Meet the DJ – Marcel Gonzalez
Marcel Gonzalez, owner and DJ of First Choice DJ and Entertainment in Avocado Hills, California, feels very fortunate to be doing something he loves to do for the last 26 years. He got his start DJing in 1983 as an extension of his mother’s bridal shop business in the San Gabriel Valley, with a goal of providing his clients with a variety of music genres to choose from, and a top-notch selection within those genres. Today, he is one of the most sought-after DJ’s in the greater Los Angeles area, having done events from San Diego to Santa Barbara.
It is, in fact, his love of different music genres that got Marcel interested in becoming a DJ, especially the different types of Latin music. Marcel says that the lack of variety within the Latin playlists from other DJ’s is one of the reasons he became a DJ. “Whenever my family or friends hosted parties and a DJ would perform, we would request Latin/Spanish music to listen or dance to, and the DJ’s would only have two choices: La Bamba or Tequila,” Marcel says. As someone who is of Cuban/Puerto Rican heritage, Marcel knows that recognizing the differences in Latin music – which cultures like which styles and when certain music should be played – is important.
When clients book Marcel’s DJ services, they can be certain they are getting his full attention. Marcel describes himself as being professional, organized and on time. “I only book one event per day,” he says. “Once I have a signed contract for that day, I do not entertain other offers. This allows me to deliver service that is beyond my client’s expectations. My job is to make the event stress free and more fabulous than my clients could have imagined.”
Marcel’s dedication to superior client service is the result of a bad experience with a photographer on his own wedding day. “From that day onward, I promised myself to always keep my word and always fulfill my clients’ wishes to make their special day unforgettable.”
As a result of his professionalism, most of Marcel’s business is through word of mouth and returning clients, and he says because of this, he has never found the need to advertise. “That tells me I am doing this for the right reasons,” he says. “No games or package deals here, just great music that will keep the dance floor packed.” To ensure he has the highest quality music that will keep people on the dance floor, Marcel uses a fully digitized sound system with state-of-the-art equipment, including American DJ lighting, for his gigs. His gear also includes a MacBook computer, Serato software, Pioneer CD players, JBL speakers, QSC amplifiers and Shure cordless microphones.
While Marcel’s business is primarily as a DJ, he doesn’t limit himself to spinning tunes that keep the dance floor full. He does everything he can to create a memorable experience for the client’s special day, using his 20+ years of contacts to help them choose professional photographers, videographers and printers to offer a complete and coordinated event service. When it comes to choosing the music for the wedding, he works with his clients to create a customized playlist that brings out their music personalities. He also develops an itinerary of events for the wedding to help the event flow smoothly. “I then can manage the reception, remove those details and stress, and place them on me to ensure your desires come true,” he says.
After 26 years in the business, Marcel has had plenty of memorable events but the recent wedding of Poison drummer Rikki Rockett and musician Melanie Martel stands out from the rest. “This wedding was unique because they are both in the music business and wanted the wedding to be elegant, but free-flowing enough to have their live jam session,” Marcel recalls. “During the evening their friends came up and played a few songs. I was not only the DJ but the Coordinator and MC for the night.”
With all the weddings, Sweet 16’s and Quinceañeras he has done over the years, Marcel says he is most proud of “knowing I have played such an important role in making clients’ wedding day dreams come true. Doing something I love to do and being able to share it with so many people has brought a special fulfillment in my life!”