DJ Kool Ant spins his way to success

Devices ring away on his hip interrupting daily conversations. Promoters try to book him for events.

So eager to increase his infamy, he doesn’t refuse most requests to rock another party.

This is consistent with the everyday life of Anthony Simmons – alias, DJ Kool Ant.

Growing up in Chicago, Ant has been turning tables for parties since the tender age of 13. At his high school, he went through several names before “Kool Ant” stuck with him.

“When I did parties, people would be like, ‘Who’s hypin’ the party up?’ Then they would say, ‘You know Kool A- Ant.’ Then I would come to school and people would shout out Kool Ant and it stuck,” said the junior.

In addition to being a disc jockey, Simmons is a full time student majoring in agricultural business.

He has also served as a college representative for Def Jam Records for three years.

It doesn’t stop there. Simmons is an entrepreneur, running his own mobile disc jockey service, which he started back in high school.

This disc jockey service provides the opportunity for him to travel him to different cities.

Simmons also worked at WVHT 105.7’s radio station in 1999. To top it all off he is a real estate professional.

Simmons came to Tallahassee in 1994 and began to do his thing.

“I didn’t get to FAMU saying ‘I wanna be a DJ,'” he said. “I was doing this since I was seven, but I didn’t earn money or start rockin’ parties until I was 13.”

He hung out with people from Chicago, Detroit and New York, but wasn’t used to the popularity of bass music in the south.

He was accustomed to playing hip-hop, R&B, house and reggae music.

He then got adjusted to his new surroundings and began to incorporate his own genre of music that would get a party jumping.

“I would blend house [music] with bass so that I would appeal to others,” he said. “That’s what put me out here. It didn’t just happen over night.”

From then on, people would pass the word that there was a new sheriff in town – his name was DJ Kool Ant.

Simmons has been the DJ for Student Government Association parties, private parties and Greek parties.

He also had friends on the campus radio station that would allow him to sit in on shows and do some mixing.

He doesn’t badmouth his counterparts at all.

“My relationship with other DJ’s is cool,” he said. “We work well together. We know what it takes to operate in this business.”

DJ Saxwell describes Simmons as cooperative.

“He doesn’t give you a hard time about anything,” he said. “I’ve heard a lot of bad things about other DJ’s, but not about Ant.”

Dwayne Moore, coordinator of Live Nights Incorporated, has worked with Simmons in clubs.

“Kool Ant sort of brought me deeper into the ‘entertainment’ game,” Moore said. “He’s very responsible as a DJ and as a person. He always gives 110 percent.”

Simmons promotes himself, not only in Tallahassee, but in other cities as well.

“It’s all about networking; being number one in this area and market,” he said. “Doing mixed CD’s – they go a long way- that’s how my name would spread. I would travel and offer to perform at certain events.”

So how does DJ Kool Ant manage all of this and his academics?

“I have to set a real strict schedule,” he said. “Monday through Wednesday, it’s straight academics. Then I let loose Thursday night through Sunday with some possible travel, doing fashion shows, concerts or voiceovers.”

In five to ten years, Simmons said that he wants to drift into music production.

“I wanna remix songs for artists and get into artist development,” he said.