About DJ Happee
Music producer, Scratch musician, and DJ
At the age of 6, DJ Happee knew he was destined to become involved with music when he scratched his mother's "Air Supply" record after seeing a Run DMC music video on MTV. During the summer before his sophomore year in high school, he rode the bus to work for $3.75 an hour as a bagger at a local supermarket to earn money to purchase his first set of turntables. "I was determined to become a DJ, nothing was going to hold me back," says Happee. During that year, Happee meets a neighborhood DJ who would teach him all the basics which would set him into the right direction. This DJ was DJ Niques, who would later become the creator of various beats featured on "DJ Qbert's Needle Thrashers" and "DIY scratching" DVD series.
Turntablist and Scratch Musician
Happee soon started entering the DJ Battle circuit to hone his skills and gain some exposure. During this time, he developed relationships with fellow DJs which would later help him catapult into the world of Skratch music (also referred to as Turntablism). When battling no longer satisfied his appetite, Happee later moved into music production and began using his knowledge of music, learned from being a DJ, to craft out songs for various musicians and DJs. His work was later featured on various releases and compilations, including Bomb Hip Hop's "Return of the DJ, vol. 4," Hip Hop Slam's "Skratch Attack, vol. 2," and also his 2001 debut album, "Cinematic Orchestra."
The music industry
During this time, Happee got a phone call from a local DJ by the name of DJ Slyed. Slyed was the mixshow coordinator at a local Hip Hop radio station, Z90.3fm. When asked if he would be interested in using what he had learned from performing in front of live audiences, and using it for radio, Happee readily stepped up to the challenge. From there, Happee met and established friendships with various icons in music, including major record-label executives and various recording artists. During this time, Happee learned about how the music industry worked, from how a record is pushed from by the record label, to how an audience perceives new music. The radio industry opened Happee's eyes and taught him how much work is involved in getting music into the hands of the general public. Happee says,"You can have a really great song, and still, it may never reach the public without proper promotion and marketing. A great song or artist will rarely sell itself."
Now caught between two worlds, independent and mainstream, Happee is now stuck between a rock and a hard place. Happee says, "I look at music the same way I look at the food industry. There's 'gourmet' and then there's 'fast-food.' With fast-food, it's everywhere people turn no matter where they're go…they know it's not necessarily good for them, but they eat it anyway; while with gourmet, most people have to go searching for it, but once they find it and learn to appreciate it, they usually love it."