What started out as an interning gig on a local radio station has turned into a life long passion and a thriving business for a local who said he still loves doing what he does.
Kevin Barattini was a 16-year-old kid, playing music on Kings Park High School’s radio station, 88.5, WTEC, when he landed an internship with WBLI. Instead of going to school three days out of the week, he did the morning show with Steve and Maria.
“That’s where it all started,” said Barattini. “You could only hear it (WTEC), like a mile from the school, but that is where it started.”
Barattini would go on to start his own business, Barattini Productions DJ Entertainment, playing music at local backyard parties as a teen to a company with 22 employees and a date book full with events.
Customers have been loyal to him. One customer who had Barattini as a deejay for her sweet 16 party hired him for her wedding. Barattini said he was also hired for her child's christening and then communion.
“I like to be the mom and pop DJ. I love it more and more each day,” said Barattini. “You want to rock it and once the music starts I feel like I am 16 again.”
Rock it he does. Barattini works full time for the town of Smithtown during the day. Evenings and weekends he devotes to the business.
“I’ve gone to work first, come home, jumped in the shower to go DJ and then up early on Saturday and Sunday working double events, but it is all worthwhile,” he said.
The business isn’t strictly just DJ. Barattini provides party planners, dance motivators, videography and photography services. In a business where expectations can run exceedingly high - think bridezilla - Barattini said he wants to exceed expectations every time.
“I love it, I love gong the extra mile for somebody,” said Barattini.
That extra mile sometimes includes commitments that aren't business related like his work with the Frank Rizzo foundation and the annual hockey charity event he organizes, held at Superior Ice Rink.
The annual charity event, which includes former Islander hockey greats, raised over $10,000 last year.
"I could have never imagined we could have gotten that many people out to Kings Park for a hockey game. I am always thinking of what we can do to make it even better," said Barattini.
His business is promoted almost strictly by word of mouth, from references and from guests turned customers who have enjoyed themselves at a friend's wedding, party or even the Kings Park Prom where Barattini's company has had the crowd dancing for the past few years.
Sounds easy? What do you do when you have a party of 250 people and nobody wants to dance?
"I have four hours to make somebody’s party, but I have some of the best crew working for me. It goes a long way," said Barattini, who hired one of his crew members after seeing him dance at a sweet 16 party.
"I see a good looking kid, dancing with the girls, so I asked him if he wanted to carry some speakers," said Barattini. That employee has been with him for six years now.
Late nights and busy weekends can present a challenge to any relationship, but Barattini said he always makes time for his wife.
“I try to dedicate Tuesday and Wednesday night for us,” he said. “You still have to have a life. I have a best friend that allows me to do this. She is a great support.”
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