Clayton Cole Dueringer, aka DJ Cozy Soul, has been residing in Moab for two years and actively playing live music shows at bars and community events. He plays mostly hip-hop with funk and rhythm and blues sections, all marked with long instrumental interludes. The show Heart Beats on KZMU is another of his creations.
“A year and a half ago I was a cashier at Moonflower and I put on a playlist that I made at the time ... and Serah Mead, the music director at KZMU, was shopping at the store and told me she liked what I played,” Dueringer said. “[Mead] said that I should have a radio show and three months later it all came to fruition.”
Heart Beats airs on Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. on the station and consists of carefully selected beats and hip-hop tracks that are delivered in a form to those who aren’t typical fans of the genre. Dueringer crafts his radio playlists to be non-intrusive jams that have longer instrumental sections — and the songs are properly censored for public enjoyment.
“I like mixing tracks together to really provide a vibe, its not about making crazy music or bringing the house down, I want to bring more of a safe space where you can cut loose,” Dueringer said. “The secret to being a good DJ is constantly listening to music. Mixes on [the website] Spotify have helped a lot, and KZMU is a huge resource in finding new music.”
Dueringer has been using the computer program Albeton to craft his music since he started mixing a decade ago. Using drum kits and beats from artists like J Dilla and Ninth Wonder as a foundation, he jumps between two columns of pre-set tracks, sometimes switching around the intended plan to match the needs of the occasion. His live shows are what he calls “upbeat” and contain bolder hip-hop choices than the radio show. His last live show was on Feb. 14 at Helipad, after an evening of acoustic music by Andre and the Omedas and a gourmet Valentine’s Day dinner.
“There was a cozy dinner going on and everyone was in a good mood and then it transitioned into a warehouse party vibe, it grew into something beautiful, it was super sweet,” Dueringer said. “My favorite part was that there were people everywhere doing all sorts of different things, but still engaging with the music.”
Dueringer is able to put on most shows thanks to friends who are willing to lend him the appropriate sound gear. Like many local musicians, he is slowly collecting gear but needs help getting the sound equipment needed for a good live show.
“The Valentine’s gig exceeded all expectations ... I didn’t post anything online and it all came together by word of mouth,” Dueringer said. “On the day of the show it all came to fruition and I was able to borrow the [sound system] and speakers.”
To listen to Dueringer’s music visit soundcloud.com/cozysoul.