Manuel Barba

central coast wedding dj manuel baraba posing for picture

Cen­tral Coast Wed­ding DJ Manuel Barba is the man behind the music! Manuel comes from a ser­vice back­ground work­ing with fam­i­lies and chil­dren in need. It makes sense that he has a strong foun­da­tion of ser­vice as for what he does musi­cally on a couple’s wed­ding day. He has been DJ-ing night club style for years around San Luis Obispo and you can find him at local restau­rants and bars dur­ing the week play­ing amaz­ing tunes. If you’re look­ing for some­one who can play a wide vari­ety of music, keep the dance floor hop­ing, and have an amaz­ing atti­tude while doing it; Manuel is your man!

How did you get started in doing what you do? I’ve been a an avid col­lec­tor of vinyl records for the last 15 years, amass­ing a huge multi genre col­lec­tion rang­ing from Jazz to funk/soul, Hip and inter­na­tional. Hav­ing grown up in a fam­ily where music is impor­tant, I have always made music an inte­gral part of my life. My pas­sion for music inspires me to share with my com­mu­nity and for many years I was host of the Night Train radio show on pub­lic radio KCBX, as well as a con­cert pro­mo­tor, pro­mot­ing an eclec­tic range of live shows in San Luis Obispo. Over the last 5 years, in addi­tion to being a club DJ, I have com­mit­ted my craft to work­ing with Brides and Grooms to cre­ate a lush and tai­lored musi­cal land­scape for their weddings.

Do you con­sider what you do as an art form? (if so… explain) My craft of DJing and tai­lor­ing my work to meet the spe­cific tastes of my client’s is some­thing I hold very dear. DJing for me is a del­i­cate bal­ance of style and range, and as a result I absolutely con­sider it an art. As with any cre­ative outlet,DJing requires a tremen­dous amount of focus, flex­i­bil­ity and under­stand­ing of what makes peo­ple happy in that moment. My mis­sion state­ment when it comes to DJing is sim­ple, I play to please my audi­ence and clients, not myself. What I’ve learned in my 10 years of DJ expe­ri­ence is that if the audi­ence is happy…so am I.

Who or what con­tin­ues to inspires you? My undy­ing pas­sion for music con­tin­ues to push me to explore new and emerg­ing artists, styles and gen­res, while mak­ing every attempt to see as many live shows as pos­si­ble. The com­plex­ity and depth of music world­wide is what inspires to seek out and explore new things. As with many aspects of this world, the more you push your­self to seek, the more you’ll find. Addi­tion­ally, with respect to my craft as a DJ, danc­ing, happy peo­ple con­tin­ues to be my great­est motivator.

What makes your busi­ness unique? Hav­ing been mostly word of mouth for the last 5 years, I have adopted a phi­los­o­phy of devel­op­ing close and col­lab­o­ra­tive rela­tion­ships with the Brides and Grooms I serve. This rela­tion­ship and ded­i­ca­tion to ensur­ing all details of one’s wed­ding are seen through with the utmost integrity and con­sid­er­a­tion. My hands on approach and com­mit­ment to mak­ing sure that what I do is tai­lored to your spe­cific taste, helps to ensure that the sound­track cre­ated for your most impor­tant day, reflects who you are as a cou­ple. Addi­tion­ally, as a result of my pas­sion for vinyl records, my DJ style is to switch seam­lessly between vinyl records and dig­i­tal music on my lap­top. With an arse­nal of about 100,000 songs in dig­i­tal for­mat and about 2,000 vinyl records, there’s no short sup­ply of warm, qual­ity music to meet every taste.

How would you describe your ideal cou­ple? Every cou­ple is unique, just as every per­son. My ideal client is a cou­ple who wants to col­lab­o­rate and share ideas about music and what will make their wed­ding unique to them. I don’t believe in cookie cut­ter wed­ding playlists and am com­mit­ted to work­ing closely with those that pro­cure my ser­vices to ensure they get what they ask for. So in short, my ideal client, is one that helps me see their wed­ding through their eyes. What’s your per­sonal busi­ness phi­los­o­phy? Money mat­ters not. I’m not in this busi­ness for the money and my phi­los­o­phy has always been, if I’m not a good fit, than I will let my client’s know. More impor­tant than a pay check is my abil­ity to pro­vide a suc­cess­ful wed­ding expe­ri­ence for those that entrust me with this honor.

central coast bride and groom dancing to wedding dj manuel barba

Favorite part of a wed­ding? As a DJ, I have to admit that mak­ing the dance floor rum­ble is when my juices flow. I love look­ing out on the dance floor to see the Bride, Groom and their loved ones danc­ing as if time doesn’t mat­ter. I have been for­tu­nate enough to expe­ri­ence this moment of eupho­ria often in my life and every time it feels the same way.

Why do you… do what you do? Wed­dings is a per­fect way for me to ‘marry’ my pas­sions for music, art, DJing and mak­ing peo­ple smile. That’s what dri­ves me con­tin­u­ously. What ques­tion do you always ask the Bride & Groom?

If you’re wed­ding was a desert what fla­vor would it be? seems to be one I ask a lot.. Off The Wall, CrAzY, FUN… Ques­tions First music album you ever bought? Michael Jackson…“Off The Wall”…Did I just age myself?

Favorite movie or doc­u­men­tary? Amelie…

Song that makes you want to dance like nobody’s watch­ing? Seriously…I’m embar­rassed to say this but the Scis­sor Sis­ters “Don’t Feel Like Dancing”…don’t judge me until you have heard it :)

How do you nor­mally begin your day? Cof­fee, paper, then get the kids off and run­ning to school.…with music play­ing the whole time…

What do you enjoy doing on your day off? Play­ing with my beau­ti­ful sons, lis­ten­ing to music and relax­ing from the long week…

Do you col­lect any­thing? Vinyl Records…lots and lots of them…I need more space…

Tell us about your first job? Clean­ing out the gross, greasy oil of a fried chicken place…you asked!

What would you say is your great­est accom­plish­ment? Rais­ing my two sons is what I’m most proud. Sec­ond is my long career as a mar­riage and fam­ily therapist/social worker, work­ing with the most severely at risk and in need youth and fam­i­lies in my com­mu­nity . This has been my first pas­sion for the last 10 years.

central coast wedding dj manuel baraba playing some tunes

How do you sign off on emails? Hope all is well.. hope this finds you well…or thank you…

If you moved to a for­eign coun­try, which one & why? I wouldn’t, I love my home in San Luis Obispo Cal­i­for­nia way too much…

If you were an ani­mal, what would you be? A hawk…

If you were in a band, what instru­ment would you play? Trombone

Ok, tell us your Nickname(s)? Rasco…it goes back lots of years…

Tell us one thing few peo­ple know about you? I cry at movies like “Wall-e” and “Up”.

Wed­ding trend that your lov­ing right now? Rus­tic out­door wed­dings have been the theme lately and the empha­sis on nature. This I’ve enjoyed…

Wed­ding trend that will hope­fully be out next year? Cha Cha Slide.…

Read the book or watch the movie? Cin­ema Paradiso

Stranded on a desert island… list three things you’d bring with you? My sons (although seems unfair to them), my Bea­t­les records and of course my beau­ti­ful partner.

Tell us your favorite song or band (new or old)… right now? Bea­t­les “Across the Uni­verse”, I never seem to tire of this one.

Favorite quote? “Try not… do, or do not” –Yoda

What chore do you absolutely HATE doing? I actu­ally like chores…cleaning, orga­niz­ing, laun­dry, bath­rooms, kitchen…I go it all!

What sound do you love? The sound of the breeze in the trees of my backyard.

If and when it hap­pens… what do you want peo­ple to remem­ber you bye? That I was kind and made a difference.

central coast wedding guests dancing to dj manuel baraba

What do you want to be when you grow up?DJ

What would you title the auto­bi­og­ra­phy of your life? mmmm…I’mma have to think about this one…

What was the last Movie, TV show or Book that made you cry? Up…or was it ET?

What’s the hard­est thing you’ve ever had to do? Be a father!

Whats the great­est gife you’ve ever given or received? My sons…there is noth­ing greater.

What do you miss most about being a kid? The whole thing… If I could just do it again…

What’s in the top 5 of your bucket list? Visit Machu Picchu

Tell us some­thing you learned last week? Patience…every week I’m forced to relearn it :)

At What age did you really become an adult? I’m 36 now…hopeful in a few years…

Where do you see your­self (or busi­ness) in the near future? I only wish for it to be as happy and pro­duc­tive as it is now…with every­one around me healthy and filled with life.

Any­thing else you want to say that we didn’t ask? Nope…thank you for the oppor­tu­nity to share a piece of myself :)  

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