Derrick Dansby is a man that brings music to life.
In fact, you’ve probably attended an gathering, wedding or an athletic event that he’s orchestrated, but never knew the man behind the melody. And for nearly 25 years, he’s rocked the crowds on stages small and large in Northwest Arkansas. “I’m just a guy from Arkansas. That’s a badge of honor to me, but to other people, you’re a country boy. You don’t know nothing about mixing any records.” says Dansby.
Dansby, who many know as “DJ Derrick” is Northwest Arkansas’ — King of Scratch. It’s an art form — some have mastered. His talents are in constant demand, but his rise to popularity began with humble beginnings. Dansby says his road to success, “It all happened in steps. This led to this, led to this, led to this.”
Dansby arrived to the University of Arkansas in 1995, playing at parties and social outings. His skills caught the ear of a local bar owner, who asked Dansby to perform at his establishment. “Once I did that. The word got out and that place was jumping. And you’re talking about every week.. it was a line down the street. That was the first place on Dickson Street to do that. So, whenever you see DJ’s that’s on Dickson doing stuff, I started that.” says Dansby.
This trendsetting moment led to opportunities at bigger venues. In 2013, Dansby was invited to deejay the annual Red-White scrimmage basketball game and today, has continued that role at every home game, for five different sports. Dansby says, “I had no idea that Red-White game would lead to all basketball games, would lead to gymnastics meets, would lead to track, football. There’s no way I could have saw that.”
And the gigs would continue. In the past two years, Dansby has dee-jayed both SEC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. And this year, he was the Maestro of Music at the SEC baseball tourney. “To represent Arkansas. To represent the school you came from, on such a big level with that many people respecting, loving what you do and knowing…and just like they said that I was from Arkansas at the tournament.”
Dansby also displayed his talents at the Walmart shareholders meeting in June and was the wedding DJ for former Miss America, Savvy Shields. As for what’s next? Now at 41, he’s says his days of spinning are just getting started. “Every time that I think that you think that it’s over, it just keeps getting bigger. My name keeps getting more and more popular. I don’t know why. I can’t explain it, but it just happens that way.”