DJ Godfather, Words by Tara Phillips, godfather_DEQPhoto by Jeremy Deputat from DEQ #2 (Jeremy Ellis Cover)
 
For the past decade, Brian Jefferies, a.k.a. DJGodfather, has been making a name for himself. Actually, he’s many names: producer, pioneer, CEO, club DJ, etc. Between running four record labels during the day to playing club gigs at night, this guy could easily be named one of the hardest working men in the business. Although he’s known as a very successful club DJ inDetroit, what most don’t know about DJ Godfather is that there is more to him than just spinning records.

First and foremost he is a producer for Twilight 76, a label he started nine years ago with partners BrianGillespie and DJ Dick. He also produces and directs artists for its sub-labels Databass, Juke Trax, and DTE Only. “It’s all I do, if I’m not at the club or office, I’m in the studio. There are still people who don’t understand that when I do a ghetto tech set that it’s our company that produced it. They think we’re just playing other people’s records.”

Godfather has been a prominent figure in Detroit’s club scene for years and is now breaking ground internationally. He’s a pioneer of ghetto tech, a genre of music created in Detroit. He has propelled this
sound from warehouse parties to the biggest electronic music festivals around the world. Godfather is introducing the gritty electro sound and culture of Detroit to the masses, and they are paying attention. One of his most recent projects, The Godfather Chronicles: The Ghettotech Sound of Detroit, is a CD/DVD documentary designed to introduce this unique piece of Detroit’s electronic culture to international markets.  

While the rest of the world is getting their first taste of ghetto tech, Godfather has been throwing it down for Detroit since the beginning. “The thing I love about ghetto tech music is that when I get booked as a DJ, we get booked around the world because we are the only kind of DJs who do turntablism with dance music. That’s why there’s not ghetto tech DJs all over the world because in Detroit, you grew up with it. But overseas, they just spin records together and that’s fine, that’s what they do. But they didn’t grow up with this culture, so they don’t know how to do it. It’s rather fascinating to a lot of people.”
 
Even though Godfather continues to perform and promote this music overseas, his heart remains here in Detroit. “It’s a different experience each time I go somewhere. Now it’s such a big blur, I have 1.3 million frequent flyer miles with Northwest airlines. A lot of times I fly in to deejay and fly right back home. I’ve been to Europe for literally eight or nine hours. I just don’t wanna hang out. I want to come back to my roots.” 
 
Aside from being a successful performer and producer, there’s still more to been seen and heard from DJ Godfather. “We’ve created a mini-empire with ghetto tech music and now we’ve got to see where dance music is going in the future. So it’s hard to say where we’re going to be. I mean our main deal was selling 12” records but now things are going a different way. My agent just signed the biggest electronic distribution deal for MP3s for digital downloading. So he’ll be distributing us to ITunes, Napster, Sony Connect, etc. So hopefully that will catch on. He’s also finishing up a deal for ringer downloads, so we just got to remember to stick with our roots but adjust with the times as well.”
 
Adjusting to the times is what has kept Godfather alive in this crazy world of electronic music. Even though the rave parties in Detroit have died and the Top 40 club scene has taken over, ghetto tech still holds a strong following, thanks to him. He represents Detroit in all aspects of his career and does it with pride. 
 
For more information, go to www.djgodfather.com
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