A deejay is here on stage Friday night fresh off the Ariana Grande tour on which he was an opening act.
He is a long way from his Las Vegas home but this is a city in which he's taken a few spins and he can't wait to come back.
DJ Knowledj (pronounced Knowledge, but using the last two letters for visual reinforcement) was raised in the Toronto/Mississauga area in early childhood, then moved to Kelowna later in his youth. He went to UBC (he's an economist by trade). His attention turned northward when his former long-term girlfriend, Andrea Sakamoto, introduced him to her hometown of Prince George and he was instantly interested with this city's scene.
"I'd be at The Generator probably three times a year. I had a huge fan-base in Prince George," he said and the feeling was mutual. He appreciated the club support from the Van Oord family, proprietors of The Generator, and he was close with local deejay and promoter Aidan Kelly, the former general manager of Tourism Prince George.
"We're still friends to this day. He's one of the greatest promoters I've ever worked with, anywhere, period," Knowledj said. "He knew how to make a show go well, and a solid, solid guy on top of that."
Wayne Carrasco is another P.G. friend whom he met in Ontario but has now located to northern B.C. It was Carrasco and Chris Van Oord who connected Sonar owner Jason Luke to Knowledj. It's a show he is jamming in between a gig in Whistler and another gig in Seattle all on the same weekend, with P.G. sandwiched in between.
"No joke, Prince George felt like second home to me, for quite some time. I've always loved that city, the people are awesome, and I really mean that," Knowledj said.
He's bringing his biggest hits with him. When he was here in the 2010-13 window of time, he hadn't yet hit big with the tune Bottle Poppa, his famed collaboration with Fatman Scoop (he of the club smash Put Your Hands Up) and Deceptaconz.
"He literally inspired me to deejay back in the day, with his party breaks," he said of Fatman Scoop, who is now one of his closest buddies. "What I love about him being my friend is he challenges me. He gets paid big bucks, he works with top-level artists, and I convince him to jump on with little old me, we come up with a concept, we come up with an idea of how we can reach people with it."
Knowledj is also bringing to P.G. his latest work with Scoop "and I'll be dropping it in Prince George. It's the first place we'll be playing it, P.G. and Whistler." It's a music segment intended to hype a sports stadium, a new genre the two deejays are pioneering.
Sports is close to Knowledj's personal heart as well as his musical muscles. He grew up a hockey-playing kid like so many Canadians and now that he's a pro beat-dropper living in the NHL's newest hockey territory, he's having mental flashes for how to work with the soaring Vegas Golden Knights to bring his two main loves together. He's in early talks with the arena's sonic wizards about splicing in Knowledj creations for the benefit of the hockey audience he is himself such a part of.
His sports foundation has some serious endorsements. He was the house deejay for Taylor Hall at the reigning NHL MVP's charity ball-hockey tournament, and Knowledj also pumped up the crowds at the Calgary Stampede this year.
On a global level, in addition to the scad of dates all over the map with Ariana Grande, Knowledj has also performed in Dubai, New York City, Miami, Boston, Costa Rica, and dozens of others around the world.
Now he's coming back to P.G., and insists that the small Canadian cities are his favourite, even when compared to exotic locales on the other side of the world.
And for one final local connection, he gave a shout-out to his sister Alya Ramadan, a CBC Radio host whom he knows is frequently heard by Prince George listeners.
For information on how to get into the exclusive appearance on Friday night of DJ Knowledj at Sonar Comedy & Night Club, check their Facebook page or website.