Get Ready to Dance: DJ Vader Shares Insider Details on STEREO ’24 DJ Festival at Sawyer Point Park

Stereo ’24 – Cincinnati’s largest DJ Festival is coming up on June 1, and we talked to the producer himself, Kenyatta Smith aka DJ Vader to give us a sneak peek into this unforgettable event! 

We talked to Kenyatta Smith aka DJ Vader to give us a sneak peek into Cincinnati’s largest DJ Festival – Stereo ’24. A Cincinnati native, DJ Vader, started DJing in the ‘90s, spinning at house parties and producing mixtapes for friends. Known for his song selection and tagline “It is pointless to resist”, he became a favorite at various events. In the course of his impressive career, he provided the soundtrack to some of Queen City’s most significant cultural events, including Blink, The Cincinnati Music Festival and Cincy Soul. He’s now blazing the trail for homegrown talent, producing Cincinnati’s largest DJ Festival – Stereo ’24, coming up on June 1 at Sawyer Point Park.  

What’s the inspiration behind STEREO ’24 DJ Festival?  
There is so much talent here in Cincinnati, so many well-rounded DJs. I wanted to showcase the talent we have. Also, having it in an open space, during the day, allows everyone to come and listen. If a fantastic DJ plays only in a specific club, they can only reach a limited audience.  

This event allows DJs to present themselves to a wide audience and allows the audience to listen to DJs they wouldn’t be able to hear otherwise, and maybe find their new favorite DJ. 

Can you take us on a mini trip down the memory lane of your own inspiring DJ career?  
I’ve been a DJ for almost 30 years. I’m a Cincinnati firefighter, just like my father was. He used to listen to music after work, to relax and unwind, and I always listened to music with him. Music was such an important part of my life, I grew up with it. Especially with Hip-hop. Both Hip-hop and I turned 50 this year! 

Where can people hear you play?  
I DJ at the 100.3 WOSL Radio, Cincy’s R’N’B station, every Saturday night. I travel the country for various events, concerts and festivals, and I am the resident DJ at Cincinnati Music Festival. 

What can we expect at the STEREO ’24 DJ Festival this year? 
This year, there will be 5 stages at Sawyer Point – Main Stage, the Tunnel at the Cincinnatus Statue, Skating Rink, Pickleball Court and Volleyball Court with almost 50 DJs playing. We had overwhelming interest from DJs all over our region to play at this year’s festival, and you’ll have the opportunity to hear the very best of Cincy talent. 

The Main Stage and the Tunnel will feature different DJs all day long, and at the Skating Rink, roller skaters will have the opportunity to skate.

What kind of atmosphere are you hoping to create? 
FUN! I want people to come to the festival, relax and dance. We’re all about spreading this danceable energy, and when the lights come up, we want that energy to skyrocket, like a thousand times over!  

What do you like about this Festival? 
Seeing people have a good time, bringing their kids, their pets. Seeing all the DJs rocking it and people dancing. Last year, when the sun went down, I looked out from the stage, and I saw a sea of people dancing and tiny green lights (on the LED bracelets they got) twinkling to the beat! It was amazing! 

Is there anything you’d like to add? 
Come out and expect a great time! Make a day out of it! Lend us your ear and explore all five stages – it’s FREE! 

On a scale from 1 to 10, how excited are you about it? 50!