My work as a DJ began on the radio. As the Urban Music and Programming Director at one of the nation's top ranked college radio stations (WICB), I oversaw a roster of shows that ranged from throwback hip hop to club mix-shows, and from funk to slow jams. With inspiration from legends like the BBC's Gilles Peterson, in these early days it was all about searching the globe to find the best music and bringing guests and experiences to accompany them. Guests on my show included Q-Tip, Method Man, Lupe Fiasco, Guru of Gangstarr, Madlib, Rick Ross, Little Brother and a long list of others. The station won the MTV U Woodie award for Best College Radio in 2008, the same year that I earned the prize for best specialty show.
Always a fan of live music and nightlife, and a student of what inspired the masses to dance, sing, jump and smile... an unlikely move to Cleveland, OH began my career as a club and event DJ. With a technical foundation in vinyl from indie hip hop labels and the vaults of the radio station, the transition to honing mixing, blending and scratching skills was a natural one. Gigs at house parties quickly turned into playing host to sold out concerts for artists like Mac Miller, and spinning alongside local heroes like Terry Urban and MICK (Boogie) at their legendary "I Got 5 On it Party".
The next frontier was planning, promoting and putting on my own events. This began with an annual tribute and fundraiser to honor the legacy of lauded producer/emcee J Dilla. With a sold out first year, the event quickly blossomed into partnerships with The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, American Apparel, Stones Throw Records and many local artists and businesses.
Opportunities have only continued to open from there. I have been blessed to DJ at museums, universities, sweaty basements, repurposed barns and alongside personal heroes. From legendary venues like Manhattan's Sway Lounge, New Orleans' The Saint, Philadelphia's World Cafe Live, and Cleveland's Grog Shop and the SXSW festival in Austin, TX to the beaches of Jamaica... Throughout all of this, the values that defined those early radio shows have endured. My goal is to connect people through the power of great music, and the rest usually works itself out from there.
With Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest in the WICB days
After my first major radio interview with Lupe Fiasco