DJ Boxx, with his signature baseball cap, is an established presence in the Chicago House Music scene, as well as a DJ and producer. A long time Chicago DJ, he began his DJ career in 1985 at age 18 at Galaxy Disco, his first residency. Boxx has enjoyed opportunities to play in many cities and venues throughout the county. Gigs at well-known Chicago venues such as Cuatro, Renaissance, Truth, The Shrine, The Mid, Evil Olive and many more. He recently enjoyed a dual city residency at The Garage in Chicago and Deep Inside in Dallas. In addition to dj'ing around the country, he has been a Cyberjamz Radio programmer and will be a programmer for an UK radio show in London that is scheduled to launch in the Fall of 2017. He’s produced new releases, edits and re-edits that lead to the launch of his label, BOSAR MUSIC. The label released its first song, Fly Free feat Frankie Parker in April 2017.
I recently had a chance to sit down with DJ Boxx and talk to him about his new label, upcoming projects and his career.
Q. What do you love about being a Chicago House DJ?
A. It always circles back to the people. Playing to the crowd and absorbing their energy. It’s “The High”. I love playing here and interacting with the crowd. It’s a vibe and feeling that you can’t replicate. I’m constantly learning and growing. I still practice on a regular basis. As a DJ, I love playing sets that tell a story and evoke emotion.
Q. How would you describe the Chicago house scene?
A. Being from Chicago carries a certain depth and weight. Chicago has the deepest well of quality DJ’s. The talent here is unmatched. The culture is rich and deep. The Chicago House scene is like a family. Like most families, we may have issues but it’s mostly because we are all so passionate about this music and our culture. It’s intense; we love our music and culture. Chicago is the epi center of the culture. It’s one of the few places where you can hear it all; disco, house, classics any night of the week.
Q. When did you decide to get into production and how did that lead to the start of your own record label?
A. I’ve actually produced a few songs previously. I’ve produced music with Vick Lavender on his Sophisticado recordings label and worked with Tim McAllister. I’ve done edits and re-edits of songs as well. It seemed like a natural progression to start my own label. I like to tell a story through music. Whether I’m dj’ing a set or creating music. As a producer, I get to express myself creatively, tell the stories I hear musically. As a label owner, I'm able to explore different genres and create a name and brand that is respected.
Q. What’s your creative process like? What inspires you?
A. Creativity is all encompassing to me. When it comes to music, it’s about rhythm, melody, and harmony. I approach playing music very organically. I don’t do programmed sets. I like to arrive at a gig early and take the temperature of the crowd. Feel its energy, vibe and ambiance. When creating music, my mind is constantly flooded with rhythms and harmonies. I feel what I want to create. I’m inspired by so many different genres of music.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring DJs or producers?
A. Put 100% of your energy and focus into your craft. Focus on you and don’t worry about those around you and what they are doing. Network with the ones who are doing what you want to do. Learn and grow from them. Study music and keep your distance from drama. Focus on building a brand, creating good partnerships and networks.
Q. Ok…so let’s talk about your new song, Fly Free with Frankie Parker. How did this come about?
A. About 2 years ago, I was doing production for an artist in Detroit and didn’t really like the sound. I decided the music I had needed something different. I happened to be spinning with Koko, another Chicago DJ and mentioned that I was in need of a singer. He recommended Frankie. She heard the song and wrote the lyrics and it began from there. The lyrics she wrote matched the song perfectly.
Q. How would you describe the song? What’s the message?
A. The song is really about the freedom that music brings. No matter what you are dealing with, music is a place where we all find peace in the midst of whatever we are dealing with. The song is about being free, leaving our worries on the dance floor; it’s about how music affects us.
Q. What does the immediate future hold for DJ Boxx? What’s next for you?
A. I’m enjoying the response “Fly Free” has received and I’m looking forward to growing the Bosar Music Label. I’m still playing at various locations in the city. I have two more releases scheduled for 2017 with an artist by the name of Koffee from New Jersey and singer, Jon Pierce out of Chicago.
End of Interview
You can hear DJ Boxx at the following upcoming events
- 5/6 Chicago - Reds - Crazy 1st Saturdays - Maurice Tripplet Bday Party
- 5/13 Batavia - Private Event
- 5/20 Chicago-Summer Prelude II
- 5/27 Chicago - Solo 80s 90s Back Yard Jam
- 5/28 Chicago - Devo ENT Unity Day
- 5/29 Detroit - Nu Bang EMF Event
- 6/10 Chicago - TBA
- 6/17 Chicago - Clark & G-Whip Event
- 6/17 Lansing - TBA
- 6/18 Chicago - TBA
- 6/28 Chicago - HOUSE CLUB TOUR II
You can Reach DJ Boxx at the following
For a complete review of the single, Fly Free, CLICK HERE!