by Ryan Snyder

DJ handle: Disco Bee

What it means: Back in 1972, I played a lot of underground music and prided myself on playing new dance tracks before anyone else. I was already called Bee, but Kid Creole came out and said, “Call him Disco Bee,” because of how much disco music I was playing at the time.

Real name: Arthur Hayward Jr.

What I play: I play a lot of old school R&B. I’m not too hot on the new stuff because of all the raunchy and violent talk. I’m into a lot of Parliament, Clear, James Brown, anything back from the old school. Back in the day I would play the songs you couldn’t hear on the radio. Say the Blackbyrds came out with a new record and the radio stations would play “Happy Music.” I’d be the one playing “Rock Creek Park,” which I thought was a better song, so people would come to my parties to hear it. We just tried to find different stuff to get people to come out.

Catch me at: I just started getting into performing again. I’ve been here in North Carolina for 10 years after moving from the Bronx, and have only done about 10 gigs since I ve been here. I’m on WUAG as a guest once in a while though.

Upcoming shows: I’ll be spinning at CFBG on Saturday for their record fair. I’ll also be selling some vinyl out of my personal collection, which has a lot of rare hip-hop and dance LPs.

Why I do it: I love music, always have. I ve loved to dance since I was a little kid. One day I ran into some other boys that was playing and I got caught up in it almost right away. I got serious about it once I started learning more about it.

Influences: Jazzy Jeff, the first time I’ve ever seen him play, I was off the hook. Watching him do his thing is an unbelievable experience. Jam Master Jay, of course. DJ Junebug, he was so smooth on a pair of turntables he’d make your eyes pop.

First pro gig: In 1973, Grandmaster Flash and I were playing at either the Dixie Club or the Black Door in the Bronx.

Favorite technique: I might spin records back, or spin records fast. Sometimes I cut records really fast. A lot of people don’t understand what I’m doing, but I still try to have fun with it.

Signature mix: One of the mixes that I was the first person to ever do this, was “Children Playin” with “Apache.” We were practicing and looking for new stuff to do on the stage, and this became a part of our routine.

Favorite albums: I love the Yellow Sunshine album, the Baby Huey album, a lot of Clear records.

My gear: A pair of Technics 1200s, which were my first turntables. I found after I thought I lost them, and they’re probably 25 years old, but still work well. I also use a NuMark BM1002 MKII Mixer. The needles that I like to use, no one sells them anymore the Stanton 680s, so I’m using Skribble’s Numark needles. I play all vinyl, but I do have Serato. Most of the time I m working out of three cases of vinyl.


I d like to add: Basically, I just want people to stay true to the music and play with love. Play with a lot of passion. Don’t just play because you got a little bit of money and wanted to spend it on turntables.