DeVoted: DJ ShaR4 Makes Music Something More

Article & Photography by Tim Monahan

"Although I consider myself to be a fan of most all kinds of music, through the years I had heard of but always dismissed this thing called “House” or “Techno” music. I had always considered it to be cold, unemotional and dare I say, an unskillful. DJ Shar4 has vowed to change all that for me.

The night was cold, snowless, in White River Junction, Vermont. It seemed to me an uncommon place to hear pounding bass leaking from an older brick building, the frosted doors constantly changing color. Stranger still, the Tupelo Music Hall is more known to host acts like the Mickey Hart Band, New Riders of the Purple Sage and Dr. Burma. Tonight, however, is for DJ Shar4.


DJs like Shara help prove that House DJs put the same amount of emotion and feeling into their music as traditional bands. She composes her own beats and for this show mixed in some live keyboard playing.

DJ Shar4 has been an Upper Valley staple with the House crowd and dance club followers. In just a few years she has amassed a following among young and old alike. Recently she has been playing at the Salt Hill Pub in Hanover, NH, a stones throw from Dartmouth College.

“I have recently reached several international students who found out about me when they stumbled across my event in their town. It makes perfect sense that they love it because House music is huge in Europe and South America! For example, one student is from Greece and another from London; they are now huge fans who help spread the word.”

Shar4 is also very involved in the community for which she generally plays. When asked about how her current philanthropist gigs got their start: “My first charity dance party was in August of 2007; the idea of bringing people together to dance while helping humanity was with me at the very beginning of my DJ career. To this day I'm not completely sure where that idea came from, but it stuck! As I continued to throw these types of parties and they kept growing; I decided the party needed to have a name so I searched "Charity" in a Thesaurus and "Devotion" came up. Hence, "DeVote" was born.”


DJ Shar4 estimates about half of her performances fall under the name “DeVote” where attendees are asked to bring toys, children's books, canned goods or whatever the theme of the night happens to be.


She shares that her favorite show was a weekend long house party in “The Middle of Nowhere, Alaska.” The host had converted the basement into a bar and light show. But for her, a perfect show is one where she raises sufficient money and donations.


Her Montreal visits helped foster her love of the sound and the scene. Not long after, she had her own turntables and was playing to her own crowds. Montreal - Boston - Providence - Alaska - NYC - and now, White River Junction. We sometimes take for granted the musical talent that can found locally. Shar4 is proof of a good time, and proof passion comes in all forms."


Shara Dee is a DJ accustomed to moving audiences with her grooves. She is a woman with a mission, whose catch phrase of "dance 4 me" resonates far beyond the dancefloor. 


Please introduce yourself to the audience and tell us how you came up with your DJ name?


My name is Shara with the alias of ShaR4. 4 having been taken from my favorite phrase "Dance 4 Me." I grew to love the idea of making people dance 4 me 4 years ago. 4 is also one of my lucky numbers and seems to be popular in my life one way or another, so it only seemed natural to take it with me on my DJ journey.

How does your musical background incorporate into your djing?


My musical background has helped a lot with my DJ journey, especially on the music production side of things. Having a good foundation of rhythm is obviously key for beat matching and I have my parents to thank for surrounding me with music ever since they put me on this planet. My mother also blessed me with dance lessons for many years, so I think I have decent rhythm for the most part! :)

Is it comfortable for you to be a female in a male-oriented profession?


I love seeing that more females are making themselves known in the DJ world. I feel very comfortable even though I am a small number compared to the males in this profession.

What are the biggest misconceptions people have of you as a DJ?


I'd say the biggest misconceptions of being a DJ is that it's an easy job. After getting enough experience, then yes it can become easy in some ways, but it is still a very stressful job at times. Sometimes the sound is not good in the room which can throw your mixing capabilities off and you don't know this until you're about to go on.

Who has influenced your life as a person the most?


Maybe cliche, but my mother and father have influenced me the most. Their love for music and my mom's drive to help others has made a huge impact on who I am today.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be?


If I could play anywhere in the world, it would definitely be in Italy. I would love to make my roots dance 4 me!!

What advice would you give to new DJs?


DON'T give up. As frustrating as it will all be in the beginning, it is all worth it. Mixing will get easier, and the joy of looking up and seeing people smiling and dancing to your beats is absolutely priceless.

What is essential for you to have in order to be a successful DJ?


It is essential for me to have an extended supply of music with a variety of genres available in case I'm needed longer or if it looks like I should change the style up a bit. It's also essential to go into a gig with a good attitude and energy. DJing is very powerful and is something I'm very passionate about. Making people move to my selection of music, along with my own productions, is an incredible feeling. Running events that accomplish those things ALONG with helping others at the same time, is a feeling that I can't explain. I hope others use their powers to do what I've been doing for several years now; bring people together to share a dance floor while helping others. Even if you ask your attendees to bring a can of soup to the event, it's a small donation but you are putting food in someone's belly.



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