From the Coachella Valley to Tahiti and back, music has always been a constant in DJ Tommy O’ Conner’s spontaneous life. A native of the desert, Desert Hot Springs is where he calls “home.” Tommy recalls that growing up he listened to mostly Hip Hop and Rap music, but was also intrigued by Jazz and Classical. While playing roadie for his father who was a pianist, Tommy knew he was different from the crowd; he was never into the mainstream music or fads. However, it wasn’t until college he discovered his true passion for DJing.

After graduating from Desert Hot Springs high school, Tommy left the valley to attend UC Davis and study Philosophy and Psychology—not the typical background for a DJ. Later that year, he was offered an internship in Papeete, Tahiti, cultivating Black Pearls out in the French Polynesian Sea. In the summer months prior to his experience in Tahiti, Tommy was living in West Hollywood with his friend Adam whose father owns a rather famous hotel in Los Angeles. “It was a place a lot of DJ’s would come stay and play,” Tommy reminisces, “throughout the years I developed some pretty good friendships with people in the scene, going out with them overnight, until one day it clicked to me: hey, I can do this!” He practiced spinning non-stop on Virtual DJ so that once he got to Tahiti, he would be ready to tackle the real thing.

Once arriving on the island, it wasn’t hard for Tommy to find a place to get into the DJing scene. Coincidentally, the third floor of his four story complex was actually a local night club after hours. Tommy quickly became comfortable behind a pair of CDJ players and let his personality do the rest. “I treat my music, my sets, and my performances more like Operas than spinning random top 40 techno that everyone already knows. I like to put subconscious messages in my music and have my first song and my last song be the beginning and the end of a story I am creating,” remarks Tommy about his unique style.

After his internship in Tahiti, it was back to college where Tommy tried a couple of alias DJ names such as DJ PROV1 and MR. Pickles. This complex, young DJ eventually settled on quite the oxymoron for a DJ name: “Typical Tommy.”

With his official DJ name set, and the confidence from his internship experience in Tahiti, Typical Tommy was ready to dive into the music scene full force, eventually working with some of the biggest DJ’s in the world. “I helped bring Tiesto and Porter Robinson to my college invasion tour,” brags Tommy, “I also booked Benny Benassi (who is God of Electronic Music) for several gigs up north.”

Advertisement

Eventually Tommy found his way back to the Coachella Valley and started working with a friend of the family Michael Capatanelli from California DJ. He began doing private events and weddings which were a total flip from playing house music at college gigs. Tommy learned there was more to being a mobile DJ then showing up with a hard drive full of music.
Tommy says his biggest influence has been meeting the EC Twins, “These guys bring the most absurd amount of energy I had ever seen. They are model citizens, not into drinking, smoking, straight west coasting like I am. They have helped me become a more noticed DJ and are proof that you can be sober and rock the house.”

If you would like to contact Typical Tommy you can e-mail him: tcoconnor@ucdavis.edu.