DJ Gregg Ambient’s Top 40 Song Countdown of 2017

Happy New Year party people!

Methodology – I am a mobile DJ based in Central New Jersey and spin in a variety of settings from weddings to bars/clubs.  I am particularly fond of electronic and international music.  The selected songs below incorporate all styles of music and tempos with the songs in the #25 – #40 slots representing some songs that were personally enjoyable to me, but that may not have charted well or been heavily requested.  The Top 25 songs of 2017 are highly correlated to requests and dance floor impact captured at my 200+ performances during the year.

Musical Trends –  It’s a an exciting era to to be a DJ with so much music available across a variety of mediums.  The increasing popularity of streaming services like Spotify has enabled me to easily explore and organize all of the music from across the globe that I could ever want.  One of my other favorite places to research music is in the car listening to commercial-free Sirius radio.  Currently my favorite channels are Venus (Rhythmic Pop) and Chill (Channel 53).  Is there a catchy song in your daily travels that you want to identify?  Of course, use the free app Shazam.

As previously identified by my colleague Mike Bacon (aka, DJ Iron Mike), euphoric EDM music faded from the musical scene in 2017 and was replaced by a demand for mid-tempo tropical house compositions or collaborations between electronic producers like Calvin Harris with rappers like Migos.  “Trap Rap” (aka “drug music”) remained immensely popular with artists like Future, Migos and Lil Uzi Vert, and exotic dancer turned rapper Cardi B blew up big time with her hit song “Bodak Yellow.”  Ed Sheeran had a great year with Shape of You, Galway Girl and several ballads.  The members of “One Direction” also achieved great acclaim as solo artists in 2017 with hits like “Slow Hands” (Niall Horan) “Sign of the Times” (Harry Styles) and “Strip That Down” (Liam Payne).  Latin music was big in the pop arena, with mega hits by J. Balvin (“Mi Gente”) and Luis Fonsi (“Despacito”).

As we look into 2018, DJs crave a musical breakthrough with a new sound – and hopefully one that is more upbeat and dance floor friendly than trap rap at its dreary 60 to 70 beats per minute tempo.

Check out the list below, and you can listen to the songs on the Spotify playlist embedded later in this blog.

By, DJ Gregg Ambient, January 1, 2018

DJ Gregg’s Top 40 Countdown of 2017

40. Lights – Bobby Green f/ Whitney Philips (tropical house)

39. YES – Sam Feldt w/ Akon  (tropical house) * Love the warm happy feeling of this track and the synthesized Caribbean steel drums.

38. Strip That Down – Liam Payne w/ Quavo (R&B) * One Direction alumnus.

37. Call the Police – LCD Soundsystem (dance punk)

36. Perfect – Ed Sheeran (pop ballad) * The wedding ballad of Fall 2017 may become the wedding ballad of 2018!  A welcome development as wedding guests are tiring of Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”

35. Versace on the Floor – Bruno Mars (pop ballad) * Best suited for adult audiences.

34. Attention – Charlie Puth (pop) * I suggest using a remix to juice up the tempo and reduce some of the uncomfortable slowdowns in the original.

33. Sign of the Times – Harry Styles (pop) * One Direction alumnus

32. Body Like a Back Road – Sam Hunt (Country) – the top pop country hit of 2017!

31. Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton (Country) – while this bluesy cover version was released in 2015, the song’s full power has grown on me like a fine Tennessee whiskey.

30. Game of Thrones Theme (Armin Van Buuren Remix) – Ramin Djawadi (soundtracks/trance)  * “Winter is Coming” but this song can ignite dance floors.

29. New Rules – Dua Lipa (pop)  * part rap, part pop – Dua Lipa’s unique vocal delivery works.

28. Disco T*ts – Tove Lo (pop/electronic) * Definitely opt for the radio edited version of this Swedish star’s song when families are in the building.  For a good laugh, check out the music video.

27. Rockstar – Post Malone w/ 21 Savage (hip hop / R&B).  * 21 Savage’s deadpan rap delivery will grow on you with time.

26. I Feel It Coming – The Weeknd w/ Daft Punk (R&B) * One of the only songs to repeat from the 2016 playlist.  The Weeknd with Daft Punk is a divine collaboration.

25. It’s Everyday Bro – Jake Paul w/ Team 10 (YouTube Rap).  * This is an example of the type of track being requested by teen dance audiences.  Songs that may not be commercially available (although this one is).  This track logged 167 million YouTube views.

24. Passionfruit – Drake (R&B)  * DJs, be sure to edit out the false start to this song.

23. Dile Que Tu Me Quieres – Ozuna (Latin/Reggaeton)

22. Vente Pa’ Ca’ = Ricky Martin w/ Maluma (Latin)

21. Slow Hands – Niall Horan (pop) * One Direction alumnus.

20. Malibu (Lost Frequencies Remix) – Miley Cyrus (pop/electronic)

19. Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato (pop)

18. Chantaje – Shakira w/ Maluma (Latin/Reggaeton)

17. Rollin – Calvin Harris w/ Future and Khalid (electronic / R&B)

16. Slide – Calvin Harris w/ Frank Ocean and Migos (electronic / R&B)

15. Unforgettable – French Montana w/ Swae Lee (Hip Hop / R&B)

14. Wild Thoughts – DJ Khaled w/ Rihanna and Bryson Tiller (R&B) * DJs, of course you’d want to mix this with “Maria Maria” by Santana.

13. Humble – Kendrick Lamar (hip hop)

12. Mask Off – Future (hip hop)  * The hypnotic flute and Future’s chants of popular street drug names will draw you in.

11. Redbone – Childish Gambino (R&B)  * Such a soulful track!  DJ Iron Mike suggests the “Nick Bike Edit” – check it out here

10. Feel It Still – Portugal. The Man (alternative rock)  * Portugal.  The Man, a band from Alaska, has been together since the early 2000s and finally scored big with this hit!

9. Havana – Camila Cabello w/ Young Thug (pop)

8. Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake (pop)  * Despite being released in 2016, the song’s presence and dance floor power remained strong in 2017.

7. Bad and Boujee – Migos f/ Lil Uzi Vert (hip hop).  * This song was massive in the first 4-5 months of 2017 but faded fast thereafter.  Lil’ Pump’s “Gucci Gang” (not included in this year’s countdown) could be 2018’s Bad and Boujee equivalent.

6. That’s What I Like – Bruno Mars (pop)  * This feel good sing-a-long by Mars is a great late night selection.

5. Mi Gente –  J. Balvin w/ Willy William (Latin/Reggaeton) * whether you opt for the original version or remix with Beyonce, this song’s intoxicating groove works on dance floors.

4. Bodak Yellow – Cardi B. (hip hop) * Cardi’s unique rap cadence and swagger made her an international superstar in 2017.

3. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran (pop) * A great party starter… for added percussion, we recommend DJ Cloak Dagger‘s Shape of You Moombahton Edit.

2. Despacito (remix) – Luis Fonsi w/ Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber (Latin/Reggaeton).  This massive global hit has scored 4.6 BILLION YouTube views just on the original version of the song alone.

1. 24K Magic – Bruno Mars (pop).  It’s my first ever repeat #1 song!  Released on November 18, 2016, I saw the power of this track early on.  As predicted, 24k became a massive dance floor success with the right energy to get guests moving and grooving.. “players, put yo pinky rings up to the moon!”

Worst Song of 2017“Everyday We Lit” – YFN Lucci f/ PnB Rock.  A childish, ridiculous song!  Runner-up would be “Get It Together” by Drake that bastardizes the original song “Superman” by Black Coffee.

Listen on Spotify

Take a listen to the Top 40 on the Spotify playlist below.

More Select Music Videos

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey and servicing the New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and New York City markets.  For more information about DJ Gregg Ambient or any of our other talented music mixologists, vist us online at 


Listen to Our Mixes

The Top 100 Songs of 2017 – by DJ Iron Mike

Ambient DJs’ Mike Bacon, DJ Iron Mike, submits this Top 100 song list and commentary for the year past. The Top 30 can be listened to in the accompanying Spotify playlist below the song selections.  Enjoy!

With 2018 only days away, I took some time to reflect on the past year of 2017 from the perspective of the DJ booth. Before diving into my countdown, I want to share the methods of my madness that go into organizing such a list. My first rule is that I did not include ballads. While new popular ballads seem to be few and far between in terms of release in the present day, I like my countdown to be dance floor driven, focused more on “Peak Hour” tracks (songs ranked #1-30) and Party Starters (#31-100). Rule #2: The Top 100 is reflective of songs that were hot during the course of the year. Some choices may have been released in 2016 or even achieved some popularity during last year (Closer, 24K Magic, Black Beatles). In those cases, those selections sustained popularity in 2017, so I included them as well. There is a very autobiographical touch to these picks. The main determining factors were based on high amount of requests and live reactions at events and venues that I spin at. So while the Billboard Pop charts may feature many songs performed by country artists, it was tough for those hits to penetrate my playlist as in our part of New Jersey, country isn’t as hot is it might be in other parts of the United States.
The changing of the guard in pop music was very apparent in 2017. The high energy EDM scene almost entirely faded into the background away from the public ear in favor of “Trap Rap” or for lack of a better term, “Mumble Rap”. The likes of Lil Uzi Vert, Kodak Black and Lil’ Yachty became names frequently requested by dance floor patrons as opposed to the dance music stars of the 2010’s such as Avicii, David Guetta and Afrojack. Meeting somewhere in the middle was Calvin Harris, who changed with the current trends and adopted a more mid-tempo sound suited for current rap powerhouses such as Migos to perform on his soundscape. Big name starlets such as Taylor Swift and Katy Perry fell short of their glory years with songs that didn’t connect as strong as previous efforts. Swiping the queen’s throne in 2017 was a name most DJs likely heard more than any other… “Cardi B”. While it’s extremely difficult to keep track of every single request made live at an event in a year’s time, I can honestly say that no one artist was asked for by name more than Cardi B. …The Clubs, Sweet 16’s, Grandmom’s birthday and the list goes on. “Bodak Yellow” and “No Limit” with G-Eazy and A$ap Rocky were massive hits. “Closer” by The Chainsmokers and Halsey was easily the biggest sing-along song of the year, rare for me was the event that didn’t close out with the pop smash based on the cadence of Fetty Wap’s 2015 hit “679”.
Latin music made a profound impact on the topside of my winning anthems of 2017. The tour de force that was “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee & the hypnotizing rhythm of “Mi Gente” by J. Balvin & Willy William both benefited greatly in terms of mainstream success by respectively adding the likes of Justin Bieber and Beyonce to their remix renditions of their records. Even songs such as “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran “Unforgettable” by French Montana & Swae Lee & “Wild Thoughts” by DJ Khaled, Rihanna & Bryson Tiller had a very welcoming tropical undercurrent. My personal favorite song of the year, “Redbone” by Childish Gambino was likely introduced to the public via the cinematic thriller Get Out . While many are mostly familiar with the cool, Bootsy Collins inspired funk vibe of the original version, I became a huge fan of the Nick Bike edit of this track which boosts the tempo for the dance floor and can really catch the attention of the party. Rounding out my big list at #1 was the virtuoso known as Bruno Mars with “That’s What I Like”. While some may argue that “24k Magic” was the more popular Mars hit, I began to feel an overplayed backlash in certain scenarios against the latter where “That’s What I like” maintained its popularity throughout the entire year. The made for late night parties R&B tune never seemed to fail me. The instantaneous resounding reaction to the first couple notes never seemed to go away. Maybe like R. Kelly’s 2002 chart topper “Ignition”, “That’s What I Like” will carry that beckoning to party feel from here on out where other songs are built to stay in 2017 and in our memories as time moves forward.
Feel free to debate, argue and or hopefully agree with where I placed the dance floor anthems of 2017 as in my humble opinion, that’s what lists are made for. Enjoy and have a Happy New Year! 
– DJ Iron Mike

The Top 100 Songs of 2017 – by DJ Iron Mike

  1.  That’s What I Like – Bruno Mars
  2. Despacito (remix) – Luis Fonsi f/ Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber
  3. Closer – The Chainsmokers f/ Halsey
  4. Bodak Yellow – Cardi B
  5. Mi Gente (remix) – J Balvin f/ Willy Williams & Beyonce
  6. Bad & Boujee – Migos f/ Lil Uzi Vert
  7. Redbone – Childish Gambino
  8. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
  9. 24k Magic – Bruno Mars
  10. Wild Thoughts – DJ Khaled f/ Rihanna & Bryson Tiller
  11. Unforgettable – French Montana f/ Swae Lee
  12. Mask Off – Future
  13. Humble – Kendrick Lamar
  14. The One – DJ Khaled f/ Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil’ Wayne
  15. iSpy – Kyle f/ Lil Yachty
  16. Bounce Back – Big Sean
  17. Body Like a Back Road – Sam Hunt
  18. Rolex – Ayo & Teo
  19. Slide – Calvin Harris f/ Frank Ocean & Migos
  20. Down – Marian Hill
  21. Know No Better – Major Lazer f/ Travis Scott, Camila Cabello & Quavo
  22. Congratulations – Post Malone
  23. Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato
  24. You Remind Me – Chris Porter
  25. Rake It Up – Yo Gotti f/ Mike Will Made It, Nicki Minaj
  26. Chunky – Bruno Mars
  27. Stay – Zedd f/ Alessia Cara
  28. Goosebumps – Travis Scott f/ Kendrick Lamar
  29. Questions – Chris Brown
  30. Black Beatles – Rae Sremmurd
  31. No Limit – G Easy f/ Cardi B, A$ap Rocky
  32. Xo Tour Lif3 – Lil Uzi Vert
  33. I Feel It Coming – The Weekend f/ Daft Punk
  34. All Night – Chance the Rapper f/ Knox Fortune
  35. Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers f/ Coldplay
  36. Havana – Camila Cabello f/ Young Thug
  37. Get Low – Zedd f/ Liam Payne
  38. No Lie – Sean Paul f/ Dua Lipa
  39. Party Animal (remix) – Charly Black f/ Luis Fonsi
  40. New Rules – Dua Lipa
  41. Tunnel Vision – Kodak Black
  42. It Ain’t Me – Kygo f/ Selena Gomez
  43. Strip That Down – Liam Payne f/ Quavo
  44. My Love – Wale f/ Major Lazer, Wizkid & Dua Lipa
  45. There’s Nohting Holdin’ Me Back – Shawn Mendes
  46. Feel It Still – Portugal The Man
  47. Passionfruit – Drake
  48. Rockstar – Post Malone f/ 21 Savage
  49. Swalla – Jason DeRulo f/ Nicki Minaj
  50. Feels – Calvin Harris f/ Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Big Sean
  51. Attention – Charlie Puth
  52. Pills & Automobiles – Chris Brown f/ Yo Gotti, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie & Kodak Black
  53. Slippery – Migos
  54. Run Up – Major Lazer f/ PartyNextDoor & Nicki Minaj
  55. What Lovers Do – Maroon Five f/ SZA
  56. Slow Hands – Niall Horan
  57. Hey Ma – Pitbull f/ J. Balvin & Camilla Cabello
  58. Promises – Cheat Codes f/ Demi Lovato
  59. A Different Way – DJ Snake f/ Lauv
  60. Look What You Made Me Do – Taylor Swift
  61. Heatstroke – Calvin Harris f/ Young Thug, Pharrell Williams & Ariana Grande
  62. Shining – DJ Khaled f/ Beyonce and Jay-Z
  63. Timeless – A Boogie with da Hoodie f/ DJ Spinking
  64. Rockabye – Clean Bandit f/ Anne Marie and Sean Paul
  65. Magnolia – Playboi Carti
  66. Instruction – Jax Jones f/ Demi Lovato & Stefflon Don
  67. The Cure – Lady Gaga
  68. Come Closer – Wizkid f/ Drake
  69. Silence – Marshmello f/ Khalid
  70. No Fear – Dej Loaf
  71. Versace on the Floor – Bruno Mars
  72. Complicated – Dmitri Vegas and Like Mike f/ David Guetta & Kiiara
  73. Call Me – Neiked
  74. Galway Girl – Ed Sheeran
  75. DNA – Kendrick Lamar
  76. Love Galore – SZA f/ Travis Scott
  77. Good Day – Yellow Claw f/ Elliphant
  78. Castle on the Hill – Ed Sheeran
  79. It Ain’t My Fault – Zara Larsson
  80. I Think of You – Jeremih f/ Chris Brown & Big Sean
  81. Friends – Justin Bieber and Bloodpop
  82. Heartbreak – Fat Joe f/ Remy Ma & The Dream
  83. Blem – Drake
  84. 1-800-273-8255 – Logic f/ Alessia Cara and Khalid
  85. My Kind of Girl – Throttle f/ Michael Buble
  86. Everyday We Lit – YFN Lucci f/ PNB Rock
  87. Cold – Maroon Five f/ Future
  88. Lonely Together – Avicii f/ Rita Oro
  89. Something New – Wiz Khalifa f/ Ty Doll $ign
  90. Sundown – Zara Larsson f/ Wizkid
  91. Text Ur Number – DJ Envy f/ DJ Sliink and Fetty Wap
  92. Call on Me – Starley
  93. Down – Fifth Harmony
  94. Still Got Time – Zayn Malik f/ PartyNextDoor
  95. Green Light – Pitbull f/ Flo Rida &  LunchMoney Lewis
  96. Mayores – Becky G f/ Bad Bunny
  97. Let Me Go – Hailee Steinfeld f/ Alesso & Florida Georgia Line
  98. Distance – Omarion
  99. Dreams – Dakota f/ Alex Ross and T-Pain
  100. Paris – The Chainsmokers

Listen on Spotify

Take a listen to Iron Mike’s Top 30 songs on the Spotify playlist below.  In many cases, Spotify doesn’t offer the clean radio-edited song versions that we prefer, so be forewarned.

For More Information

For more information about Ambient DJ Service or to book DJ Iron Mike, visit  Have a great 2018 everybody!

DJ of the Month – Dre Ovalle

In this periodic feature, we like to highlight entertainers from our roster of talent who are doing great things.  Andre Ovalle, aka DJ Dre Ovalle (pronounced o-vah-yay) joined the Ambient DJ roster in early 2016.  We initially connected with Dre while he was spinning a set at Lolie’s Ale House in Philadelphia at an underground electronica party with Linda Leigh and other guest DJs.  In between sets, we had a great conversation at the bar and decided to schedule a time to chat more formally.


DJ Dre Ovalle in the Wedding DJ Cockpit

Dre has the gift of music, and his quest for musical knowledge knows no bounds.  In addition to the popular music genres, Dre is well-versed in lesser known categories like industrial, heavy metal and Polish disco music.  An ideal opportunity to check out his musical versatility and super smooth mixing skills is at the Trenton Social each Sunday night from 6 PM until close where he and Linda Leigh trade sets in true open format.  This party is the best musical offering in Central NJ at present.

Dre is also a frequent DJ at silent disco parties, and as a native Spanish speaker is a specialist in international events like Latin weddings and Quinceaneras.

Other reasons that we love having Dre on our team include his machine-like work ethic and genuine love of performing, sense of team spirit and dedication to improving his skills.  Most recently, Dre crushed the dance floor at a multi-cultural wedding in Weehawken, and also assisted at an ambitious Filipino birthday party in Union.  Dre is currently taking lessons to speak Polish and loves to cook in his free time!

As 2017 progresses, we look forward to offering Dre progressively more challenging events.

For More Information

For more information about Ambient DJ Service, or to book DJ Dre Ovalle for your upcoming event, visit


Care Couture Hair Art Fashion Show 2017

Ambient DJ Service was honored to participate in this year’s Care Couture Hair Art Fashion Show held on Sunday February 19, 2017 at the Boathouse at Mercer Lake in Mercer County Park in West Windsor New Jersey.  This event, in its third bi-annual installment, featured local salons who donated their time and talent in order to dress up models with cool hair art and clothing.  The salons then showcased their styles during a chic runway show.  This year’s show incorporated 45 models from 15 New Jersey salons, featuring three themes:  Ocean, Earth and Seasons.


The net proceeds from the show are donated to the Breast Cancer Resource Center located at the YWCA in Princeton, NJ.  The funds are specifically used to purchase wigs for breast cancer patients who can’t afford them.  Supplemented by a tricky tray fundraiser, 2017’s event raised more than $10,000 that will be donated to the BCRC of Princeton.  It was a packed house with good vibes all night long!

Ambient DJ Service participated in this year’s show in three ways.  First, our DJ Gregg Ambient spun the tunes for the fashion show, featuring sexy house music in the spirit of New York or London Fashion Week.  Second, relying on the skills of our lighting guru Chris Dalagelis, aka “Chris the Greek” – we uplit the runway and incorporated intelligent moving heads to spotlight the models and otherwise create an exciting, upscale club-like environment as per the vision of the organizers.  Finally, we donated a free DJ entertainment service to the tricky trays.  Helping to entertain the crowd this year were emcees Anthony Vincent and Alyse Tapper from Anthony Vincent Salon in East Windsor, NJ.  This duo did an incredible job!


Grand Finale with Great Looks Salon


One of the many incredible hair art models for the evening


DJ Gregg Ambient

For a musical recap of the evening, check out our Care Couture 2017 Commemorative Mixtape on the player at the bottom of this article.  Notably, several of the tracks were produced/remixed by DJ Cloak Dagger – aka Luke Rizzo – who spins for Ambient DJs and runs a record label called Noc Boots.

For More Information

In case you missed the show and would like to make a donation towards the cause, please visit and click on the Care Couture banner.  To learn more about Ambient DJs’ musical entertainment and lighting design services, visit

The Top 25 Songs of 2016 – by DJ Marti Gras

Ambient DJ Service continues its 2016 musical recaps with this playlist submitted by Martin Valcin, aka “DJ Marti Gras” whose moniker is “Mixing Gone Wild”  Below, Martin has submitted his Top 25 party jams of 2016 as well as an incredible “Pop Reggae Fusion” Dance Mix.  Here are his listening notes:

This year saw the steep rise of reggae fusion or pop-based dancehall-style tracks from artists such as Drake, Tory Lanez, Ariana Grande, and Rihanna. As a person of Caribbean descent, this was music to my ears. Other “tropical” sounds continued to make waves in the 105 BPM area with the entry of a lot of old school remakes. EDM and dance-pop made a strong imprint on the charts, whether slow or fast. Here are my favorite 25 songs of the year.

The Top 25 Songs of 2016 – by DJ Marti Gras

1.     This is What You Came For- Rihanna
2.     Run Away With Me (Velvet Sunrise Remix)- Carlie Rae Jepsen
3.     Love is The Name (Reggaeton Remix)- Sofia Carson ft. J. Balvin
4.     Work (Mr. Collipark Remix)- Rihanna
5.     Controlla- Drake
6.     Oljuelegba- Wizkid ft. Skepta & Drake
7.     Way Down We Go – Kaleo
8.     Starving- Hailee Steinfeld and Grey ft. Zedd
9.     Luv- Tory Lanez
10. Panda- Designer
11. Starboy- The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk
12. 24K Magic- Bruno Mars
13. In Common (Kenny Dope Remix)- Alicia Keys
14. Work From Home- Fifth Harmony
15. Bonbon- Era Istrefi
16. Do You Mind- DJ Khaled ft. Nicki Minaj, August Alsina
17. Closer- Chainsmokers ft. Halsey
18. Hula Hoop- OMI
19. Bailar- Deorro ft. Elvis Crespo
20. Pillow Talk- Zayn
21. Gold- Kiara
22. Your Number – Ayo Jay
23. I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Seeb Club Mix)- Mike Posner
24. Come Down- Anderson Paak

25. Side to Side- Ariana Grande

Listen on Spotify

Listen to DJ Marti Gras’ 2016 Reggae Fusion Mix

For More Info

To learn more about DJ Marti Gras or to book him for your upcoming throwdown, visit  #KeepingNJInTheMix #MixingGoneWild

To read DJ Gregg Ambient’s Top 25 songs of 2016, click here.

Top Mobile DJ Memories – 2016

Each December, I like to publish various countdowns and lists, re-capping the past year.  This post recounts the top memories and achievements (mostly good) from 2016, taking readers into the life of a mobile DJ company owner.  I’ve been operating Ambient DJ Service full-time since 2010.   It’s been a primarily positive experience with more highs than lows.  But as with any small business, the demands of the job can be intense at times.  With a larger operation comes the need to delegate responsibility and to streamline operations.

The list below is in no particular order:

1.  Expanding Our Staff.  In 2016, we added eight music mixologists (DJs) to our staff.  Two of our DJs moved out of New Jersey during the year, leaving us with a net addition of six.  The majority of the new entertainers are specialists such as DJ Nick (karaoke), DJ Jonathan (kids entertainment), DJ/Producer Cloak Dagger (high-performance, high-end retail, corporate and lounge/club), DJ Dre Ovalle (Latin Events) and DJ Linda Leigh (techno/underground electronica).  Other newcomers included musician/DJ Joseph Grillo, DJ Vinny Blanc, DJ Statle  and dancer Sasha Saco.  It’s great to know that we at Ambient DJ likely have the right guy (or lady) for any particular party type.


DJ Cloak Dagger – Live in NYC

2. Performing with an American Idol Star.  In November, I had the pleasure of working with singer Devin Velez, a finalist American Idol Season 12.  Devin was flown in from Chicago by birthday girl Marie, who threw a 70s themed birthday party for her milestone birthday.  Devin’s vocal performance was incredible, and he was a true gentleman as well.  For a musical recap of the party, see the mix below.

3. Ambient DJ Sponsors Logo Design Competition.  Our original logo was invented in the late 1990s in the midst of the Acid House / Rave scene.  Our business has grown and evolved significantly since then.  Thus, we sponsored a logo design competition and selected the following winning design that pays homage to our past, present and future.  The winning designer was from Indonesia!


New logo, 2016 – Welcome to the Wedding Boutique!


Our original logo, created in 2003 – Feel the Rave / Electronica Influence

4. The Wedding Cocktail Hour Series Spreads Its Wings.  What began as a pet project with cocktail hour music playlists paired with signature drinks, we achieved critical mass on this series in 2016.  As of year-end, we’ve published 79 carefully crafted playlists and over 1,600 song selections.  Themes for 2016 included Boy Bands (DJ Iron Mike), Bossa Chill (DJ Dre Ovalle), Disco Love (DJ Gregg Ambient) and even a 420 “High Times” playlist.  To view the playlists and selected signature drinks, see  While we’re in no rush to hit 100 playlists, it’s a distinct possibility in 2017 or 2018.  To my knowledge, no mobile DJ company in the world has compiled the depth of wedding music playlists as we have.  Be on the lookout for our “Wedding Music Master Class 2017” to be published in January.


Our Favorite Client Models, Sarah and Michael #HelloWeAreSciscilo

5.  Ambient DJ is Interviewed for Debut Episode of Mobile DJ Tips Podcast.  DJ Shri is a New Jersey-based DJ who has created a phenomenal educational podcast series for DJs that is available for free on i-Tunes.  I was fortuitously interviewed for the debut podcast on the topics of “Scaling a DJ Business” and “Financial Forecasting for DJs.”  Shri has been on a roll all year, interviewing an impressive list of A-list DJ entertainers (now up to 26 interviews) including Mitch Taylor, Marcello Pedalino, Bill Herman, DJ Magic Mike, Joe Bunn, DJ Shelly,  Jack Bermeo, Scott Faver, Sean “Big Daddy” McKee and more.  To connect with DJ Shri, visit   I can’t recommend this free resource enough for DJs who want to improve.  Listen at home, listen in your car – just tune in!


6.  You Never Know Who is Watching.  Over the summer, we received an offer from an entertainment company who was interested in acquiring Ambient DJ Service.  This company is perhaps one of just a handful of companies who I’d ever considering merging with.  While the deal dissolved due to exogenous factors, the moral of the story is in that building a business (even in a small business environment), you never know who might be evaluating you.  Understand the value drivers of your company and keep in mind that mergers & acquisitions do exist in the mobile DJ entertainment field.  Want to grow your own DJ business?  Then consider acquiring or merging with a synergistic DJ/company.


7.  Ambient DJ Joins the Board of NACE.  In 2016, Ambient DJs’ Executive Director Gregory Lambiase was appointed as a Board Member of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) of New Jersey.   In addition to his new executive responsibilities, Greg also competed in NACE’s “Battle of the DJs’ competition held over the Summer.


DJ Greg Nice, NACE Board Member

8.  Ambient DJ is Inducted into The Knot Best Of Weddings Hall of Fame.  With our fourth win for Knot Best of Weddings – determined by reviews from real wedding couples, Ambient DJ was inducted into the Knot Best of Weddings Hall of Fame.  This achievement is a testament to our consistency and quality in the wedding DJ entertainment segment – an area where the stakes are high and the degree of difficulty for performances can be lofty.  Many thanks to our core wedding team of DJ Greg Nice, DJ Spinz, DJ Iron Mike, DJ Sully and DJ Marti Gras.


9. Ambient DJ Rocks The DJ Times International DJ Expo.  Each August, some 4,000 DJs gather in Atlantic City NJ for the DJ Times DJ Expo.  An important leg of the program is the seminar track.  In 2016, myself, DJ Iron Mike, DJ Linda Leigh and DJ Dre Ovalle all participated as speakers at educational seminars, sharing our expertise to the DJ community at large.  In this “talent based” business, it’s comforting to know that Ambient DJ has a huge pool of talent.  My advice for DJs of all skill levels – is to check your ego at the door and never stop learning.  Stay hungry to improve and refine your skills.  You will benefit professionally and financially from being at the top of your field.


Learning from DJ Skribble at The DJ Expo



10. The Passing of the Queen.  Ambient DJ’s official pet mascot for the past 15 years was Queeny, a fiery Bichon Frise who greeted all of my DJ visitors with a shrill bark.  A true sweetheart and loyal companion for a DJ with long and irregular work hours, the Queen didn’t quite make her Sweet 16.  She is sorely missed.


In Conclusion

2016 was a year of positive experiences and growth.  With a strong foundation and eagerness to improve, 2017 should be our best year ever.  We are particularly optimistic with Alain Adams (DJ AQ) spearheading the launch of our new Philadelphia/Delaware operation effective January 1, 2017.

Thank you for your continued support.  We look forward to partying with you in 2017 and beyond!  For more information or to book Ambient DJ Service, visit us online at


DJ Cloak Dagger Rocks Gotham Hall, NYC

Meet Dancer Sasha Saco

Ambient DJ Service is excited to officially welcome Sasha Saco to our team!


Sasha Saco has been dancing and assisting DJs in the New Jersey/ New York Tri-State area for over 12 years. Sasha’s career began at age 2 when she was accepted in to the Hamilton Ballet School and has been professionally trained in all genres of dance for over 25 years. She has also worked professionally in NYC as an actor and voiceover artist, working for TV shows such as Sesame Street and Nickelodeon. She has also worked as a dance choreographer and acting instructor for children and teenagers.

Sasha is extremely energetic on the dance floor and takes pride in knowing that every party started ends with sheer and absolute fun. Having degrees in both Education and Psychology, she specializes in parties for children and teens, but that will not stop her from leading the dance floor at weddings, birthdays and corporate events. Her professionalism and never-ending smile will leave both you and your guests completely satisfied.

Booking Information

For booking information, visit us online at  Sasha makes the perfect addition to a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Communion party, kids birthday party or corporate event.


Late Summer 2016 Dance Playlist

Summer 2016 is nearly over, and boy it’s been a hot one here in our company’s home base of Central New Jersey!  In this blog, Ambient DJ music mixologist Gregg Ambient shares his top dance floor picks of the new season.  Take them for a spin on your dance floor without delay!  Enjoy the music on the Spotify player immediately following the list.

The Late Summer 2016 Dance Playlist by DJ Gregg Ambient

  1. September (dance remix) – Throttle w/ Earth, Wind & Fire (seasonal selection)
  2. Is This Love (dance remix) – Bob Marley (reggae / dance)
  3. Be Here – Duke Dumont (house)
  4. Let Me Love You – DJ Snake f/ Justin Bieber (dance)
  5. Feel – Mahmut Orhan (take a trip to a Middle Eastern bazaar… quite the exotic track) (dance)
  6. This Girl (Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners) – Kungs (dance)
  7. Lush Life – Zara Larsson (dance)
  8. Millionaire – Cash Cash & Digital Farm Animals f/ Nelly (performed live at the recent DJ Times DJ Expo in Atlantic City!) (dance)
  9. Cool for The Summer – Demi Lovato (pop/dance)
  10. You & I – Sons of Maria (uses melody of Tracy Chapman’s fast car) (dance)
  11. Do It Right – Martin Solveig (house)
  12. Ale’ Sofi – DJ Cloak Dagger (featured on the latest Buddha Bar installment.. also try the Captain Planet remix) (electronic / lounge)
  13. Closer – Chainsmokers f/ Halsey (dance)
  14. Birthday – Dougie F. (R&B)
  15. Too Good – Drake and Rihanna (R&B)
  16. LUV – Tory Lanez (an interpolation of the hook from Tanto Metro & Devonte’s ‘Everybody Falls In Love’) (R&B)
  17. Broccoli – D.R.A.M. f/  Lil’ Yachty (hip hop)
  18. All the Way Up – Fat Joe w/ French Montana and Remy Ma (hip hop)
  19. For Free – DJ Khaled w/ Drake (hip hop)
  20. Purple Lamborghini – Rick Ross with Skrillex (killer drop!) (trap music)
  21. In Common (Kenny Dope Remix) – Alicia Keys (R&B/house)
  22. Boss – Disclosure (house)
  23. Cheap Thrills – Sia (pop)
  24. Bonbon (Lucas Schreiner remix) – Era Istrefi (pop)
  25. Safari – J Balvin f/ Pharrell Williams, BIA and Sky (Latin/reggaeton
  26. Hasta el Amanecer – Nicky Jam (Latin/reggaeton)
  27. Bailar – Deorro w/ Elvis Crespo (a great EDM / Merengue track)
  28. Sweet Disposition – Temper Trap (throwback)
  29. I Follow Rivers (Magician Remix) – Lykke Li (throwback)
  30. How Do I Let Go – Dennis Ferrer & Friends (throwback)

Mix of the Month

In commemoration of the Summer 2016 Olympics held in Rio, we recorded a Brazilian Mix Sessions mix that can be enjoyed on Mixcloud below:

An Open Letter to Aspiring Female DJs

Dear Aspiring Female DJ,

You may have heard that the DJ industry is a male-dominated field, and that your chances for success are slim to none.  Well I’m here to advise you otherwise.

Who am I?  I am a DJ company owner based in Central New Jersey and a former President of the New Jersey Disc Jockey Network (2013-2015), our state’s professional disc jockey association.  As an active participant at national DJ conventions, I am familiar with many of the DJ industry’s success stories – both male and female.

I’ve always been vexed by the scarcity of female DJs. Perhaps just 5% of DJs are female.  While the job is mildly physically demanding and you may need to lift up to 75 pounds or so – I don’t think this should be a deterrent for most of you. If physical strength is a concern, today’s DJ equipment is more lightweight and compact than ever.   Worst case, you can utilize an assistant for load-in and set-up.

One complaint that I’ve heard voiced by female DJs is that club owners and companies are mostly interested in hiring based on looks and sex appeal.  In fact, at this past week’s DJ Expo in Atlantic City,  a female disc jockey by the name of “DJ Unladylike” voiced just that concern.

While it’s true that a small percentage of clubs and companies hire on looks and sex appeal, most hire based on skills and talent.  In other words, can you rock a party?  Also realize that females are not alone as victims of discrimination in the DJ industry.  Through the years, I’ve observed many decision makers draw false conclusions about DJ performers based on the factors of age, race and physical appearance.  I had a past prospective client request “a hunky younger DJ” for their 55+ retirement community.  I’ve spoken with prospective clients who requested that their DJ entertainer NOT be of a particular race.  I’ve personally been rejected for jobs because the prospect thought that I looked like an accountant and not like a DJ.  The most outrageous sexist request that I’ve ever received was from a mother who specifically requested a large-breasted female dancer for her son’s Bar Mitzvah!

I’ve always stated that our company is a talent-based service, not a modeling agency.    In hiring, I’m looking for individuals who are exceptional entertainers – be that exceptional music mixers, exceptional emcees, or both.  So long as they are well-groomed and physically able to meet the requirements of the job, their gender, sexual orientation or skin color is of no concern to me. This philosophy is evident in our company staff photo which resembles the United Nations with all of its diversity.

Our company has employed several female DJs through the years who put in quality work during their time with us.  We’re proud to currently offer an emcee named Jamie Herman – Jamie is an exceptional interactive entertainer.  The truth be told, skilled female DJs and emcees are in short supply.  Thus, if you are a female DJ with a passion for music and entertainment and the skills to back it up, I’m certain that many DJ company owners (myself included) would love to hear from you!


Emcee Jamie Herman always brings the party!

You – as a female DJ – are relatively rare, and thus possess unique niche marketing opportunities.  For example, as a wedding DJ, you could appeal to brides who feel more comfortable working with a DJ who can relate to their feminine side. Spin your female DJ status any way you wish if it can help you to book more gigs!

So whether you choose to work for a DJ company, spin at a bar/club, or blaze your own path with a DJ service of your very own…. ladies – I’m here to tell you that you can be successful!

Female DJ Success Stories

If much of my letter has sounded theoretical to this point, I would like to cite a few real life case studies to hopefully inspire you.

Betsy Fischer  – Betsy is a colleague from New Jersey who was crowned “DJ of the Year” at the 2015 DJ Times DJ Expo in Atlantic City. She is the owner and lead performer at “Betsy Fischer’s Groove Lounge” based in southern NJ.  To learn more about Betsy’s story, visit


DJ Betsy Fischer

Ali Gruber – Ali’s skills came to my attention via a Photo Booth operator colleague who saw her spinning on real vinyl at a wedding in Asbury Park NJ.  To learn more about Ali’s unique success story based on a passion for music, read my interview with her at


DJ Ali Gruber

Jodi Duston – this New Hampshire-based DJ evolved her traditional DJ service into a niche service catering to the LGBT market.  Read about Jodi’s niche marketing success story at

DJ Jodi

DJ Jodi Duston

Michelle Lee (aka DJ Shelly) – I had the pleasure of working an event with Philadelphia-based Michelle Lee of Sounds by Shelly (  I was in a support role providing karaoke services, and had the opportunity to observe Michelle emcee and spin at a high degree of difficulty corporate event.  Shelly was featured in the Mobile DJ Success Stories column in the most recent issue of DJ Times Magazine.  Importantly, Michelle is an advocate for females in the DJ industry.  For example, she filmed a video of herself performing the “two speaker carry” and has requested equipment manufacturers to offer female-friendly gear.


Michelle Lee, aka DJ Shelly

Randi Rae (aka The Mitzvah Maven) – a mobile DJ industry icon and former Star DJ performer, Randi Rae is particularly well-known for her contributions in the bar/bat mitzvah scene, both as a performer and educator. I am one of Randi’s grateful students.  Decades later, Randi has transferred her enthusiasm for entertainment to senior citizens at assisted living facilities and nursing homes.  While I’m not certain of the exact figure, it’s safe to say that Randi is personally performs at hundred of these events per year – sometimes logging 3 or 4 parties in a single day!  She stays mobile by using a very portable Alesis PA system that she wheels around like a piece of luggage. It was a touching moment at this past week’s DJ Expo to see Randi receive a plaque of appreciation from peers and a standing ovation.  For more information about the Mitzvah Maven, visit


DJ Randi Rae, aka the Mitzvah Maven accepts a Plaque from her grateful industry peers

Linda Leigh –  Linda Leigh is a former rave DJ  based in the Philadelphia area who specializes in underground dance music and is also well-versed in a wide range of eclectic musical genres.  Linda chaired two successful seminars at the recent 2016 DJ Expo in Atlantic City.  She is the consummate hustler, working her way into bars, clubs and lounges – and building up followings.  Her DJ sets are always creative and impeccably mixed!   You can catch Linda every Sunday night at Trenton Social or every week on Burst Radio!


DJ Linda Leigh

Shani Barnett –  Shani, aka DJ Chitown Shani, is a Chicago-based DJ and Emcee.  While I don’t know Shani well, I’ve seen her speak and perform numerous times and have great respect for her abilities.  She is a quadruple threat as a skilled club-style DJ who can definitely hold her ground against the boys, a fantastic emcee, a great dancer, and a savvy business person. To hear Shani’s advice to aspiring female DJs, listen to Jay Brannan’s interview with her below.

Stacy Zemon –  Stacy Zemon is a former Mobile and Radio DJ who evolved her career into the DJ education market.  She is the Publisher, Editor and Chief Scribe at and the author of several highly regarded educational books that have assisted thousands of upcoming DJs (including me!) to improve their businesses.  These books include The Mobile DJ Handbook, The DJ Sales and Marketing Handbook, The Mobile DJ MBA and The Mobile DJ Entrepreneur.   I’m proud to be a monthly contributor at ProMobileDJ joining Stacy in her labor of love for educating the DJ industry.  Thank you Stacy for all that you do for our industry!


Stacy Zemon

In Summary

These success stories above are just the tip of the iceberg.  The point is to illustrate that it is possible for female DJs to survive and thrive!  Other female success stories who I’d like to shout out are: Jodi Harris (aka the CEO of Fun, Las Vegas), Tara Feeley (Tara fuses traditional DJing with her gift of singing, New Jersey), and DJ Dayna (based in Ohio, but known for performing on cruise ships).

Will it be easy?  Of course not.  Creating a successful business requires an immense effort, and females may need to work even harder to gain acceptance in this male-dominated field.  As previously mentioned, sexism and discrimination do exist in pockets of the marketplace, but they can be overcome with determination.  If you do encounter sexism, try not to take it personally.  You need to have really thick skin in the entertainment field regardless.  Doing sales work?  Add an extra few layers of skin for the rejection that you will inevitably face.

Ladies, if you are committed to becoming a successful DJ, focus on developing your skills.   Talent and skill trumps all, and just like the lyrics from Fat Joe’s new song go, you’ll go “all the way up, nothing can stop you!”


Gregg Hollmann (aka DJ Gregg Ambient)


Ambient DJ Service

DJ Cloak Dagger Featured On Buddha Bar

Congratulations to Luke Rizzo, aka Cloak Dagger, for the inclusion of his production “Ale’ Sofi” (Captain Planet Remix) on the new Buddha Bar ‘Select 9’ compilation.  This fun tropical house track evokes the feeling of flamenco and Brazilian Carnival – and is found on the “Party Friends” side (Disc Two) of the album.

Read Luke’s thoughts on this accomplishment below!



To enjoy the Captain Planet remix:

To enjoy the original Cloak Dagger track that was remixed by Captain Planet:

To learn, more about DJ Cloak Dagger, read our recent interview at:

Booking Information

To book DJ Cloak Dagger for your wedding, club or private event, visit us online at or email