Born in the city of Chi-town this young aspiring DJ found a home in the party scene at a young age. Starting off with a group of fellow DJs called “Live It Up” a group lead by Ricky Rockin’ Aldana, our DJ found his passion for music through the art of “getting your beats tight”. In those early days he was known as Joe “Pump It Up” the DJ who was always “melting the wheels of steel” at house parties in his community as well as high school parties. “In those days it felt like everyone else in the neighborhood was either on drugs or gang banging this was our outlet our way of expressing ourselves,” he explains. However, our DJ did not solely use mixing to express himself during that time. In fact, he started expressing his passion for music by manipulating his bones and defying gravity as a break dancer. “Breaking is what got me into the music scene it was another way to express my passion for music” he explains. Passion for music a hallmark of our DJ’s legacy continued to play a role in his personal evolution through the industry.
After a period of time he started spinning at venues such as the Aragon, Navy Pier, and the Odium Ballroom; and received a new DJ name that would forever transform his career as a DJ and Producer. Given to him by Joey “The Don” for his persistent ways when it came to collecting and getting paid back for his work DJ Payback began a new journey through the world of music by starting a new crew called Masterpiece Productions in the mid 90s. With the support of Luis Wicked, Notorious Eddie G and others Masterpiece Productions released their work to the world one tape at a time.
As DJ Payback recalls the name of his first mix tape “Keep It Underground” was conceived on a trip he went on to NYC with Maurice Joshua, Georgie Porgie, and Terry Hunter, when in a shop looking for a new hat to rock he looked up and saw a cap that had “Keep It Underground” stitched onto it and underground it was kept. Payback began to further his career by working at a few record stores such as Jumpin Music, Just Dance, and running The Factory, but it his passion for “getting the beats tight” that really elevated his career.
Some would say the rest is history because he then began getting air time on B96’s Street Flavor Show with the help of DJ Speed which allowed him to get his mixes out to thousands of people at a time, while he also began helping fellow DJs produce their music and mix tapes. Yet, for DJ Payback it is all about the future.
After taking a brief hiatus from the art of performing DJ Payback has emerged from the Underground, “I am tired of being a basement DJ I need to be where I belong, where people come to hear music that will give them every opportunity to dance the night away “ DJ Payback states. But when asked why else he made his return he looks to the industry itself. “ I’ve Been to a couple of clubs lately and the sound systems are great, the atmospheres are great, but it’s still lacking something… well put together beats. Clubs need to start recognizing the most important part to your night club is your music. An unopened bottle of Grey Goose can’t get any better than the next unopened bottle of Grey Goose.” DJ Payback explains.
One might ask what specific projects DJ Payback will be working on now that he is back on the scene. “There are a few projects that are marinating right now. One of them is producing House Tracks and another is bringing back that feeling House Party’s used to give you. The feeling that all the worries of the week are over once Friday night makes an appearance.” When asked how he would accomplish such a task he responded. “That is what House Party Productions is all about. It’s about the Music and the way it creates good vibes, positive energy, the kind of feeling that lets you forget everything until Monday rolls back around”
House Party Productions is one of many projects DJ Payback is currently working on with his partners Notorious Eddie G and PayDro, but the most important vision Payback has for his future is to share his talents with lovers of music, no matter where they may be.
“I spin House Music all night long, but no matter what I enjoy seeing the people on the dance floor enjoying their own nights. That’s what being a DJ all is about. Keeping your beats tight and keeping the dance floor moving.”
Will DJ Payback deliver on his promise of bringing back the notion of “Thank God it’s Friday” and the positive energy that feeling brings to a club or party? Only time will tell. However, one can be certain that DJ Payback is dedicated to his promises. He knows what he wants and has the talent to reach his goals, which can only be good news for House Music lovers throughout the world. An artist has returned to his craft. House Music rejoices.
Quotes provided by RadioDotCom
Click here to
Byron L. Taylor
President of LB Productions