By D. Milan

It was like coming to Atlanta all over again…

I remember dreaming a life like this. Walking through the back door of a party that only the coolest kids knew about. Being on “the list”. Sashaying my way through a crowd of bodies. It felt like the perfect club scene in a classic movie.

Someone made it official that night.
Someone finally asked her for that dance that night.
Someone forgot about their ex that night.
Someone remembered everything that was good about life that night.

The first time I got to watch a DJ Wally Sparks set, there was a palpable shift in the air.I’d seen him in the “staff room” earlier, but I don’t too much make a habit of introducing myself until an opportune moment arrives. With an air of confidence and a light-hearted smile, Wally Sparks opened his set at The Groove ATL in The Basement. His aura began to surround the place as admirers looked up from the dance floor not certain if they wanted to sing, dance, drink or try to do all three at the same time.

One song after another, it felt like the boxing match that wouldn’t let up as he hit the crowd with thoughtful digs from the crate’s bottom. The quintessential 90s R&B harmonies and collective “OH!”s proved Wally’s attention to sonic detail.

“He’s so clever. Look at what he’s about to do.” I smiled as I admired the admirer’s admiration.

“What a feeling it must be to have people surrounding you who genuinely enjoy the way you do what you do,” I thought to myself. Turns out, the admirer was the magnanimously talented, Bryan-Michael Cox. I told him, “You know, I should have known that was you when I saw that head nod”.

(If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing B. Cox vibing, you know “the nod”. Classic shit)

And he smiled. And I smiled.

At that moment, Wally let the melodies of the music fill the room…and he smiled.

Suppose, that’s the mark of a good DJ. Somebody who can still have fun with the music, enjoy it with the crowd. He brought us into his world. Introduced us to his vibe. I exited the back door I’d come in remembering how I’d only dreamed of nights like this… Entrenched in the moment, the crowd still singing along.

Check out more from DJ Wally Sparks on his Mix Cloud . Check out this replay of The Groove from 1/27 life from the Basement  at East Atlanta Villiage


D. Milan is a Music Director and Content Curator for AB+L Radio. Follow her on IG @iammissmilan