by Karina Schultheis

Aaron Conyngham has wanted to be a lawyer since he was 6 years old. His father was a lawyer, his grandfather was a lawyer. His great-grandfather was a lawyer.

Conyngham is comfortable speaking his mind and his voice is frequently heard during class discussions and debates. His words often leave the room silent.

“I was a natural born-and-bred lawyer,” Conyngham says. “I have the ability to tear other people’s arguments to shreds.”

But, law school might be on hold for him.

Three weeks ago, Conyngham signed a contract as a disc jockey with New York record label Stagematter Electronics. The electronic-dance music company is offering Conyngham the opportunity to tour New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Conyngham is currently a 22-year-old junior at George Mason University.

He excels in his classes, but has more fun on stage than at school.

“That euphoric feeling you get when you drop a track and the whole room goes, ‘Oh Shit!’ and starts dancing is something indescribable,” says Conyngham. “I remember listening to mixed CD’s [my mom] had that some of her friends made her when I was a kid. From that point forward, I decided that’s what I wanted to do. Play music for people to dance to. To live through.”

He always thought it would be something he did for fun, but now, it may be a career.

Conyngham, or “DJ Fresh Air,” burst onto the district’s electronic dance music scene less than one year ago. He has been producing music independently for more than three years, but only recently started performing at clubs, raves and bars.

“I first started spinning at house parties for my friends, to get practice and learn how to read the crowd,” says Conyngham. “I wanted to become really good at it and know how to keep the vibe of a room before I started to get paid doing it. I found I was really passionate and pretty soon I was taking any gig I could find. It paid really well, and I loved it, so I figured…Why not?”

His first paying gigs took place in early 2011 at GMU sorority and fraternity formals. By November of last year, he was asked to perform at Ultrabar.

He performs once a week at various clubs in the district and gets paid anywhere between $300 and $500 each night for approximately three hours of performing. Sometimes he is more in demand; two weeks ago, he performed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.

“I learned to not be afraid to take a chance on myself,” says Conyngham. “I put everything I have into being a DJ and producing, and so far it has been working out pretty well for me.”

He is still considering law school, but is waiting for the next year to unfold before making any definite decisions.

“That is one of the new philosophies I have adapted,” says Conyngham. “If you want something bad enough, then do anything you can to get it.”