Editor’s Note: This article originally ran on May 28, 2010.
Editor’s Note: This article originally ran on May 28, 2010. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are tapping into our archives more, particularly for arts and sports. This special section will return to its regular schedule when the crisis concludes.
By Seamus Smyth
For the seventh year in a row, the Spruce Grove DJ group, “Hear…by request” were invited to entertain at the 2010 Juno Music Awards. Spruce Grove Chamber of Commerce President, Norm Shaw, who runs “Hear…by request,” was joined by one of the newest members of the team, his 12-year-old son Keanan, aka DJ K. DJ K performed solo for 30 minutes for a private Much Music Red Carpet Party and then was joined by Edmonton group Stereos for a 30-minute tag-team finale. The Shaws both agreed that Stereos have not let their sudden rush to fame affect them and that they were humble and kind before and after the joint performance.
“All Canadian musicians seem to be kind and respectful. I remember working with Nickleback before they hit it big and Chad Kroeger was the nicest guy,” said Norm Shaw. Norm has been deejaying since he was 13 years old but began taking the business seriously when he moved back to Edmonton in 1988. The scene was beginning to grow and slowly becoming very professional. “Once deejays had their creativity instilled and they became confident, they began doing things like bringing in their own lighting,” said Shaw. Shaw has seen the evolution of deejaying and is proud to see it finally being recognized as a legitimate form of music. Shaw who has the rare skill of incorporating hypnosis into his sets, says it aids in having the audience’s undivided attention. The proud father of four no longer has time for the bar scene, but instead focuses on events such as weddings.
“I am working a 60th wedding anniversary coming up, which means a crowd of 60 to 90-year-olds. I have the challenge of making everyone happy, but when people come up to you after and say ‘that was awesome,’ it’s extremely gratifying,” said Shaw.
Keanan, 12, who attends Ecole Broxton in Spruce Grove has already played two shows for his school and is scheduled to play at the SouthWood Community League in Mill Woods on May 28 from 7-10 p.m. Keanan’s enrollment in a French immersion school has aided him in diversifying his presentation, giving him the ability to DJ in French and English. Keanan hopes to fill the void left by Patrick Mercier, who retired two years ago, who used to DJ for French-language functions that “Hear…by request,” was hired for.
Norm says that the company hopes to continue being the number one DJ company in Canada and would love to be invited back to the Juno’s for the eighth year in a row. The 2011 Juno’s will be held in Toronto, which happens to be Norm’s former home, and he would like nothing more than to come back and entertain his old friends at the biggest music awards ceremony in Canada. As for Keanan, his father is confident in his son’s blossoming talent.
“In 2009 Keanan was a finalist for rookie of the year and he is 12 years old. Not too bad, considering the winner was 30-years-old.”
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