When I was in 3rd grade I went on my first date with Caitlin Bottoms. We went roller skating at Village skates, down on Waverly in the East Village. That’s when I fell in love, not with Caitlin, but with music. A loud PA system blasted disco and roller boogie for hours on end, and I couldn’t get enough. After going weekly, many of us became family. Then The Roxy opened. It was the big, rich fancy skate rink in the West Village. At first no-one wanted to go, but eventually its lure was too much for all of us. All off the staff and skaters found themselves shifting to a bigger world.
To me, The Roxy was the birthplace of hip hop and house music. As it went from a roller rink to a nightclub, the music evolved as well. Till this day, there is nothing like dancing on that huge dance floor, listening to “Set it off” or “The Mexican” for the first time. When I turned 13, my friend invited me over to his friends house to hang out. His friend had a rack stereo named “Black Beauty”, all separate units, amp, tuner, tape deck, and 2 turntables with a mixer in between. From that day on, I was hooked, watching his friend blend records into each other.
From my job at NY skates, (I was working from age 10), I bought 2 technics belt drive turntables, a mixer, and started to collect vinyl, starting with some early hip hop, and dance music. For high school graduation, I got a pair of Technics 1200’s, that I still have and use today. DJing school dances and parties in college, it continued after school in NYC, spinning for fashion shows for Fashion Week in Bryant Park, and spinning for private parties for wealthy New Yorkers, playing in such spaces as Doubles, The Super Club, Tattoo, and The Hayden Planetarium. For Christmas that year I got a Korg 01W, my first real synth.
During the fashion days, I met John Mateo and Ed Matos, who invited me to their studio in the LES. When I walked in the the apartment, covered in foam, and wall to wall records, Eddie was playing a keyboard, attached into a Mac classic, playing samples. Since that day I was hooked on making house music. I picked up an Akai s950 mono sampler, a gateway dx266, and a copy of cakewalk, and began my own projects. My first collection of songs was called “Gonna Dig This EP” that contained the sample from the movie car was, “I Know you gonna dig this”, which I got clean, off of the vinyl soundtrack, that my boss had at the time. (The movie never had the sample clean, it has other music mixed in from the soundtrack.) Having sent out audio cassettes to Nervous, Strictly and Freeze records, there was one response. I came home one day and had a message on my answering machine from Todd Terry. I signed my first EP with a huge name in house music. The EP was released in 1996 on TNT records, # 50, and had a single placed on a Freeze compilation in 1997. Todd released an album soon after, using the Gonna Dig This sample on it. Since then it has also appeared in numerous hip hop songs.
Then life changed drastically. I lost my fashion show job, and couldn’t afford to lay out equipment costs to continue Djing for private parties. Everything just stopped. I got an apprenticeship for a video Post Production house. I became an 4 time Emmy nominated, one time Emmy winner, currently working for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. All the while, I was always writing, producing and Djing, as it was something I am passionate about. Making money with it is a great idea but not the point. In 2010 I began releasing music on my own with Pro Motion. Releasing 5 albums on college radio, all making the top 12. One making the top 4 and one making the Top 40 for 2012.
While it was fun, college radio was not where I wanted to be. In 2014 I met Eddie Gordon, from KingsofSpins, who began promoting my music in the dance community. I released dozens of songs on a new label KHM, (Knox House Music), offering the label to Traxsource and Beatport and other music outlets.
In 2015 I reconnected with an old friend Scott Wozniak, that I had met during the early 90’s. We have made quire a few Track Shore Top 10 releases, including Aaron K Gray’s Hallelujah and Thankful, and Dawn Souluvn’ Williams, “Turn it Up”.
2017 has been an amazing year, with a few hits under my belt, and an hourly DJ show playing on this station and a few others, I am finally at home amongst some of the greatest names in house. I received my first write up in DJ Times in June this year which really put me on the map.
I have had a long a painful journey spanning over 3 decades, to get where I am today, but feel I am now a part of the house music industry, finally living the dream.