Meet the DJ
DJ Robert Stylz
Los Angeles based club DJ Robert Stylz showed musical ambition and flair at a young age when – after discovering that his elementary school didn’t have any saxophones – he started learning to play the clarinet instead. But it wasn’t until he watched a female DJ at a family get-together that his true ambitions were realized.
“She really had the party going! I stood next to her and just watched her do her thing – sifting through the record crates, MCing, reading the crowd – I was hooked!” says Robert. But it was seeing the reaction of the crowd which really inspired him to become a DJ and before long Robert was staying up late to record the Power Tools Mix Show on Power 106 FM in Los Angeles, continuing to fuel his love for many types of music.
You could say his musical taste is a product of the fruitful 80s, which saw Pop, RnB, House, Hip Hop and Rock all produce influential artists and some great records. Indeed, he loves a varied range: from the gothic post-punk of The Smiths and The Cure to the freestyle RnB of Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, with everything from pop legends Michael Jackson and Madonna to the electro hip-hop of Newcleus in-between. “I love playing 80s and RnB – that's feel good music for me,” says Robert. Tracks he likes to spin include the house classics ‘I Can't Get No Sleep’ by Masters At Work (feat. India) and ‘Show Me Love’ by Robin S. as well as ‘This Charming Man’ by The Smiths, who he says are his favorite band, and Koffee Brown’s noughties RnB classic, ‘After Party’. “RnB creates a chilled-out vibe,” Robert explains. “It relaxes people, which is great.”
This variation of musical intake is vital for all DJs but there’s no doubt that it contributes to Robert’s style. He describes himself as an “open-format DJ” and enjoys drawing on a range of musical styles, believing that anything goes as long as the crowd are enjoying it. (Something which perhaps harks back to his early experience watching the crowd react to the DJ at his family party.)
But Robert feels the DJing game has changed a lot since he first started mixing his eclectic influences back in the late 1980s. “This new generation has it easy. You can find and download songs online now, there’s no need to trudge through all the record stores – and certainly no more carrying record crates!” elaborates Robert. “Laptops, and software like Serato, Traktor and Virtual DJ, have made it easier by giving DJs pre-set BPMs and making their music more accessible.”
Robert is, of course, cut from a more traditional cloth. He started out playing house-parties, lugging around both his gear and a hefty collection of records, before branching out to play small venues and, eventually, clubs. It’s all a far cry from his clarinet-playing school years and these days Robert satisfies his hunger for music by playing California club-nights rather than classical concertos.
Since becoming a resident DJ playing Saturday nights at LA’s Suede Bar & Lounge, Robert has met a whole host of entertainment personalities, sports figures and well-known DJs. None other than hero Jerry Rice, former San Francisco 49ers Wide Receiver, can be found in the booth accompanying Robert. And, he’s also been joined by Redfoo, playing the song ‘Shots’ while the LMFAO star performed. “The last few years have just been incredible; a year ago I played in Miami for the first time, at the Wood Tavern, and the crowd was amazing!” Robert tells us. “Another memorable moment was when I was complimented by Julius Erving [Dr. J] and he asked me to join him for a drink after my set.”
But despite celebrity fans and gigs in Miami, Rob hasn’t let any of his success go to his head. More than likely, it’s a result of his hard-work and the organic progression he made from cutting his teeth as an amateur DJ to his more recent success as a club DJ in LA. This modest approach to success – from a DJ who has every right to brag – is pretty inspiring.
“Stay humble, there’s always someone better,” is Robert’s advice to up-and-comers. “Just do your thing and respect other DJs.”
You can hear a spellbinding 43min Robert Stylz mix, called ‘VERANO’, on the DJ’s SoundCloud page here: Soundcloud.com/RobertStylz
Connect with Robert Stylz on Instagram here: Instagram.com/ThatDudeStylz
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