DJ Art Payne has been spinning Records since 1982 during his sophomore year at college at Eastern Michigan University when he noticed that all the campus parties had DJs that were not like the Cass Tech High School “Prep parties” that he had experienced and loved in previous years. Back in Detroit, a DJ duo called Deep Space (Juan Atkins and Derrick May) spun some of the parties he frequented when he came home on weekends. In the mid 80’s, Art and DJ partner Keith Martin got invited to join the Deep Space Crew along with Eddie Fowkles to round out the core of the membership.
During the EMU college days, Art somehow indirectly connected his next door neighbor, a fellow local EMU DJ named Kevin “Master Reese” Saunderson and Derrick May (former High School rivals at Belleville High School) That chance meeting would be the spark to ignite a genre of music called Detroit Techno with the Belleville Three collaborating making records on their individual record labels: Transmat, Metroplex, and KMS Records.
Saunderson realized that I knew many of the DJs in Detroit and asked me to give out a few of his 1st record to notable DJs in the Metro Detroit area. Years later when Detroit Techno began to get serious recognition as a “Genre” – Kevin offered me a position as KMS Records Promotion Director for the US in the late 80’s and Art helped the whole Techno scene spread throughout the US by communicating and studying most of the most influential DJs in the country.
Although a self proclaimed Househead for life, in the Mid 90’s House and Techno began to lose its Soul. As a DJ – Art developed an appreciation for Rap during the “Golden Age” of Hip Hop. DJ Art Payne felt somewhat comfortable in both worlds, House and Underground as well as mainstream where EVERY song had to have a Rap verse thrown in. Art also went on to do Indie Record Promotion for a few Record Labels including the infamous Luke Records and the 2Live Crew (Midwest Region Street rep). Also being a member of various Record Pools since the mid 80’s, DJ Art Payne was also Asst Director of Midwestern Dance Assn DJ Record Pool in the late 90’s handling Urban Music.
In the late 90’s/early 2k – the bottom fell out of the Music Industry so Music Promotion took a back seat but DJ Art Payne was still somewhat active spinning various Bar residencies and mobiles. In 2007, Art started DJing digitally with Serato Scratch Live and it has renewed his interest in the whole concept of DJing again. He found that Detroit is saturated with House Music DJs (more DJs than venues) and many of Detroit’s mainstream DJs had given up on the art of Beat mixing and Programming. He took the concept of mixing mainstream Rap and R&B like House music.
DJ Art Payne could be considered a Open Format DJ but he still loves to play House Music but finds Rap, R&B, Hip Hop and mainstream music more profitable and practical to spin. He also took his DJ skill level to the next level by incorporating Music Video mixing into his DJ sets.
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