Beatroute BC on Instagram

  • Welsh pop punk outfit Neck Deep are playing at voguetheatrehellip
  • ExOzzy Osbourne guitarist and Black Label Society frontman Zakk Wyldehellip
  • Rise  Shine Music Seminar is an event to showcasehellip
  • Dan Starlings experimental film The Chorus provides a fresh takehellip
  • entershikari are bona fide masters of versatility with a genreblendinghellip
  • typhoonfamilyvacations show at rickshawtheatre on February 24 is just onehellip
  • westwardfest is happening this September! Tickets go on sale Februaryhellip
  • Noble Oak is taking the Rhodes less travelled Check outhellip
  • Already backed by a considerable YouTube following for her ukelelehellip

Teklife’s DJ Earl brings a piece of Chicago to Calgary and Vancouver

By Paul Rodgers
Footwork aficionado DJ Earl brings breakneck BPMs to Calgary and Vancouver.

Footwork aficionado DJ Earl brings breakneck BPMs to Calgary and Vancouver.

CALGARY — Earl Smith grew up in Chicago and since grade school has been surrounded in the rich DJ and dance culture that exists there.

“Around my neighbourhood, lots of my friends, they used to footwork, so it was just immediately right where I live, I grew up right in it,” says Smith.

Attending a local footwork spot that the late pioneer DJ Rashad began spinning at; Smith became drawn to the sounds of an emerging genre.

Chicago is an important city for the growth of underground music, and the sound of footwork draws from a variety of styles such as house, jungle and hip-hop. The style took off in the early ‘90s, categorized by breakneck BPMs and dance steps alike.

“It was like man, this is a whole different sound. And basically Rashad’s been a real friend to me… he kind of approached me one time and was like, ‘Yo, you’ve got some nice tracks.’ Pretty much from there I just asked him and he was like, ‘come out.’”

It was at that point that he joined the ranks of the Teklife crew, a Chicago-based collective of producers, DJs and dancers that push the footwork movement.

“I think what makes us unique is that without the music it’s a dance culture, and that this music it evolved from house music, to ghetto house, to juke to footwork.”

Smith started out producing beats just over a decade ago when he was in the eighth grade, and began DJing about a year later.

I learned to make music first and then I wanted to go play the tracks, so you need to know how to DJ,” he explains. “So I learned from locals in different spots, they taught me how to beat match and I just figured it out and then over time I got to work with people like Rashad and Traxman and Clent and I could just learn from everybody around me.”

Here in Calgary, a group of promoters are working to put footwork on the map and unite the scene here with Vancouver’s. As well as DJ Earl, they also recently brought Taso, another Teklife affiliate. Record label Philthtrax, Two Headed Dog booking, the Footwork Jungle blog, and the NOIR and Percolate nights at Habitat are actively committed to integrating some Chicago flavour into Calgary’s nightlife.

DJ Earl plays Habitat Living Sound in Calgary on May 21 and the Fox Cabaret in Vancouver on May 22.

, , , , , , ,

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: is a member of Apple Music's Affiliate Program. This site collects commissions on purchases that our site's readers decide to make from Apple Music/iTunes affiliate embeds and hyperlinks provided in our posts.




The Heirlooms on avoiding genre traps and keeping momentum  

The Heirlooms on avoiding genre traps and keeping momentum  

By Jodi Brak    CALGARY – Seeking to create something honest, something reflective of internal struggles and the satisfaction of…

, , ,

Beatroute AB on Instagram

  • Video premiere alert! Erin Kay debuts Holding You Tonight exclusivelyhellip
  • Cartel Madras is playing the first ever hiphop set tohellip
  • How it Feels by Scenic Route to Alaska is ahellip
  • NorthernCree are the worlds premier powwow round dance drum andhellip
  • Sup? Feel like going to a party? Heard there willhellip
  • I Am The Mountain are set to release something soulfulhellip
  • This is just the first wave people Over 200 morehellip
  • February 2018 issue out now  This month features Amythysthellip
  • Win tickets to see Jenn Grant live at the Theatrehellip