If you have been following along with the blog’s recent posts, then you are familiar with our conversations on how essential embracing your creative passions are. Although truth be told, sometimes life can take you in different directions and before you know it, you find yourself walking away from what you love to do. Those types of sacrifices also entail a lot of courage. But like an old friend, that calling comes knocking at your door once again and as if time never stopped the magic is back and better than ever. In the spirit of inspiration, today we bring you a special treat. A story about a hardworking, naturally talented DJ who early on in his life discovered what brought him personal joy and satisfaction. After experiencing some changes in his life and taking a hiatus from his passion, he is back and has reconnected with his good old friend, MUSIC. I was intrigued to learn more about how his personal journey so without further adieu, I introduce you to DJ BMIXD.
First of all, tell us how did your creative journey begin with DJing music and when did you know this was your passion? My creative journey began at the age of fifteen in Astoria, New York. My next-door neighbor Edwin Romero (DJ Hostile) was an up and coming DJ and I had the pleasure of learning all about music genres, how to count beats, when / how to transition between songs from him. Funny story…before the first mixing dual CD players (Gemini & Numark) came into the market, we mixed music by connecting two PlayStations together and created our mix tapes. Eventually, they stopped working after spending countless hours practicing. It was then I realized my hobby was transitioning into a passion and I started to work for the best wedding companies in the Tri-State area. I wore many hats such as assisting as a roadie, photographer, DJ, and MC. As the years passed, I juggled a heavy schedule which included going to school, working a full-time job, and working 2-3 events on the weekends. This became my routine for fifteen years. I’ve performed +1,000 events, with an average guest count of between 75 – 150 guests, which means I played music for over 75,000 guests in my professional DJ career. Many of whom became recurring clients and lifelong friends. The route of my passion stems from the quote, “Play The Moments, Stop The Pain, Pause The Memories, and Rewind Happiness,” all of which are relatable on how music touches us on a personal level every day.
You took a break from your music and the DJ scene. What made you come back after five years and why did you feel now was the right time to do so? After 15 years of working weekends, missing family events, working a full-time job, and time away from my wife, it was time to take a break. Also, when I moved to Houston, TX, the events I booked were set up much differently compared to NYC and the hours were longer for the pay I was receiving. It was a tough decision, but I have no regrets. I continued to work on my passion (music) by uploading new mixes via music sites such as SoundCloud and Mixcloud. I took the extra time off to enjoy my weekends with family and friends. About seven months ago, I went through a rough time at work where I didn’t feel appreciated or utilized to the full potential of my abilities. I wanted to feel as though I was making a difference and find that happiness I once felt all those years before. I missed my passion and my soul was missing the expression of creativity through the art of music. I realized that I had allowed my passion to fade throughout the past five years and I wanted to feel fulfilled once more. Since my return, I’m currently DJing at a Bar in Dallas called Bar Louie at Park Lane on Friday nights, rebranded with a new logo, and investing in my equipment.
You were born and raised in New York and since then you’ve moved to Texas. What differences or similarities do you find between both cities and their music vibes? First, we have to appreciate how New York and Texas impacted music history in general. Both cities have been a center for musical innovation and artists for both hip-hop, rock, blues, etc. However, both cities have unique styles and influences. That being said, the vibe between both cities lean more towards being very similar than different. I’ve heard other DJ’s at clubs, private events, and learned that guests actually enjoy all genres of music whether it’s top 40’s, classic rock, 80’s & 90’s dance. Just by listening to other DJ’s flow throughout the night, I tell myself “yep that works well and I would have done the same”. As long as the DJ understands the crowd, can transition well between songs, and play unique remixes, the end result is impactful. I did find that it’s hard to play certain genres of music that were very popular back home but not as much here where I currently live. In New York, I loved playing Old School Reggae (Shabba Ranks, Super Cat), Old School House (Conversation, Break For Love), and Freestyle (Judy Torres, Stevie B). Being in Texas (Dallas), I made a few attempts in these genres and people didn’t respond well or friends had no clue what they were hearing. The vibe I felt was “change this already”!
What inspires your craft and your DJ mixes on Mixcloud? Prior to releasing new mixes on my Mixcloud page, it may take a few weeks to gather the right track/remix, flow, and inspiration before I finally record my session. If the mix is not perfect, I’ll start over. My end goal is to share quality mixes for my audience. I take pride knowing that people are listening to my mixes while riding on train or bus, driving to work, working out, having a house party, summertime BBQs, etc. I want my followers to experience quality DJ mixes and come back for more.
Who are some of the music figures that you look up to? All music figures from around the world such as music producers, band group, solo artist, or DJs are inspiring because they are masters of their craft and wake up every morning loving what they do. But, if I had to name a few, I look up to Sted-e & Hybrid Heights, Marc Anthony, and Justin Timberlake. As far as who has inspired me to reconnect with my inner creativity and passion? Honestly, the DJs whom I’ve known my whole life that I follow on social media. They post amazing pictures and videos of their DJ services, produce authentic music, and know the feeling of going to bed at 3am and waking up 3 hours later to do it all over again. I’ve been in their shoes at one point in my life. These are the figures in my life who continue to inspire me each and every single day.
What is your favorite part of the process of DJing? Aside from the adrenaline you feel when playing for a small group, a hundred, five hundred, or even a thousand people, I love discovering new music and remixes. I’ll spend hours researching, downloading new music from different sources, and think how I can incorporate them in my next event. Depending on the reaction or vibe from the crowd, some songs won’t make it two weeks in my playlist and I’ll delete them.
In your opinion What makes a good DJ? How has the DJing scene changed and evolved? This two part question excites and disappointments me at the same time. I’ll start out with the excitement first. Throughout the years, companies such as Numark, Denon, Pioneer, etc., innovated their technology to help enhance the creativity, workflow preparation, seamless functionality between softwares, for both music producers and club DJs. Those who adapt to the technology and innovate/enhance their skills will create a memorable experience for the crowd. Now, with the advanced technology comes its flaws. Many individuals want to be a DJ to make a quick buck and use mobile apps such as PYRO, new beat syncing technology, auto transition, etc., which results in taking away the creative aspect of what DJing is all about. I understand that new technology will attract new talent in the industry. However, this also attracts those that are not passionate for the art of mixing and what it takes to be professional. I highly encourage individuals that have a passion for music to attend their nearest DJ school and learn from a professional. Go online and research the different types of hardware, software, and watch “how to” videos and understand the time you’ll investment to become a professional. It took me a good 4 years to feel comfortable, and to be quite honest, I’m still learning. Another option is to find a good mentor and shadow them to a club or event. These are great learning opportunities to learn how to read a crowd, mixing techniques, playlists creation, etc. Overall, DJs we take pride in our work, the hustle we put into it, the investment in new equipment, and most importantly understand that DJing can mean sacrificing time with family and friends. Being a DJ takes more than just push and play, or have the technology do the work for you.
Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us today DJ BMIXD. We are happy you are back and wish you much success on your music-filled journey!