triad dj profile

by Ryan Snyder


DJ Handle: Redstar

What it means: I’ve had a lot of names over the years. I kept trying to reinvent myself as I found my sound. I think Redstar stuck because for most of my life I felt a connection to Mars (when I was little I wanted to be a Martian). It’s close, may have had life similar to our beginnings here, and I’m an Aries (if you believe in the Zodiac). These days, I wear the star on my arm to symbolize five things (each point of the star): 1. Family (tribe) 2. Community 3. Faith 4. Love 5. Unity.

Real name: Nathan Ahmad Emmanuel Smith

What I play: Predominantly house music, but I also do Top 40 and retro when the occasion calls for it. Most recently I’ve been experimenting with dubstep and breakbeats because I love the complexity and I love to get people dancing to heavy basslines.

Catch me at: Club Orion’s, Brewski’s Tavern, la Carreta in Mocksville (monthly Retro Patio Party)

Upcoming shows: Aug. 7 at Timeout in Kernersville and Aug. 13 at Club Orion’s in Greensboro.

Got in the game: I got serious in 2000.

Why I do it: I was already an event promoter and I knew the dance floor well. So, I became a DJ to better understand that part of club culture also and to be a part of spreading the love that dance music has brought to my life.

Influences: Steve Lawler is my hero.

First pro gig: FreakueNCy 533 (formerly Pablo’s on Trade Street) in Winston- Salem. It was an underground weekly dance party that lasted about a year.

Studio work: I’ve been producing mostly mashup tracks lately and some internet radio programming/podcasts.

Favorite technique: Beat mixing and mashup.

Signature mix: A mashup actually, “Things Are Getting Better I Said.” It’s the Beatles remixed and blended with some house beats. I had a lot of fun with it.

Personal playlist: Everything… yes, country too.

Favorite albums: Tranceport mixed by Paul Oakenfold (1998), Northern Exposure II: East Coast mixed by Sasha & John Digweed (1997), This is Jungle Sky Vol. 2 mixed by Carlos Slinger (1996), Graceland by Paul Simon (1986).

My gear: Currently working with a Numark Total Control digital controller. I started with vinyl, but you gotta keep up with the technology. It’s compact and really useful for commercial work. I’ll play on anything as long as music fills the air!

Website: Solo:; Rhythm N Love:

I’d like to add: Everything in creation is musical and has a rhythm. Music has the power to open our hearts. Don’t limit yourself to one style or be afraid of not fitting in to a “scene.” The next time you’re dancing with someone or singing along in a bar look at the people around you and notice how many different kinds people are doing the exact same thing as you.