I think walk-up songs are very important. It can take a player up and down, and guys do change their songs if they’re having a slump, —DJ Brisk
More than in any other sport, music is ingrained and inseparable from baseball. In the modern era, players get to choose a song to play while they are walking from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box, a tradition unique to baseball.
DJ Brisk, in his first year as one of two official DJs for the Salt Lake Bees, says that music plays an integral role in the baseball experience — for both the players and the fans.
“Think about when you hear a song that you like, the emotion it gives you. Maybe it gives you a dope memory, like a song when you were young and you were playing baseball and you hit a home run and you think of the song that is popular on the radio,” DJ Brisk said. “For different players, they pick songs for different reasons. Some players might pick a song that’s popular, that gets them hyped up, other guys might pick a song that they listened to when they were little, playing baseball that reminds them of something, that gives them inspiration.”
A batter’s walk-up music can serve to get the batter into a mental state of concentration for the upcoming at-bat or can be used to get a player fired up to go hit. For fans, a player’s walk-up music can offer a window into a player’s musical choice, and can even tell fans something about a player.
For Sherman Johnson and Michael Hermosillo, their walk-up song choices are designed to get them fired up and in the zone.
“It makes me feel good as I’m walking to the plate,” Johnson said.
“It definitely gets me, like, in the zone, I guess you’d say,” Hermosillo said.
As for Bees pitcher John Lamb, his chosen song when he walks out of the bullpen to the mound— "I’ve Been Waiting" — tells more of a story.
“It gets me in the mood and just reminds me, and try and share with the fans, for who’s listening, what I love doing and I’m very grateful to be doing it,” Lamb said.
Bees players’ walk-up music
Walk-up song: "Square Dance" — Eminem
Why he chose it: “It’s been mine (walk-up song) for about three years now. I just like the beat and it kind of puts me in a good place as I’m walking up to the plate.”
Eric Young Jr.
Walk-up song: "Young Forever" — Jay-Z featuring Mr. Hudson
Why he chose it: “No matter how old I get, I’m going to forever be young.”
Walk-up song: "Let The Beat Build" — Lil Wayne
Why he chose it: “Big Lil Wayne fan. His album Tha Carter III dropped when I was a sophomore in high school, it’s kind of my favorite rap album, so I go off of that. I’ve walked out to 'Mr. Carter' a couple times and 'Let The Beat Build', and a couple other songs, but I just like that album a lot.”
Walk-up song: "Gyalchester" — Drake
Why he chose it: “I feel like it’s a good beat for me. A lot of guys do their favorite songs, but I like to go for songs that have a good beat, get me going, so I like those songs."
Walk-up song: "One Day" — Matisyahu
Why he chose it: “I just picked it because I like to be in a good mood, and it’s one of those songs that puts you in a good mood. Going to an at-bat with a good mood, I like to think it’s a better chance of success than being in a bad mood.”
Walk-up song: "Butterfly Effect" — Travis Scott
Why he chose it: “It’s a new Travis Scott song that’s been out. Other than that, I don’t really have much of a reasoning behind it. I’m a big Travis Scott fan. I like the song and it has a good vibe to it.”
Walk-up song: "Traveller" — Chris Stapleton
Why he chose it: “I’ve just been listening to Chris Stapleton for a while. His music is calming, relaxing, and I like to listen to him when I go to the plate.”
Walk-up song: "I’ve Been Waiting" — Ishi Dube
Why he chose it: “It’s just basically something suggesting this is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life, getting the opportunity to live out my dream, and that’s my go-to. I haven’t played it here (at Smith’s Ballpark) yet this season, but that’s my favorite.”