Living

Spinning more than tunes

Roonie G is always in a hurry. The 38-year-old needs that energy to play with his young children, Skylar, 8 and Phoenix, 3. While he doesn't have to keep up with his oldest daughter, Ariel, 18, he will worry about her since she'll be going to school at Boston University.

As busy as he is during the week, it’s the weekends are when he really needs that energy — he spend weekends in airports waiting for planes to take him around the country for work.

DJ Roonie G is no longer just a Columbus nightclub disc jockey. He’s been working at Jet in the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the Saddle Ranch in Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles and the Mixx in the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, often all in one weekend. He was the DJ at Donald Trump’s birthday party last year. He opened for Diddy, Wyclef Jean and Kid Rock at this year’s Super Bowl pre-parties. Two weeks later, he was the DJ at some NBA All-Star parties.

And he’s not just spinning tunes. Oh, no. He’s blending audio with visual. That means he mixes video with the songs he’s remixed.

Visit his Web site, www.djroonieg.com and you can watch some of the videos that he’s compiled. These are put on his special Pioneer DVJ 1000 DVD turntables. And these videos can be projected on flat-screen televisions where people can either watch or dance along with the tunes.

“I’m still getting warmed up,” he said. “The world really doesn’t know what I’m doing. But you haven’t seen nothing yet.”

Born Roongsak Griffeth, he’s a military brat and grew on military installations in Hawaii, the Philippines and Japan until his father got orders for Georgia. His parents now live in Las Vegas, where Griffeth recently bought a house.

But Columbus is Griffeth’s home. “When I’m home, it grounds me,” he said. While he didn’t get his start as a DJ here, he spent 10 years at the Chickasaw Nightclub, where a whole generation of people danced to his tunes. In the 10 years since he left the Chickasaw, he’s opened and closed a dance club and is now doing what he loves — entertaining people. Now, DJ Times, an industry magazine, has named Griffeth one of the Top 100 disc jockeys in the country. “The DJ Times is the industry standard for us, and I’ve finally been nominated,” Griffeth said. “I feel really blessed.” Now, it’s up to America to determine who are the top 10 DJs in the country. Log onto http://www.djtimes.com/bestdj to cast you ballot. Anyone can vote. Each person is allowed to vote once. The contest ends Aug. 16. “I have a strong fan base here, because people know me from the Chickasaw,” he said. “If everyone in Columbus voted . . . I believe it would make a difference. I’m excited.” He’s really happy that he’s in the company of such stars as Grandmaster Flash, DJ Jazzy Jeff (Will Smith’s former partner), DJ AM and DJ Qbert. So if he wins, what does he get? “Bragging rights,” Griffeth said. What’s up next? Griffeth will have a regular DJ spot at the CityCenter complex the Mirage is building in Las Vegas. The center is set to be completed in 2009. Does this mean Griffeth will be leaving Columbus? Certainly not, he says. He hopes to one day open a restaurant in Columbus and pursue a career as a singer/songwriter. “I’m in a good position right now,” Griffeth said. “I’m having a lot of fun.”

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