Deejay name: Advance
Name: Vance McCain
Hometown: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Genre: Open format
Venue: The world
DJ Advance is versatile and accomplished music impresario, and it shows with the artists with whom he has shared the stage. Advance has shared the stage with Lil Wayne, J. Cole, Rehad, Sander Van Doorn, and high-profile DJs in the music industry. His 3Way Marketing Group provides him and his clients great exposure, including companies as recognized in their respective industries, such as GO 95.3 radio, Red Bull and L’Oreal. You can find Advance spinning at First Ave’s landmark venue.
How did you come up with your DJ name?
In high school, I met one of my good friends, Benny Roberts, and we used to work on music together. I began producing and making beats in this class while Benny was a rapper-producer. I didn’t have a producer name or tag. So, he started calling me “adVANCE beats.” A couple of years later, God gave me the idea to place “DJ” in front of Advance once I began deejaying heavily.
When did you start deejaying?
I began deejaying when I was 16. My brother and I started throwing these basement parties on the weekends in high school, which was the beginning of everything.
How do you describe your style?
My style is very eclectic, and I can do a lot of genre-bending in the proper arena. However, when I started taking deejaying seriously, I wanted to ensure I couldn’t be placed in a specific box.
What or who were your early passions and influences?
Growing up, my parents would play all kinds of music around the house. That influenced not just me but all of my siblings. I come from a family of six, and we all have some musical talent.
What’s your process for selecting a song to play during your sets or at a gig?
Ninety percent of my sets begin with a single song for me, and the rest of the collection is solely based on the crowd’s energy. I usually pick one song to make me feel good or put me in a mood. Then from there, it’s like I’m on autopilot.
List three DJs that you admire who influenced the art form. Why these three?
DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ AM, Carl Cox. Jazzy Jeff’s career transition and longevity as a DJ are purely amazing. DJ AM showed me that you could bend genres, and the masses will enjoy it. Carl Cox is among the best house-techno DJs I’ve ever seen.
Name one music experience that changed your life.
The most remarkable moment was being blessed to play a set on “Sway In The Morning,” and Heather B and Sway were jamming in the background. Shortly after[ward], I dropped the beat for one of Vic Mensa’s most viral freestyles. That day was fantastic.
What three skills do you feel are critical for a professional DJ?
You must be able to read the crowd, truly study music and be creative.