Always Ahead of The Game
By Kandis Knight
Published in 4Seen Magazine
ATG (Ahead of the Game) Djs, is a Minneapolis-based brand receiving notoriety across the Midwest to the Dirty South. While living in Atlanta I was surprised to hear their buzz. Naturally when I landed in Minneapolis, interviewing ATG’s Dj Enferno, was on top of my to do list.
I sat down with Enferno in Uptown, a sky bar with the backdrop of Downtown Minneapolis made the perfect setting. Over seafood and drinks, I learned more about the Dj collective from Minneapolis that has the music industry knocking.
To die-hard fans, Dj “Dante” Enferno is more than a Dj, he is the pulse of the Mid-Western, urban nightlife. The accolades Enferno receives from fans as far away as Japan, are due to the appreciation people feel for his unique interpretation of music and culture.
Watching, Enferno work on a steamy Minneapolis Night at the Historic, First Avenue Night Club and you begin to see how he passionately creates art with music. Like connecting dots, he works the crowd like magic. His “kenetic” ability to “crowd rock” is impressive at least. If you have ever watched an artist paint a blank canvass you know what I mean. He connects with the crowd on a personal level and once he has you, he guides you through the music taking your mind, body and soul on a journey.
“People may not necessarily like a particular song but they will give it an ear because it is being played by a Dj in a club,” laughs the 29 year-old maestro. By day however, Enferno is a regular guy, holding down a cushy, corporate Computer Help Desk position at Nash Finch in Edina.
“The current state of hip-hop is wack, right now everybody is doing the same things. Roscoe Dash came out and he had his own style, now you got Roscoe copycats. Everything is so cookie cutter right now. However, on the good side, music is happier these days, in the late 90s to the 2000s music was not very happy, the vibe was not happy, I am glad dance music is back,” explains Enferno.
Full of passionate artist swagger, Enferno can best be described as a gifted and talented urban storyteller who has superstar written on his forehead in fluorescent paint. To the point, the President of Hittmenn DJs, an International record-breaking conglomerate is cosigning Enferno and his ATG Djs all the way from Atlanta.
“I am not a mainstream Dj I am an everything Dj, if you need something for your Bar Mitzvah, I got you,” Enferno insists.
Enferno’s advice to new artists is simple, “stop calling yourselves local, because you are putting yourself in a box. Why compete with people that are on the same level as you? You need to be competing with national artists.”
When he is not Djing, Enferno is the spokesman for the wildly popular youth movement, Hood Nerds, LLC, International, based in Minneapolis. Founded and Operated by teens, www.hoodnerds.com.