5 minutes with… Ray Gooden

By Mike Romor

DeKalb | Volleyball and DJing don’t really mix, but these are two of volleyball head coach Ray Gooden’s favorite passions.

Gooden shared his interesting hobby with the Northern Star.

Northern Star: When did you become a DJ?

Ray Gooden: High school, freshman year.

NS: What were your influences? Any DJs or bands?

RG: Yeah, man. At my high school, it just seemed to be the big thing. There were a lot of guys and girls who did it back in the day: people who toured with big-time rap stars, like Kool Moe Dee, and guys who just played up in clubs.

NS: Did you try to get a lot of venues when you were younger?

RG: Nah. We did a lot of house parties, we used to do things at Northwestern University and used to do parties there. Then when I was in college — just when I thought I was going into the next phase of my life and I thought I was going to stop doing it, it seemed to keep going.

I sold all my stuff when I went to college, but then I DJed in college. I sold all my stuff when I graduated from college, but I played some clubs when I came back home. Again I thought I would be done with it when I got married, but now I’m playing weddings and some random clubs here and there.

NS: If not for volleyball, would DJing be something you would be more involved with?

RG: I’d love to, and I wanted to be a radio DJ when I was younger. People thought I had the voice for it or the ability to communicate in that capacity.

NS: What would be your radio name?

RG: I have no idea. I used to want to do the “Love Hour” back in the day. People thought I had the voice for that, you know, like the “Quiet Storm” kind of thing. But no, I just really love music.

NS: Are there any particular songs you really like to use while spinning?

RG: I wouldn’t say any certain songs, but more of particular styles of music. I’ve been in Chicago, where house music is a big deal, so I really like house music. With my family being from Jamaica, reggae is a big deal. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, a lot of hip hop and that stuff is a big deal, too. All that stuff has been a big influence. Now I try to incorporate everything, even a little country.

NS: Do you ever perform in front of your players?

RG: I think the only time they’ve ever seen me do something was when I did the Friday Fest for the first week back to school. That was pretty cool. I’ve played at some bars and stuff around here before, but my intent is never really to appease the college crowd. It’s more of an after-work thing for the older folks.

NS: Do you play any instruments?

RG: When I was younger I played the piano, coronet and saxophone, but I haven’t touched that stuff in decades. It’s really more just electronic stuff I deal with.