As a husky lad growing up in Galesburg, Illinois, my friends and I collected and traded hip-hop and R&B the way most kids did baseball cards. From our favorite songs on each album, I started making mixtapes which were highly sought after by the musically insulated yet vice-enticed student body of my Catholic elementary school.
One of the more explicit of these gems fell into the hands of Sister Catherine, the most formidable and fearsome nun to prowl our (or any) halls. I had earned my first school suspension. However, I had also unwittingly built my reputation as the guy with the music. Now, if you were throwing a party you had to invite Tony and his tapes.
Time marched, tapes gave way to CDs, which had somehow time-machined back to Vinyl by the time I arrived in LA for college at USC. I attended my first desert rave and was completely upended by the experience. It was a complete reimagining of what a DJ could do and what a party could be. Not just a place to be social and be seen, but a true communal celebration where people let their guard down and detached, while the DJ orchestrated the journey through carefully selected beats and rhythms, melody and sound.
While at USC, I met Ian, my best friend, and a musical kindred spirit. We went to dance parties every weekend and before long we had four turntables set up in our dorm. We were theater majors and aspiring actors and badly needed money. So we started making some cash DJing at the same desert parties we used to attend. We expanded into clubs, art parties, greek events – we’d play for anyone who was willing to pay us (and often when they weren’t.)
Fourteen years later, Ian and I along with the extremely talented performers on our roster, have built our collective, RedShoe, into one of the most respected DJ companies in Southern California.
I moved to Colorado in 2015 and have been flying back to California to DJ about every other week. I was excited to build a new company based in Denver but I was a little overwhelmed at the prospect of doing it all by myself.
And then a musician friend of mine from LA called and told me I should connect with this talented and hip DJ named Aubrey.