Meet DJ Salty
“You want everyone to feel. Music is associated with the good and bad times of our life. As much as it is about making people dance, you want to hit as many hearts as you can.”
We’ve all experienced the eerie feeling. A song comes on and you feel time stop as you relive a specific moment in time, released from the grips of memory by a recognizable beat or melody.
DJ Salty uses his musical ability to create these extratemporal moments for others.
“You want everyone to feel. Music is associated with the good and bad times of our life. As much as it is about making people dance, you want to hit as many hearts as you can. It’s my responsibility to find music people know and are connected to.”
Music runs through Salty’s veins. DJ Salty grew up in a Chasidic home, where his father and grandfather were both cantors. He was only exposed to secular music when he was 15 years old. “That was an unbelievable experience. Until today I love Chasidic music, and it is definitely a part of me. But hearing something else opened me up to a whole new world.”
At 18, Salty traveled to over 20 countries, living in France, South Africa and Australia for periods of time. His travels exposed him to even more variations of music and art, and he uses his unique life experiences in the creation of his own sound.
Now, DJ Salty is finding a way to bridge the different worlds of music he has seen. “Today, I play at a lot of Jewish weddings. I recreate the old tunes with a modern twist by fusing popular beats with traditional Jewish songs.”
When DJ Salty is mixing tracks so that they flow effortlessly into each other and settle in the hearts of his audience, he sees the audience responding and the crowd dancing and he knows he’s on to something special. “You think- wow, okay, what did I do here? It makes you feel alive.”
Yet, it’s not only on the dance floor of a wedding or bar mitzvah that DJ Salty feels inspired. “I loved going to old age homes. I’d be on the piano while everyone would dance. That was always something special. It’s down and dry in the room, and then the moment the music starts and I play the old Yiddish songs, it’s like a part of everyone just wakes up.”
DJ Salty believes that the magic lies in using your passion to add value to other people’s lives. By turning his love of music into a business, his work has been transformed into a platform for doing what he loves most while providing a service to others. “It’s already grown beyond where I thought it would. Going after what you want can make your dreams grow bigger than you ever imagined they could.”
Mendel Zaltzman grew up in Toronto and has been playing music since he was young. His nickname, Salty, is a translation of his last name which means “Salt Man”. Most recently, DJ Salty has partnered up with Hardcor Snackie in the creation of an entertainment business “Sweet and Salty Entertainment”. He hopes to continue DJing and looks forward to his continued personal and professional growth.
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Jumans of Toronto is a window into the lives and passion of Jewish young adults making their mark in the world. A 50-part series, Jumans is inspired by Humans of New York. If you’d like to recommend someone awesome to be highlighted, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by: Adina Samuels