Bay Area, CA
Active 2000 - Present
Bringing the dark underground vibes to the dancefloor. His musical selections bring the heavy bass lines and he’s not afraid to push the underground sound in every set. Having grown up in the iconic Chicago house scene, he’s not a stranger to being around the D.J.
world. With a mixed spectrum of musical influences his sets will always bring a mixture of different sounds and genres.
With the amount of projects you are involved in, we are happy that you are able to set aside some time for us. Do you mind telling the readers a bit about Concrete Jungle Sessions, Hardcore Junglists United, and any other projects you are currently working on.
My focus is to have a safe place for people to enjoy music, be themselves and to build a community around it. Pre-Covid, most of my projects were planning and throwing events in the Bay Area. Most of my IRL events were under the brand name Concrete Jungle Sessions. Once it became clear that it was unsafe to throw parties due to Covid, I stepped away from that world but still keep connected with the crew.
During lock down it became a mission to find a way to do this virtually. The team over at Hardcore Junglists United decided to start throwing virtual events every day once the lock down started. This became our focus. We booked acts and promoted a daily stream schedule on the Hardcore Junglists United twitch channel. We did this for almost 3 months straight. Over time, this became too much for everyone and we all decided to take a break from our daily events. Still feeling the itch to run an event, I decided to start RAID WEDNESDAY. The goal of RAID was to help people build up their own channels and have a community that can help each other grow within twitch. I am proud to say that we now have over 70 djs on RAID rotation. I truly believe that HJU shaped the way virtual events are done within the underground scene. We rolled out the google signup sheet to keep track of dates and timeslots. Also We found out that managing djs on streams is truly a hard task. This made us bring in MODS and stream managers to help keep things on time. I’m honored to be a part of such a talented crew of hard working people.
The most recent project is RHYTHMIC REMEMDIES. Bento and I really wanted to throw a weekly event centered on Jungle, so we teamed up with Secondwav and Cutthroat. Every Monday from 4pm-12a pst we run a raid style Jungle stream on twitch. The event has been growing and I’m excited for the future of R&R. We will also be rolling out our record label this year. Looking forward to sharing all the tunes we’ve been making.
Concrete Jungle Sessions have grown to be an iconic part of the California Junglist Community. How did you get involved and where do you and Dier Times see it going in the future?
In the summer of 2019 I was invited to Los Angeles to play Concrete Jungle, sessions under the bridge. Pure underground renegade business. The vibes and the underground scene happening in Los Angeles inspired me. I wanted to bring that back to the Bay Area. The raw music, live art and Jungle attracted me to Concrete Jungle Sessions.
I teamed up with Dier and Concrete Jungle Sessions Oakland was born. I was on a mission to find likeminded people to help me throw events in the Bay Area and push that Jungle sound. This led me to Chay Boy and Bento. The three of us started a monthly at lounge 3411 in Oakland and threw underground parties on the side. In March of 2020, Chay Boy, Bento and I stopped all IRL parties in the Bay Area and no longer run the Concrete Jungle sessions, Oakland chapter.
I continue to stay connected to the crew. We are planning to do a monthly stream on the last Sunday of every month in the near future.
With close to two decades behind the decks, the Jungle community has seen a lot of changes along with many ups and downs. What about this culture keeps you wanting to grow its community?
I do all of this for the love of the people. That connection with the music and the audience. I want to keep that vibe going and pass it along to the upcoming djs and promoters. The act of being positive, helpful and kind to each other. A safe place for all. When I stepped into this scene I saw all these positive things happening and I want to do my part and keep that going.
The term Gypsy Kid could have many meanings. What is the story behind the moniker?
Right after High school, my girlfriend at the time took me to my first Phish show. I learned that people lived life on the road following the band and I was really attracted to this carefree lifestyle.
Being fresh out of high school with summer ahead of me, I went back home packed my car and hit the road following phish around the U.S. for the rest of the summer. I sold beer and disposable cameras in the parking lots to help pay for gas and food. Along the way, people started calling me the Gypsy Kid because of all the travel and the fact that I was selling things out of my car.
That summer really changed me, my love for music grew and I now had a traveling addiction. I knew that I could not sell beer and disposable cameras for a living so I shifted to working the production world and became a professional roadie. I once again packed up my car and headed out to Knoxville, Tennessee. I was lucky enough to land a job touring with a band based out of Knoxville as their head sound engineer.
I official traveled through or stopped at every state in the U.S. But Still having that itch to travel, I landed another traveling job working on cruise ships as an Audio technician in the theaters. I did this for almost 6 years. I did the crossing from the US to Europe four times. I have gone to almost every port a cruise ship can go to around the world. I was officially traveling and working until I finally made it to San Francisco, were I settled down and started a family.
Being that I’m no longer a kid or traveling as much, I was thinking of changing the name. But that’s the history of my name. It’s been with me most of my life and will always be a part of me. Even if I do end up changing my Dj name.
Out of every gig throughout the years, which was the most memorable for you? What really stood out, making that night special?
In the early 2000’s I was staying in Los Angeles and was going to Respect and Junglist Platoon parties. They threw this party in Rosarito, Mexico that lasted for three days. I was lucky enough to spin one of the side rooms. I loaded up my records and drove my car across the border. My slot was at like 7am on a Sunday. I remember there was like 4 people on the dance floor. Even though I played for almost no one, I had an amazing weekend hanging out. The memory of playing in another country and the adventure of traveling with vinyl will always stick with me. Over all that memory to fight to get your music heard even if it is for only a few people. I have a few good memorable gigs, most of them traveling to the Mojavi desert but, I picked this one because it was my first real gig outside of my circle of friends.
Balancing the family life and music life can be a challenge for any artist. What tips do you have for those out there trying to make time for both Jungle and being a parent?
Every day I am learning and adjusting. Especially with Covid there is no longer a normal life. Parents are forced to home school and a lot of us are struggle to find work and survive.
I am defiantly not perfect but always trying to find that balance. Right now I’m guilty of too much screen time and always having twitch on the background. Too much of anything is never good right? Twitch and online socials can be helpful but can also be addictive. Know your limits.
A few thing that I’m currently working on to find that balance.
- To do lists: I’m a big fan of lists with high priority on top. I have separate lists, my everyday life list and my music production list. I take joy in crossing things off the lists.
- Stay focused on tasks: somewhat ties in with my list. When I start something, I try my best to finish it before moving on to the next task.
- Time management: Manage your time wisely. My day consist of Family, Work and Music. Juggling all these things in one day can be tricky but with a little planning, it is doable. Over all I do all my music production once the kids are in bed. I try to set aside time for music production and promo on socials during my off hours.
- Family First: When my kids were born, I took 4 years off from taking gigs and working on music. Kids are definitely a full time job but I love them so much. Find what works for your family.
- Take breaks when needed. Take a week off from streaming if needed. Get off socials once and awhile. Take care of yourself and your family.
You caught our eye through the Hardcore Junglist United Twitch streams. How do you see the growing popularity of streaming affecting the art of deejaying?
The streaming community has been amazing and I think that overall it’s made everyone a better Dj. I’ve personally seen improvement in myself. Every time I stream the next one is just a little better. The Djs that transitioned into streaming will most likely have a better chance at landing gigs once things start to open up again. The streams have opened up the world to people that typically won’t be seen or heard. I also excited to take what I’ve learned in the virtual world and apply it to real life gigs. I’d like to incorporate more visuals into my live sets. I also feel way more comfortable behind a mic. In the past I would never pick up a mic at a gig. I personally don’t think the streaming aspect will go away as well. I think we’ll see more live streams filmed on locations even when venues open up.
Any thoughts you would like to share?
I want to give a big shout out to all the people that have supported me and helped me along the way. Big up to my new family over at Proper Drum&Bass. Much love to my wife and family for being understanding of my music life style. Shout out to the 916 Junglist crew and Billy Lane. Big up to Luke aka Bento for all his help and keeping me working during these difficult times. His love for Jungle and being a Junglist amazes me!