
He’d never produced before, but that day seemed different.
“Normally I’d keep walking, but that day I decided to go in and try,” he said. “I ended up winning the contest and I received a new computer but I donated it back because I had just bought one the week before.
“After that contest, I never looked back and my skills have escalated tremendously,” he said.
From house parties to Faurot Field, DJ Beatz looks to liven the game-day experience in the best way he knows how and the players respect that.
“The DJ is awesome; he just gives us motivation and a great feel every time he’s here for our practice,” redshirt freshman quarterback Marvin Zanders said. “When he plays ‘March Madness’ by Future, I’m like ‘aw yeah’ and we go by him and tell him what to play and he really hears us so it’s pretty awesome.”
Observing Missouri’s second scrimmage weeks ago, an abundance of media in the Faurot pressbox sat sweltering as the air-conditioner seemed to be taking an off day. As a university representative opened the windows and the media rejoiced, DJ Beatz — who has been at practice daily mixing beats on his silver turntables — played a familiar song.
Soon enough, “whips” and “nae naes” took over the press box conversation. And as 70,000 fans file into Faurot Field, expect Silento’s famed song to inspire one Missouri fanbase.
What else will DJ Beatz play on opening day and how much will it interfere with the band’s performances?
DJ Beatz said he’s second to the band and he understands that, but a collaboration between the two may be on the docket.
“I’m friends with Nelly’s producer, who is friends with the St. Louis Rams’ DJ, DJ Pru,” said DJ Beatz in an interview with Rock M Nation. “He gave me a rundown of what he does and I got to ask him a lot of questions, DJ to DJ, so I think that’ll help a lot.”
"For the first couple games, I’ll really be watching how people react. What works? What can I zone in on? I want to learn that first so I can double-down the next time and raise the level."
Come Sept. 5, as Michael Jackson would say, expect whatever DJ Beatz plays to enhance the “thriller, thriller” opening night.