Livening Up Raleigh

In Do, July/August 2021 by Anna BresciaLeave a Comment

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FollowTheDJ keeps the party going through a great lineup of fun events this summer.

Local spinmaster Darryl “FollowTheDJ” Dungee (aka “Mr. Turn the Heat Up”) says his main goal is to fill in the gaps of Raleigh nightlife—noting what Raleigh is missing “in nightlife is daylife”—aka outdoor daytime events. Fun and beauty rest? We’re listening (pun intended).

If you haven’t heard of FollowTheDJ—you will. “I make people feel good,” he says. “I make people feel better. I make people reminisce about good times.” Indeed he does.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Dungee didn’t have an easy childhood. But his love for music (think Tupac, Notorious B.I.G.—plus artists his godfather, a musical writer, intro’d him to, from Toni Braxton to Me2U to Prophet Jones), discovered at age 10, saved him—playing a huge role in helping him through hardship. 

That passion parlayed into a passion project, as he worked his way to becoming a mashup master—learning everything from beats per minute to base lines. And, at 15, FollowTheDJ was born. Cutting his teeth mixing at friends’ backyard parties and honing his craft via inspo from DJ Rod Lee, DJ Boobie and Supa DJ Big L, the budding DJ’s star was quickly on the rise.

Since migrating to Raleigh in 2019, FollowTheDJ has quickly amassed quite the following—despite his initial job and housing falling through. As a father and event planner to boot, FollowTheDJ has done it all—and still finds ways to continue the hustle… and it’s that determination, mixed with family support, that has enabled him to thrive in the Raleigh club scene.

“I have only been here for two years,” he says, “and I’m calling all these big events in every club; everybody knows who I am. I’ve opened a store… I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m where I should be.”

When restaurants reopened in Phase 2, FollowTheDJ got Raleighites excited to go back out again with bashes at Jonathan’s Sports Lounge & Grill, and, now that the world is gearing back to normal, the parties are only getting better—especially with the permit he obtained to host events at any park that allows for amplified music. 

If you weren’t able to go to his smash-hit Secret Garden Soiree at Fletcher Park in June (see our Be Seen, p. 32), well, you really missed out. But, don’t worry—there’s more FollowTheDJ fun where that came from. You can find him amping up the party on Friday nights at Mangos Nightclub, and, true to his daytime-funtime mantra, on Sundays at Mojito Lounge for post-brunch jams. 

“Not everyone wants to be on Glenwood at 2am,” FollowTheDJ adds. “Some people want to go do the same thing, but at 4pm—have a little fun, but still get some beauty rest.” Preach!

As promised, this summer, this DJ’s gotta superb lineup of day parties that are sure to have you groovin’ to the beat—and (hopefully) getting some sleep. The biggest bash planned by far is FollowTheDJ Weekend (a huge birthday celebration for the DJ himself, July 23–25): three events over three days, including the All White Affair at The Fairview, where guests don their finest whites for a night of nips, sips and hits.

FollowTheDJ is also celebrating Leo season with a Leo Party at Union Station July 31. The event will only add to the already expected upbeat “hot girl/boy summer” vibe that this year’s Leo season promises. And, in August, he’ll be hosting a second installment of his popular Secret Garden Soiree event (great news for those that missed the first one!). Hey, “a little party never killed nobody.” 

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