When the dust settled at the Lyric on Friday night and all the judges had cast their votes, Phillip Vanderleest (a.k.a. DJ GLOtron) stood alone center stage, with a thousand dollar prize check in his hands and a smile on his face that lit up the entire club. He just won the Red Bull Thre3Style University competition, beating out four other quality DJs. It was a great battle, and he faced some pretty stiff competition from the likes of Ice Cream Social, DJ Phresh Prince, Kreature, and DJ Ben Murray. Yet in the end DJ GLOtron won the prize money and a trip to Panama City to DJ at Club La Vela. After pulling him away from the dozens of well wishers, and letting him calm down a bit, I sat down with DJ GLOtron to see what the moment meant to him.
Me: What does it feel like to win the Red Bull Thre3Style University Competition?
DJ GLOtron: I never would have thought that I would be involved with Red Bull and win a DJ competition. It surprised me. I am humble man. You know it has not set in yet.
How did you feel leading up to the event tonight?
I was so nervous today. This is the most nervous I have been in my entire life. I have never tried so hard to win something. Everyone was like just get up there and do your thing and it will all pan out. And that is what I did. It was smooth enough and fun enough and I guess the judges liked what I played.
There was a point during your 15 minute set where you mixed in the theme song from “Reading Rainbow”. Where did you the idea to use that particular song come from?
I started digging for fun things from my childhood… The stuff I grew up on, that is my biggest connection to most of the music that I play… It is a crazy happenstance that it made its way in there… I just wanted to play all of the music I like and appreciate… I want people to enjoy it and dance to it.
What actual got you interested in being a DJ?
I spent all of money (as a child) going to shows and concerts and stuff. That is how I got interested in DJing. Going to concerts and enjoying live music.
I know you were also in the Red Bull DJ Master competition in Memphis, but what other DJ battles have you participated in during your career?
Yeah I did that one. We had one at Mississippi State too. It was put on by our fashion board. I won that one too, it was like two years ago. I guess you can call this one my first real competition.
What are you going to buy with the prize money?
Probably a DJ controller. The one I got right now is broken. I am probably going to buy a nice, shinny, DJ controller.
Other than DJing, what do you plan to do in Panama City?
Since I am going to be down there I might as well make a spring break trip out of it. Probably spend the week there. I have never been, but I hear it is quite the party.
CJ Hurt is a regular contributor for MemphiSport. Follow him @churtj09