I received a call to go and interview a female dj from Europe. She was on vacation, touring the USA and was available for an interview. The request came through a friend, I was hesitant because I prefer to set up my own interviews. It gives me the opportunity to prep the interviewee prior, giving them the choice to talk with me or not. But I trusted my source and drove 20 miles to conduct the interview. When I arrived, I was told I had just missed her.
But Rocky Jones of DJ International was wrapping up a business meeting with Byron Burke. Jones suggested I interviewed Burke. So here I was sitting across from Bryon Burke. I was not prepared in any way to conduct an interview of Burke. I enjoy preparing interviews and I love to research the subject before I conduct an interview. As I was introduced to him, I was told he was from the group Ten City. I knew Ten City but I didn’t know Byron Burke. Burke was also put on the spot but being so gracious and kind, he agreed to the interview.
I listened to Burke talk about parts of his life journey; from growing up on Chicago’s West Side, as a trumpet player, dancer in Shy Boys dance crew, became a well-known dj and then signing with his group “B Rude, Inc” to DJ International Records all before he was 19 years old.
Music was Burke’s sanctuary. He played the trumpet in Grammar school. In the 8th grade he began djing on Technic 1100s, he practiced 6 hours a day for a year. He made over 200 mix tapes until it was just the right mix to be submitted to a promoter to get a gig. His first major party, at the age of 15, was with Shawn Robinson and Farley Jack Master Funk.
He grew tired of mixing records and wanted to make his own records. Burke called Rocky Jones, and began to hang out at the office of DJ International Records and eventually got a record deal with his group “B Rude, Inc.”. The members of the group consisted of Byron Burke, Anthony Nash, Shaun Robison. Shortly after the group was established, Tommy Williams and Byron Stingily paired up with the team. However, the group struggled to get anything off the ground. After a year, Burke got out of his contract with DJ International Records.
He continued to work with Byron Stingily after the B Rude Inc. disbanded and joined forces with Marshall Jefferson and formed a group called The Truth, followed by Ragtyme which included Herb Lawson. Ragtyme was signed to Atlantic Records and changed their name to Ten City. Ten City’s debut album, Foundation, included “Right Back to You” and “That’s the Way Love Is.”
According to Wikipedia, along with his work on Foundation he also co-wrote and produced State of Mind for Atlantic Records, one album entitled No House Big Enough for East West Records and one album entitled That Was Then, This Is Now for Columbia Records. The records spawned ten Top 20 Billboard magazine dance songs, five Top 10 Billboard Magazine Sales Chart Singles, ten Top U.K. Pop Chart Singles, a Gold Album from South Africa and a Silver Album from the U.K. that received international acclaim on four continents.”
Today, Burke is the founder and president of BB Media Global Group. According to their website, BB Media Global Group works “with a select group of Start-up and established corporations develop creative strategies to position their brand for success.” Burke is also a co-owner of 905 FM Brooklyn New York, a 24 hour internet, smartphone and In-car radio station.
Burke’s faith has been a major influence throughout his life. The voice of God has guided him throughout his career. Since 2002, he has led weekly online bible studies and attracted people from all over the world. Burke’s sermons can be heard on http://byronburkeministries.com/.
First set: Numark dm500 and Technics Slb10s
Favorite house song: Love Dancin’ by Roger Sanchez
Favorite quote: This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. – Amplified Bible