Dj Travis Kell - 2020 Bio

 

DJ Travis Kell

Growing up just outside of Toronto, Travis was first enchanted by House Music in the late 1980’s at an all ages venue in Burlington called NRG Nightclub. It was here where he first caught the “Dance Floor Vibe” bug. A born Dancer with Rhythm in his bones, Travis was blown away by the collective groove. Watching the Dj spin he noted then at the tender age of 16 that this might be something that he could master at some point.

At the age of Eighteen, the passing of his Grandfather marked the beginning of what would be an illustrious career as a DJ for Travis. Taking advantage of some money left to him, Travis purchased his first turntable, a grey 1983 Technics 1200 and a Rane mixer sourced from a mobile wedding DJ service who were converting to CD format. Record shopping took place at Traxx records in Toronto with guidance from Tim Patrick.

In 1993 Travis moved to London Ontario to attend University and during that time became disillusioned with the frat boy/keg party existence that was everywhere, and opted instead to jump in the car with like minded Dancers and House Music lovers and head to Toronto to attend Warehouse parties and all night Raves. The Dance Floors at these parties were filled with incredibly skilled break dancers and groovers from all over Southern Ontario and New York state and were so very inspirational to Travis. It was here that his DJ groove was really established with the soundtrack provided by the likes of DJ Dan, Mark Farina, Ritchie Hawtin, Dj Sneak, Roger Sanchez, Terry Mullan and many many more. He always gravitated to the more upbeat Chicago Style Sounds.

Still just listening to his records he moved into a shared house with other Djs and there were decks there for him to play however you were literally kicked off them if you were unable to beatmatch or show any skills. Travis would often times wait until everyone was passed out and go up and hone his skills. During this time Travis started Top Notch Productions and promoted several parties of his own. The parties were family affairs of 200-400 people showcasing the dance floor friendly, funky house and west coast breaks sounds. Travis never did DJ at any of his own parties, watching attentively always, but keeping to his bedroom knowing that there would be a time and a place but respecting that this craft would take years to fine tune.

In 1996 Travis graduated from University and drove 2000 miles west to Vancouver where he planned to work in the Provincial Parks of British Columbia. He was stationed on a small island in the Gulf island chain and there he lived for the next two years, running and managing this park in the peace and isolation of the ocean and evergreen trees. There was no electricity at the Ranger station but he was able to run his decks from a Generator in the workshop. He finally purchased another turntable, a Technics 1100 series with a pitch knob that was extremely tricky to master. Practicing for hours and hours on this sub par scenario led Travis to become extremely precise at beat matching and long mixing. His record shopping trips required a ferry boat ride to the mainland and were at Bassix and Boomtown Records.

The year 1998 saw Travis move to Vancouver, extremely apt in the art of mixing house music. It was during this time that his friends called him The Holy Ghost.

He DJ'd and ran a successful night, the weekly Deep Funk Tribal Thursdaze as well as a monthly Boat party called Houseboat. The summer brought a full roster of full moon parties held in some very remote locations across the province and Travis would delight crowds with his sunrise forays. He stayed in Vancouver until 2001 and this year was capped off by headlining the Earthdance festival in Calgary alongside long time musical influence Joeski from New York.

Wanting to take his craft to the next level, Travis moved to London UK in 2001. He picked up a residency at Smile London and has played at various other venues across the city such as Oblivion, the Cross, the Fridge, the Viaduct, Turnmills and Bagley's.

There was a very vibrant Pirate/Underground Radio scene here and in 2002 he started his Radio show, called Believe, on Worldwide FM. He was quickly courted over to UnknownFM 90.2 where his shows were super popular and showcased his ever evolving Energetic US Funky/Jackin’ House style. Regular record shopping trips were made to BlackMarket Records, Phonica and Reckless.

In March 2004 International DJ Magazine (IDJ) chose him as runner up in their monthly mixed tape competition. From this he was contacted by fellow DJ and promoter Roman Pushkin and he started going to Moscow and St. Petersburg regularly to play gigs. In all Travis played over thirty times in Russia and many other cities like Minsk in Belarus, Ufa, Ekaterinbourg, Magnitagorsk and Vladivostok.

As the years passed and Believe became more and more popular in 2008 Travis hooked up with a group of like minded house heads on ChicagoHouseFM. By then he had started to transition or at least adapt to Cds as most of the music he was following and liking was starting to only come out Digitally.

In 2009 he got married to the love of his life in South Africa and although he still hacked around a bit on the decks he decided to focus on his real life. In 2012 his first Son was born and then a second one came in 2015 and he has been very Daddy focused ever since!

Now in 2020 the passion for Jazzy Jackin Underground Funky House Music still burns very strong in this Jedi so he now has his decks set up and is going to start up Believe once again, streaming his sound and video via the web. The Dj’s Dj Podcast.

Travis has never desired trying his hand at making tunes/producing preferring the hands on/dance aspect of the Craft of Djing.

 

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