Editor’s Note: This story is part of our ‘Post Picks’ special issue where The Post profiles some of Athens’ most notable people and businesses. Read the rest of the stories here.
Brandon “DJ B-Funk” Thompson has been providing music to Athens residents and Ohio University students for his entire life. Now, he has been chosen as “best local musician” by The Post’s readers.
Thompson grew up in Athens before attending OU for both undergraduate and graduate school. He received his undergraduate degree in philosophy and his graduate degree in political science. He got his start deejaying when he was a junior in high school when he broke out a PlayStation One and a five-disk CD player to play for a high school dance.
“I really hated the music the high school was booking, so I told them I would (deejay) for free and do a better job,” he said. “Then I just kind of built from there.”
Now, Thompson deejays full-time at events such as weddings, proms, festivals and other parties. He provides different options for DJ packages that cost about $600 to $700, according to his website.
He chose the stage name “DJ B-Funk” as a short, easy and recognizable play on his actual name.
“Every artist has to have (a) name and I went through a few others before that were really bad,” he said. “Coming up with my name was probably one of the more difficult things I came up with.”
Thompson has become a visible figure at many high-profile Athens events. He has performed at the Halloween Block Party for the past six years, and this year, he produced the Lokoween stage at the party before giving the final performance of the night. He also performed at 9Fest in 2012.
His favorite Athens venue to play, he said, is The Union,
Thompson plays several genres of music at his gigs, including hip-hop and pop depending on the kind of venue. His main loves, he said, are EDM genres like house and dubstep.
”I just play dance music that gets people grooving,” he said.
Thompson said with so many people in the business deejaying, it is nice to hear he stands out from the crowd to some.
“I just do my thing and if people like it, then great,” he said. “It’s easy to get
lost in the mix, but it’s nice to know I’m rising above.”
Evan Amerio, a fifth-year senior studying audio production, also deejays at local events including the Halloween Block Party. He met Thompson about four years ago when he first came to Athens.
Amerio said Thompson is set apart from other DJs in the area due to his ability to choose music based on what a crowd seems to prefer.
“He mixes a lot of genres together, not just electronic music,” he said. “He’s very good at finding out what the crowd likes to listen to and making them rowdy.”
Amerio credits his own rise as a local DJ in part to Thompson.
“(Thompson) got me into (deejaying) in front of a crowd more,” he said. “I never would’ve been able to do Halloween without him.”