Music: Houston Profile: Mixmaster Brown
Last month Guinness Live It Up brought the party to Houston, Texas. One of the three DJs sharing duties on the turntables was none other than Houston’s own DJ Mixmaster Brown. We had a chance to hook up with him recently, and ask him a few questions. It went something like this.
Mixmaster, we know you’re a DJ, but how would you describe yourself as an artist?
As an artist, I see myself as a hardworking and creative student, because I learn something new everyday. I would also describe myself as a producer on the fly.
Okay. I get it. Now if you had to describe yourself, using only one word, what would that word be?
Well, I never let my achievements get in the way of my reasoning and interactions with people. I try to be as humble and friendly as possibility.
That’s cool. So how did you get started as a DJ?
It all started as a joke and then became a hobby. I had a music loving mum and family. So music had always been so familiar to me. It became real in the late 80’s during high school. I started taking my folks speakers to school gigs without their permission, and the funny thing is they still don’t know about it. (Laughs) In 1989, I was officially introduced to one of my mentors, DJ Mannix, by my sister. And the rest is history.
So where do you draw your inspiration from when you’re DJing?
That’s simple: from the new deejays and my immediate environment. I am never afraid to learn something new and fresh.
What kinds of music or genres do you play in a typical set?
It’s hard to pin me to one kind of music I play. Growing up in Nigeria made it compulsory for me as an artist/dj to be familiar with different genre of music. I like to say I play international music, which includes – Afrobeat, Coupe Decale, Reggae, Dancehall, Makossa, Pop, Hip hop n RnB, top 40, 70’s 80’s 90’s, and house.
You mentioned growing up in Nigeria. What’s your ethnic background?
I am originally from a town called Big Qua, Calabar, Cross River State in Nigeria.
Are you originally from Nigeria, or elsewhere?
So what’s the best thing about being a DJ or DJing?
Being in charge and creating joy and happiness in the room.
Let’s flip that around. What’s the most challenging thing about being a DJ?
I am the chairman for the Deejays Association Of Nigeria (U.S.A). Some of my duties include supervising and coordinating meetings and get togethers for member deejays. It sounds easy and straightforward, but getting deejays together is one of the toughest jobs in the world. I would love to see deejays get more respect and recognition based on how instrumental we are in the entertainment industry.
How do you feel about being selected to play for Guinness Live It Up Houston?
I was excited when I got the call. At first I thought it was a prank but as we continued with the conversation I realized it was the real deal. I have been following Guinness Live It Up online and hoped to be part of it. And I’m really excited. Being selected tells me that I am definitely doing something right.
Since we’re talking Guinness, do you have a favorite drink?
What is it?
Switching gears for a sec, what’s the one thing people take away with them after meeting you for the first time? What kind of impression do you make?
Well physically, they say there’s something about my eyes. My voice is totally different from my looks. At least that’s what they say. People also say I strike them as an easygoing and realistic person. I think that’s true because I know I am straight forward and blunt with my words and thoughts.
How can folks find out more about you? I am not hard to find.
I am currently based in Houston and I’m all over Google. But the best place to find out more about me is to visit my official website http://djmixmasterbrown.com.
Aside from your website, do you have any social media handles people can use to get at you?
Yes. I have ‘em all. Twitter/Instagram @Mixmasterbrown. Facebook Page @IamDjmixmasterbrown. Facebook Profile @Djmixmasterbrown. Mixcloud @Djmixmasterbrown
So last thought. You’re a successful DJ. What advice would you give to aspiring DJs trying to achieve what you have?
Work hard and stay humble.
Interview by Stephen Chukumba