What does it take to be a renowned DJ, entertainer, producer, event planner, entrepreneur, philanthropist, hunk of a husband, and rad dad? Well, the short answer is that it takes long nights, early call times, and a great deal of hard work. Doug Hensel, also known as DJ Fresh of DJ Fresh Events, is amongst the top personalities here in Downtown St. Pete because of the energy he brings to every party and how much he gives back to his hometown. In fact, DJ Fresh Events was voted one of the top 3 Favorite corporate entertainers in 2014 by the Tampa Bay Business Journal and in 2012 was voted Best DJ to Change the Game by Creative Loafing! You can find DJ Fresh at such a broad range of affairs to include private events, beach parties, charity functions, hosting on HSN, and as the official Tampa Bay Rays DJ and Emcee.
Born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Florida, (okay, he had a quick 6-month hoorah in Atlanta, but missed home so much that he quickly returned) Hensel always had a wide spectrum of taste in music. He grew up listening to his mother playing 70s funk and disco, experienced the start of the 80s generation of tunes, and – get this – the first CD he ever owned was The Phantom of the Opera Soundtrack.
Hensel began spinning when he was nineteen years old; right around the same time he began working for a radio station that served the Tampa Bay area, Wild 98.7. Here he was a part of the original street team and became one of the 7pm – midnight radio-show hosts. (This was when P. Diddy was still Puff Daddy and Lil Wayne was still, well, little.)
Working at the station jumpstarted his career and led him to an opportunity to spin at Ybor City’s hottest nightclub, The Pleasuredome. This is where he was dubbed as “DJ Fresh” by resident DJ and Hensel’s mentor – DJ Xtreme.
After a few years, Hensel grew up and got out of the blackhole of the nightclub scene.
He never stopped entertaining and establishing a name for himself, but in 2003 he met his lovely wife, Jennifer. The Hensels are the parents of two beautiful children, Daphne – 6, and Jake – 3. Both are child actors and models; Daphne has a full commercial on the Disney channel and just wrapped up a national fishing campaign!
“She’s a ham and is always putting on shows,” Doug said about his daughter. (Follow this little gal on Instagram: thedaphnemadison – she already has over 1,000 followers!)
Okay, besides being a family man and hip DJ, Hensel also has some huge accomplishments in his career that must be mentioned.
The largest crowd he has entertained was a whopping 90 million while he DJ’d Tyra Banks’ launch of her beauty line, Tyra Beauty, on HSN in October of 2014. The production was massive with all the bells and whistles including live audience members, a runway, three different studios, and even a choir. Doug impressed Tyra with his talents and was excited to have him back for her next show!
Not only did he DJ Tyra’s fierce event, Hensel is also an on-air guest host on HSN as an Electronics Expert for Beats by Dre and is a part of the Margaritaville line. Tune into the network to see him on your TV screen! (Is there anything this guy can’t do?!)
Other celebrities DJ Fresh has hosted events for and worked with include funny-man Dan Aykroyd, major-leaguer Evan Longoria at the Rookie of the Year party in Los Angeles, LMFAO, Rihanna, and Chris Brown, just to name a few.
“I get goose bumps talking about all this!” Hensel said he feels lucky to have all of these opportunities. (And Downtown St. Pete is lucky to have him bring life to our parties!)
For the past two years, DJ Fresh has been a consultant in the Sports & Development division of ClearpH Design – a brand speciality firm based right here in St. Petersburg. Utilizing his sports, entertainment, and business relationships, he has been busy negotiating potential off field options in branding, web, endorsement, and philanthropic opportunities for athletes and businesses.
Additionally, he is extremely involved with the community in St. Pete. As a member of the development council for All Children’s Hospital, he helps to raise money and awareness for the hospital. Doug is glad to play a part in assisting these families find the tools or finances they need.
Beyond All Children’s, DJ Fresh hosts some of the Tampa Bay Rays’ community events, such as the Rays On The Runway Fashion Show. (This is a great event where the players walk down the runway and model fashion trends with their wives and a child participating from the Children’s Dream Fund. The Rays raise over $100,000 annually for the foundation!)
You know what is best about Doug Hensel? He is a likable dude and delightfully easy to talk to, despite his accomplishments and celebrity “friends.” I am not surprised he has become such a successful entrepreneur. After all, he ended our interview with this quote from Jay-Z,
“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!”
Make sure your next event is “Certified Fresh” and hosted by DJ Fresh. Believe me, you will not be disappointed with what he will add to the party! Don’t forget to tell him that Downtownstpete.com sent you. Not planning an event anytime soon? Catch him at a Rays Game – remember he’s the official DJ and Emcee at the Tropicana Field. Doug recently hosted his spectacular Birthday Party at St. Pete’s finest venue NOVA 535 Unique Event Space, with incredible surprises including break dancing with DJ Kitty!
(Featured image courtesy of PJ Agostini)