About

Meet DJ BeTray

Welcome

To download, share or listen to free mixes please check out the Get BeTrayed links to the right.  You can also visit my Song of the Moment section, take a look at my Top 5 Picks or check out some of my favorite underground artists featured in the If You Don’t Know… section.  Please feel free to comment throughout the site and let me know what you think.  Express whatever musical thoughts you’d like to share in the Speak Your Mind link. 
 
Thank you to everyone who has registered.  If you have yet to join the DJ BeTray family, it takes just a few seconds.  Click here to REGISTER and get updates when new music and downloads are posted.  Keep up with me by liking my DJ BeTray Facebook Page and follow me on Twitter @DJBeTray.  My Twitter feed is posted below.  From one music fan to another… Enjoy!

Mission

To groove with you.  Music is my air.  Let’s breathe in together.

Purpose

DJBeTray.com is like a radio station wrapped inside of an interactive music magazine.  I was inspired to start this website because I miss the days when the radio DJ was the music director.  They picked the songs, they knew the music and were more than voices, they were experts.  We listened to these people because we enjoyed their taste and knowledge.  They shaped the sounds of our cities and our lives.  The hostile takeover of radio programming that has limited what artists we are granted access to has done more than kill radio; it’s killed versatility and artistic expression.  Here at DJBeTray.com I will share what I’m listening to and present music based on what sounds good, not sales or silly equations.

BeTray’s Music Taste

I’m a child of the 80’s and the MTV generation, so I love my 80’s pop.  I’m also a 70’s baby so I have to dance, thus the need for funk.  Hip-hop is my water, but R&B is my food.  Rock is my release and punk is my guilty pleasure.  Jazz is my home, blues is my neighbor and  classical is sometimes an out of town guest.  Go-Go is my little brother, neo-soul my sister, and grunge is my cousin in Seattle.  Underground is my playground.  As I share my top 5 lists, you’ll see where I’m coming from musically; pretty much all over the place.  I look forward to hearing about what you are listening to aswell.

Who is DJ BeTray?

I am a DJ.  I am a music collector and music history buff.  I’ve developed an African American Studies course based on the theory that African American history can be traced, taught, and in some ways experienced directly through the progression and lineage of black music.  I’m also a journalist, writer and painter.

BeTray’s Washington

I am a Washingtonian, born and raised in the Metropolitan DC area.  For those of you who are not familiar with the Capital City of the United States of America, it is a serious music town.  It doesn’t have the reputation of a Memphis or New Orleans but you may be surprised.  Some of the world’s greatest and most influential musicians were Washingtonians including Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, John Philip Sousa and Eva Cassidy.

Marvin Gaye

Go Go music was created in DC, and is America’s last noncommercial music form.  Washington, DC is the birthplace of the Quiet Storm radio format.

Chuck Brown

DJ Melvin Lindsey created the Storm for WHUR FM radio in the 70’s to showcase the onslaught of slow tempo R&B.  It’s a format copied now by urban radio in most African-American rich cities.  Some would also say DC ushered in punk in the 80’s and later harDCore.

BeTray’s Musical Influences

Growing up, I had the gift of older parents who were born in the early 40’s.  I came along really late in 1975.  I have one sister who is 10 years older than me so it’s fair to say I have somewhat older taste in music.  I come from a family of music lovers; my parents played everything from Mozart to Nat King Cole. Meanwhile, my sister kept me up on what was happening “now.”

Earth Wind & Fire

When I was a child in the early 80’s, we had Earth Wind and Fire, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Parliament, Teena Marie and Rick James albums playing in our bedroom constantly.

Teena Marie

We’d go to sleep at night listening to the slow jam radio shows; sometimes with Melvin Lindsey, sometimes Kevin “Slow Jammin” James.  This may explain my obsession with slow jam R&B. My mother grew up playing piano and organ in the black Baptist church.  My father is a serious music fan with an amazing record collection; which, by the way, I was not allowed to touch until senior year of high school, but he did play his albums for me.

Simon and Garfunkel

His tastes crossed every spectrum, but some of his favorites were John Coltrane, Simon and Garfunkel, Bill Withers, The Last Poets, Oscar Brown Jr., Arlo Guthrie, Nina Simone, Dakota Staton and Mac Davis.

Bill Withers

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that music had categories and that certain radio stations offered specific genres.  The gumbo of musical influence heard in my home refined my ear and set the stage for what I like now. I’ve loved music ever since I was a child creative enough to don a skirt as a wig and sing into a vacuum handle channeling Diana Ross.  The older I got, the more I realized I’m not a singer, but a lover and appreciator of good music.

BeTray’s Journey to DJ and the Web

As a DJ, I’m a late bloomer.  When I was a kid, I recorded music from the radio via cassette. I used to play my albums like a DJ on two different turntables or sometimes from tape to turntable so I could transition betweens songs.  I started making compilation tapes in High School but didn’t share those tapes until college.  That’s when I first had access to a production studio and could make my tapes sound pretty fancy.  I also had a radio show in college, but decided not to pursue radio professionally because I loved music too much to stick to anyone’s playlist.  Soon after college my tapes turned into CD’s and now those compilation CD’s are mixed.  Technology has grown with me and it’s time for a website that will allow my friends and anyone else who is interested to access my music.  I DJ the occasional private party but can’t fully dig in because of career demands. Professionally, I am a journalist here in Washington, DC; unfortunately I’m not the kind who gets to review or talk about music.  This website will give me the chance to live my dream while hearing and learning from other music lovers too.  Love it!!  Please register and post regularly, I want to hear from you.

 

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