This week on Lazzat Photography Vendor Spotlight we sat down with the Pensacola DJ and Entertainment services, Matt Powell of Powell Entertainment. We learned so much from our interview with Matt and hope that you do too!
(Lazzat ) Hi, this is Lazzat with Lazzat Photography and for our next vendor Spotlight allow me to introduce you to Matt with Powell entertainment.
Tell me a little bit about you a business. How did it all start?
I’ve been in the entertainment business my entire life, my first job at the age of 13 was being a DJ at the skating rink, then I was a DJ at all parties and High School I was kind of a party planner, then after the high school I was in a live band for 8 years.
What did you play?
Drums. And I DJ-ed the whole time. I lived in Atlanta, a big city with a lot of opportunities. I was either playing in a live band or DJ-ing in clubs every night. As I got older I saw the wedding business was a good opportunity in the DJ world. I started a wedding business up there, and then it started picking up, became successful. I got headhunted from Princess Cruise Lines. They like a DJ type of personality, so they found me and hired me on the spot as a cruise director. So I put my Atlanta business on hold and ended up working for the cruise line for 4 years, traveled the whole world as an entertainment director. After that I decided I couldn’t live in a big city after I have been living on a cruise ship for so long, moved to Pensacola in 2010 and found a cruise ship on land, Seville quarter downtown, it’s pretty much a cruise ship on land.
It’s a beautiful place!
It is. It’s open 21 hours a day, it has seven different rooms, and it is a lot like a cruise ship, so I did that for 6 years. And after that, I felt it was time to open up my own business again so two and a half years ago I started Powell Entertainment and it’s been amazing. Now I have a good crew I have a nice building, nice office, and a ton of really good equipment.
I know now you are offering a lot more than DJ Services. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
We are not just a DJ company, which most in town are, we are a one-stop shop for entertainment, that’s why I named it Powell Entertainment instead of Powell DJ. We are full on lighting decor service, which has become extremely popular at weddings, doing more lighting and less other intricate things, string lighting, bistro lighting, cafe lighting.
How many color options do you offer in your uplighting or any lighting options?
Everything we buy is the highest most expensive stuff, and it’s expensive for a reason. Our lights can be pretty much any color in the world. It’s pretty amazing! I can actually meet with a bride and she can bring a piece of fabric and we can color match the lighting to match bridesmaids dresses, flowers. That’s why we invest in nice lights so we can fine-tune and get the exact color.
That’s fantastic! Now, how early should brides book you?
What’s happening is we are getting booked out a year to a year and a half now. But if I am booked, there is still a chance you can get one of my other two DJs which all have 5-star reviews.
Do you offer wedding collections for your brides and grooms let’s say if somebody wants not only your DJ services but also monogramming and maybe some uplighting, you know, how do your wedding collections look like and do you work with a couple’s budget?
Yeah so what we do since if you’re already booked us as your DJ we’ve kind of made it to where it’s an advantage to just keep going with our other services and they’re called add-ons so all these add-ons are much cheaper than they would be if you went to somewhere else and booked them because we’re already gonna be at your wedding or event anyway so these services are about cut in half of what we are offering these services for if we were not DJing your wedding. So we have our main DJ package which automatically comes with one free add-on so you get to look at all our options whether it’s uplighting, bistro lighting, monogram, dance floor you automatically get one of those.
Thanks so cool, at no additional charge.
No charge, and then you can keep adding on from there if you like So sometimes the price might seem a little high at first until you realize it comes with something extra.
What’s the average price that Brides pay for your services
It starts at 1500 and that gets your main DJ package, MC, sound equipment, all the quality that we promise, including all the experience. You’re getting all that for 1500 dollars including the free add-on. So that package alone is a really good deal just because of all that and then if you just add-on one or two more add-ons then you end up around the $2,000 which most people do it’s pretty much everything you need. You can have the cafe bistro lighting and up-lighting and just extremely experienced DJ that combination alone is probably the most popular.
So when it comes to recommending specific games or specific songs for your couples, how deeply involved are you in those recommendations?
As soon as we’re booked we send them a questionnaire and that questionnaire has everything that I need to know on that day, including song choices, and I tell them exactly which songs that I absolutely need to know and besides that they could say “you’re a DJ this is where we hired you, you make this party fun, play whatever you want”. That’s actually our kind of recommended option, but then when it comes down to those special song choices some people know exactly what they want they know if they want to dance to their new husband for the first dance and exactly what they want to dance to their mom to and some people have no idea. So when they have no idea I have two options – one you come in we’ll sit down and talk about it, or two I have a link on my website that lists every single special moment in the wedding, and then 50 songs that work for that moment so there’s a tool on the website that can help with that.
So you provide them the guide that will help them make a decision to choose the song or let you choose for them.
Yes. And even on the questionnaire, it’ll say – I have all the genres you can pick all the kinds of genres you like, what type of music you just click it and then there’s that button that just says “you’re the pro, stop asking so many questions, go DJ.”
Sometimes we can get that too. Some of the Brides provide us with the list of specific images they want from the wedding and sometimes they say “Lazzat you are the pro! I trust you, I trust your vision and we just follow you.”
Yeah, and both options are fine. Sometimes they’ll send me a complete list of songs what they want and then I just, instead of hitting play on a playlist, I take that list and professionally DJ it. Some of these songs on this list are not good for the end of the night but are perfect for dinner. You know these songs are perfect for the end of the night, so even if you give me a whole list of songs, you don’t feel like, it’s just a DJ hitting play on the playlist because I still take all those songs and just play them the way I think they should be played.
My style of DJing – I typically go throughout through the decades 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s near back down to 60s 70s 80s and then I start seeing what’s happening and then I’ll start to see as soon as I play a few older songs and I got the older people excited and I start to see the young people getting bored I’m pulling them right back with something new and they’re like “oh okay” and then as soon as I see the older people getting bored of their music and I start to see them walk away, then I play their songs and they come back.
How early do you arrive to set up everything?
Well, our weddings are different being some involved with lighting and things like that, so there are some weddings where we’re just a DJ. I always get there as early as possible and then come back later, I’m not a last-minute setup at all. If they have access to the venue at 10 a.m. and their wedding isn’t until 5:00, we’re there at 10 or 11 to get everything set up, that way there’s room for error. If anything’s wrong or messed up we have all that extra time to fix it.
Any fun stories from previous events and weddings, something that stands out in your memory?
There was a Bride that had just finished getting ready, full hair, full makeup, full dress, walks out of the door, she’s ready to go take their first pictures, the ceremony is still hours away and we were walking up the stairs. For some reason, it was a big second-floor venue but 15-foot windows overlooking the city of Atlanta. So she’s walking up the stairs and I just happened to be right behind her and then right in front of her was someone carrying a 5-gallon urn of sweet tea. Southern very sweet tea and he’s walking, she’s walking, and I’m walking. I just happened to be behind her, I don’t even know why I hadn’t been with her, she’d been getting ready, and all of a sudden he trips and the entire five gallons of tea goes backward right on top of her! Full 5-gallons of sweet tea, I mean that’s the thickest stickiest nastiest thing you can get poured on you!
Oh my gosh!
Yeah, my best advice that I can give and this is 100% true guarantee every single time. Every time I have a bride that has that mentality and decides to relax and just lets it go and enjoy it and let all the professionals do their job and let them be pros, they always have the most fun wedding, the best weddings, it always turns out to be so much fun! I know immediately, I could be the best DJ in the world, but if I have a Bride, or a Groom or a Mom that is just worried about everything it starts a snowball and then it makes other people worried and then it makes the vendors anxious and then they start messing up, and then it makes the family anxious and then they start you know. But the ones that just relax they have the best weddings!
What are in the plans, in the works, for Powell Entertainment in the next six months or in the upcoming year, what are you guys planning?
So we’re always evolving and we’re always looking into the newest and best equipment and the newest technology, keeping up with the generation. For example, we just purchased yesterday these brand new bracelets, we’re the first ones to own them and they’re not even out yet! They’re LED bracelets that I control from my computer so the entire dancefloor can have these bracelets on and I control the lighting on them. So everyone in the crowd is a part of the light show. So I decided to invest in that because glow sticks are really popular, like once it gets to the fun part, but this is like the new modern version of the glow stick but a lot cooler and we’re really excited about that. So that’s just an example of how we’re constantly getting the newest, hottest equipment and we’re expanding. We just went to Atlanta and bought a thousand yards of drape and fabric, so we’re expanding our drape and fabric world. We’re constantly buying new lights, just ordered 60 new uplights, they’re also the newest technology. We’re never comfortable sitting with what we have because there’s always something new and exciting,so we’re an evolving company and an excited company and all of that shows that day.
How do Brides and Grooms find you?
Okay, so there are a few ways to find us. Our website powellentertain.com is extremely informative about our packages and pricing and all these add-ons that we discussed. Almost every question you could have should be on that website, and once you look through the website you can contact us right through the website. And then if you want to see more pictures you can go to our Facebook which is also linked to the website. So if you go to Facebook, type in Powell Entertainment and we’ll pop up and you can message us through there. You can also find us on Instagram and our phone number is on all of those. You can call us anytime and if we don’t answer just leave a message.
That is awesome. Thank you so much for opening your doors for our Vendor Spotlight interview, we truly enjoyed listening to all your stories and about your services and the products and I cannot wait to start working with you.
Great, and I feel the same about you and good luck with the photography and it’s gonna be fun.
Yes, it will be.
Can’t wait to do a wedding with you!