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by Ryan Snyder

DISCO BEE

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 ten 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 Artistika on Monday, February 28 before the Orgone show.

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 Playing” 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.

Contact: discobee07@yahoo.com

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.

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