About DJ Brainchild
How many of its details have been embellished over the years, we'll never know, but DJ Brainchild recalls his first memory vividly:
"I was in the basement of my parents' old home in northern Indiana. I couldn't have been any older than three years old. We had a floor model television down there with a built in stereo. The radio was on and Prince's 'Little Red Corvette' was playing. I remember doing my little dance, and just staring at this big contraption with all these noises coming out of it."
Thus began DJ Brainchild's life long love affair with music.
Growing up, he made it a point to surround himself with music. If he wasn't imitating the radio jocks with his mom's grocery bag of 45s and dad's stash of LPs, he was playing all manner of percussion instruments in the school band, or building a large collection of cassette tapes. By the late 90s, he'd taken an interest in the demo scene popping up online (Google that one) and began making his own music.
In high school, he had his first taste of being a DJ, occasionally hooking into the school's PA system and playing CDs during the lunch hour, but it wasn't until college that he touched his first pair of 1200s. A roommate had a pair of turntables and introduced him to a crew of local DJs. For two years he learned the basics while spinning house and drum & bass records at house parties around campus. DJ Brainchild's adventurous style formed here and his audiences quickly learned to expect the unexpected.
"I didn't have a lot of records with me at school, and this was pre-Serato, so I almost always had to stray away from just playing a straight up four-on-the-floor house set, or a breakbeat heavy jungle set. So I'd mix things up with some disco records, or do a short hip-hop set in the middle of a longer jungle set. I liked doing weird blends back then too. It wasn't uncommon to hear me throw a Destiny's Child acapella over an LTJ Bukem record, or something similar."
After moving to New York City in 2002, DJ Brainchild began spinning hip-hop & R&B at lounges and open turntable events around the city, eventually landing gigs opening for Tony Touch and ?uestlove, and even playing at Jay-Z's 40/40 club in its opening months.
In 2008, alongside Phonte of The Foreign Exchange, DJ Brainchild launched the widely popular Gordon Gartrell Radio podcast, which has received hundreds of thousands of downloads over it's 20 (and counting) episodes. The podcast's eclectic mix coupled with Phonte's hilarious commentary solidified DJ Brainchild's status worldwide as a DJ you could count on to play the best music around, both old and new.
He was handpicked by ?uestlove of The Roots in 2009 to be the house DJ for their now legendary weekly jam sessions at the Highline Ballroom. That summer, he also performed with the Gary Bartz Project featuring the legendary jazz saxophonist and singer Bilal in Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park. In 2010, DJ Brainchild opened for Gil Scott Heron at the late poet's last appearance at Central Park's annual Summerstage concert series. Dego of 4hero and 2000Black fame personally asked DJ Brainchild to put together a mix promoting the release of his debut album, 2011's A Wha' Him Deh Pon.
DJ Brainchild linked up with DJs Phatrick and Icewater and Rare Form Promotions in 2011 to bring the Bay Area's popular Devil's Pie party to Brooklyn, where it's currently enjoying a once-a-month run at The Counting Room in Williamsburg.