We are so blessed at MMA to be working with a variety of talented individuals and we’d like to take this time have you get to know the multi-talented Freddy Ovalle just a bit better.
In case you haven’t been to one of our Hotspot socials, you’ll notice the delicious sounds are coming from man on the virtual decks, Mr. Freddy “Freddy Fresh” Ovalle himself. Not only does he teach some awesome classes at MMA, he’s also fast becoming one of the finest DJ’s playing Latin dance music in Chicago. We asked Freddy a few questions and also asked for him to share some of his favorite Salsa/Mambo songs he plays to get his crowds moving, check it out.
What prompted you to start Djing?
One night, a DJ friend of mine invited me to be a guest DJ. It kind of caught me off guard, because it was not something that I was looking to get into. I then started DJing the MMA Footrise nights on Wednesdays. I would get a lot of compliments on my sets at Footrise, which was GREAT!
More than anything the words of encouragement from Del Dominguez and Laura Flores from MMA was the big reason why I decided to do it. I also had a lot of support from other dancers and friends in the dance community.
How does being a dancer first affect your choices in the music you play?
Aw man! Great question. First and foremost, I love music and dancing equally the same. As a dancer, I realize that you have to make that connection with the music. Every song is different, so I have the mindset that I will dance every song differently as well. Let the music tell me how to dance. I think about this as I’m selecting music to play, being mindful of the length of the songs and speeds. I want to see people dancing and grooving!
Another huge advantage that I have is being able to read the crowd from a dancer’s perspective. I usually let the crowd dictate what I should play next. There are lots of times, that I have song queued and ready to play, but I’ll look up and next thing you know I’m quickly changing the next song.
Is there anything you hope to accomplish with your DJing skills?
I’ve been ask this question several times by other people. I actually DJ’d (house music), while I was in high school. Local house parties, some weddings and cotillions. I still remember my dad giving me a ride to my first gig. J As a DJ, I think I was very talented then, but didn’t see it to completion. Honestly, I just want to be known as a DJ that plays great music. It doesn’t matter if I’m playing for 10 people or 100. I’m going to make sure they hear great music.
What’s your favorite, unexpected thing about DJing?
My favorite thing about DJing is seeing the dancers enjoy the music I’m playing. I absolutely love music and I’m glad that I can share that experience.
Unexpected, how about I give you two? I was not expecting to be invited as a guest DJ to other venues (Alhambra, Dylan’s, Taberna, Entre). This has been a great surprise! I appreciate that other DJs recognize the talent that I have. Also, I had a dancer chase me down at a social. He was at Alhambra the night I DJ’d and recorded some of the songs from my set. He wanted to know if I can give him the names. I guess Shazam didn’t work for him. LOL!
Where can people hear you play?
MMA HotSpot socials! The next one is February 27th, so mark it on your calendars! Insipiracion Dance Company monthly socials, these typically are the last Friday of the month. Also, Sunday, February 1st, I’ll be guest DJ at the DJ Carlos Guate social at Entre’.
Freddy’s recommended songs for you to jam to:
El Musico – Ray Olan Y su Sason
Vamos a Gozar – Joey Aponte
el sabor del tamarindo – pachapo y el supertumbao
Dilema – Johnny Ventura y Su Combo
rompelo – ray perez y los dementes
Come check out Freddy play at our next Hotspot social on Friday, February 27th and feel free to drop in to his awesome dance classes where he shows you all of his great moves!
Thanks Freddy, we love you!