It’s no secret that making it as a DJ is hard work. We all have a friend who wants to you to check out their Soundcloud or listen to their new mixtape. The reality of the situation is that very few DJs make it out of their bedrooms and behind the decks at a show. Fewer than that, less than 5% overall, make it big enough to make a living off of it. It takes persistence, talent, a little sweet-talking, and the right opportunities.
Enter Jon Ney and Phil Chang. You may know them as BL3R. The duo has been paying their dues in the Seattle music scene for the past couple years, and have been a favorite at DMNW since they started playing Saturday’s at Trinity Nightclub. Since then, they’ve risen to prominence, going from playing house parties in Ellensburg, WA to heading into the studio with the likes of Gareth Emery. It takes a lot of blood, sweat, and bass to get there, and BL3R’s story is certainly one worth telling.
Neither Jon nor Phil started out with the intention of making dance music, and began making hip-hop after meeting at a house party and realizing their shared interest in music.
“We started recording people in closets and trying to mix it down…we wasted a lot of time.”
The two went away to college after making music for a while, and that’s truly where BL3R starting taking shape. For many, music is a way to escape from the struggles of every day life. Few can even imagine that this form of stress relief could actually turn into a career. Jon explained that his journey away from home to North Dakota to college left him depressed. He turned to the thing he knew best: Music. He began producing dubstep and shared his creations with Phil who was on a similar quest to the big time in Arizona.
Going to school for pharmacy, Phil nurtured his love of DJ’ing playing for friends and doing whatever it took to get to the next level. Professing himself far and wide as one of the best DJ’s in Seattle, Phil got a chance to play on local radio stations, and even wound up playing with 2Chainz on several tour stops, all the while keeping in touch with Jon and planning their next move. The two realized that, together, after returning to Washington, they could take their careers to the next level. After a few house parties without a name, and one fateful hazy night in Ellensburg that the two described as “a blur” the duo finally had their identity.