City Series Mix Volume 55
Brook D’Leau began life immersed in music, surrounded by his father’s home studio, cartage gigs for record labels and his mother’s choir sounds. His parents filled the home with obscure music ranging from post-punk, new wave, jazz fusion, r&b, funk and prog rock.
Brook’s creativity first bubbled to the surface when, frustrated by the boundaries of his formal piano training, his urge to create overpowered his patience to learn. He stopped the lessons and ventured out beyond the page. Throughout adolescence, his father’s small home studio became his refuge for musical exploration.
3 years into scrapping and reshaping his sound in solitude, submerged in his studio with little more than a MPC2000, some samples and a few cassettes and CDs on which to share his music, Brook began to surface his J Dilla, Neptunes and Timbaland-esque beats.
A chance encounter with Briana Cartwright aka Miss Jack Davey at a friend's prom proved fortuitous. His foreign approach to hip hop beats excited her prolific, yet cheeky pen and they hit it off from the very first writing session.
Brook went on to San Jose State University to study Computer Animation. His love for sketching and interest in technology were apparent, but his heart was elsewhere, as made clear by his questionable school attendance. Yet the experience proved valuable. There he met someone with a small studio setup to which Brook was soon granted full access. Brook was hooked and spent endless days and nights in a dorm room changing his beat-making hobby into a serious career pursuit.
A year later, Brook returned to LA and easily fell into the burgeoning music scene thriving there with the likes of SA-RA, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Pac Div, Flying Lotus, Thundercat and Miguel. The group of friends and musical companions collaborated and drew from each other. This energy played a large role in the founding of J*Davey, the electro/funk-punk/soul/hip-hop duo born of Brook D’Leau and Miss Jack Davey.
The early days of MySpace catapulted their electro/hip-hop demos entitled “4000 A.D.” into the world of buzzworthy bloggers and magazines. Influential tastemakers in the music industry such as ?uestlove, Prince, Garth Trinidad (KCRW), Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio 1), Steve Aoki and Macy Gray all became instant fans and heavily promoted the nascent group’s music. After independently orchestrating a small European tour, opening for Prince during his residency in Las Vegas, and opening for The Roots at Radio City Music Hall alongside Jay-Z, Erykah Badu and Mos Def, Warner Bros Records came calling. Within a year's time, J*DaVeY was signed to the label’s rock division with a multi-album deal.
Several national and international tours, mixtapes, records, and magazine covers later, J*Davey has their own production company, ILLAV8R, through which they’ve been fostering new talent and will be releasing their newest material. Their music has been featured in a wide array of films and TV, and continues to generate a large fanbase. Brook also does production work for other artists that seek out his unique sound, and DJs private events.
Los Angeles, CA
If you could collaborate musically with anyone of your choice, who would you choose?
What is your favorite venue you've ever performed at?
Berns in Stockholm
What DJ gear and travel essentials do you always carry with you while on the road?
Native Instruments S2, Novation Launchpad, 15" Macbook Pro, Moleskin, pencils and pens, bag of lavender.