Valley’s DJ Soloman Awarded as Resident DJ of the Year
Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012
Updated: Friday, March 2, 2012 13:03
Arizona is steadily climbing the ranks for touring EDM artists, but we need not look much farther than Scottsdale to find such surging talent. The Valley's own Matt Brough, known to the club world as DJ Soloman, is an industry veteran with nearly 20 years of experience under his belt. He was recently named the 2012 Nightclub & Bar Awards ‘Resident DJ of the Year' for his residency at Scottsdale nightclub Axis Radius.
Brough's DJ career dates back to his high school days when he was living in the West Valley and most of his gigs were high school dances. His talent eventually led him down a path that allowed him to produce radio mix shows for Arizona State University's KASR, work for a professional DJ company and for a group called United Positivity that threw underground events. In 2008, Brough traveled to the Ultra Music Festival in Miamiand has since been a popularly recognized DJ across the Southwest.
"I have always prided myself on being a very versatile and diverse DJ," Brough said.
After his days at ASU, Brough joined forces with local entertainment and public relations firm, Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations (SLE). Along with his other residencies at popular nightlife destinations W Scottsdale and The Mint, his most recent venture with SLE has been taking over as Resident DJ of SLE's Electronic Dance Music series "Republic," where he has opened for some of the biggest names in the industry, including Above & Beyond, Bad Boy Bill, Calvin Harris, Cedric Gervais, Matt Darey and Sebastian Ingrosso.
"[Electronic] music is bigger than it has ever been; the crowds now are bigger than they have ever been," Brough said. "It's definitely an honor to be able to open for these guys and be a part of such a huge movement."
College Timesrecently chatted with Brough about his career, his most memorable local gig and what he hopes to bring to Arizona.
College Times: Congrats on the award, what did you think when you found out you had won?
Matt Brough: Thank you! I definitely wasn't expecting it. I was surprised and very excited at the same time. I feel like I've been doing this for a very long time and I've done a lot of cool things and I think this is a huge opportunity to let people know what I've been doing. It brings my experience to light and I think it's awesome.
What does it mean to a DJ to gain residencies much like you have here locally?
It's really sort of the pinnacle, locally. I feel like I'm on top of the world because there is not much more you can get as a local DJ besides the biggest, newest venues in the state.
The electronic dance music scene has certainly exploded in Arizona. Being a part of that scene, what has it been like to watch it grow?
You know, it's interesting. A couple years ago, house music and electronic music was not popular. I've been playing this music since the late ‘90s early 2000s, and to see that in 10 years time it has completely come into the forefront [and] into the mainstream. I think it's amazing. I'm so impressed with some of the crossovers. I think it's great and it makes me excited to see what's next because this music is always evolving, always changing. It's so popular now that I'm curious to see what's coming up in the horizon.
Musically, what have been some of your biggest influences?
Being a DJ, I'm always trying to listen to what's next and what's up-and-coming. […] Trends are huge in this business, so for me it about, "What can I push here?" But as far as what I listen to when I'm driving in the car…it's everything from down-tempo to funk. James Brown I'm a huge fan of; classic rock, disco…It's nice to have a varied musical taste. Working in the club scene, many times it's all the same music. So certainly outside of the club I listen to a wide variety of music styles.
What is your favorite memory of a show you deejayed in Arizona?
By far, my most [prized] memory is opening up for DJ Tiesto in 2008 or 2009 at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe. I was playing at 8 o'clock or something and I thought, "no one is going to be there [for my set]." The doors opened at 8 [p.m.] and by 8:30 or something, there was close to a thousand people in that room. I was really taken aback by seeing that room in that magnitude and those people and the energy they were packing. They were so up for it, so ready to party, so ready to see Tiesto. Oh, it was just huge for me to be a part of that. To play on that sound system in that room with that crowd, getting them warmed up, it was awesome!