Born to a Ghanaian family and raised in Newark, DJ Flex talks about leaning heavily on his roots and his community to craft new global dancefloor beats.
The story of DJ Flex is one of humble beginnings and limitless aspirations. The up-and-coming DJ has lived his whole life in Newark, NJ, raised by a tight family as well as a very close community. Both of his parents have heavily influenced his trajectory and have been very supportive as he explores his creative talents. While working three jobs as a cab driver, FedEx employee, and videographer, his father took him to many of the Ghanaian parties where he worked.
Aspiring DJ Flex was awestruck by how the DJs controlled the pace of the party and just how much fun and respect revelers had for the DJ’s craft. Using some basic gear, he began experimenting as a teenager until he could get paid gigs to buy more modern equipment. From there, he never looked back. Focusing on the intersection of Afrobeats (from his heritage) and Jersey Club (from his community), he created a unique sound that works beautifully on the dancefloor. He’s already had the pleasure of working with the likes of Megan Thee Stallion, Shenseea, Mya, and Nija, to name a few.
When his father died in 2020, DJ Flex was presented with many challenges that ultimately shaped his future as an artist. DJ Flex was working on his degree and staying home to care for his father up till his death and was heartbroken at the loss. While the tight-knit family grieved, their support also helped him take the plunge into a full-time music career. The career of DJ Flex is off to a great start, and it’s obvious that there’s so much more to come from this performer who is so committed to his craft.
Stream This Is Home 092 || DJ Flex [Ghana / USA] on SoundCloud:
Thanks for chatting with us today! You were born and raised in Newark, where you live today, and are of Ghanaian descent. How have you blended your ancestry with your upbringing to result in the style of music that you produce?
Hey guys, I appreciate your opportunity to have me here today. Yes, I was born in Newark, New Jersey. I was raised in Newark and East Orange as a kid with Ghanaian roots. I am definitely blessed to have such a diverse understanding of life growing up in my environment. The Ghanaian and American cultures greatly influenced me and my music since I was attracted to both sounds. So, as a young adult, I became more interested in music production, and it would intertwine both sounds to create the music I make for the people today.
You seem very tight with your family, and your dad introduced you to the club scene at an early age. Then, your efforts to learn to DJ were interrupted when your dad got sick, and you were caring for him until he ultimately passed in 2020. How has your love of family and the tragedy of loss impacted your career?
Yes, I’m deeply in love with my family and my loved ones. Everything I do is literally for them. I would say that my dad indirectly taught me how to love and hustle for our family unconditionally. My father definitely took me along with him as a young boy innocently because I would always beg him to take me along to his gigs as a videographer.
I became exposed to the scenery of the party lifestyle in different variations from weddings, birthday parties, Sweet 16s, and the typical African funeral, which is also a celebration of life. His passing definitely took a toll on everyone emotionally in different ways, but we had to stick with each other physically and emotionally to get over our great loss. He was an amazing person who did whatever he could do to make sure we were always good. God led us to a point in life where we understood how to move on without him. I would say that losing him made me strive for more and challenge myself musically as a DJ. I started recording vocals seriously just after his death.
Despite being raised in New Jersey, your style is notably global, with far-flung elements from genres that don’t often find a large following in the US. Yet your sound is so clearly designed for the dancefloor. Are you hoping to bring attention to these genres or just create a vibe for dancing?
My sound definitely has a blend of cultures that all branch from the initial sound of Jersey Club and Afrobeats. I do this intentionally to make sure we can have a sound that can bring all groups of people from around the world together. My goal is to reach as much market share in terms of people who will enjoy my variation of Afrobeats and Jersey Club. Bringing attention to the sound has always been a journey, but we are now entering the stage where explaining to people what Jersey club or Afrobeat is has become fairly easy.
After years of singles and EPs, it sounds like a debut album is in the cards for 2024. Can you tell us more about what to expect from you this year?
Yes, there is an album coming in 2024. I am extremely excited to share what I’ve been working on. The sound still resembles the current remix style but is more amplified creatively because of the added vocals to the beats. I’m still championing the sounds of Afrobeats and Jersey Club to be a more world-class format that will grab more attention from all types of cultures in the world. The album is full of songs with high-frequency vibes.
If you could write your perfect story, where would we find DJ Flex in, let’s say, 2027? What are your biggest aspirations for the next three years?
I would like DJ Flex to be a household name. I will eventually build this sound on a global level, which would express freedom and remove limitations for more DJs to create music on a professional level. I’d like to be able to perform on world-class stages and create a lane for DJs so they can create their own style as artists. Lastly, being able to inspire youth and build a team that will help me conquer the world with my sound while staying in a position to drive the style of music we have influenced.