From Vegas to Asia, party-goers across the globe are guaranteed a great time.
CAPTN20 has worked with everyone from Diddy to The Chainsmokers and is well known in the Detroit music scene and beyond. His talent-shoppe, Basement Beats has been providing Detroit with well curated talent for over 15 years and CAPTN20 is EXP|DET’s exclusive disc jockey.
EXP: How did you get started?
CAPTN20: I was into street racing with my brother when I was younger, but never had access to DJ gear until my good friend DJ Whip gave me an old mixer to mess around with. Shortly after, I scored my first pair of turntables in a street race bet after a girl I was dating told me there was no way she would stay with me if I was out running the streets all night racing cars. And well, the rest is history.
EXP: How old were you when you realized your obsession with music and who influenced it?
CAPTN20: When I was thirteen I would listen to my older siblings’ cassettes, everything from Big Daddy Kane, Afrika Bambaataa, 2 Live Crew, Duran Duran, and Jimmy Hendrix. Then I would tape over the tabs and record sets from legendary Detroit radio DJs like The Wizard (Jeff Mills) and the Electrifying Mojo.
EXP: You’ve traveled all over the world DJing with incredible artists, what has been your favorite place to visit and artists to DJ with?
CAPTN20: I started touring about 12 years ago and then got signed by SKAMARTIST in 2013. Every city and country has been special in its own way. Some of the most random small towns end up being some of the best nights. I’ve been fortunate to work with some really amazing talent over the years, but I’d have to say playing a live set with the legendary Travis Barker in Vegas is something I’ll never forget.
EXP: Tell us about Basement Beats – what do you do and how did it start?
CAPTN20: Basement Beats started in 2003. I had realized early on that I wanted it to be more than just about me. When I realized how much demand there was for quality talent, I started bringing on other DJs and artists so I would not have to turn down any of my clients. Today Basement Beats is a full service event production and talent shoppe.
EXP: You curate music for hospitality groups across the city. What does that entail and why is it important to set a ‘mood’ for a restaurant?
CAPTN20: I currently curate music for many of the Heirloom Hospitality brands: Townhouse, Prime + Proper, and coming soon to Midtown, Sauce. We’re also curating for the new Moneyline venue in MGM Grand Detroit. It all starts with the owner/operator’s vision. Although I hand select every track, music is only one element of the guest experience. We consult from lighting to the scent and everything in between.
EXP: You’re a regular at Cash Only and it is such a mystery to everyone. Give us all the details!
CAPTN20: Cash Only is an invite only spot inside Prime + Proper. It was designed to be a place where anyone can feel ‘safe’ from the distractions of daily life and the outside world. No cameras or cellphones allowed. That’s all I can tell you, so message (@djcaptn20) me for your invite!
EXP: What are your favorite brunch spots downtown?
CAPTN20: If I’m not at Townhouse I’m hopefully in bed sleeping or at Grand Trunk. It’s one of my favorites! The corned beef and those damn poutine fries are out of this world. On my list of places to check out is Ochre Bakery, Dime Store, Honest Johns and Fort Street Galley.
EXP: The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the biggest bar night of the year. Where do you recommend people go downtown for a great night out?
CAPTN20: I really love Willis Show Bar for a great intimate evening with some awesome music, entertainment, and cocktails. TV Lounge will surely have some electronic talent lined up for anyone ready to rage. For the club experience, I would check out The Annex or Trust. And of course, there’s always Legends if you’re looking for quality, high-class, adult entertainment and a really good steak!
EXP: If you could pick one soundtrack to your life what would it be?
CAPTN20: Oh! That’s a tough one. I’d have to say it’s a tie between “Eye of the Tiger” and “Lose Yourself.”