By: Jessica Rose
If you are a student who frequents local nightclubs, it is likely that if you have not seen Paul Burke in living colour, you have probably heard him.
When the moon greets the night sky in Ottawa, Burke becomes DJ BZRK, a well-known name in the local nightlife district.
Paul Burke, 26, is an Algonquin College business administration graduate who has successfully established his own audio-visual company, Intelligent Audio Visual.
The company was started three years ago with business partner Rene Khali and offers clients audio-visual rentals, installs and sales services. “One of the largest events we did was the synchronized swimming event in Montreal,” Burke said. “It was televised in 33 countries and we did all of the audio-visual for that.”
Through DJing, Burke has had the opportunity to open for popular DJs and play in various music festivals. “Probably one of the best experiences I’ve had DJing was playing Escapade,” he said. “I got to play in front of 5,000 people and basically walk up shake Laidback Luke’s hand, DJ, and then at the end shake Calvin Harris’ hand.”
Burke has been DJing for a total of eight years now and currently plays three times a week at JunXion, Barrymore’s Music Hall and The Standard.
As you enter one of these popular bars, rituals you may not even be aware of occur. After advancing to the front of the line, you will feel the routine sensation of ink leaving the admission stamp and pressing into your wrist. Next, your ears tingle as something foreign, yet familiar, teases your ear drums, what is it? It’s the soundtrack of your night, mixed by DJ BZRK.
After working at formal events for a while, the prospect of DJing in nightclubs became more attractive to Burke.
Being immersed into the nightclub lifestyle helped trigger the idea to build a company that would both cater to Burke’s interests and provide valuable services for others in the industry.
“It kind of was a natural progression from working in nightclubs. All of the DJs would come from out of town and need the best CD players or the best speakers,” Burke said. “Then it went from there to commercial installs, restaurant installs, nightclub installs or doing lighting rentals.”
With a background in business and a passion for the industry, Burke’s company established a definite local presence.
“We have taken the business in the past three or four years from just a couple speakers to a whole kit of equipment,” Burke said. “We can do most gigs, I have a pretty good repertoire and client list that I use consistently.”
The success that Burke has experienced with the brands he has built has not yet quenched his thirst for exploring different business ventures.
“I can’t see myself doing one thing all the time,” Burke said. “Variety is the spice of life, I need to keep busy and do different things.”