The DJ life has taught me many valuable lessons, both professionally and in life. I’ve learned that if you are not constantly moving and evolving, that you very quickly fall behind or ultimately go extinct. – DJ Cutmaster Chris

Cutmaster Chris is an open-format DJ, owner of Cutmaster Music and ABQ Party Pix Photobooth Rentals, a forward thinker, basketball coach, a husband, and father of 3 boys based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  He has been influencing crowds with his diverse music mixology at nightclubs/bars, weddings, and corporate events over the last 16 years.

Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico Chris Romero a.k.a Cutmaster Chris had many interests, but his eyes were set on being an NBA basketball player as a kid. “I idolized Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics and that was my only career path in my mind when I was a kid. But, my interests were all over the board. I was in the band as a drummer and low-brass player, bowling (was actually on my college traveling bowling team), and science (got my degree in biology and worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was a high school teacher for a while),” says Cutmaster Chris.

While growing up, Cutmaster Chris admits that music has always been an influence in his life in some form.  “I can remember my dad having an awesome Bang & Olefsen sound system in the house and a turntable with a lot of records. His eclectic taste in music was the start of the musical journey for me. Then I decided to take up band in elementary school and that continued throughout middle school and high school when I started listening to more hip-hop and rock and alternative back in the day. I was always open to all genres of music. Then right out of college I became interested in actual DJ gear and mixing music. I always loved the DJs and turntablism from guys like Q-Bert, Mix Master Mike and DJ-AM. I wanted to do THAT and play music for people in nightclubs.”

Cutmaster Chris recalls his first DJ setup for his first time DJing which was at a best friend’s wedding in the outdoor foothills of Albuquerque.  “My first setup were the Denon CDN-88’s, a couple of cheap JBL tops and 2 Cerwin Vega subs that were all powered by super heavy amplifiers. I bought a couple of auto-mode lights and had my first DJ system.  I had a pretty diverse music collection with about 500 CDs and we spent hours “burning” CDs of music for his wedding day.”  It was after that memorable wedding that Cutmaster Chris knew he wanted to put those two letters, “DJ” in front of his name.  “After that first event, I was absolutely hooked! I’ll never forget the feeling I had playing all that music for their family and friends. I had definitely found my ‘side-gig’ at that point in time.”

Cutmaster Chris started to DJ more nightlife with multiple residencies at bars and venues around town while playing the occasional private event.  “The actual art of DJing and music programming was the name of the game for me,” says Cutmaster Chris.  “My skills on the 1’s and 2’s are what led to the snowball effect of referrals and inquiries for my services. For years I never thought of creating a business and DJ’d as a hobby. I just wanted to rock dance floors and nightclubs. It wasn’t until I was years into the nightlife scene that I realized that the private event world could be lucrative. My thoughts were to bring the ‘club feel’ into the private event world, which is how I came up with the name Cutmaster Music.”  Eventually,  he became really good at weddings and formed a team which is when he launched his successful company in 2006 focusing on private events.  He went full-time in 2013 and has since added on a Photobooth division, called ABQ Party Pix.  “We have evolved over the years and have progressed in the Albuquerque scene and what it means to have professional DJs and production level entertainment at mobile events. I’m always trying to learn and push the barriers when it comes to the DJ game, which has always kept us ahead of everyone in the Albuquerque market.” expresses Cutmaster Chris. 

Cutmaster Chris with his team

He also attributes his strong networking skills as a big part of his success as a company. “My mobile DJing experience started with guys like DJ Toad, Michael Walter, and Terry Moran. I was on one of the original DJ Forums back in the day ( and I started networking and learning the ins and outs of the trade from these guys,” says Cutmaster Chris.   Even with the high demands of being the owner and running the everyday operations of both companies and overseeing his team, Cutmaster Chris manages to still be super active as a DJ.  “I did over 40 weddings myself last year. I’m also active in the larger national DJ community being a member of multiple organizations.”  He also adds that a key to make in this industry is to not be a “do-it-yourselfer.”  “Most of us are do-it-yourselfers, which can be dangerous if you don’t learn to delegate the tasks that you cannot master or don’t like to do. We are DJs, emcees, planners, coordinators, graphic designers, web developers, bookkeepers, managers and networking gurus. This is just the tip of the iceberg that is the professional mobile DJ world. I have learned to surround myself with those that are either on the same path or have excelled in these areas, even if they are outside of the DJ industry,” says Cutmaster Chris.

The biggest challenge he has faced to this date is the ongoing Coronavirus which has devastated DJ industry.  However, Cutmaster Chris strongly believes that those who stand still will get left behind. “I hate the P-word (pivot)! I’d rather use the E-word (EVOLVE!). We have been working inside the business to be ready when things eventually turn around, but we have also been learning and progressing with livestreaming, which gives us many new options for our events in the future. I started an online Video DJ stream on Twitch called ‘Corona & Chill’ where I typically run a Video DJ set for 2hrs with a different theme each night. It’s been a great outlet to stay up to speed on the decks, but I’ve also learned to master a new technology that I think is going to be the future of many events and industries. So, we are still moving forward even though we cannot currently have in-person events in New Mexico,” says Cutmaster Chris. 

With in-person events on pause right now, the whole DJ industry is feeling the effects of not having memorable event experiences to collect.  With 16 years of events under his belt, Cutmaster Chris has many memories to pull from. He reminisces about one of his past favorites.  “I think one of the coolest experiences was being able to DJ a wedding for an amazing couple whose event was featured on TLC’s Four Weddings ( We coordinated the entire production from audio to lighting with custom elements, to glow sticks, flash mobs, and photobooths. The production was super cool and went next level for a wedding, but the couple was so much fun and everything was aligned to their personality. That event would have been that way without cameras around and I’m still really great friends with that couple to this day! I’m super thankful they chose our company.”  

Cutmaster Chris’s combination of entrepreneurial spirit, positivity, desire to always learn, mastery on the turntables, and evolving mentality will keep him extant during this pandemic and beyond. 

Behind the Decks Q&A

Q: On event day or before a set – do you have any pre-event rituals that you feel set you up mentally or physically to be ready to go? 

A: I coach my kiddos in basketball. Which means I typically coach their games in the morning on Saturdays before my events, which I LOVE! It relaxes me and takes my mind completely off of work, which I think allows me to be fresh going into an event in the afternoon.

Q: What is 1 thing you love the most about DJing?

A: There’s only ONE THING that everyone in the world agrees on. Music. Everyone has a song, an artist, or a genre that they will bob their head to, tap their feet, dance in the rain, etc. I get to be that person who creates the soundtrack for a couple on the greatest day of their life. I’ll never take that for granted and love that I get to do it every weekend!

Q: What do you do at the end of the night after DJing a set?  

A: Not gonna lie. I typically get home and the family is asleep. I’ll usually crack a beer with some chips and salsa to wind down because I can never go right to sleep after an event. My mind and body has to come down from that event “high.”

Q: Using only one word, how would your colleagues and clients describe you?    

A: Positive

Q: What song immediately enters your mind when you want to see hands up in the air, bodies shaking/bouncing, and people going absolutely nuts!?!!?

A:  “This is how we do it” – Montell Jordan

Q: What artist/song do you feel has made an impact on your sets in the last decade?

A: That’s another tough one. Probably Bruno “Uptown Funk.” This is one of those songs that bridges the generation gap. Older people love it because of the funk vibe, yet he’s a current artist and popular among the younger mainstream group. I bet this track has been played in some shape or form at almost every event since it came out. I can’t think of any private event that doesn’t love some Bruno in the mix. 

Q: What do you do in your free time when you aren’t DJing?  

A: I spend a lot of time with my wife and 3 kiddos, typically with their sports events. My hobbies including bowling and a lot of golf these days and I go to as many concerts in a year as I can. I love music! Anyone that knows me know I’m a HUGE 311 fan and try to find a few of their shows a year to travel to. 

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