If you've walked along a trail in Guelph, you may have seen a man spinning tunes along the way.
DJ Marty McFly has been in the DJ game for decades, but his new stroller-mounted setup is allowing him to combine his love for music and the outdoors, and share the experience with his son.
The pandemic also played a part in what he does now. Nightclubs were closed in March 2020, so he turned to online streaming.
McFly began DJing online through Facebook and Twitch while walking and pushing his son in a stroller, providing some fun for the both of them.
"I can go for a walk with him, take him, go to a park, he can play at the park, I can still do what I'm doing, and then come back home," he said.
"If I'm not DJing at home, I'm spending more time with my wife and family."
Originally from Toronto, McFly has been a music DJ since his 20s and 30s, getting to travel across Canada, including some gigs in Guelph, from Boo Radley's at the corner of Victoria and Grange, the third floor of Van Gogh's Ear on Wyndham, and the Trasheteria on Macdonell.
Now in his 50s, he moved with his wife to Guelph in 2019.
The setup itself is built on a wagon-style stroller. A mixer is strapped to a skateboard on top of the handles. A WiFi camera he got for Christmas is mounted to a handle on the opposite side.
It's called the ConStroller, a play on words between stroller and controller.
"This particular controller is unique because it's battery powered and it doesn't require a laptop, so I've only had that for a couple of years," McFly said.
It's definitely not his first turntable. He picked up his first in his 20s after going to a music event – he still has the turntable laying around – and has always loved hip hop, rap and scratching.
McFly said when he got his equipment, he never looked back.
Now, he makes a living working from home as a data centre project manager, and his son is enrolled in daycare.
But when he's able to, he's able to use his music – original tracks he's mixed himself – to soothe the soul and relieve any stress.
"I only DJ for 30 minutes, I take an hour lunch, I go have my fun and I come back," McFly said.
"That's my work-from-home life balance, to get out there (and) have my fun. I'm focused on the music, I'm in the present moment, which I really like, and then I come back home to my work stresses, then I go deal with that pile and I'm recharged and ready to do it again."
McFly said he's got eyes on other setups, including riding in a canoe and streaming with the equipment while going down the Grand River – yes, he knows the equipment isn't waterproof – and paddle, while continuing to also set up in the middle of the woods.
"If I could mount this on my bike and pedal, I would," he said with a laugh.
"It's possible, there's someone in England who does it."
He's also been invited to DJ on other trails in other cities, and has had the thought of DJing through the University of Guelph area too.
But for now, he's content in continuing the hobby close to home.
"I do this for fun, and I never really planned to profit from it but I certainly wouldn't say no if the opportunity was there," McFly said.
"That's not really why I'm doing it. I do it because I just enjoy it, and I'm glad I can just share it with anyone who wants to really see what's going on."