DJ Sol Rising began DJing at the age of 16 out of his parents’ basement, deep in the corn fields of Iowa. Out of his love for hip-hop music and the desire to be involved in the culture, Sol Rising taught himself how to scratch and mix by watching videos of old competitions and emulating DJs such as Craze and A-Trak. Despite the lack of DJ culture in a town of only 10,000 people, Sol Rising’s passion carried him to place in some of the most reputable DJ competitions in the world at the age of twenty-one, only four years into his career. Since then, Sol Rising’s sets have morphed into an eclectic mix of world, electronica, hip-hop, funk, soul, reggae, house, and turntablism.
At the start of his career, Sol Rising developed a long list of accomplishments as a competitive DJ, including several national finals competitions. In 2002, he was crowned Scribble Jam Champion in the DJ category of the hip-hop competition which has featured high-profile artists such as Eminem. This title in the premiere Midwest hip-hop competition got Sol Rising a spot in his first video and gave him the confidence to venture beyond the Midwest. In 2003, Sol Rising flew to Washington DC to compete against fifty other DJs in one of the most-competitive regional battles of DMC, the most well-respected DJ competition in the world. Surprising everyone, Sol Rising won the DC Regional, which earned him a place with ten others in the DMC US Finals and made him officially one of the top national DJs. He was also named DMC US Supremacy Runner-Up in 2003 in Philadelphia and also appeared in another DMC Final in 2004 in Los Angeles.
Sol Rising’s stint as a battle DJ landed him in articles by major newspapers such as The Washington Post, magazines such as DC-based InnerLoop, and TV appearances on stations such as Fox Sportsnet. Sol Rising was quickly gaining national attention. He became a YouTube sensation, drawing around 950,000 hits on for a video of him practicing in his hotel room before the DMC finals.
Sol Rising’s status as a competitor has made him a sought-after performer, playing festivals and clubs across the Midwest and West Coast for as many as 8,000 people. His unique talent has landed him high profile gigs such as Techno Tribal (Harmony Festival’s after party), which featured the Grammy Award winning reggae band, Steel Pulse. He has was also featured as the Earthdance Festival mainstage DJ in front of 8,000 people. During this time, Sol Rising joined forces with Wisdom, one of the premiere MCs on the west coast festival circuit, named “one of Nor Cal’s favorites” by Urb Magazine. Sol Rising has also shared the stage with acts such as Slick Rick, Steel Pulse, Rahzel, Ja Rule, Chali Tuna, Collie Buddz, Lyrics Born, Brass Bows and Beats, Beatjunkies, Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Eyedea and Abilities, Cannibol Ox, Murs, DJ Vadim, and Mountain Brothers. He has even played at His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s San Jose event in October 2010, incorporating the Dalai Lama’s voice in his scratches.
Sol Rising is now focusing on his production career. So far he has produced tracks with Bay Area legend, Rasco, Zumbi of Zion I and premiere independent hip-hop artists, including Wisdom, Aima the Dreamer, and Seasunz.
For Sol Rising, the purpose of making music is to uplift humanity’s vibration, transcending mind and emotions to create the remembrance of the ultimate truth of who we are. He is infusing urban music with spiritual principles and bridging worlds by bringing underground hip-hop artists like Rasco and Vedic wisdom together on one album.
Sol Rising is especially passionate about serving youth. “The urgency of the times we are living in and the great shifts occurring on the planet demand that we as youth step up and come together as a global family. The youth are the keepers of the future. My goal is to create music, which helps us to remember our true nature, strength and potential. We must access our inner knowing and power to create a peaceful world.”