DJ Backspin Entertainment’s Freddy Fontaine Knows How to Get the Party Started
Freddy Fontaine, owner of DJ Backspin Entertainment, loves to bring his musical expertise to the dance floor.
Freddy Fontaine comes from a family that’s big on music—two of his cousins are music producers, and he used to love playing with his dad’s turntable as a kid. Fast-forward a few decades, and Fontaine now has 24 years of experience as a DJ in the Boston area. But his gigs aren’t confined to the city—he travels all over New England and the world providing the soundtrack to life’s celebrations. “I really enjoy creating the moments on the dance floor for my guests or clients,” Fontaine says. “It’s just about bringing the experience of my musical tastes and projecting it out to a crowd to make them happy.”
When is a good time to hire a DJ during the planning process?
I would say given the pandemic, it’s in everyone’s best interest to do it about a year and a half, two years out, the way things are going now. Because people that were booked last year are [rescheduling their weddings and] overlapping into this year.
How should a couple determine whether a live band or DJ is the best fit for their wedding?
Bands are always a great option. The cool thing with DJing is that you’re getting the real effect from the artists, so the DJ’s curating a nice playlist of songs to play throughout the night. Based off the clients’ tastes in music and the DJ’s skills, he can make sure everyone has a good time.
How do you curate playlists for a wedding or event?
It’s good to know your clients [and] what their musical tastes are. We also get special requests and “do not plays,” and then they leave a lot of it to me, as a professional, to read the crowd…. One thing I love doing is watching the energy and then [using] my skills to create a fun time on the dance floor.
How do you stay engaged with the dance floor?
It’s really about just making sure the music is capturing everybody. I try to keep the environment fun throughout the whole night. So musically, I try to make sure I’m putting on some good Motown hits, some soul, some funk [and] R&B while folks are eating dinner, and then when it’s time to get the dance floor going, I usually like to make sure that I give a good up-tempo start for the night. And then I watch from there and engage my skills and what I think is appropriate for the time.
Why is music an important part of a wedding?
Music, it’s universal. You basically have to understand people from all different walks, young to old. They all enjoy music, and it’s a very important piece to make sure everyone’s excited, having fun, and enjoying each other’s time.
What’s the process for preparing for a wedding?
I usually [spend] about a good year with my clients….dealing with formalities, requested songs for special dances, and also making sure I just customize nice crates, as we would say, or playlists of music to execute the night of. [Then at the venue,] we get there in a timely manner to set up properly, do our sound checks and light checks, and deal with the catering companies, videographers, and photographers to make sure everyone’s keeping a good timeline of events and the night goes smoothly.
Are there any particular songs that a couple should avoid playing at their wedding?
I think that most clients avoid the “Chicken Dance.” Some of those types of songs, some people do like—you know, the “Cha Cha Slide” or the “Cupid Shuffle.” But the “Chicken Dance” has always been the one where people say “Oh, we do not want that in our wedding.”
What’s a song guaranteed to get people on the dance floor?
You can never go wrong with the old-school classic “Shout” from the Isley Brothers. That’s always a popular hit when you want to get the night picked up. Or something like “Danza Kuduro” from Don Omar; it’s an up-tempo, fast-paced, fun Latin song that everyone knows. When people hear it, they get
up and dance.
Need song ideas for your first dance? Here are some of Freddy Fontaine’s top picks.
For Country Lovers
“My Wish” by Rascall Flatts. I think that it really touches on the couple, as far as their journey together, and it creates the moment for them to enjoy each other’s time when they’re doing their first dance.
For R&B Buffs
Snoh Aalegra’s “Find Someone Like You” is a very smooth, loving song, definitely resonating into a couple and their love for each other.
For Rock Devotees
“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. People in their fifties and sixties and people in their twenties will all know it. It’s a good slow song that everyone enjoys.
For Pop Fans
Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” is a big popular hit. It’s just naturally all around a good song.
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