How it all began
Justin Bueltel (born in November 1980), known as Shift or DJ Shift, is an American DJ and producer of electronic dance music. “Shift”, meaning change, suits his personality and skillset perfectly when talking about his craft. This is due to his well-known ability to work with any genre of music, or combination of multiple genres at one time, to produce dynamic and high energy music sets. In addition Shift is quite known by most in the industry for possessing one of the most critical skillsets of being a professional DJ, which is the ability to read the crowd and change a performance on-the-fly in order to keep the energy of the event high. It is because of these two aspects that the name “Shift” became perfectly fitting. But no matter what you call him or whether or not you’ve ever seen him perform, one thing is for sure, when he’s performing for you, you will surely know it. A triple threat of music talent, personality, and fashion sense Shift has become a member in a class all his own.
Hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada Shift has rightfully established himself in the most elite class of DJs, continuously and regularly playing all venues and events ever worth mentioning in this global mecca of nightlife alongside just about any major artist you can think of in today’s pop culture. As the resident DJ since 2004 of the world’s largest pool party, better known to all of you as REHAB inside the Hard Rock Hotel. Shift has also resided at Wet Republic since the Grand Opening in 2008 every Friday for Maxim’s Hot 100 Contest, located inside the MGM Grand Hotel. Shift has been awarded “Best Pool DJ” multiple times from The Las Vegas Spin Awards not only for his skills but due to the fact that he has effectively monopolized it for so many years that there has just been no competition. Shift has also resided at Pure Nightclub in Caesars Palace twice a week for both their Industry Night, as well as their most marketed tourist night since 2007. Additionally, Shift is known for frequently playing such venues as Hakkasan, XS, Tao, Marquee, and Light so as you can see (if you are familiar with any of the hotspots in Las Vegas Nightlife from the last 12 years to present) there isn’t a place that he hasn’t blown the roof off of. The Las Vegas Spin Awards also awarded Shift the crown of “Best Main Room DJ” of 2012, quite the significant nod in a nightlife powerhouse like Las Vegas. Additionally he was awarded “Biggest Following” in 2010.
Additionally, when he’s not tearing it up in Sin City he also regularly jet-sets all the top entertainment meccas that this country has worth mentioning (LA, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, NYC, Miami). 2014 marks his sixth year running with a continuous residency in the Bay Area. Shift can also be found heating up the sandy beaches of Cabo or somewhere in the Virgin Islands shuttin’ it down for the masses. But no matter where you see him it’s guaranteed to be a night to remember so come prepared. And as you can see there is a reason why so many of his peers call him “The Hardest Working Man In The Business” (averaging between 300 and 350 performances a year, due to performing multiple times daily throughout the extended Las Vegas pool season).
The oldest brother of three, Shift was born in Merced, California. His parents, worked for the Air Force provided a secure military life for their family, while also owning and operating a nightclub in central California. He can remember many times as a ten-year-old being in the company of family friends and music greats such as Huey Lewis and Foghat. Soon after that the family was relocated to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada when he was eleven years old. It was during this part of his life that he was extensively exposed not only to every major genre of music but to live music and nightlife as well. Shift attended Cheyenne High School where he ran Varsity Cross Country and Track. Outside of school he was also very active in the motocross circuit (Partially responsible for his name “Shift”). He initially attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas to be in the health field and loosely planned to become an EMT, however do to his very social demeanor and deep passion for music and nightlife throughout his life he quickly knew that something in those areas was definitely where he belonged.
At age 21 he became a bartender entertaining his crowd with creative cocktails and his flair bartending skills, juggling bottles and blowing fire. It was from then on he realized his strong desire for being the life force of the party and delved into the world of the nightlife industry primarily bartending and periodically independently hosting for nightclubs. It is here where he thrived and ultimately began to feel more comfortable and likely to succeed. After befriending many club owners and DJs (both nightlife and radio personalities alike) he realized what he always knew to be true, that he wanted to be solely responsible for the energy of the party. Being a host he had experienced this to an extent but it was quite obvious that the DJ Booth is where he needed to be and given his extensive relationship with music, this is the direction he decided to head. Although he had some technical help from some of his newfound friends, Shift taught himself primarily on his own all the ins and outs of his craft, by simple trial and error and training his ear from watching and listening to the never ending talent that constantly comes through Vegas. So with his newfound skills, passion for music, and expanding relationships in this ideal arena Shift became an aggressively progressive self-made man in order to establish his place in the stars. And although Shift has accomplished a lot he maintains the utmost level of humility and gratefulness for his accomplishments. His plans are to now hone his pre-existing skills to music itself by producing his own sound. So stay tuned for the next chapter in Shift’s history, this is where it gets fun.
Even though being a DJ occupies much of his life there are many different aspects that Shift makes great strides to incorporate and maintain in his personal life. His long time close friends help to keep him humble and grounded, and the ability to travel has always been a very important. His huge influence on one of his younger brothers has prompted his brother to make the same career choice and begin performing/producing under the name DJ Stretch. Shift has continued from a very young age to model periodically and exercise, he has finished multiple triathlons and obstacle course races such as Tough Mudder and Spartan Race. Snowboarding and wake surfing are always mandatory activities in the extreme winter and summer months while camping, hiking, and biking is more fun in the milder seasons. In addition, Shift is an extensive tattoo, gun and classic car enthusiast. A little later in life he thoroughly looks forward to building a shop of his own and working on old cars with his friends and family.
Shift has released multiple mixes over the years that can be found on his Soundcloud at www.soundcloud.com/officialdjshift.
2012 Las Vegas Spin Awards “Best Main Room DJ” 2011 Las Vegas Spin Awards “Best Pool DJ” 2010 Las Vegas Spin Awards “Biggest Following” 2010 Spy on Vegas “Top 30 under 30”