The Rocks Off 200: DJ Navo, Bombón's Boundless Body-Mover
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? Alex Nava is the fair-eyed, jovial member of the Bombón Houston crew, born and raised here in Houston. His father moved here from Maracaibo, Venezuela in the '70s and his mother came to Houston from Halmstad, Sweden in the '80s.
Photos by Marco Torres
"Musically, my mom had an ear for everything from salsa and hip-hop to R&B and soul," says Nava. "My dad would usually listen to popular salsa and Spanish singer-songwriter music. My older brother by six years [Justin Nava of thelastplaceyoulook] was involved in the Houston music scene at a young age and still is today. I grew up going to his bands' practice sessions to just hang out and listen."
It wasn't until Alex heard Squincy Jones' "Nintendub" album that he learned about Houston's DJ scene, which led to him attending the infamous Speakerboxx parties at the Mink/Backroom back in 2009. That's when he decided he wanted to DJ and produce music for the dance floor. He became DJ Navo.
Nava later met DJ Gracie Chavez, and in 2010 co-founded Bombón along with Tonio and OG Bobby Trill. They later welcomed DJ Panchitron, MC La Comadre Mel, and percussionist Ilya Janos to join, and the crew was complete.
Home Base: DJ Navo has a home studio in West Houston, which he describes as a "creative space dedicated to practicing and working on music." Out in the city, you can catch him DJing alongside his Bombón familia every first Saturday at Fox Hollow (4617 Nett), and now alongside Chavez Thursday nights at The Flat (1701 Commonwealth) for El Danzón.
Why Do You Stay In Houston? "Enjoying the city with my friends and eating good food is probably what's kept me here so long" Nava says. "The music scene here is super-talented and friendly, so I also enjoy going out to see other bands/DJs doing their thing."
He also enjoy's the city's diversity, calling it an "international city with Southern hospitality."
Good War Story: "At one of the early Bombon parties, probably the third or fourth one, I accidentally hit the start/stop button on Gracie's turntable and stopped the music entirely," recalls Nava. "It only lasted about five seconds, but everyone noticed. I felt like there could've been a war after that by the way Gracie mean-mugged me!"
Story continues on the next page.