I have been a fan of Dance music or Electronic music for as far back as I can remember. I remember watching MTV in it’s infancy back in 1980. There was this funky music video with a band and main instrument was a synthesizer instead of a lead guitar. “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Bungles. I was fascinated by the sound, it was unlike anything else I heard at the time. I would learn later that none other than Hans Zimmer played keys in that band. Another music video that caught my attention was “I Ran” by the Flock of Seagulls. The sound of the synthesizer was mesmerizing. Far more interesting to me than the Heavy Metal sound that was dominating Florida teen culture at the time.I would later discover New Order, Depeche Mode, Yaz and Gary Numan.
I went through a little Punk/Indie Rock phase in the mid 80’s. Then in 1988, I found myself at a local Night Club that was 18 and over. The club, Victor Sherrod’s in Fort Walton Beach was one of the hottest clubs in Northwest Florida. It would even draw people from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The music was a mix of Miami Bass, Electro, Synth pop and freestyle. The DJ’s were good, I watched them mix and cut records together effortlessly. I was fascinated by this art. How did they learn this? How do they match the beats? For me it took dance music to whole new level. Dance music stands up on it’s own but when it’s mixed it is far more captivating. I wanted to start collecting records of the cuts I liked and started mail ordering records from shops in Baltimore and Los Angeles. That is when I discovered what the shops were calling “house music”. My first house record was “Ride on Time” by the Black Box. I actually heard the record on an episode of Geraldo’s talk show on the Michael Alig (yes, that Michael Alig) and the New York Club Kids. I called a shop in Baltimore and sang the vocal “gotta get up, gotta get up, gotta get up!”. “That’s Ride on Time” the shop worker replied. I told him “I want that and whatever else you can recommend!” He recommended 10 records that day, way more than I could afford…and I used my mom’s credit card without her permission to purchase them.
In 1990, I moved to Marina Del Rey, CA to live with my Dad and go to Santa Monica College. I was determined to discover the underground scene in Los Angeles. I wanted to go to a club that actually played house and experience what that was like. After going to a few commercial clubs I was pretty disappointed. Finally, after walking Melrose Ave I found a few flyers that really caught my eye. At this point I was listening to MARS FM that played a lot of techno tracks that I really liked. That is the 1st time I heard the term “RAVE” and the huge parties that were taking place in England on farmlands. I knew I had to find my way into a Los Angeles warehouse party to experience this. Finally, I ended up going to a place called the LA CASA at a party called “Jive”. That party was a game changer, I knew at this point this is where I belonged. The dancefloor was electric, the style was anything like I had ever scene. Baggy overalls, fluffy hats and a few mickey mouse hands. I absolutely fell in love. Two of the DJ’s playing that night, Mr. Kool Aid and Ron D. Core are L.A. legends. I watched them in awe on how they could control the vibe all night.
Although I have always wanted to start DJing back then I didn’t get a setup until 2013. 2 Technics 1200 and a cheap Numark mixer. I had records, I hadn’t stopped collecting so I began to try and mix them together. It was a struggle to say the least. I read the book “How to DJ Right: The art and science of playing records”. This helped me immensely. It wasn’t long after that I wanted to get into digital. I got TRAKTOR 2 for Christmas and having the ability to play digital opened a whole new world. I was able to arm myself with new tracks affordably and easily. My goal was to play out.
My 1st gig was in July 2016 at Sweet N Low at CIA in North Hollywood. Driving to the venue, I was a nervous wreck. I had mainly played digital on Traktor and had at that time only played on CDJ’s a couple of times. I was opening up outside and was slated to play for an hour. I plugged in my USB and looked up and the dance floor was flooded with my friends. This put me at ease, I played my 1st track and mixed in the 2nd with no problem and I was comfortable. The dance was moving and this made me get into the groove and I knew that this is what I love. Before I knew it the hour was over and I remember being sad it was over. The hoots and hollers from the small crowd was everything. Then Darwin, one of the promoters asked if I could play another hour. The next DJ did not show up!! I was ecstatic!! I said hell yes! He thanked me for doing a good job and I continued to play. Dougal, the other half or Sweet N Low thanked me and said “you sounded great!”
Since then, I have played several Sweet N Low’s and have played at Dougal’s other party “F.A.M.I.L.Y” a warehouse type event. I have gotten pretty steady gigs ever since. But there are a few parties I am still dreaming to play. Incognito, Re:Love and Slinky to name a few. I will be playing Re:Love Retreat in April, I am looking forward to that. I got some other things brewing this spring and summer that I can’t announce yet so exciting times ahead!