Music plays a crucial role in creating an event to remember. It can set the mood, elevate the energy, and provide a soundtrack for socializing. That’s where Sound Cocktail comes in.
As its name implies, the DJ service headed by Jon Roach blends intoxicating playlists tailored to each event and crowd.
“You have to know your audience. I can feel when the music’s hitting,” Roach says. “I tend to read a room well.”
Roach specializes in deep house remixes of original tracks that guests find familiar yet new at the same time, like a favorite drink with a fresh twist.
“You may recognize the song but probably haven’t heard the edit I’m playing,” he says.
Being a successful DJ requires more than great taste in tunes and a commitment to discovering new tracks. It requires skill to set up sound systems that ensure high-quality audio for the size of the venue and lighting to enhance the experience.
Roach blends his technical acumen with his thirst for deep cuts to become a go-to source for Southeast Michigan party planners.
Hour Media Marketing Director Jodie Svagr has literally thousands of DJs and musicians in her contact list but returns to Sound Cocktail time and again.
“Jon goes above and beyond,” she says. “I trust him. I don’t have to micromanage.”
According to Svagr, Roach did a fantastic job during Hour’s Savor Dinner Series, where he served up a chic soundtrack at the Great Lakes Culinary Center in Southfield.
Sound Cocktail also was a hit at Hour’s Best of Detroit party, which celebrates winners of the magazine’s annual reader’s survey. Roach spun a groovy vibe as a crowd of 1,000 gathered in the Westin Book Cadillac’s second-floor ballroom to enjoy signature drinks and tastings from top chefs.
“I put him in that room specifically to create ambiance without overpowering the food exhibitors we wanted to feature,” she says. “People could socialize with nice, fun music in the background but nothing overly blaring.”
Roach, a Detroit-area native, got his start as a DJ in 2011 while working as a middle school History teacher at an international school in El Salvador. He and his friends often hung out at a treehouse bar overlooking the lights of the city in the valley below. The view was beautiful but loud repetitive music killed the vibe, Roach says.
He bought a DJ controller and convinced the bar owner to let him play tunes every Saturday night. Roach spent the next year-and-a-half honing his skills.
“I loved it. The sun would set over the mountains and it was magical,” he says.
Since the company started, Sound Cocktail has provided music for everything from intimate parties to blowout bashes, but Roach prefers smaller private events.
Roach starts by having a conversation with clients about their plans. Then, he visits the venue and submits a proposal. If clients accept, he sends a music profile where event planners list songs, artists and genres they would like to hear. Roach uses this document as the foundation to build custom playlists.
“He goes out of his way to make sure his setup really fits the environment,” she says.
Knighton says she can count on Roach to create an immersive soundscape for members as they sip their Ferndale IPAs.
“He’s always very positive,” she says.
According to Roach, it’s easy to be upbeat when he’s playing music he loves.
“It’s like my release,” he says. “It doesn’t feel like work when I’m DJing; I look forward to it.”