André “DJ A-Minor” Barden is an educator, DJ, and budding producer currently residing in Charlotte, North Carolina. Spending his life in the country’s Northeast, Midwest and South, in a household that was constantly filled with music, has created his extremely diverse taste in music—but hip hop has always been his first love.
After a few years of bedroom deejaying and throwing local parties, DJ A-Minor made waves in the DJ community in 2010 at Red Bull’s esteemed Thre3Style battle—he took third place in the North Carolina regional with only 3 hours notice and 20 minutes of preparation time!
Since then, he has become a staple in the North Carolina nightlife and hip hop scene, including a year-and-a-half stint as the resident hip hop DJ for the legendary Cat’s Cradle (Carrboro, North Carolina), giving him the opportunity to share the stage with acts like Big K.R.I.T., Wiz Khalifa, Yelawolf, Kool Keith and more.
In most recent years he could be found in the classroom at UNC-Chapel Hill, as an artist-in-residence for a new class called “The Art and Culture of the DJ”.
Corporate clients include the NBA (Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets), the Aveda Institute, and Red Bull, to name a few.
André was on Next Level Team Bangladesh.
Marc “Mista-B” Bayangos is a turntable artist involved in education. Born in San Francisco’s Sunset District, Marc “Mista-B” was exposed to DJing and hip hop in the 1980s. Marc’s older brothers were into B-Boying and Mobile DJing during that time.
Mista-B is a former Disco Mix Club (DMC) and International Turntabilist Federation (ITF) champion, and has traveled around the world to share his art.
Marc has also been heavily involved in DJ Instruction in after school programs, youth centers, and various workshops. Marc continues to be involved in youth programing as he works in Galileo Academy, which is a public high school in San Francisco.
Marc was on Next Level Team Bosnia & Herzegovina/Montenegro.
Christopher “DJ B*Money” Behm-Meyer got inspired to climb the risers after watching old DMC battle videos and listening to DJs on the radio. Before long he was fighting those battles himself, DJing on the radio, and appearing in the same series of videos he grew up watching. Radio and battling exposed him to wide range of audiences and helped land him gigs playing at festivals, clubs, and venues throughout the United States while sharing stages with artists such as The Roots, The Pharcyde, Souls of Mischief, and The X-Ecutioners.
With a heavy emphasis on constantly honing his turntablist skills, he has been recognized as a DMC USA National Finalist and has backed and toured with several groups as a show DJ.
Currently he spends his time teaching DJing to at-risk youth, hosting a monthly party, and staying busy in the studio.
Christopher was on Next Level Team Serbia.
Jean-Jacques “J-Live” Cadet is a 20-year music industry veteran, hip hop MC, DJ, producer, composer, songwriter, and a former middle school grade Language Arts teacher in the New York Public School system. His 2001 album, The Best Part, is widely considered an underground hip hop classic.
As an emcee, deejay and producer, J-Live’s music has been a staple of inspiration for listeners of underground hip hop since 1995. His twenty-year discography includes eight full-length albums, four EPs and countless guest appearances. J-Live has been consistently touring internationally throughout his career. His stage show continues to grow with his catalogue and combines his timeless classics with his latest most relevant singles. His one man set as a emcee who deejays for himself and beat juggles while he rhymes, is considered by many to be one of hip hop’s all-time, bucket list, must-see shows.
Jean-Jacques is on Next Level Team Croatia.
Kevin “DJ Kevie-Kev Rockwell” Carson Is a Harlem-based DJ that was been performing since the early 1980s. In 1982, Kevin was invited to work on the soundtrack for one of the very first hip hop films: “Wild Style”. Along with constant performing in a variety of groups, he is the DJ for “Video Music Box” and its spin-off “16 BARS”. His contributions to the Harlem community has earned him a number of awards, including recognition in “The Hip Hop Expression of Black History” from Fairleigh Dickinson University. In 2018, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal gave Kevin a Certificate of Recognition at the Annual Hip Hop Expression of Black History. Kevin continues to engage with the world of hip hop to DJ for a number of venues throughout the tri-state area.
Kevin will be on Next Level Team Turkey.
Dan “Dirty Digits”Chaves is Academy Director at Scratch DJ Academy NYC, as well as Director of the Academy’s Turntablism Program, providing scratching curriculum for the school’s five locations nationwide, including LA, Chicago, Atlanta & Miami. A DJ since his early teens, he has subsequently built a career teaching and performing around the world.
Since 2007, he has also worked extensively with Black Girls Rock!, a youth outreach program that promotes confidence and inspires creativity among underprivileged inner-city girls from the ages of 12 to 15, though the art form of deejaying.
Dan was on Next Level Team Thailand.
Candice “DJ Kuttin Kandi” Custodio-Tan is a disabled PilipinX/Pinay-American writer, poet, theater performer, educator, hip hop feminist, and community organizer in Queens, New York. She is a member of DJ team champions 5th Platoon; Co-Founder and DJ for the hip hop group Anomolies; Co-Founder of the famed NY monthly open mic “Guerrilla Words,” Co-Founder of the coalition R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop (Representing Education, Activism & Community through Hip Hop), Co-Founder and Board Member of the new DJ Coalition – Freedom Sound DJ’s, and the Founder and Editor of the blog Hip Hop Bruha. Kandi is the 1998 NY Source Magazine DJ Champion and been honored and performed at venues such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lincoln Center, and Madison Square Garden for WNBA’s NY Liberty. She is a known Pop-Culture Political Essayist and has written for several anthologies and blogs. Kandi is also the Co-Editor of the book “Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipino/a America” and is currently working on new writing projects.
When Kandi is not performing she is organizing on the ground with various grassroots community organizations, speaking, writing or lecturing. Kandi worked at UC San Diego’s Women’s Center for seven years specializing in social justice & diversity programming and within Student Life at Diablo Valley College in the Bay Area, organizes with Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Asian Solidarity Collective, and the Intersectional Feminist Collective, and regularly provides lectures on diversity, gender & sexuality, race, body politics, disability justice.
Candice will be on Next Level Team Philippines.
Jessie “DJ Nebraska” Davis is a practicing DJ in New York City. She performs a variety of genres for a number of different venue spaces, and her prowess has taken her around the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and Central America.
Jessie will be on Next Level Team Jerusalem.
Zephyr Ann Doles is a teaching artist and DJ working to use art and musical practice as a vehicle for social activism. As a DJ, she draws from a global influence of styles and musical histories to create new cultural narratives through sound.
She has worked with Danny Krivit, Tony Humphries, J.Rocc, Karriem Riggins, and others. As a teaching artist with a background working with youth, Zephyr Ann recognizes the power that is tapped when young people find new mediums through which they can share experiences and connect with others.
Zephyr was on Next Level Team Morocco.
Brian “Raydar” Ellis is an accomplished educator, DJ, producer, and MC. Since 2008, he has been an assistant professor at Berklee College of Music and also a DJ and producer for Revive Music Group, an innovative repertory group that combines jazz and hip hop influences. Equal parts hip hop connoisseur and jazz aficionado, DJ Raydar Ellis masterfully combines the two genres and creates music that people can add to the soundtrack of their lives.
Most recently, Raydar was the official remixer and a credited producer on Revive Music Group/Blue Note Records Supreme Sonacy LP, and is currently working on a textbook for Berklee College that expands on these production and remix practices for their songwriting department.
Brian was on Next Level Team Brazil.
Juan Gomez is a multi-faceted artist—DJ, photojournalist, musician, rights advocate, and event coordinator—who currently resides in Oakland, California. A self-proclaimed child of hip-hop, he has garnered all of his experiences and research to demonstrate, musically, the far-reaching effect hip-hop has had in African music.
As a DJ, he’s been recognized internationally as a championing voice for both old and new popular music coming out of the African continent. Along with the countless events he has done in the West Coast, he’s also held down popular DJ residencies in both Ghana and South Africa, has done guest DJ appearances in Nairobi, is the primary curator for the Digging4gold archival music blog and photo project, and is the creative director for the UMOJA African Festival in Oakland.
As a photojournalist and researcher, he has worked with archival institutes in Ghana to document the musical linage of Ghanaian highlife, with much of his work focused on the syncretistic nature shared among African music and current musical trends from the Caribbean, Latin America, and the West. His work has been featured in several exhibitions and music magazines throughout London, South Africa, and the US.
Laleyna “Amore” Gomez is a DJ, producer, and AV consultant in Harlem, New York. She has expertise with a variety of analog and digital musical equipment and shares her expertise as a Serato DJ instructor and a teacher in public and private NYC schools. When not teaching, Laleyna co-owns a Harlem production company called “Intlx Productions” and does AV consulting for various New York City venues.
Layleyna will be on Next Level Team Guatemala.
From a prolific DJ career traveling the world and working with luminaries, to dedicated spiritual and healing studies, to a breadth of artistic projects, Lauren “DJ Chela” Harkrader weaves together lineages of expression to inspire her audiences and engage their spirits, reaching audiences across Latin America, Asia, Canada, and the US.
In turntablism, she earned the 2009 Winter Music Conference Spin Off battle runner-up and placed second in the 2007 “She’s My DJ” battle. Chela has DJed for Saigon, Pharoahe Monch, KRS ONE, Immortal Technique, Mystic, Talib Kweli, Rah Digga, and Ladybug Mecca, and has been featured in The Source, Allhiphop.com, Scratch Magazine, Foundation Magazine, and on MTV.com. Chela was nominated for three Justo’s Mixtape Awards and has broadcasted shows for five years on WOBC, WXDU, and www.dabeatminerz.com; she’s also been named a Top 10 College DJ by Urban Network Magazine.
Chela is also a doula, Reiki Master Teacher, a Brennan Healing Science Practitioner, and Tom Kenyon-trained sound healer, possessing a well rounded skill set that serves to support her community far beyond the dance floor.
Lauren was on Next Level Team Senegal.
Nick “81Neutronz” Low-Beer (DJ) is an electronic musician, producer, DJ, audio engineer, teacher, classically trained pianist, sound designer, film scorer and composer, with over fifteen years of experience as a performer and educator. He has mentored numerous champion deejays and professional musicians, and his credits include releases with Eminem, Rimbu Records, The Orb, and Lee “Scratch” Perry.
Nick was on Next Level Team Algeria & Tunisia.
Margie “KaoticBlaze” Nuñez is a b-girl-turned-DJ from New York City, who made hip hop history in 2013 by becoming the first female DJ to represent the legendary Rock Steady Crew. Since then she has continued to travel and share her love of music and hip hop culture with the masses.
Currently based in Los Angeles, she is the co-host and resident DJ of Soul Assassins Radio on Sirius XM’s Shade 45 and a recent graduate of the University of South Florida’s Interdisciplinary Social Sciences program, which also gave her the opportunity to study and work abroad in South Korea.
Through that experience, KaoticBlaze became the first female to DJ the R16 Southeast Asia breaking championships final in Taipei, Taiwan, solidifying her mark as a DJ with versatility in the breaking scene in which she started.
Margie was on Next Level Team Honduras.
Erica “Amerriica aka Misamerriica” Parpan began deejaying in 1997, inspired by DJs from the Bay Area to LA (whose styles combined party-rocking and turntablism), and hip hop during the Golden Era of the eighties and nineties. Even well into adulthood and the new digital age, Misamerriica is continually digging for records, working on mixes, scratching and beat-juggling.
She co-hosts an online radio show in Oakland, CA, Accepted Eclectic, on alldayplay.fm and also works with Skratchpad, an open turntable and DJ-centered hip hop event, in San Francisco, CA, that is devoted to preserving hip hop culture, elevating the art of deejaying, and connecting the music, culture, & people.
Erica was on Next Level Team Indonesia.
Raymond “DJ Raedawn” Pirtle is an award-winning DJ and educator, and the creator of modern deejay musical transcription, a subject about which he has taught and published extensively.
He has developed a successful entrepreneurial approach, diversifying his work into teaching, performing, grant writing, and acting.
Raymond was on Next Level Team Colombia.
Princess Cut is a world-traveled DJ operating out of Atlanta, Georgia. Her work as "Princess Cut” represents her love for Pop/Euro/Dance music, while her “Sweetbox Jones” persona is all about hip hop: mainstream, old school, Southern and underground. Her mixing skills have often been used by clothing retailers in their promotional materials, and she has been featured in digital and print publications including Black Enterprise, VIBE, Upscale, Jezebel, Hip-Hop Weekly, Rolling Out, Creative Loafing, Madame Noire and Mandatory Business. As an activist she has worked with organizations such as The Steve Harvey Foundation, Usher’s “New Look” Foundation, and various outreach programs that target disenfranchised youth, particularly young women.
Princess Cut was on Next Level Team Uzbekistan.
DJ Quest is a founding member of Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters/Space Travelerz and is a devotee of an original, reverse form of scratching that he has coined ‘Hamster Style’. In this outfit and with his experimental jazz/hip hop group Livehuman, DJ Quest has performed in Europe, Australia, Japan and around the U.S. He is also a featured artist in the Doug Pray documentary ‘SCRATCH’, and works with Quest School of DJ Arts/The DJ Project – a non-profit community organization offering arts entrepreneurship programs. He has also written ‘The Beginner’s DJ Guide’ to introduce readers to scratch music and help expand the accessibility of turntables as instruments.
DJ Quest will be on Next Level Team Dominican Republic.
Samuel “Rabbi Darkside” Sellers is a hip hop DJ, Beatboxer, MC and educator, who first appeared on wax and in NYC Public School classrooms in the year 2000. His movements aim to incite empathy and empowerment through social justice education and creative freedom; this can be seen and heard in his teaching work, musical recordings and live shows.
His prowess as a multi-elemental artist and improviser have led to thirteen international tours, landed his latest album atop the CMJ Hip Hop charts and found him on MTV’s “Made,” Okayplayer, the Today Show, CBS Early Show, HipHopDX, and 2DopeBoyz, and in the pages of the New York Times and the Village Voice.
Darkside is the co-founder of the non-profit Hip Hop Re:Education Project, a Hip Hop Education Fellow at the H2ED Hip Hop Ed Center at NYU, and in 2015-16 will be a guest professor at The New School (NYC), teaching a seminar of his own design.
Samuel was on Next Level Team Uganda.
Teao “Teao Sense” Thompson spent his teen years in the San Francisco Bay Area during the nineties, when underground hip hop was thriving. He could usually be found deejaying, making beats, playing an instrument, or freestyling in rap cyphers. By his early twenties, as a DJ, music producer and multi-instrumentalist, he had developed a worldly, urban, and unique sound to offer to the masses.
In 2002, he founded the international music/artist collective Audiopharmacy Prescriptions, which quickly became an international grassroots movement, studio space, and live band, all of which strive to raise consciousness and global awareness, while building communities through art and music.
Now, after working with many amazing artists and touring areas including Europe, Japan, Indonesia, Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Samoa, Morocco, Oman, Cyprus, Nepal, Philippines, Bali, the UK, Canada, Brazil and more, Teao is currently finishing his multi-media “Audio Cinema” project called “Moment,” while also occupying the roles of US Music Ambassador, music producer, musical director for “Dancing Earth” Indigenous dance company, educator, multi-instrumentalist, video producer, husband and father of two children.
Teao was on Next Level Team Tanzania.
Lester “DJ 2-Tone Jones” Wallace is a professional DJ and educator residing in the Washington, DC, area. On the performance side, 2-Tone has shared the stage and spun alongside the likes of De La Soul, Brand Nubian, Kendrick Lamar, Pete Rock, Raheem DeVaughn, Large Professor, Jabba (HHP), Oddisee, Algebra Blessett, Asheru (from Unspoken Heard), and harmonica virtuoso Frederic Yonnet.
Since 2005 he has worked with a hip hop-based non-profit organization, Words Beats & Life, Inc. to engage and instruct youth through the art form of DJing and the game of chess. For more than seven years, 2-Tone has served as a resident DJ and co-host for Ill Street Grooves, a progressive hip hop radio show on WPFW 89.3 FM (Pacifica Radio) in DC; and in 2013 began hosting a second show called Cut Convention on WLVS Radio online (www.ListenVisionLive.com).
Along with Gerald Watson, 2-Tone created Shaolin Jazz: a multifaceted project that explores the musical and cultural parallels between jazz and hip hop. Through this project he has performed and presented at the University of Illinois, Tulane University, Delaware State University, Boston College, the University of Nebraska, Temple University, and many other notable institutions of higher learning across the country.
Lester was on Next Level Team India.
Chris “Trife” Williams is a New York City-based DJ, producer and turntablist. He earned national acclaim DJing for the Vans Warped Tour and notable hip hop artist Nelly.
Trife has made guest appearances on BET and Fuse TV. He also produced shows for VHI, Guitar Center, and ITF national DJ competitions.
Chris was on Next Level Team Myanmar.
Daniel Zarazua has had a DJ career that has spanned over two decades and four continents, during which time he has shared billing with the likes of hiphop star Eminem and performed at corporate events for ESPN and Cadillac. In 1999, he was a finalist for the Detroit Music Awards in the category of “Best Hip Hop DJ.”
In the past few years, he has shifted his focus to education, journalism, and photography, while still using music as a base. His work as a high school classroom teacher and vice principal has lead to speaking engagements at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and universities such as the University of Michigan.
He is currently working on a book about Black and Latino communities in Taiwan, including how hip hop culture has contributed to Taiwanese identity.
Daniel was on Next Level Team El Salvador.