Minni Kim working at his DJ workstation at his house on Thursday, March 3, 2016. Minni Kim has been a DJ for many Lehigh University related events. (Mudassir Kadri/B&W Staff)

Minni Kim: more than just a DJ


It was the night of the fall Block Party concert, and the opening act canceled due to a hurricane. With hours before the performance, University Productions scrambled for a replacement.

Min Jun Kim, ’16, a music executive for University Productions, was a trained DJ and was ready, willing and able to perform. Kim, known around campus as DJ Minnit, took the stage.

Ross Camiel, ’16, a music executive for University Productions, said scheduled performer Vic Mensa’s flight, along with his entire crew, got canceled due to inclement weather. Camiel received a call four hours before the performance that Mensa couldn’t make it.

University Productions decided Kim and Miles Davis, ’16, would take his place. They would be the best substitution for Mensa, Camiel said.

“He stepped up because he is a make-it-work type of guy,” said Silagh White, the director of arts engagement and community cultural affairs at Lehigh.

White said Kim helps to bring people together by breaking down social groups. He makes an effort to create a shared experience to build a more cohesive Lehigh community, she said.

“I have always been into music,” Kim said. “Coming into college I didn’t think I could pursue my passion in it. I came in an IBE major, but I only liked the entrepreneurial side and had a passion for sociology, which is currently my major.”

Kim said he did not have a great time during his first semester at college. He thought he was too cool for Lehigh, and did not get involved. Kim thought about transferring to a different university, but two distinct experiences made him stay.

One factor was his orientation leader, who encouraged Kim to apply as an orientation leader himself.

“Being an orientation leader was the greatest thing that I have done at Lehigh, and it forced me to drop my cool baggage,” Kim said.

Kim also took a sociology course with Heather Johnson, a professor in the department. He mentioned to her he was thinking about transferring. Kim said she told him she thought he had a strong talent in sociology, and asked him to join the Eckardt Scholars program.

Johnson said what struck her about Kim was he is “exceptionally bright” in addition to being a natural sociological thinker.

“(Kim) has a great work ethic,” Johnson said. “He works hard choosing what goes where. He does this well. He is so multi-talented that it is a real challenge for what he is going to do with his life because he has so many different gifts and directions he can go. It is really hard to decipher what route to take.”

As a senior, Kim is finishing up his thesis about how media, race and class are viewed though the lens of hip-hop and basketball.

During the second semester of his freshman year, he saved up and bought his first controller and mixer, and learned how to mix music. He joked it sounded awful because he was just starting out and did not know what he was doing, and his Gryphon would always yell at him to keep it down.

Kim has a varied taste in music. He said he listened to electronic music in high school and still does, but he loves The Police.

“He has interesting set choices,” Camiel said. “He is playing progressive music, new releases, stuff that the average Lehigh student hasn’t heard yet. He is exposing people to new things. He is on the progressive front of music.”

Kim started off in University Productions Music as a sophomore, and is now a music executive.

“I recognized that there were not a lot of members who were passionate about music,” Kim said. “In my first meeting, I said, ‘Look, I want to get more involved as a staff member,’ which fast-tracked me into a director role because of the passion I had and the first hand experience that I had in music.”

Camiel said Minni is a creative person and the two bounce ideas off of one another.

“He manages the committee very well and has been a big help to me whole ride through,” Camiel said. “Minni is a very relaxed person, creative and very thoughtful. Minni takes initiative, does a lot of things proactively and is a very well-connected person.”

Kim’s main project has been with his group called Flow, which consists of Kim and other students who are involved in the innovation of art and experiences. They set up space during social events to see how to make the event more engaging for attendees.

Flow co-ran the Yoga Dance Remix Party with the Your Enlightened Side+ group and the Indian Student Association. They were also the first non-Greek organization to throw an official tailgate during football season.

Flow was awarded a Mellon Digital Humanities Initiative grant, which they used to link media and humanities research. Kim said they bought virtual reality cameras to follow dance teams though the process of creating their routines.

“With dance, you only see the final product,” he said. “We felt using virtual reality and augmented reality, video and media in general, we can follow around dancers and showcase how important dance is.”

Matt Kitchie, the director of Student Activities, said he admires Kim’s creativity and his ability to take different experiences and infuse parts of the Lehigh community to create shared experiences.

“It was amazing seeing him prepare before the Linderman’s Labyrinth event — getting his music mixed together, getting into rhythm and enjoying his music,” Kitchie said.

Kitchie said he saw Kim’s passion for performing as he was was getting ready for the event.

“I’ve seen (Kim) help out other music events and, no matter what the genre, is he has a huge hand in the event’s production,” Kris Datta, ’16, said. “Underclassmen want to learn from him.”

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