Bryant Autrey
Gig Seeker Pro

Bryant Autrey

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




A few weeks back I committed to writing this story on "DJ's With Day jobs." I immediately had in mind the guys from Trendroid, who met in medical school and chose to become, er, "spin" doctors instead of medical doctors. My friend DJ Walter V had come up with the topic so I asked him for some suggestions and this is what he had to say:

"Dearest Nina Babe, on the subject of 'DJ's and their day jobs', I'm pretty sure that most DJ's have other jobs. But may I suggest day jobs other than working at the record store, just to keep it more interesting. Finding such DJ's shouldn't be too difficult since bars and restaurants and, yes, even nightclubs, don't pay very much unless you are a marquee DJ, in which case they wouldn’t need a day job. There's Bruce, who is a DJ and also a writer for Time Out mag; Shin is an excellent Sushi chef for Blue Ribbon Sushi and had his night at Baktun; Alex is a bartender at Ideya in SOHO and also DJ's at Ave. A. Matt who DJ's at Abaya on Saturdays and does something else as a 'real' job. These are just to name a few. I'm sure you know some of your own to add to the list."

Cool. I was psyched. I even typed up a questionnaire and emailed it to all my DJ friends and encouraged them to pass it along to their DJ friends. I had visions of a stack of responses from DJ's to use for my article.

Well the weeks whizzed by as they are wont to do, and now I find myself on the eve of The Deadline. I only got four responses. Of those four responses, only one DJ even has a day job. And no Trendroid, no Bruce from Time Out, no Shin from Blue Ribbon, no Alex, no Matt. I guess being a journo is all about tracking these people down. The only part about being a journo I'm going to accomplish is missing The Deadline.

At this point I think its only fair to come clean here, and give you guys the truth. I've been working six days a week at my own damn day job. Take your violins and shove 'em up yer arses!

Okay. So after reading the four responses I've realized that there is NO WAY this piece is going to strictly be about "DJ's with Day-Jobs"… (But then again, you've probably figured that out by now...).

The Fab Four who got back to me deserve serious props. They include the one and only tow-headed prince himself, The Scumfrog, who, "spins dance music across the globe and produces for whatever label manages to stay in business"; the Major Domo of Sunday nights at Cafe Novecento and Minimal Wage Records, Dave Hollands; DJ Walter V of Danceteria, Tunnel, and Studio 54 fame; and DJ Code's Bryant Autry.

Dave Hollands worked briefly at Satellite Records, and DJ Walter V was an electrical engineer for about ten years. The Scumfrog held various music-related jobs before moving to New York, including Program Director for a Dance Radio station, A&R for a label, and in vinyl retail.

Bryant Autry is the only one who actually does have a day job. He used to go by the name Laphalot, and he's been spinning Techno & House in NYC for the last six years, originally hailing from New Jersey. Though his job is not totally un-music-related, (he does street promotions for Marketing Complex in NYC), I was down with him the moment he talked about his goals.

"First of all, I'll know I've achieved my goals when I don't have to worry about bills and I can feed myself regularly and I can afford to have my own place. A lot of people have different opinions about what it means to 'make it', but for me, when I can live at a comfortable level, I know I've made it. Right now, it's like, sometimes I don’t even know when I'm going to eat again. That might be because I'll spend my last $10 on a record instead of food. It hurts, but it'll all be worth it in the end. I'm pretty simple when it comes to my career though. I'm not too big on having my own label or a record store; I just want to make the music and know that the masses are feeling me when I throw it down. The day that I see 10,000 people put their hands in the air for me...I'm going to cry...for real. Damn, I'm starting to cry just thinking about it."

Being hungry and broke is nothing new - especially amongst the many artists and musicians here in NYC. I was buying Ramen just the other day when I had "Awesome ADD Idea To Get Rich Quick #2,876,466,786,778" - "The Ramen Cook Book". I could make a fortune. This idea was followed closely by, "Dog Pasta", because I've also been mixing Ramen with my dog's wet food until I get over my current financial squeeze.

Cooking, as it turns out, happens to be one of DJ Walter V's passions - aside from his lovely girlfriend Angela, that is - "I love to cook for friends. So if I'm not mixing records I'm mixing a cake. Anyone hungry? I'm pretty good you know."

DJ Walter V also has a great take on success:

"Yeah a couple bucks would be nice to not worry about humans and their monthly billing cycles. But DJing is a spiritual thing. All the other things are just toys that people constantly get bored of, and there's a constant need to show people how much better off they are than you. I'd much rather make people feel good.

"Every time I play, if I am able to make someone feel something, then I was a success for that night. I try to do that every time I play..."

Dave Hollands concurs: "to make music, and play it for appreciative friends - also to think I'd made a contribution to what I love so much."

And The Scumfrog's goals? "In a year I want to have Britney Spears' tan, in five years I want to have Willie Nelson's email list, in ten years I would like to be alive, as a result of the world peace I helped accomplish. Yeah, I have my priorities in check."

Okay, Mr. Scumfrog, what if you couldn't be a DJ? What would you do?

"Open up a beach bar on a tropical Island. Play reggae all day / swim / drink cocktails / be naughty / sleep late."

This path is going to lead me back to rehab. Any career tips to fellow tadpole DJs out there?

"New York is very stimulating from where the nightlife scene is now, [because] things can only get better. I think you can only have a real career in DJing if you approach it on a national or global scale... A wedding in Denver, a Bar Mitzvah in Munich... Favorite clubs to spin: Tenax, Florence, and Sullivan Room in NYC. Best thing about being a DJ is the travel; the worst thing is the airport/airplane food. I'd like to go to some world famous hotels during my trips (Dubai anyone?).

"If you can entertain people through/with music you love, it doesn't matter how smooth your mixes are. Always take a gig seriously, or don't take it on. On the road to stardom: Be a superstar in your own world, but remain just 'you' in the real world, (slight schizophrenia required)."

As far as world travel, DJ Walter V probably has enough frequent flier miles to travel to a parallel universe: "Montreal, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington D.C., LA, Miami, Jamaica, London, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Venice, Torino, Paris, Tokyo, Fukuoaka, Nagoya, Osaka, Nagasaki, Bangkok, Hong Kong are some of the places I remember. I'm sure I'm missing a couple, if I left anyone out please forgive me."

"As for my most favorite DJ experience, I've had so many around the world. But I would have to say right here in NYC, playing at Studio 54 and Danceteria. It was one of the greatest places and the greatest eras for me personally."

Dave Hollands is also partial to spinning at home in New York, particularly at Novecento.

"I've really been fortunate to have my weekly Sunday at Novecento. It's been a great place to come home to every weekend. We get a lot of people from the music and nightlife industry and it's nice to play for them."

Bryant Autry has in his mind's eye the day when he won't have to do anything but make music: "I can see myself waking up at about...11:00 in the morning and putting the finishing touches on a track I've been working on to be released on some label. After that, scheduling a couple meetings to discuss some future events, gigs, interviews and that sort of thing and then coming home to get my set ready to play that same night. After my gig, I come home and work on a new track for about eight hours and then go to sleep so I can wake up to catch my flight across the country for yet another gig."

"Now if I couldn't do this, I'd probably resort back to the marketing and promotions field, but, I doubt it.

"One thing I've learned in all this mayhem... Don't be premature on quitting the day job. I made a bad choice and now my stomach pays for it, but its ok... sometimes... I'm doing what I love."

"Music is infinite and musicians ideas are infinite so don't set limits on your talent."

Okay, we're surrounded by a lot of ugliness and greed in this world, so whenever I see beauty I try to give it the opportunity to repeat itself - I'll go out on the words of our lovely DJ's:

"Music is infinite, and musicians ideas are infinite, so don't set limits on your talent."
(Bryant Autry)

"Be a superstar in your own world, but remain just 'you' in the real world."
(The Scumfrog)

"to make music, and play it for appreciative friends - also to think I'd made a contribution to what I love so much."
(Dave Hollands)

"Every time I play, if I am able to make someone feel something, then I was a success for that night."
(Walter V)


- Nina-Marie Gardner


Cristian Paduraru - Emotion Comes From Motion
(Bryant Autrey Remixes)
Cristian Paduraru - Shall We Dance
(Bryant Autrey Remixes)
Bryant Autrey - Experience Life EP
(Original Mix) Out June 23, 2008



He was born in Princeton, NJ in 1976. Through most of his life, Bryant has been a performer, but using different outlets whether it be sports, social life or artistically. He first started finding an ear for music in high school listening to many different artists and genres like Big Daddy Kane, Supercat, Run DMC, Todd Terry, Two Without Hats, Frankie Knuckles, Special ED, etc. The list goes on, but it wasn't until after he graduated in 1995 where he became more in tune with what he wanted to listen to.

Over the course of a year, Bryant started going out to more clubs where the DJs were playing Techno and House music in the big room. This ultimately led to him and crews of friends searching out bigger and badder parties to go to and he found himself at a rave party in Philadelphia called Whistle where he made the decision to be a DJ. Autrey watched as Josh Wink laid it down in the outside tent and was so amazed at how the crowd was dancing to this music and how he was dancing to this music. Nothing felt better, but soon came to realize that the only thing that did was watching people love and dance to your music.

From 1996 to 2002, although he did not hold a residency, he did play quite often at The Tunnel in just about every room except for the Hip-Hop room. Played many one-off events being held in different states along the East coast and built up a network that eventually got him into producing tracks sometime around 2004. It took a while to really get use to using production software and midi to take him to the next level of his career that has been self taught since the beginning.

Recently, he has become more comfortable with his art and got serious about music. He has released two remixes including one used for two albums with Christian Records, 2LS 2 Dance and Worldwide Exclusive Records in Bucharest, Romania. This opportunity has been a big stepping stone in his career, which offered him the confidence to go ahead and start his own record label and begin working on an album.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Tim Wood / Sammie B
ARTWORK: Etzi Design / Jeff Mohr
MARKETING: Love Support / Amy Snow