The family-friendly writer of the Cha Cha Slide (DJ Casper) shares about how he wrote the HIT song, what projects he is up to and how he successfully won his battle with cancer.
DJ Casper 101:
William Perry Jr. was born on May 31st 1971 and is best known today as “DJ Casper.” Throughout “DJ Casper’s” career he has worked as both a disk jockey and a song-writer. William grew up in the city of Englewood, Chicago and was known as “DJ Casper” because he nearly always wore white clothing when performing on stage. “DJ Casper” is known as the man who created the “Cha Cha Slide.”
Where Did the “Cha Cha Slide” Come From?
Casper first recorded the “Cha Cha Slide” for his nephew who was working as a personal trainer at a Bally’s Total Fitness in the year of 1998. Overtime the song began to gain in popularity in both fitness clubs and aerobic exercise fitness clubs. In the year of 200, DJ Casper created the “Casper Slide Part Two” which was played on radio stations throughout America because (in large part) Elroy Smith of WGCI-FM decided to play and promote the song to the “Chicago Land” area.
When Did the “Cha Cha Slide” Become a Hit?
The “Cha Cha Slide” became a hit song in the 2004, when M.O.B. recorded decided to team up with DJ Casper to help him create an entire compilation album focused on showcasing the various versions of the “Cha Cha Slide.” During the year 2004, the “Cha Cha Slide” was also picked up by the legendary Universal Records and was subsequently promoted and marketed throughout the world.
DJ Casper Battles Cancer.
During January of 2016, “DJ Casper” was diagnosed as having neuroendocrine cancer and kidney cancer, yet he ultimately successfully won his battle with cancer when he was announced to officially be in “remission” with the cancer that he was battling.
Where is DJ Casper?
DJ Casper “William Perry Jr.” lives in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois.
What is the Cha Cha Slide all about?
The song originally resonated with members of the Bally’s gym, which ultimately resulted in the release and the creation of the official “Cha Cha Slide” single release. Over the years the song has gone on to gain traction because it has been played relentlessly at dance clubs, wedding receptions and at countless other events. The “Cha Cha Slide” is very easy for most people to learn for many reasons including the fact that the song’s creator “DJ Casper” is calling out the instructions as to what you are supposed to be doing as the song is being played.
Is the “Cha Cha Slide” a Copyrighted Song?
Yes. In fact during 2003, “DJ Casper” who is credited as being the song-writer of the 2003 cross-over hit song “Cha Cha Slide” who filed several lawsuits against (perceived to be guilty) parties because he claims to have been involved in an M.O.B. Records deal during the year 2000.
How Old is DJ Casper?
DJ Casper was born on May 31st 1971 and is 48 years old.
How Old is the Cha Cha Slide?
The Cha Cha Slide was release in August of 2000.
Who Created the “Cha Cha Slide?”
The Cha Cha Slide was created by “DJ Casper.” The ultra-dance club and wedding reception hit, was released as a single during 2000 and ultimately went on to become a hit song.
NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece. An evil man sows strife; gossip separates the best of friends. Wickedness loves company—and leads others into sin.” – Proverbs 16:27-2
This is something new. The Casper slash [inaudible]
Chu feature in the platinum band at this time,
Yes, yes, yes, yes.
The nation. On today’s show, you will never guess who we have booked on today’s show. This guy is the songwriter, the man that changed wedding receptions forever. You see I DJ my company, DJ connection.com you listeners know before I sold that we were doing 4,000 weddings a year by, we had to buy all the different CDs, all the music, and one of the albums that we had to buy for every single case. One of the songs was that cha cha slide. We got the remixes, got all the different versions there, and the man, the myth who wrote that song is DJ Casper. DJ Casper, welcome onto the thrive time show. How are you sir?
I’m great. Thanks for having me brother.
Oh man. Well, Hey, my understanding is that you wrote the charge on a slide for your nephew who was working out or is working as like a personal trainer at a Bally total fitness in 1998. Is that accurate or what’s the story behind the church house lot?
That’s correct. That’s correct. My nephew was working at Valley’s and he needed a new routines for the people that were coming in there to work out. So it was actually created for him and the mainstream got ahold to it and once the mainstream got ahold to it and we ended up putting music behind it, I mean it took off like a rocket.
How did you how did the song gain radio play? I mean, what was, where was the first time that that song that was being played at Bally’s that you put together, wrote for your nephew, hit the airwaves? Was it in Chicago? Was it in New York? Where did it first hit the airwaves?
The first is the airways in Chicago. We had a guy, his name was Elway Smith that was at a radio called WGCI in Chicago that helped really promote that and push it to universal and everywhere else that it went.
Did you, what were you thinking when the song was on the radio the first time? Do you remember being in your car? Were you thinking, I mean, were you like in an old Buick at that point? You’re listening to the music? Come on, you’re like, Oh, it’s on the ready. I mean, what did it feel like?
Well, when I first heard it on the radio, I mean I was pretty excited. I got a lot of phone calls and I’m in the midst of me getting phone calls and trying to hear it. I mean, I was pretty much tied up for the part of what a week that people would call in. And it was really a man, they play your song, they’re playing a song. So I was like, wow. Really? So, I mean, I didn’t know at the time that it was going to really get as popular as it is.
Do you remember the feeling when you heard it on the radio for the first time where you were, you’re grinning ear to ear, were you, what were you doing?
No, I was just shocked cause I was, I was really just listening to it and be like, wow, that’s me.
Yeah. Now, okay, let me ask you this. I was on a cruise about four months ago in the Caribbean, you know, and your song comes on because it comes on everywhere you are. I mean, I went to an NBA game a couple of years back and there it is. Boom. I’ve been to NFL games. There it is. Boom. How do you get paid? Like how, how do you get paid as an artist? Because somebody out there is working on their new song, you know, and they’re a big hit song. We’ve had a lot of songwriters on this show. We’ve interviewed people like Ross Golan who write hits for Justin Bieber and Selena and that kind of thing. We’ve had these big artists like Emily Warren who writes for the Chainsmokers on the show. How does an artist like you get paid through your music?
You just have to make sure that all your T’s are crossed and the I’s and.as far as your paperwork and business. Part of it is concerned. Your, your Lord cheese and your publishing and all this other stuff. Once all that is taken care of, then Hey, I mean it comes naturally.
Got it. So, so now that your song is know, taken off, it becomes a global phenomenon. When did you realize it was a global phenomenon? Like was it, what year was that or do you remember where you were, where you realized, Oh man, this is something,
Well, when I, when I met up with universal records and then I started getting calls from overseas and everything, that’s when I knew it had stretched out to the, to the place of, you know, wow. I mean, it was like pretty much, it was, it was astronomical because I mean, you’ve got all these different radio stations contacted you, you got all these other different people contacting you to come out and do shows and this, that and the other and all across seas. So once, once that happens, you know, you, you’ve made it. Okay.
What’s the most number of people that you have led in the cha-cha slide at the same time? Was it 70,007 people, but what was, what’s the most numbers of people you’ve actually at one time taught the cha-cha slide too?
I taught it or, or done it. Well I did it at the Superdome in new Orleans at the essence music festival with urban magic knives. So that, that was around 80 something thousand.
Wow. Now you’re, how did you come up with the dance moves? What was the, what was the process like for coming up with the moves?
Well, when I came up with the stuff, like I said, it wasn’t, it wasn’t nothing but in the aerobics exercise. So just to do the steps to make people move, you know, all different ways and to bend and to, you know, just like Chris cross and turn those moves was pretty easy coming up with, you know, cause I mean it was pretty much self explanatory, you know. It wasn’t hard so people wanted to do it because it was so easy.
Were you a club DJ before you, your, your career took off with this song?
I was, yeah, it was definitely a DJ.
Do you still do you still spend, you still mixed? You still mixed music? I do. Where can people hear it if they want to stream it right now or go do you have like a YouTube channel? They can go check out or see you working?
Well I have my own radio station.
Well tell us about the listeners. Want to check it out?
Casper classic radio.org
Casper classic radio.org. I’m going to right now [inaudible]
Okay. And then you can listen to live.
Oh wow. And what kind of stuff do you play? What kind of music are you playing?
Well, I play, I play a lot of drawbacks, you know, and I’m old school destinies and throwbacks I play line dance music on everyday Monday through Friday from five to seven. And I play I have different people in that have a gospel show I have, it’s just like regular radio pretty much. But I don’t, I don’t play new school hip hop, I don’t play that.
Can you explain to us why you don’t play new school hip hop?
Well, because there’s enough stations out here and is doing it. I wanted to do something different.
Hmm. What are some of your favorite old school jams? Just to the listeners out there? We talked about the Daz band. Are we talking about, you know, are we talking about how old school? What, what are we talking about?
Well I like, I like Teddy Pendergrass. Like Marvin Gaye, I like James Brown. I like parliament Funkadelic, Bootsy. I mean I, I love music like that. I mean I even love the righteous brothers, you know what I’m saying? I played the righteous brothers. I love that song cause I, I love to listen to her. When it was in ghost.
Do you sing or you’re singer
W I do. I just think also,
So what does your personal life look like nowadays? Are you, are you, do you travel around and perform or, or what, what, what, what, what current projects are you working on now?
Well, I just got back from LA. I did the talk loving game show to tell the truth at Madison.
No, I’m, I’m doing a lot of things and I’m getting a lot of things together. I’m supposed to be in London in our next year of August of next year. They want me to come over there and do a big event. So I mean, I’m still moving around and I’m still doing a little of this and a little of that.
What has been
With the you know, I don’t know if you know, but in 2016, I was diagnosed with two forms of cancer. And then the process of me being diagnosed with the two forms of cancer, everything has gotten better. So I’m still moving. I’m still moving and still grooving.
Well, what was the, what was it like for you battling cancer? I mean, was it just the worst thing ever? I mean, wa walk us through that cause there’s gotta be listeners out there right now that are battling cancer. What was that experience like for you?
Well, you know what, I, when I, when I first got diagnosed with it, I was feeling kind of down until, you know, I, I just built myself up to say, Hey, this is going to be all right because not one time. And I’ve been blessed to not be the cancer patient that was real sick all the time and this, that and the other. So in the process of me going through the cancer situation, I’ve always been positive and stays strong and I got a new slogans that I use now. This says if you battling cancer, just stay positive and keep it moving. You can even keep it moving with the cha cha slide. You know, get out there and dance, shake something. They maybe take your mind off all of the negativity that has to do with cancer.
Hmm. What, what advice would you give a younger version of yourself looking back with your career? What advice would you give a younger you know, DJ Casper?
Well the advice I would give him would be to pretty much, you know, stay positive, stay on the right trail. And I always made sure that your business party, your situation is together so that you can have a longevity with music that you’re doing. Okay.
So get them. And did you have a, you have a great legal team that you found early on in your career or,
Oh, I do. I’d have a great legal team. I do.
They, they sure make sure all my T’s crossed and my I’s are dotted. Yes.
So, you know, we have a lead interview, a lot of super successful people like the head of Adobe or Wolfgang puck or you know, big names on the show consistently. And I feel like a lot of you guys are super successful because you have, you know, you have a certain method and a certain process, certain routine. What do you have like an idiosyncrasy or something that’s unique that you do that very few people do, but it’s kinda like your super move?
Well, not really a super move, but as far as when I create my music, I keep it, I keep it family really. And I keep it kid friendly and I keep it too exciting for people to continue to want to do it.
So you were intentional about keeping it family friendly?
Oh yeah, definitely, definitely. I mean, if that’s the case, I might’ve been born here and started doing hip hop, you know, stuff that I don’t play on my stations, you know, because I try to keep a positive vibe with the music. As long as you keep a positive, positive vibe with your music, then people would continue to support your music. You know, you can’t, you can’t try to follow the Jones’s. That means you can’t keep up with what everybody else is doing. You just have to say your own remanent. And do you know, do you do
Okay, let me ask you this then. Let’s, let’s talk about Kanye West for a second. I watched his performance with a, a jellos Dean’s church, you know, the full two hours. I watched all of it. I’ve also watched his Sunday services and it’s clutter. Remarkable change the guy, you know what I mean? A lot of what’s your take on that? Have you been following that at all?
Well, sometimes people have to change for different reasons, you know, and for whatever reason he made his Shane’s then that’s that, you know, I don’t know exactly for what reason he made his change. But you know, I don’t know if you’ve been following them, how long have you been following them because you know, it was a negative vibe going on with him for awhile.
Absolutely. Yeah. I’ve been following this whole career. Yeah.
Yeah. And sometimes you have to make that change in order to get back where you need to be. But the way that I do things, I try not to have to make a change. I try to keep it, you know, persistent the way I do it.
So where do you call home now? Or do you live in Chicago?
I live in Chicago, Illinois. Yeah. I live here. Born and raised.
Okay, so you didn’t do the Kanye move and leave Chicago?
Nah, because I figured, I mean, why leave Chicago when I know what’s going on here and everything is here to go somewhere and have to relearn all of that and then rebuild all of that when I can just travel to these other places that likes me to come out.
Did you are you a big bears fan? A big Cubs fan, a big bulls fan? What, what teams do you like?
I like, well, I, I support all my teams in Chicago, the bulls, the white socks. I’m not really a big cuff and, but I mean, Hey, if they win and I’m on the bandwagon for the city, you know what I’m saying? I am a big bears fan. I, I would follow the bears through good or bad. I think that they should let me quarterback and kick, but I mean,
That is a, that is my baby a viable strategy. They need somebody who’s just not going to throw the ball to the other team. That’s one of the big tips we want to give the bears out there. Now, what I want to ask you this because you’re, you’re a bulls fan, I’m sure. I liked the Chicago bulls and it, who didn’t do, you grew up hating them or loving them. Who was the third best Chicago bowl and your opinion during those six championships? You know, the two different three peats. Who was the third best? A lot of people say, you know, Michael’s number one, Scotty, number two. Who’s the third best bowl in your mind?
I personally think that John Paxton was one of the best boards. During that era
He could hit the three. Can you hit the three?
Oh, he can hit the three. Definitely.
Oh man. Yeah. What’s your favorite Chicago bulls moment? Do you have a favorite season where you’re going? Oh man, that, that right there. That was magic.
Well, I have six of them all six times if they want.
Oh, nice. Nice. Okay. Okay, well for those listeners out there, I know you’re a well-read guy. You’re a sharp, sharp dude. And if you look into your career, there’s a lot of neat stuff that you’re doing. Do you have a book recommendation that you’d recommend the listeners, maybe a book that’s impacted your life the most, or a couple of books where you go, Hey, this right here is a book you should read.
You know what, it’s just the things that I’ve been through and my life that, that really keeps me on a positive note and keeps me moving. I mean, it started off when I was real young. Okay. And a lot of people don’t know the physical things that I’ve been through in my life, but I’ve just recently put it out there through media news and newspapers here in Chicago about the stuff that I’ve been through in my life. And I’m getting ready to start something we call the Casper Casper’s dime drive for cancer research. Yeah. So I just, I just, my thing to people is, Hey, just stay positive. Stay positive. Stay off the negative road. You know, cause when you go to the negative road, it’s hard to come back from that. You know, you just stay on a positive road and keep your mind in a positive, you know, they say an idle mind is a devil’s playground, you know, so just try to, you know, keep yourself moving. You know what I’m saying? Even if you have to just do the charge on slide 500 times, you know, a day. Just
Now you mentioned before we hopped on the air here that you actually are in the process of attempting to set a Guinness world record. Can you tell us about the record you’re to set?
Well May 16th of 2020 will be the 20th year reunion for the cha-cha slide. That means it has been out for 20 years and it’s still going strong. So on that day we are attempting to go worldwide and everybody do the cha-cha slide simultaneously at the same time to break the Guinness book of world records.
Oh wow. Now how are you going to organize this? What’s, what’s, what do you have a kind of a plane you’re unveiling here soon?
Well, we’re, we’re already reaching out to different arms cities that want to be involved in it. And we’re reaching out to different people and sponsors and any, anybody who wants to be a part of that. So for them to get back with us and say, Hey, I like to be a part of this. And we, we, we give them all the information and what we, you know, what our goals are and what we’re striving to do. And then we pretty much take it from me and have every, you know, get everything ready, ready to rock and roll.
No. Just for the listeners out there who are, are not aware of the verse you are referencing. Proverbs 1627 29 reads, idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Idle lips are his mouthpiece and evil man sows strife. Gossip separates the best of friends. Wickedness, loves company and leads others into sin. We’re joined today with another positive guest, Jason Beasley. Jason, you grew up doing the cha-cha slide. I did. What question do you have for DJ Casper as we come to a conclusion on today’s show? So mine’s not so much a question. Just a a very lengthy, thank you. So this song premiered when I was in elementary school and as a [inaudible]
Don’t be saying it like that.
Oh no, no, no. That just means you’re a legend. But I’ve I’ve grown up in a culture where as a light skinned male, I’m supposed to, you know, culturally be able to dance. Well unfortunately I missed that gene, so I have to say thank you because ever since the song came out I would always be like a wallflower and not dance. But you did like the whole paint by numbers thing and I was out there just dancing African-American. Right. And your mother is Caucasian. My correct isn’t true and you can’t dance. I have rhythm, I can play music, but that, that rhythm doesn’t translate in the body movement. Oh wow. So this song actually saved me cause like they would play this when we were at the roller rink at every function. And it was the one thing, cause I hate dancing because I can’t, Oh man, this completely got rid of my anxiety. I was able to get out there and just kill it. Recently clay has passed the mantle of master DJ onto his son. He deejayed my wedding three months ago and we played this and everybody, even if they didn’t want to dance, got out there. And it’s just such a classic. Wow.
You know what? It makes it easy. It makes it easy for you to enjoy when you don’t have to think about what you, what you have to do when someone just tells you what to do. So it makes it easy. It makes you have more fun doing it.
Right. Are you offering therapy if we
Say we ship him up there to Chicago, will you provide him DJ Casper with some rhythm therapy we found in Chicago? By the time he gets back, he going have all of the beats and I started on little hip hop dance.
Oh, it looks like I’m coming to the windy city. All right. Hey DJ Casper. It has been an honor to talk to you, sir. Thank you so much. You’ve absolutely made a big impact in a positive way on this planet and we cannot tell you thank you enough.
I thank you all for interviewing me. I really appreciate it. And Hey, anytime you need me, you have my number. Reach out to me and Hey, long as I can keep it positive for the people I’m there.
All right. You take care brother.
Jason, can you, I believe that that just happened. I cannot believe that I just talked to the DJ Casper. Are you going to go up there and get rhythm therapy? I am. I’m not. I’m not kidding. Think about this. Think about how cool this is. You are off on the weekends. Most times. That’s true. And I have friends that live in Chicago. What if you talked to your wife and you surprise her and you go to Chicago to get dance lessons from DJ Casper? That sounds incredible. Acts phone number. Seriously, you could, you could benefit the rhythm therapy. That’s true. I need it. All right. Well, if you’re out there today, we always like to end each and every show with a boom because boom stands for big, overwhelming optimistic momentum and now that he further ado, Mr. Beasley, here we go. Three, two, one Oh,
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