2012 Columbus Music Awards Local Music Host of the Year
When people think about a DJ, you probably think about a radio DJ, or someone spinning at your local dance club. Probably the last thing that comes to mind is a karaoke DJ. Bu tot overlook Dave Casto, founder of Excess Karaoke, would be a mistake. Dave is probably one of the biggest personalities in the city, always bringing 110% of himself to every show he does. His karaoke nights have become a staple on the OSU campus for years, and his shows can turn what should be a quiet weekday night into an over-the-top party that rivals any weekend blowout. Rather than just announcing the next singer each time like most hosts, Dave brings an enthusiasm to what he does that is hard to match. His love for what he does is infectious, and he seems to strive to make best rinds out of each person who comes to sing at one of his shows.
Dave has built a custom karaoke rig that sports wireless mics, great vocal effects, including auto-tune, and one of the largest karaoke collections in the city. Even his karaoke skips are tough to beat: they feature qr codes that allow his karaoke followers to follow him on Facebook or even download the songbook to their smart phones.
Dave has been hosting karaoke for about 8 years now, and his love of it doesn't seem to be fading. Dave begins each night by playing a set of upbeat music to get people in the mood, and energize the crowd while they are getting their first drinks and turning in the first songs of the night. Quick with a drink for new faces or regulars with birthdays, you can tell that he really has a a passion for what he does each night. Dave tries to go above and beyond a "regular" karaoke show, Dave says that when someone shows up at one of his shows, he appreciates that people aren't just going out for some karaoke, but that they are choosing to spend their valuable free time with him… so he strives to make every one of his karaoke nights into an event.
Dave has been documenting his singers for several years now, and you can find literally thousands of photos of happy, albeit probably less than sober singers on his website excesss.com and on his Facebook page. He often makes posters for his venues that feature his singers in action.
It is hard to come to one of the shows and not get caught up in his quick wit, his love of music, and his sincere appreciation for each person who comes to his shows. At the heart of it all is a passion for the music, and the special bond that can form between singers at a karaoke show. Dave estimates he has about 200 songs or so he can pick from when he sings to start each new round, but he admits he can get in a rut with those he regularly sings to gets the best response from the crowd. He's not a bad singer, and he seems to have a uncanny ability to change lyrics to any song to make it just a little bit funnier or dirtier than you might expect.
Dave credits developing his first love of music from his grandfather, who played the fiddle on the family farm in West Virginia. Previous to karaoke, Dave dabbled in writing electronic music and even plays quite a few eclectic instruments; everything from the accordion to the guitar or harmonium. He says he even has a kids album in the works.
Some may wonder if karaoke belongs in a music awards show. I asked Dave that and he had this to say: "Karaoke is about people enjoying the music that shapes their lives together. It's about not just SEEING a show, its about BEING the show. It is about singing those songs that have become a part of you as if you wrote them, and sharing those 3 minutes of fame with friends on a stage that otherwise most of us would never have an opportunity to step on. I love music, and nowhere have I seen the joy of music that can be brought to people, and get people involved in a better way than in a good night of karaoke."
the above images/text is taken from the 2012 Columbus Music Award's bio of David Casto which appeared on their website at thecolumbusmusicawards.com