The Rain Nightclub at the Palms Casino Resort, where we kicked off the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Sunday night, is suitably glitzy.
Multiple levels opening up on a huge dance floor. 25,000 square feet of space. Ultra-sleek furnishings. Killer sound system.
So, we clearly needed a great DJ for our afterparty.
Fortunately, we have one on staff in Nick Stam, our director of technical marketing. That's because when not spreading the word about NVIDIA's technologies Nick has been leading a not-so-secret double life as a DJ.
'You have to be a pretty technically savvy, logical, and precise to work in technology,' Stam says. 'And you also have to be that way to be a DJ.'
Nick can spin a pretty good tale about how technology and music have evolved over the years. Nick got his start as a DJ in graduate school at the State University of New York at Binghamton in the late 1970s and early 1980s where he worked as a DJ at clubs such as Bachelor Button and the Power & Light Company while studying computer science.
Back then he relied on a trio of Technics Mk1200 turntables to dish up tunes such as 'Born To Be Alive,' by Patrick Hernandez,' 'You Make Me Feel Mighty Real,' by Sylvester, 'High On Your Love,' By Debbie Jacobs, and 'Put Your Body In It,' by Stephanie Mills.
Now Stam's workhorse is an Alienware M17X equipped with NVIDIA 580M GPU and a Denon DN-MC6000 mixer. He'll also use Mackie SRS450 self-powered speakers at most gigs, and will occasionally bring out his JBL JRX118S subwoofer (time-of-day and sound ordinances permitting).
His go-to cuts now include Swedish House Mafia's 'Don't You Worry Child,' along with tunes from Hardwell, Afrojack, Dada Life, DJ Chuckie, and Tiësto. 'I'm into trance, progressive house, electro, electro house,' Nick says. 'I love all that stuff!'
Quite a change, to say the least. And it's one Nick can appreciate better than anyone. After graduate school, Stam went to work in the technology industry before picking up DJ'ing again as a hobby in the late 1990s. He started out with small parties, for friends. More than 70 gigs later, his usual fee hasn't changed. 'I tell people they'll have to pay me in two good bottles of cabernet,' Nick says. 'One to enjoy at the party and one for later.'
He'll waive that fee for NVIDIA, Stam quips, in exchange for a couple bottles of Sierra Nevada.
Photo credit: Sean Cleveland