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Community Highlights: Meet Steve Backmon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Steve Backmon. 

Hi Steve, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Well, I am Steve and I am a DJ. DJ Steezy came to be in the Summer of 2018. I grew up the son of a Baltimore DJ from the Original Powerplant, PT Flags, and O’Dell’s Disco Club era. Because of this, I have always had a deep appreciation for old-school DJs. After high school I went to Thiel College in Western Pennsylvania, and at one point I wanted to pursue being a DJ, but I didn’t have the money to buy equipment. After graduation in 2009, I returned to Baltimore, got a job, and started spending my weekends at several places in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. Over time I became friends with a DJ in the area named Chip C. In 2018 a roster spot opened with him, and he began showing me the ropes on how to mix. In August of that year, I started guest spotting with him a few nights a week. Finally, I made my debut at Ropewalk Tavern on a September Saturday night and haven’t looked back since.

Since my time at Ropewalk, I have played weddings, birthday parties, fashion events, joined the entertainment roster at Atlas Restaurant group, and worked as the resident DJ for Hands-on HIIT, a local community cleanup group who provide outdoor everts that consist of a free 30-minute outdoor workout followed by a community cleanup. In the past 3 years, I have expanded my residencies from 2 bars to 16 locations throughout the Baltimore area.

I also got into producing and have recorded dozens of my own remixes, mash-ups, and bootlegs. I’ve created 9 original singles and worked on a project producing an entire album for a local Rapper. It’s been a busy 3 years.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Any career is met with obstacles when you first start out. In the beginning, I made mistakes mixing or had a hard time figuring out what song to play next. But like any new skill, practice makes perfect. With DJing, there is no one-size-fits-all or a specific manual for it, so learning from another DJ and practicing is the only method. It’s a sink or swim profession. So, I practiced as much as I could when I wasn’t at work. Outside of Djing, I am also a teacher and a track coach. Another struggle I encountered was the cost of equipment. At first, I used Chip’s backup mixer before I earned enough money to buy my own. Plus, the computer, speakers, mics, cables, etc. It adds up after a while. But over time, I have amassed my own equipment, backups, and supplies, so that is not a problem now. The biggest hit was the Covid Pandemic last year, closing the bar and restaurant industry, and effectively laying off DJs as a whole. During this time I switched to doing weekly online shows, which gave me lots of practice.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
My music site is deadduckmusic.com, it’s an old track team nickname from my college days. I promote my music, blog about local events, and post promos for upcoming shows on there. I specialize in being an Open format DJ, meaning I can play any genre for any occasion. One of my life mottos is Bruce Lee’s quote “Be like water”. When he said this, he meant water is versatile, it can fit into anything you pour it into, take on any shape. It can be gentle enough to wash a baby’s hair, or powerful enough to punch through rock. it can be a life-giving stream or a death-dealing hurricane. I try my best to be like water, slipping from one form to another depending on the situation. I want to be the DJ anyone and everyone wants to hear, to appeal to everyone and no one. If you play an open format set this way, everyone in the room is going to connect with you at some point.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
Wow, profound question here. Career-wise, when everyone is dancing and having a good time on a Saturday night during my set, that makes me happy. When my students learn something new in class, or an athlete runs a good race, that makes me happy. I think the meaning of this is when I provide a service to others, that makes me happy. I have always seen myself as a caretaker and that takes on many forms, in any industry. In essence making others happy, makes me happy.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Adam Bona
Peter Watts
Rick Wild
Molly King
Marcus Clinton

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1 Comment

  1. Kate Cook

    June 8, 2022 at 2:30 pm

    We love DJ Steezy! He creates the vibe for all of our events and never disappoints!

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