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Student mixes tunes on the side

Published: Monday, February 25, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 00:02

Caleb Stewart

Sophomore petroleum engineering major Tim Farmer, otherwise known as DJ Roughneck, sets up his equipment.


While most eighth graders were worrying about who they would take to the school dance or where they would go to high school, Tim Farmer was dreaming of brighter lights and faster beats.

Farmer, known locally as DJ Roughneck, said it has always been his dream to get involved in music.

“I got my first set in eighth grade — a starter kit,” said Farmer, sophomore petroleum engineering major. “It was really horrible, actually.”

Growing up, Farmer’s musical choices and interests were influenced by his DJ uncles in New York and by his pianist father and guitarist mother. 

“They were all a really big influence, my uncles especially with their music selection,” Farmer said. “They’re really big on me listening to all different genres of music.”

Farmer began by playing parties at his high school. His first major performance occurred during his freshman year, when a friend invited him to play at a house party.

“I was expecting it to be a really small party—it was huge! I didn’t know that. This guy had a massive house, I borrowed a few of my buddies’ speakers and amps, we set a few up inside and a few out around the pool and stuff, and it was crazy,” Farmer said of his introduction to a larger performance. “It was one of those dream parties—the kind you imagine every time you think about throwing a party.”

Farmer said he was in love with DJing from that moment on.

“I was really surprised, and it really stuck in my head,” Farmer said. “I think if my first gig had been something really small and stupid I wouldn’t have gone after it as much. I wasn’t bad. I was pretty good, but I didn’t have a lot of recognition around the town. I couldn’t go to clubs or anything—I couldn’t get in, but it went on from there.”

And it certainly has continued—DJ Roughneck has played at different venues around Bryan and College Station, to a crowd that is continuously increasing. A lot of this increasing fame has resulted from the style he’s developed.

“My biggest thing is doing an open-format sort of style, mixing anything that sounds good together and not necessarily keeping to the same genre,” Farmer said. “My favorite mixes are multi-genre mixes. Rock, hip-hop, rap, electronic, whatever you like, especially if it’s mixed with something that’s familiar.”

One of his favorites was a mix of “We Will Rock You” and “She’s Got a Donk.”

“I just love seeing the crowd react to that, knowing both of the songs and being surprised that they’re mixed together,” Farmer said.

Andrew Reimherr, sophomore business administration major, said Farmer is good at mixing a wide variety of music together.

“He is a great DJ in the fact that he knows the audience he is walking into,” Reimherr said. “If he’s doing a frat party, birthday, gig for a friend, he can adjust really well to that crowd. The style is obviously more hip-hop oriented from the few times I’ve heard him play, but he definitely doesn’t just rely on that.”

Florence Pickup, a sophomore in the reciprocal education exchange program, said Farmer is good at understanding what the crowd wants.

“I’d say that that’s an important part of a good DJ,” Pickup said. “They have to know how to read the crowd—pick it up if they’re slowing down, that sort of thing.”

Farmer said a big part of why he DJs is crowd reaction—being able to lift a crowd’s spirits as well as getting them moving. He said he wants to make their experiences memorable ones.

“I roughneck during the summer—that’s why they call me DJ Roughneck—and I make way more money working on the oil rigs than I do with my DJing, but my favorite thing is, if I can get a bunch of people together and get them really excited, not just about the music but about their lives in general, that’s a good night,” Farmer said.

Farmer said he wants his music to be about motivating and inspiring people.

 “When you think of music, it’s a huge part of life,” Farmer said. “Everybody listens to the radio, when they’re walking around campus they have their earphones in, listening to whatever, and they’re just looking for something to motivate them to do the next big thing in their life. I want to bring that to people.”

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