HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?: My love for music began at an early age, hip hop was my obsession. I’d dig through my dad’s endless record collection to find original samples, which introduced me to different genres. I got high on discovering samples like Lou Reed’s “Wild Side” used in A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It?,” ACDC’s “Back in Black” used in “Dope Beat” by Boogie Down Productions and Beastie Boys’ use of Sly and The Family Stone’s “Loose Booty” in their hit, “Shadrach.” Each discovery enhanced my appreciation of all music and I became more and more determined to make music my career.
WHERE DID YOU START?: I officially started my music career in college at West Chester University while working at their radio station. I wanted to gain as much experience as I could and worked in every position possible. I worked as an on-air radio personality, music director, program director and ultimately became the station’s general manager. I am most proud of my success in moving the station from an AM signal to FM during my junior and senior years which is now known as 91.7 – The Curve.
HOW DID YOU KICK OFF YOUR DJ CAREER?: After graduating from West Chester University, I made it my mission to find a place for myself in the music industry. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and knew that I had to head to Philadelphia if I wanted to surround myself with talented artists, DJs and music producers that I could learn from and create music with. Philly has such a rich history of classic soul music with legends like Teddy Pendergrass, The Stylistics and Hall & Oates. I started DJing and attained residencies at spots like: Lucy’s Hat Shop, Denim, 32 Degrees, Sumo, Loie, Noche, Blue Martini, Bluezette, Ms. Tootsies, Zee Bar and Harrah’s Pool in Atlantic City. I had the pleasure of spinning alongside many talented artists & DJs including Questlove, Biz Markie, Schoolly D and many more.
TALK ABOUT MUSIC PRODUCTION: I always considered myself a creative person and knew that I wanted to elevate my career by exploring the world of music production. It was always a dream of mine to create my own works of art that I could contribute to the world. I began creating remixes that were played on radio stations such as Power 99 in Philadelphia, Hot 97 in NYC, Power 96 in Miami and Power 106 in LA, as well as radio stations all over the world. I collaborated with artists under Jay-Z’s, Roc-a-Fella label, such as Beanie Sigel and Freeway. I was honored when I was nominated for the “Best Remixer of the Year” alongside fellow nominees, DJ Snake and Diplo at Sean Diddy Comb’s Global Spin Awards in 2015 in NYC.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW?: As my musical career progressed, I developed the desire to travel more. I wanted to DJ all over the country and not just at my home base. New York City, being the music mecca it is, soon became my second home. I’ve been busy traveling all over and doing guest spots in New York at places like: The Bowery Hotel in Manhattan, 620 Loft & Garden, The NoMad Hotel, The Standard East Village, Hotel on Rivington, The Edison Ballroom, Gurney’s and The Surf Lodge in the Hamptons. I also enjoy DJing corporate events such as the Food Network’s annual NYC Wine & Food Festival.
When I’m not spinning, I can be found in my studio. I am working on projects constantly. In fact, I just released a new party break remix, “All the Ladies in the Place” featuring an all-female artist lineup and it is currently in heavy rotation on Philly’s Power 99, as well as other radio stations. I have also been working on a new project featuring Kurt Cobain vs. Biggie...stay tuned! To stay updated on my new releases, you can join my mailing list.
WHAT DOES MUSIC MEAN TO YOU: Music is my life and I am more excited about it now than ever. I love the challenge of blending Johnny Cash’s, “Walk the Line” with Drake’s “The Motto” or “ABC” by The Jackson 5 with J Cole’s “Work Out.” I love sharing my remixes and creations with DJs and music lovers around the world. There’s no better feeling than watching the reactions of people on the dance floor when you curate the perfect set. I thrive off of the energy and excitement I give to people on the dance floor when I DJ. One of the most rewarding aspects of DJing is having the ability to take people away from their everyday stressors and give them a night to remember.
ANY ADVICE TO FELLOW ARTISTS?: My motto is and has always been, “follow your passion.” I am very grateful that I am able to do something that I love every day, and I do not take that for granted. I think it is important to always respect the artists that came before you, they paved the way for future generations.
DO YOU DJ PRIVATE EVENTS?: Yes, I do! Email me at BenjaStylesEvents@gmail.com for DJ bookings.