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Check Out Nick Terpstra’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Terpstra. 

Hi Nick, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Well, I was pretty young when I was introduced to music. Grew up in a household that always had music playing on the stereo and I seemed to take to it well. Began with piano lessons and then moved into the whole percussion segment by middle school. Always had a hard time finding a private music instructor that was able to really help guide me until I met my first real drum instructor, Don. Literally changed my life with the approach to music and the drum ensemble he ran then and still now, STRIKE percussion ensemble. Taking his instruction and my competitive/hungry nature and I wound up attending a private college on a music scholarship. Fast forward four years, many performances, a few trips to perform at music festivals around the country, a group recorded CD and DVD, and I walked away with a Bachelor’s in Music. I taught private lessons and worked with a lot of local high school drumlines in my early to mid-twenties and ultimately had to step away so that I could go back to school. I was lucky enough to be introduced to a mentor in the digital music and DJing scene here in GR about 3 years ago and started to really get back into music again! I’ve played at Stella’s (pre covid), mixed live for many fitness events at local studios, played a few private house parties, and most recently have been playing at The Grand Woods Lounge. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road hasn’t always been smooth. Having to step away from music hurt a lot; made me feel like I had failed at pursuing a real career as a performing musician. Other than that, I think that the other “bumps and bruises” are experienced by everyone in all walks of life, in some way. Having to figure out a lot of it by trial and error, and knowing that sometimes you’ll fail and fail badly. I believe that what happens after those bumps is really where a lot of growth can happen. You learn to adapt and find ways to always be better and offer new exciting ideas. I’m constantly thinking about how I can improve the music I produce, the sets I put together when I play live, or even ways to collaborate with other artists in the community, even if they’re not musicians! 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a local DJ in the music scene here in GR. I “specialize” in high-energy, upbeat playlists that mash-up popular vocals and melodies with underlying EDM/House/Trap beats and harmonies. However, I also have a wide variety of playlists and set lists for most occasions from lo-fi to classical to dubstep and almost everything in between. I’m honestly most proud of my tenacity and my insane work ethic. I apply it to everything in my life (some would say I’m probably a bit of a workaholic), but I think that nothing great was ever achieved by being lazy. You have to put in the time and effort to really make this passion/hobby into something special. At the end of the day, I just love music and performing in front of a crowd. In a way I’m in control of the crowds’ emotions and the right musical set can be a really powerful/emotional experience for not only me as a performer/DJ but the crowd as well. I think my unique blend of mash-up styles and on-stage presence, beyond my high drive for being better every day, is what sets me apart from most. 

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
I found that you just need to ask everybody you know if they know somebody that does something you’ve expressed an interest in. Look for that common connection. Networking is hard for me, but I have been blessed to know individuals that are very active in the local community here and they all have been very supportive of my endeavors. I will also constantly reach out to booking managers and local bars/clubs to get a face-to-face or ask about what they’d like to see/hear to consider me as someone they would use at their establishment. 


  • DJ Tutoring/Mentoring – $100/hr
  • All other pricing is by contract/appointment

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Bryson Oppermann

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