When I sat with DJ Britt in his apartment last Friday, it was obvious that both his passion for music and ear for melody were beyond his years. During our interview, he and his roommate mixed casually on their iPad-compatible turntable and mixing board plugged into two massive speakers. Songs by Lil Wayne, Drake and other artists unrecognizable to me from his 18,000 track music library were mixed until the finished product was refined to an audibly stimulating, trance-worthy original track.
With each imperfection or inconsistency in the sample song, a single switch or turn of a dial from Britt’s concentrated poise changed the way I looked at all of these artists’ original works. Whether the song was a Southern rapper’s boastful lyrics turned into a trap-heavy head-bobber or an eerie soulful voice chopped and screwed until the world itself seemed to slow down, DJ Britt’s musical talent was in full force.
Adam Britt, 20, is a University of Wisconsin junior from Brookfield. He’s like any other student, except in between classes, extracurricular activities and his social life, he balances music production and playing sets at various events in the Madison and Milwaukee areas.
“Between school, gigs, extracurriculars and other things, it’s definitely hard. I make time for it though,” Britt said. “It’s my passion and it makes me happy, so I have no problem sacrificing a night out for a night of music production.”
His dedication and omniscient knowledge of music is seen in his diverse, adaptable and versatile repertoire.
“It all depends on the setting. I have, like, 18,000 songs in my library across every genre, so every set is unique,” Britt said. “Different occasions call for different music. Right now I have a weekly gig at the KK on Fridays, where I play a lot of throwbacks and popular remixes. I take risks here and there, but creating the atmosphere is my priority.”
Before gaining a feel for music and a weekly set at a popular college bar, a young artist has to start somewhere. For Britt, this start came when one of his friend’s parents were out of town. The friend decided to throw a big party in his basement, and Britt was called up to DJ.
“Looking back, it was a mediocre show at best, but you’ve got to start somewhere,” he said.
Britt began his musical exploration when he was 5, when he began playing piano. From there, he moved on to guitar, trumpet and euphonium.
In his junior year of high school, he downloaded Audacity and impulsively began experimenting with a capella tracks and instrumentals.
“I made a few mash-ups, and I was hooked. My family noticed how much time I spent messing around with it, and for Christmas that year my grandma gave me a set of turntables. After a lot of practice, I felt like I was ready for my first few gigs,” he said.
Because of his massive musical intake, Britt is influenced by just about every genre of music there is, but his favorite listens right now give him noticeable inspiration for his productions.
“I’ve been into trap music for a while, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of vibey stuff, more specifically Bondax, Snakehips, Flume, Kaytranada, Kygo and other similar artists. It’s becoming a genre all its own and I really like the direction it’s heading in. My most recent release was a Valentine’s Day mix featuring a lot of songs under that genre,” Britt said.
In the coming months DJ Britt can be found at various exclusive events around campus as well as bars like the Kollege Klub, where he does sets every Friday in addition to some weeknights. Outside of the KK, he’ll be DJing the first annual UW Student-Athlete formal, sorority formals and other various events, including opening for Ookay at Segredo March 6.
If you’re interested in listening to DJ Britt’s music, you can download his music for free on his Soundcloud. He can also be found on Facebook. Whether you’re looking for something to study to or something to rage to, DJ Britt has a sound that is utterly infectious.