A night out to strut on the dance floor, a private party with bobbing heads and cocktails in hand, or a grand occasion where excitement travels through each beat. There is a pilot who guides you through the journey of each of these events. The DJ. He leads the crowd on their quest for enjoyment and paves the way for a downright good time. Although there are plenty of people impersonating DJs who seem to fall short in some aspects of the job description, there is one man in Downtown St. Pete who is original, a pro, and of course a local! Voted Best of The Bay three times, he is most definitely worth a fine introduction. DJ Mega is his name and music is his game.
Just when did DJ Mega evolve from the everyday man Neal Stoll? DJing seemed to prove itself to be the natural progression of what he was doing at the time, which was listening to and collecting records. In the mid 90s, a friend of Stoll’s dubbed him as DJ Mega. (You actually may know this friend of his as Tes One, a well-respected local artist who has made quite the creative impact with clients who include Beats by Dre, FIFA World Cup and Nike just to name a few). Mega began playing for his friends in his bedroom, because, think about it, there was no Spotify or Soundcloud then! That’s how people started to find out about him – word of mouth.
In 2001, Mega landed his first paid gig. He began playing at a restaurant in Downtown St. Pete, Grand Finale (that was surrounded by pay-by-the-hour motels and not much else). It billowed with smoke, but attracted a fun crowd on Thursday evenings. DJing for six hours straight on these nights, this was the first time he thought “I could do this all the time.” – Get paid for what he loves to do, that is.
What was the first record Mega owned? Jackson 5 – I Want You Back 45 Rpm.
Staying relevant is what Mega contributes his success to. Maintaining relationships with fans, friends, and promoters is key, but so is going out to other events to show support for the community and DTSP. Plus, it also helps if you are actually good. Which, he is mega-talented. This guy is able to play any genre of music, fill the room with beats that the majority of the crowd want to hear and give party-goers something that may be a bit unexpected, but enjoyable. Proof that he has eclectic taste is his personal wide array of musical interest. Funny enough, his guilty pleasure to play during a set is “bad” current rap music. Though there is a spot in his heart for movie soundtracks. His favorite is the track from Rushmore. On his way over to meet me at CASSIS for our interview, he was listening to New York Groove by Ace Frehley.
There have been plenty of moments to be proud of throughout Mega’s career, but a few stand out the most to him. Such as, the first time he ever DJed at State Theater, the Tampa Bay Lightning Watch Parties this year (shout out to Kelli Yeloushan – the Live Events Manager for our NHL team), and the 600 Block Party that brought in a sea of people. Mega feels honored to have been one of the special event DJs for the Tampa Bay Rays when they made it to the World Series in 2008! (DJ Mega has also played countless time at NOVA 535, unique event venue right here in Downtown St. Pete. Planning a special occasion soon? You’ve just found the perfect space and DJ for the evening!)
You just missed him provide the beat to the SHINE opening block party in DTSP, but stay tuned to DowntownStPete.com to see where you can go to experience a mega-great vibe in winter of 2016/2017.
Want in on a secret?
Although DJ Mega is kind of an a-hole who has never paid for a drink in his life, the man behind the character is quite the opposite. Neal Stoll is a honey bear of a fella who is the proud papa of a darling poodle mix named Prime Minister Pete Nice The Party Dog (or Pete for short).
Interested in finding out more about people who rock, just like Neal Stoll aka DJ Mega? DowntownStPete.com is here to continue to share with you the finest places to go, things to do, and personalities to meet right here in the Sunshine City. Create a free profile and post a selfie of you and Mega from one of his events on Downtown Now! We can’t wait to hear from you.