“I’m So Dallas,” a track from Dallas hip-hop duo A.Dd+‘s debut album When Pigs Fly, sets forth their Big D credentials with snippets of some of the city’s biggest rap anthems. They don’t come any more Dallas than the creator of the track – DJ Sober. The co-founder of the game-changing and genre-defying crew The Party, Sober can be found holding down the turntables everywhere in Dallas from Cowboys, Mavericks and FC Dallas games to Erykah Badu’s birthday party and Dirk Nowitzky’s wedding. In 2011, Sober was named Dallas’ Best DJ by the Dallas Observer; and in 2012, he was voted Dallas’ Best DJ at the Dallas Observer Music Awards, an award voted on by the public. With Sober’s expanding rep as a party DJ, illustrator (he hand designs his flyers and event posters) and clothing company owner (Decade) expect to see him soon in a city near you, too.
Like many DJs, Sober took time to develop his talents in his basement and at house parties before stepping out into clubs. “I practiced for years and honed the craft before I ever deejayed out,” he says. “It was never, ‘I want to be a DJ’ career-wise or to get attention. I just liked vinyl and collecting records and being around it.” While working a job overseeing Dallas area promotions for Red Bull in the mid 2000s, he began organizing special events and deejaying more frequently on the side. In 2006, he combined his mixing and marketing expertise to develop The Party with fellow DJs Select and Nature. The Party bridged the Big D’s musical and cultural gaps while bringing acts from Smif N Wessun to Justice to Blaq Starr to the city. “We kind of took over Dallas pretty quickly,” Sober says. “Before, there were just exclusively hip-hop or house events, dance-related stuff. Nobody was really playing multiple genres or doing anything different. We started introducing new music like Baltimore club and different things that people weren’t messing with here.”
The members of The Party went their separate ways in 2009, but Sober is more active than ever in Texas’ nightlife scene. His weekly Big Bang! party at Dallas’ Beauty Bar, is consistently jam-packed and has attracted some of the nation’s best DJs including Eli Escobar, Kon, House Shoes and Bladerunners. He also holds his monthly Top Notch event with DJs Dayta and El Roy Boogie every last Saturday of the month in Houston and runs a traveling event, Dope on Plastic, in which he only spins vinyl.
Over the last several years, Sober has opened for bands such as the Flaming Lips and Cut Copy, deejayed alongside ?uestlove and Pete Rock and backed up Devin the Dude on stage. Through his association with New York City’s Scratch Academy, he has also taught youth deejaying clinics, including one memorable one alongside hip-hop pioneer Grand Wizzard Theodore at Steve Harvey’s house. The most interesting of his many gigs might be his one at Cowboys Stadium, the world’s largest domed stadium. “It gets pretty jumping in there,” Sober says. “I’m a DJ, so I’m gonna rock the party. Even if the other team wins, their fans are gonna stay and celebrate. When New Orleans won, I played a New Orleans bounce set, and it was insane. There were Saints fans holding umbrellas and wearing crazy outfits. It turned into a dance party.”
From 2010-2013, Sober served as the official DJ for A.Dd+. He also provided the cuts on “I’m So Dallas,” a DJ track made from snippets of classic Dallas rap anthems, on their debut LP When Pigs Fly. Having a consummate DJ like Sober in their corner helped A.Dd+ elevate their stage show. In 2012, they toured the nation twice as openers for Black Milk and Talib Kweli, respectively.
In 2013, Sober naturally stepped into the co-producer role with Dallas’ PICNICTYME to create the new party music collaboration – Booty Fade. Taking cues from uptempo regional styles like New Orleans bounce and Baltimore club, as well as their city’s own Dallas boogie sound, the duo are crafting music for dancefloors worldwide while repping their city first and foremost. Look out for their debut, self-titled EP out late 2013.