Let Us Introduce You: Matt Hurley

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Let Us Introduce You: Matt Hurley

John Schuler/Photo Editor

John Schuler/Photo Editor

John Schuler/Photo Editor

John Schuler/Photo Editor

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Aspiring pilot passes time on the ground as a DJ

John Schuler/Photo Editor

Many students spend college and the time beyond searching for the profession they are most passionate about. Sophomore Matt Hurley found his true passion in third grade.
At only eight years old, Hurley climbed aboard an airplane for his first flying lesson. He flew a plane solo for the first time on his 16th birthday, and received his pilot’s license when he was only 17 years old. Currently, Hurley is working toward a commercial pilot’s license, majoring in aviation management with a minor in flight science.
Though active on campus, many might recognize him from a different scene. While maintaining a professional demeanor in the air, on the ground, Hurley pursues his other passion—working as a DJ.
Whether on his KSLU show, “House Music Fridays,” or at a club, Hurley is usually behind a sound mixer. This passion began at his eighth-grade dance when he requested a song from the DJ and got a look at the lights and boards. He was fascinated and wasted no time getting involved.
“I got $100 and bought some piece-of-junk equipment off Craig’s List,” Hurley said. “I stuck my walkman on one side [of the mixer] and my iPod on the other, fading between the two, doing backyard parties.”
In high school, he encountered more opportunities to put his talent to work.
“I got an upgraded mixer and some better equipment. By the end of high school, I had two guys working for me. We did sweet-16s, birthdays, you name it,” Hurley said.
Starting off in the small town of Westwood, Mass., Hurley has since opened for shows such as “Dayglow.” He attributes a lot of opportunities to being in the right place at the right time.
“I got really lucky. I met a guy named Domenic Laury, or DJ SlantE. It turned out he was one of the most prominent DJs in St. Louis and he kind of took me under his wing,” Hurley said.
With one connection after the other, this small-town DJ made a name for himself working in the busy nightlife of St. Louis. Rather than allowing the “quasi-celebrity” status to go to his head, Hurley finds possibility and encouragement in his successes instead.
“I opened for George Acosta. By the end of his concert, he told us he was hungry, so we all went and got slingers downtown. To have a casual conversation with this man who has 500,000 hits in his weekly mix and even to speak with aviators, it all keeps my enthusiasm.” Hurley said.
Fitting two of the most time-consuming activities into one schedule is a daunting task as it is, but Hurley is already planning his own future after college.
“DJ-ing kind of plays second bananas to flight school,” Hurley said. “At the same time, it’s hard to let go with this whole explosion of the popularity of DJ-ing. And having been given a lot of opportunities that most aspiring DJs only dream of… It‘s like getting so far and just letting it go.”
While flight school remains his goal for the future, being a DJ is still a “full-time hobby” he intends to hold throughout college. With his many supporters, Hurley has much gratitude for all the support.
“I feel so blessed to have so many people care about what I do,” Hurley said. “And my parents, God bless them, giving an eight-year-old control of a small plane!”
Hurley holds strong hope for his future.
“My goal by the end of high school was to be a club DJ and I think it’s been successful. The sky’s the limit from here,” Hurley said.