Some do it for the fame. Some do it for the money. But the very best selectors play music for the love of it. Take DJ Junior, one of Philadelphia’s premiere purveyors of indie hip-hop, house, rare grooves, broken beat and afrobeat.
“I’ve never wanted to be the center of attention,” explains Junior, who grew up on his Jamaican parents’ socca and reggae and began collecting hip-hop and soul records at age 15. “I’m just a fan of music; I love introducing listeners to artists from different genres that they might not get a chance to hear.”
Each Friday from 6 to 9 PM EST, Junior shares this passion for independent artistry on Eavesdrop, the radio show he co-hosts with Philly producer Lil’ Dave . The show, which is broadcast by Drexel University’s WKDU 91.7FM and airs on Junior’s web site, www.recordbreakin.com, features interviews with artists like King Britt, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Ursula Rucker, Dwele, Lizz Fields, Platnium Pied Pipers, Jazzanova, and tracks by hundreds of signed and unsigned musicians. By providing a platform for those outside of the commercial loop, Eavesdrop has attracted a worldwide following of thousands, including ?uestlove, Zap Mama, Benji B (BBC 1Xtra), Rich Medina and Foreign Exchange’s Nicolay and Phonte.
In 2007 Junior started Record Breakin' Music(RBM), a Philadelphia-based, boutique record label with a straightforward approach to releasing quality new music with a soulful foundation. RBM has already started on the right path with releasing two highly acclaimed compilations,Lend Me Your Ear and Excursions. In 2008 we initiated our limited edition 7” series. This series along with our full length albums and EP’s is how we will continue to introduce our contributions to the music community. "Our focus has and always will be to present quality music to a culture that embraces it."
But even as DJ Junior extends his reach, he remains focused on his original mission: to spread the good word on good music. “I’m very approachable,” says Junior. “ I don’t just play tracks and say, ‘Whoever gets it, gets it.’ That would be doing a disservice to the audience and the artists. My goal is to share. That’s why I write pieces about the artists who come on Eavesdrop, that’s why I post track lists on my site, and that’s why I archive everything I do. My goal isn’t to get a certain audience. It’s for everybody to hear quality music.”
Written by Akiba Solomon