KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - After three preliminary rounds of head-scratching, turntable competition in the Kaiserslautern Military Community, the stage was set at the Kazabra Club for three of KMC's top DJs to "battle" one last time Feb. 1.
Capt. Elvis Oyola, an Airman with the 435th Contingency Response Group and a native of Bronx, N.Y., out-"spun" his competition to win the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Morale, Welfare and Recreation-sponsored "Battle of the DJs" event.
"My tour in Germany comes to an end in March, and this is the way I wanted to leave," said Oyola, who has been stationed here since 2011. "I wanted to see, amongst my peers in the military, what I could do."
Going by the name of "DJ Ego," Oyola had 15 minutes to showcase his DJ skills before a 3-judge panel. His competitors that night were Spc. Jordin Banks from the 16th Sustainment Brigade and Staff Sgt. Rolando Demen from the Darmstadt, Germany-based 402nd Intelligence Squadron. The judges evaluated the DJs on their music originality, stage presence, audience response, transitions and technical ability.
"You have to be able to flip-up what you're doing, be flexible and DJ for all kinds of crowds," said Oyola, who has been sharing his love of music at private parties and clubs, primarily as a hip-hop DJ, since taking up the turntables at the age of 18, the year he received his first Pioneer sound system and some various pieces of DJ equipment.
The Kazabra Club, with its old barn wood flooring ideal for line dancing and mechanical rodeo bull, typically draws a country crowd, so Oyola decided to mix a little twang into his set. At one moment, he even mashed up Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" with a Busta Rhymes instrumental.
"I knew that (song) would appease to what I do as a hip-hop DJ and match the venue," he said.
For his style and flow, Oyola was named the night's top DJ and took home a $500 cash prize.