The Rocks Off 200: DJ B*Ryte, From VA to H-Town With Love
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Photos courtesy of DJ B*Ryte
Who? Megan Bowie can flip her look on a dime. When she's not working in local television, she's DJ B*Ryte, a mixer who's found her home on multiple stages across the globe, but more recently on KBXX 97.9 The Box. She has a knack for bringing grooves together without being "sloppy" (in the words of OG Ron C) and has crafted plenty a late-night mix for listeners, not to mention break tracks from local artists and national mixtape cuts that usually take months to even arrive to some listeners.
Her arrival to Houston just five months ago didn't come without its fair share of detours. Bowie learned her craft at age 16 after entering college at Virginia's Hampton University.
"I had never been to a party or club before," she says, reflecting on the moment when she knew. "And when you're in college, you can use your college ID to get into everything -- regardless of how old you are because they assume you are at least 18. I remember going to my first party and looking at the DJ and watching the crowd.
"It was like, Okay, this one person is responsible for hundreds and hundreds, sometimes thousands of people's happiness. You have the ability to either make or break their night."
She proceeded to hit the ground running, buying her own set of turntables with her own money and practicing when not in school. Opening up for DJs in Virginia, shielding her age due to the fact she was a minor and a woman, B*Ryte was a rebel and the gym-rat version of a turntabilist.
"I never wanted people to say, 'Oh, she's good for a girl,' B*Ryte says. "I wanted people to say 'She's a great DJ period.'"
The cover of B*Ryte's 2010 mixtape, The First Kiss
The hard work led her to landing at 103 Jamz in Norfolk, Va., under late legendary program director Kool DJ Law (who passed of a heart attack in 2010) and eventually becoming R&B singer Ameriie's official DJ as well as touring with K. Michelle, The Game and Natalia Kills. It took a leap of faith in quitting her job in Virginia and moving from state to state before Terri Thomas, program director at KBXX, gave her a call.
"She had mentored me through out the years and ended up having an opening and asked me if I'd be interested in coming to Houston," B*Ryte says. "I honestly never thought of moving to Texas before, but I thought, Hey, why not? Big area, new opportunities, let's do it.'"
She hasn't exactly reached her dream of working at E! just yet, but she's already become a city fan favorite behind the wheels of steel.
What Is It About Houston? "Houston is different from anyplace I have ever been," she says of the local rap scene. "Because I'm an East Coast girl, a lot of the music was unfamiliar. But I wanted to embrace it. I was like if this is going to be my home.
"I need to dive head-first into the culture, learn what I can, and represent it the way it should be represented," she continues ."I have so much respect for the work that these artists have put in to make the Houston music scene what it is."
Why Do You Stay In Houston? "Houston has also opened the door for me to start pursuing my television dreams, and I am so ready for the next steps in my journey," she beams. "When I got here, I was embraced by so many people. I feel like because I have the platform I have, it's my job to support Houston in any way I can and that's what I'm going to continue to do."
Good War Story: What do you do when you somehow get to listen in on a session with the Good Doctor Dre?
I can say that my favorite moment ever was when I was in L.A. and I stopped by the studio because Game was recording his album. I had no idea that Dr. Dre was there...and I got to sit in on a Dr. Dre studio session.
It was literally the highlight of my music career. Just being able to watch a musical legend work and be in his environment was crazy! He is truly a genius.
Story continues on the next page.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: B*Ryte's annoyances when it comes to the scene can mostly be found on Twitter, especially when it comes to artists spamming her with music links. "I don't get why people do this," she says. "When I'm on Twitter, I'm on my phone. I can't download the song anywhere. And you haven't even asked for my email...or taken the time to introduce yourself or give me any info on who you are.
"That's not the way to do it," she adds. "Plus, you really need to put your groundwork in as well. If something is that hot I should be hearing about it and searching for it, because the artist has done the proper work to get the record buzzing... not just sending out a tweet."
Five Desert Island Discs:
- Jay Z, Reasonable Doubt
- Notorious B.I.G., Ready to Die
- Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
- Adele, 21
- Kanye West, Late Registration
Reasonable Doubt is her favorite album ever. And she means ever.
Best Show You've Ever Seen: If you were going to guess that it would take a showstopper to get B*Ryte's respect, you're right. "I didn't get a chance to check out the On the Run Tour, but I watched Beyonce in 2010 I believe.. and it was the greatest show I've ever seen," she admits.
"Not that I wasn't a fan already, but I gained a whole new respect for her," B*Ryte says. "She's not just an amazing singer, she's an all-around amazing performer. She's 10,000 percent invested in putting on a great show and the tickets were worth every penny."
Listen to DJ B*Ryte from 7-11 p.m. weeknights on 97.9 The Box, and follow her on twitter at @DJBryte. Brando writes about Houston music to death, right here and as editor-in-chief of dayandadream.com. Follow him on Twitter at @_brandoc.
See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and a link to the Rocks Off 100, on the next page.
Jess Walker, the Pride of Pride Houston Phil Peterson, AR*V All-Star John Janatsch, Mayor of Houston Rock City Frank Ortiz, Synth-Pop Served Perfectly frank. Optimo Ram, Online Radio Jefe Meagan Chambers, Don't Gag Her Gorgeous Guitar Justin Nava, the Voice of thelastplaceyoulook Donnie Houston, Halftime Entertainment Chase Harris, Deep Cuts' Rather Deep Thinker Dave Callier, Grindcore Guitar God Mlee Marie Mains, the Heart of Hearts of Animals DJ Navo, Bombón's Boundless Body-Mover Breelan Angel, Dirty Little Secret Keeper Michael Dauzat, Sr., a Rabbi and a Hate Nick Greer, a G Among G's Chingo Bling, H-Town's Own Versace Mariachi Quenton Rockwell, Melody Man in the Shiny Darks Southerland Nights, An Army of Accolades Stacy Hartoon, Rudz's Punk-Rock Heir Apparent Bowen Lyons, Keeper of the Trimms' Groove Chris Gore, Electronica Guru of BLSHS John Alton, the Madness of Cosmic Bug Loaf Reko Trill, of the Almighty Trill Brothers Jo Bird, Bow-Caster of Fiddle Witch & the Demons of Doom DJ Nando1, Who Fights to Keep the Party Poppin' Randall Hopkins, Featherface Drummer and Brilliant Video Director Roby Deaton, Open-Mike Pocket of Cool Nosaprise, Hurrah! for the Blushing Bridegroom Tony Vega, the Big Easy's Barnburner Leslie Krafka, Onward Through the Fog Michael Anthony Shanks, Houston's Merry Shankster DJ Baby Roo, Vegetarian Hip-Hop Veteran Rachel Bays, Filming Them Softly Punk-Rock "Newcomers" Screech of Death Erin Rodgers, the Keys to Glass the Sky Alex LaRotta, Crate-Digging Fistful of Soul Brother Alycia Miles, Triumphant Soul Singer DJ Piam, Poison Girl's Bacon-Fat Funk Specialist Mister Insane, Host of The Insane Show Jake Rawls -- Kemo For Emo Is Back Santos Pastrana, Sound Engineer and DJ Ninja Heading Upstream with RIVERS' Chris Tamez DJ Dayta, Keeper of That Good Good Matthew Davis Buehrer, Runaway Sun's Globally Thinking Bassist Fat Tony, Third Ward to "BKNY" Noon, Rapper With a Lot on His Mind Matt Cash, Clear Lake's Cassette Tape Wailer Jason Smith, Alkari's Space City Rocker DJ Penetrate, All Lit Up in "Neon Lights" Catch Fever Is Catching On Renée Jonard, Princess of Noise Pollution Junior Gordon, Big Man With a Big Sound Chad Smalley, Blaggards' Barse Player Damien Randle, K-OTIX Man of Action Kevin Anthony, 45 Southbound Man DJ Good Grief Knows How to Have Fun Robert Kuhn, the Well-Traveled Islander Gunnar Cushway, Insko's Feel-Good Utilityman Mario Rodriguez, Tax the Wolf/Bang Bangz's Wonky Power Monger John Smith, Goodtime Continental Club Manager Dwayne Cathey, A Good Man to Scare People With Walter Carlos, Guitar-Punisher of Funeral Horse Ryan James, Putting Up a Good Fight John Cramer, Guitar Apostle of Project Grimm Big Gerb, Houston's Hongree-est MC Steven Higginbotham, Hard-Working Wheel Worker Alisha Pattillo & Her Swaggering, Soulful Sax Brandon Ray, Punk Rocker Turned Filmmaker/Animator The Excitable Boys of Another Run Flash Gordon Parks, DJ as Funky Professor DJ Main Event, Kratez Crew JumpOff Man Odd Hours and Back to Back's Hank Doyle Legendary K-OTIX Producer Russel "The ARE" Gonzalez Dylan Bryson Sings the Blues (Rock) DJ Damon Allen, R.O.C.O. Fellow Tom Lynch, New Kid On the Block Ashley Worhol, Goth-Metal Queen of Katy Joe Ortiz, Clockpole's Master of Nonsense Marzi Montazeri, the Man Dimebag Darrell Called a Bad Motherfucker John Salinas, the Beat Beast of Only Beast Homegrown Cowboy Crooner Charles Peters Adam Bricks, NYC Expat Metal Journeyman and Blasé Bassist Alan Hilton Kyra Noons, Houston's Reggae Sunsplash DJ AudiTory, the Maestro of LuvItMane The Nephilim Terror's Death-Metal Growler Danny Carroll Tommy Grindle, Guitarist of Square and Compass The Bailout Bureau's Mysterious "Bob Bovary" DJ Twinkle-Toes, Won a "Dick-Measuring Vinyl Orgy" With Two iPods Beanz N Kornbread, Gmail-Loving Production Duo You(genious), Party Crasher Turned Musical Auteur Daniel Alexander, Klein's Backyard MC
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