By: MTN Reporter Darby McCarthy and Hope Scott
On Saturday, September 11, U.S. Army vet Kirk Churchill stepped onstage at the Warehouse Concert Lounge & Event Center in Clarksville, TN. On this day, his head was a swirl of emotions. It was a day for somber reflection early in the morning and for landmark celebration in the evening.
As coincidence would have it, Churchill’s military enlistment, return home, and premiere as penultimate performer in his dream career would all be milestones shared by the same date.
When he’d enlisted, Churchill was stationed in Fort Campbell, TN in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, which specializes in night fighting aviation. He later moved to Savannah, Georgia to complete his military contract. In 2016, he got out and went to school.
“DJ-ing kind of happened in 2019, so here we are,” he said. He’s been music producing for the same amount of time – about a year and a half. It all began by watching professional DJ Dillon Francis perform at Decadence Arizona at the end of 2019.
Churchill said a lightbulb lit up in his head when he realized how much more fun performers get to have than the onlookers “chilling in the crowd.” Once that clicked, everything changed for him.
“I flew home like two days later, ordered everything, and here I am,” he said.
Churchill performs under the name DJ Kirkuleez, and his primary employer is Wyld Paint Party, a company that throws pop-up paint raves across the Southeastern United States.
The fledgling company has faced some challenges in the wake of the pandemic during its inaugural years. But “Kirkuleez” and boss Tyga Woodzz never gave up on their vision. On Saturday, they brought nonstop verve and energy to Clarksville to the delight of the gathered crowd.
The event featured dancing girls, a bunny mascot, body painting by a local artist, and paint blasting, which coated the floors before the first hour of general admission had passed.
Originally, Big Brother star of season 23, Brandon “Frenchie” French had also reached out and was scheduled to attend, but unfortunately, he was unable to make it due to family emergency.
However, good times were had all around even without the surprise guest.
Said Churchill, AKA Kirkuleez, that if he had any advice for others curious about trying to accomplish what he has someday, it would be, “Do it for the music and do what you love. If you chase that dream it’ll happen no matter what.”
Interested ravers are advised to keep an eye on Wyld Paint Party and DJ Kirkuleez social media pages for more information about upcoming dates and events.
Attendants of future events are also best advised to bring towels or trash bags to protect their car seats on the ride home.