DJ Babey Drew Talks Chris Brown DJ Gig, Running From Crazed Fans + Picky First Encounter With Kanye West
For those of you who are diehard Chris Brown fans, you are probably already familiar with the name DJ Babey Drew. However, if you aren’t a starter on Team Breezy, allow us introduce you to the man behind the amazing beats at a Chris Brown concert.
PopCrush was able to catch up with DJ Babey Drew, who is currently out on the road touring, to chat about his gig as Chris Brown’s official DJ and what it’s like hanging out with Breezy. From the sound of it, downtime with Breezy can encompass everything from a relaxed stroll to sprinting away from crowds of screaming fans. DJ Babey Drew also has quite the sense of humor… just scroll through to read about his hilarious first encounter with Kanye West, who he’s also worked with in the past.
How exciting was it, especially as a New Yorker, to perform on the ‘TODAY’ Show last week?
It is always exciting performing in your own city. It’s like my fifth time on the show, so it wasn’t as exciting as the first couple of times. ‘TODAY’ show always gives the crew a good amount of camera time, so that’s always nice!
How did you end up landing the gig as Chris Brown’s official tour DJ?
I met Chris and his management when ‘Run It’ first dropped. I told them if they ever needed a DJ to call me. I kept in contact with Tina Davis (his manager). She told me there was no budget for a DJ. I told her it didn’t matter, if they ever needed me, I would come DJ.
I saw them at a DJ Power Summit in Bahamas. Before they were about to do a showcase, I told them I had all of my gear with me, and if they needed me to DJ, I could do it. They said ‘Yes’ and I have been his DJ ever since.
What’s it like being out on the road with Chris? Can you walk us through a typical performance day?
Our day can range from various things, but a typical day consists of arriving to a city on the tour bus — I am usually on the band’s bus. [We] wake up, go to sound check, go to catering to eat.
After dinner, [we] sit on the bus and watch movies until showtime! I wish I had something really exciting to tell you, but that’s pretty much a typical tour day. You have to learn to pace your self correctly on tour because you can easily get burned out! Sometimes, the most chill days, are the days we all kill it the most on stage.
Do you and Chris ever hang out during downtime? Do you have any funny / crazy stories?
I do hang out with Chris during downtime. I usually don’t have downtime though. When I am not working with Chris, I am working on my own thing.
On tour, when we have days off, Chris hangs with us. He is only “Chris Brown” when he is on stage, or has to be an artist. Around us, he’s just a regular dude. [He's like] a little brother to me. Sometimes he gets mad when we don’t include him in our activities. He tries to be as regular as possible, but it never works out…
For example, walking on the street with us can turn into a whole city following us around. On the last Australia tour, we literally had to run away from thousands of fans — running into back alleys, through kitchens of hotels to get away from these crowds. It was really fun actually, like something you would see in a movie!
What are your thoughts on the rise of EDM music and modern dubstep artists like Skrillex becoming so big?
I love it. I like the sound. Music evolves, let it change. When I play a Skrillex song in the club, it has a dope energy to it.
What’s something you’ve learned from being on the road with Chris? Have you learned anything from Chris himself?
I have learned a lot actually. I can’t pinpoint anything in particular, but the kid is smart as hell.
Do you dance? Do you think Chris could school you in a dance battle?
I can’t dance. [I] definitely will get schooled in a battle. I have good rhythm, [but] that’s it!!
What was it like working with Kanye West?
Kanye was cool. I remember he dug up his nose, before shaking my hand. I dont think he knew he did it! [laughs]
What artists have inspired you the most?
[The] DJ’s that inspired me the most as a young DJ [are] DJ Red Alert, Funkmaster Flex, DJ Spinbad, DJ Mista Nice, DJ Bee, Executioners and DJ Revolution.
Now, DJ’s like David Guetta, Benny Benassi and Paul Oakenfold inspire me because they are taking this DJ thing to the next level!
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming DJs who have hopes of making it big?
Yes. Don’t try to make it big. Do it cause you love it, and you will always grow and have longevity! Always set your self up for bigger things, but don’t DJ for the wrong reasons cause that’s just lame!
Are you working on any solo projects at the moment?
Working on my own record… more info to come!!!! : – )