Recently Louisville’s DJ Colossus (aka Chauncey Graves) broke the Guinness World record for longest set by a DJ, spinning for 10 days straight at Spinelli’s. I interviewed Colossus to find out if it was a grueling as it sounded, the most challenging aspects of completing the record and whether he is currently eyeing any new records to break.
Never Nervous: Hey thanks for your time and congratulations on the new world record. What gave you the idea to try and break the record for longest continuous DJ set?
DJ Colossus: I am always keeping updated on what is going on in the music world, especially DJs. One night during my research I came across a Nigerian DJ, DJ Obi, who set the world record for longest DJ set at 240 hours, in July of 2016. It got my wheels turning and I was bothered that no record title had been held by an American DJ. That bothered me since it was in America that scratching and turntabilist were created. I knew I could be the one to bring it to America. It was never about Guinness for me, it was bigger than that to me.
“It was never about Guinness for me, it was bigger than that to me.”
NN: Have you tried to break the record previously?
DJC: No, I went into it saying this is my one shot so there was no backing down.
NN: You got a 5 minute break for every hour DJ’d. I feel like the toughest part would be not sleeping for 10 days.
DJC: DJing for long periods of time is nothing new for me. So being able to DJ long enough to accumulate an hour of sleep was not hard. The first couple of days going to sleep was difficult, but by day 4 I was able to shut my mind and body down pretty quickly. At times I didn’t want to go to sleep because I knew it would be hard to wake up, but my team took care of me and always reminded me of my health and that shutting my brain down is crucial for the getting through the 10 days.
The toughest part of it all though was not the sleep, it was the boredom. It was great during peak hours in the afternoon and nights when I could get the party going, but the hours when it would just be me and my timekeepers were the hours my mind and body would work against me. I had to dig deep in the those moments and keep reminding myself of the bigger picture so that the present moment wouldn’t consume me.
“The toughest part of it all though was not the sleep, it was the boredom.”
NN: What’s the best pizza Spinelli’s has? I read you ate a lot of that along with Oranges and water at Spinelli’s where you completed the 10 day feat.
DJC: I loved Spinelli’s pizza because it wasn’t too heavy. I made sure not to eat foods that would “weigh me down” or slow me down. I loved their sausage pizza’s because they had huge chunks of sausage on it that provided me protein and filled me up without eating much. And I have to give props and appreciation to Spinelli’s for providing free pizza to me and my timekeepers throughout the whole 10 days! All of their employees were invested in this and took good care of us.
NN: Is there a reward for breaking the record?
DJC: I received a plaque at the end of it all. For Guinness they provide you a certificate. But that does not happen until they review my submitted packet of the video footage and packet of other documents that was required to gather during the record attempt. But Guinness puts a disclaimer on all applications that just because you achieve the record does not mean you will be published on the website or the book. But then there is the personal reward, or gain, that you get from stretching past your limits and achieving a goal you put a lot of time and energy toward making happen. I learned a lot about myself those 10 days, and that was a reward in and of itself.
NN: How long did you sleep when you completed your set?
DJC: After putting myself in a food coma from dinner at Cracker Barrel, I did not budge for over 13 hours. It was Monday when I woke up and I thought I could tackle my day as I do any other Monday, but by noon I was really hurting and quickly realized I was underestimating what I just endured and the toll it took on my body. I took a lot of naps the first week to get me through but by the second week I was back to a more normal routine and in Tae Kwon Do again.
“After putting myself in a food coma from dinner at Cracker Barrel, I did not budge for over 13 hours.”
NN: How did you get into DJing?
DJC: It was when I was in Colorado in Broadcasting School where I met fellow student DJ Sizzle, a one-armed DJ that sparked my interest of the art of DJing. I relocated to California to continue honing my skills on the turntables.
NN: What do you think about the hip hop culture/scene in Louisville?
DJC: I think there is a strong underground hip hop scene here that is growing rapidly. As a DJ I am excited about what is emerging, I enjoy hearing these artists and being able to add to their sound. It is my passion to get the positive hip hop message out there and a lot of the mainstream stuff that is out here in our society drowns out these talented local artists. We have to work together as artist and DJ to make this scene thrive.
“It is my passion to get the positive hip hop message out there and a lot of the mainstream stuff that is out here in our society drowns out these talented local artists.”
NN: Are there any other records for DJs that you have your eye on breaking?
DJC: It takes a certain type of person, a certain mindset to be someone who is driven to break records. I clearly have that mindset because less then a week after completing this record I started thinking about other records I could break. I will not make that decision lightly though, if it something that personally means something to me, that will have me invest myself into it then I will definitely consider it, maybe this time making it a fundraiser . Always keep up with me, I am always doing things to provide smiles and entertainment and trying to lift my community. All the support is needed, stay tuned, there is a lot of things on the horizon!