The Rocks Off 200: DJ B*Ryte, From VA to H-Town With Love
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? Megan Bowie can flip her look on a dime. When she's not working in local television, she's DJ B*Ryte, a mixer who's found her home on multiple stages across the globe, but more recently on KBXX 97.9 The Box. She has a knack for bringing grooves together without being "sloppy" (in the words of OG Ron C) and has crafted plenty a late-night mix for listeners, not to mention break tracks from local artists and national mixtape cuts that usually take months to even arrive to some listeners.
Photos courtesy of DJ B*Ryte
Her arrival to Houston just five months ago didn't come without its fair share of detours. Bowie learned her craft at age 16 after entering college at Virginia's Hampton University.
"I had never been to a party or club before," she says, reflecting on the moment when she knew. "And when you're in college, you can use your college ID to get into everything -- regardless of how old you are because they assume you are at least 18. I remember going to my first party and looking at the DJ and watching the crowd.
"It was like, Okay, this one person is responsible for hundreds and hundreds, sometimes thousands of people's happiness. You have the ability to either make or break their night."
She proceeded to hit the ground running, buying her own set of turntables with her own money and practicing when not in school. Opening up for DJs in Virginia, shielding her age due to the fact she was a minor and a woman, B*Ryte was a rebel and the gym-rat version of a turntabilist.
"I never wanted people to say, 'Oh, she's good for a girl,' B*Ryte says. "I wanted people to say 'She's a great DJ period.'"
The hard work led her to landing at 103 Jamz in Norfolk, Va., under late legendary program director Kool DJ Law (who passed of a heart attack in 2010) and eventually becoming R&B singer Ameriie's official DJ as well as touring with K. Michelle, The Game and Natalia Kills. It took a leap of faith in quitting her job in Virginia and moving from state to state before Terri Thomas, program director at KBXX, gave her a call.
The cover of B*Ryte's 2010 mixtape, The First Kiss
"She had mentored me through out the years and ended up having an opening and asked me if I'd be interested in coming to Houston," B*Ryte says. "I honestly never thought of moving to Texas before, but I thought, Hey, why not? Big area, new opportunities, let's do it.'"
She hasn't exactly reached her dream of working at E! just yet, but she's already become a city fan favorite behind the wheels of steel.
What Is It About Houston? "Houston is different from anyplace I have ever been," she says of the local rap scene. "Because I'm an East Coast girl, a lot of the music was unfamiliar. But I wanted to embrace it. I was like if this is going to be my home.
"I need to dive head-first into the culture, learn what I can, and represent it the way it should be represented," she continues ."I have so much respect for the work that these artists have put in to make the Houston music scene what it is."
Why Do You Stay In Houston? "Houston has also opened the door for me to start pursuing my television dreams, and I am so ready for the next steps in my journey," she beams. "When I got here, I was embraced by so many people. I feel like because I have the platform I have, it's my job to support Houston in any way I can and that's what I'm going to continue to do."
Good War Story: What do you do when you somehow get to listen in on a session with the Good Doctor Dre?
I can say that my favorite moment ever was when I was in L.A. and I stopped by the studio because Game was recording his album. I had no idea that Dr. Dre was there...and I got to sit in on a Dr. Dre studio session.
It was literally the highlight of my music career. Just being able to watch a musical legend work and be in his environment was crazy! He is truly a genius.
Story continues on the next page.