riffa 5



Henri Charuau, aka DJ RIFFA, can play more than 10 instruments. He has always been a musician. However, as many musicians and artists alike can attest to, it’s not always enough to pay the bills. Recently, Charuau left Richmond, the city where DJ RIFFA was conceived, to take a well-paying banking job in Northern Virginia. But don’t worry; he is still spinning tracks on a regular basis in the capital of the Commonwealth. You can catch him almost every weekend in Richmond’s Fan or Shockoe Slip bringing the party to life. We caught up with DJ RIFFA to discuss the places in Richmond he feels most comfortable, some of his original mash ups of multiple genres, as well as his passion for producing music and establishing new connections within the music scene.

Where do you usually spin, and why do you spin there?

Well, the residency I’ve had the longest is at KAI nightclub in Shockoe Slip, but I play at Bellytimber Tavern here and there.  You can also catch me at Vintage in the Fan.

How, when and why did you get into DJing? How long have you been doing it? What was your original source of inspiration, and do you still find inspiration from this source?

Well, I’ve been a musician since day one. I play [more than] 10 instruments, [though] not all well. After realizing [my] potential, DJing seemed like an awesome option in an ever growing scene. I’ve been doing it since about 2010, but really started playing out in 2012.

riffa 2You used to spin in Richmond. Why did you leave?

Different opportunities presented themselves in the form of a great day job, but I still come back to RVA most weekends to get down with my friends.

Combining totally different genres into one crowd-pleasing track has got to be challenging. Do you do this often, and, if so, do you enjoy the challenge?

My number one attribute is being able to go in and out of genres. I have DJs coming up to me in the club from different cities telling me how much they like the diversity. It’s a great feeling to hear other people in the craft complimenting me; [it] validates most things I’ve worked for.

What has been your favorite spot to spin at and experience as DJ RIFFA?

I love KAI ‘cause it’s where I really got my start, but damnit if Bellytimber Tavern isn’t one of the most off the chain places in RVA. Marithe, Kelsey, and Sean hold me down so hard, and I always have a blast with everyone that comes in.

Do you have a proudest DJ-related achievement? 

Playing my own song at Hat Factory (now closed) with a full crowd for the Caked Up show and having people throw their hands up and jump up and down during it was a pretty cool feeling. It’s neat to make people [react that way].

I dig the track “Carpe Diem: Time to Suck the Club’s Dick (mini mix),” riffa 3possibly because I love the title. What inspired it?

I sat down one day and was like, “Yo, look at all these songs in my recently added [section] of iTunes…. I should do something with these.” So, that mix got made after I finished the rest of my coffee.

What’s your favorite drop in all of electronic music, or the first one that comes to mind?

That’s almost an impossible question, but, I guess, recently one of my favorite drops would have to be the “Party Up (GTA remix)” by DESTRUCTO. Something about that track just makes people want to move and get turned up.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Do you hope to still be DJing?

In five years, I honestly see myself producing more music and really striving to make music a legitimate source of income for myself. I definitely hope to still be DJing.

Which Soundcloud track are you most proud of?

Go to my Facebook page and look out for some updates.  [I] got a few new tracks coming out soon that I’m really proud of.

What Virginia artists do you think deserves more attention?

Be on the lookout for the homie TRE JUSTICE. Dude is doing huge things recently.

For more DJ RIFFA tracks and information, check out his Facebook and Soundcloud pages.


sittasines 1



Walking up to Harrison Street Café on a Saturday morning in late August, I see the new faces of VCU freshman and their families flooding the dirty, street art-covered block of Grace Street. The sun is gleaming with heat rising off the pavement. I’m meeting up with SITTASINES, a young beat producer and record label founder. His music ranges from instrumental hip-hop to crackle-infused lo-fi funk to horn-laden electronic jazz. The talented producer’s real name is Jason Pevy. He is a tall, thin, hip-looking freethinker, who holds himself with a smile and warm vibrations. Rocking a Flying Lotus Until The Quiet Comes t-shirt, modish glasses, and skinny, tattered jeans, Pevy’s style reflects Richmond to the tee. Before making electronic music, he was a post-rock shoegaze guitarist. Now he is turning heads in the growing Richmond electronic music scene with his hypotonic, genre defying beat music.

How did you get into producing?

I got into producing after playing with a band for a couple years in high school. I’ve always been into recording songs, but I didn’t get super into the computer aspect until I began trying to do stuff on my own. I downloaded REAPER for free—the trial version—and I used that for most of my production career. I recently downloaded Ableton Live 9 a couple months ago, and it changed my world. I downloaded 7 for a couple months, but didn’t really understand it. 9, though, is basically like a really detailed SP. I feel like after learning the SP, I was better able to understand how Ableton worked.

Tell me about Satellite Syndicate and how that came about.

That was my buddy Jefferson (BSTFRND). I went to one of his shows last semester, and I met up with him, and we started talking about producing. He seemed really excited about it and was just as into it as I me. A couple weeks later, he had this idea to start a collective for similar producers in the area. We just felt like there wasn’t a huge crowd for it at the time. So, we decided to hit up a couple of people. We’ve got like five official members right now, and we’re trying to keep it around those numbers. It has been pretty successful so far. We’ve only been doing this for a couple months now, and we’ve already played a lot of shows, at least by our standards. We’re playing every other weekend at least.

I love the L.A. beat sound in your music, similar to MAHLION. There’s obviously a FLYING LOTUS influence—what attracted you to that particular sound?

Honestly, I got into beat music completely after hearing Madvillainy. I hadn’t really fucked with hip-hop or anything before, and I heard that record and was like, “Oh my god, this is fucking great.” So, that’s like around the same type of shit I have been listening to ever since. Got into that around four years ago I think.

Your music explores subgenres of electronic music—from future garage to jazz to hip hop. Is it important for you to have that type of diversity in your music?

Definitely. I listen to all types of music really. I’m always trying to pull influences from as many different places as possible to mix up the formula of electronic music. It’s overwhelming how many genres of electronic music there are these days.

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When I interviewed Steve Owen, who is the founder of the Richmond Electronic Collective, he told me he put on your first show. How long had you been producing before you began to play live?

Around three or four years. I hadn’t thought about playing any shows up until that point. I just wanted to work on producing and making my sound as good as I could make it.

What was that transition like?

I had been to a couple of electronic shows—I didn’t have any expectations about it really.  Learning how to do stuff live on the SP was a challenge, but eventually I got it to where I could transition fairly smoothly between tracks.

Tell me about Buddha Tapes Records.

It’s a cassette tape label that I started a year or two ago. I got really into the underground tape scene, and I was trying to press my own stuff to see what that experience was like. I hit up a couple artists and had a couple artists hit me up to do some releases. I’ve done three releases so far, including one of my albums. Our first release was my album. We went to thrift stores and picked up bulk tapes they had lying around: blank tapes and tapes that had already been recorded. We recorded over them and added a label.

Do the tapes come with a digital download as well?

Yeah, when you order it off Bandcamp, you get a digital download code.

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Where do you see the Richmond electronic music scene going?

I would like to continue to see it get larger, get a bigger following, and have more producers start coming out and showing their stuff. There is a lot of potential here to become a big scene.

When is your next performance?

SITTASINES will perform live at The Camel as part of Richmond Electronic Collective’s Satellite Syndicate takeover on September 9.

For more updates on SITTASINES, please “like” his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter and Soundcloud, and check out his releases on Bandcamp.





It’s 9:00 a.m. on a warm, overcast morning. The Richmond air is thick, as I stand outside of Lamplighter Roasting Company on Addison Street. A growing line spills out of the door, leaking a rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee. I’m meeting with Steve Owen, a mid-20’s multi-instrumentalist and electronic producer. He wears thin, chic glasses and has a full, dark beard; his demeanor is laid back, yet professional. While we wait for our order of dark roast, Steve enthusiastically talks about music software with an impressive understanding.

Steve is best known as the bassist of the popular electronic jam band SILO EFFECT. SILO EFFECT landed on the Richmond electronic music scene in 2007 as EXISTOR was on the way out—giving listeners a new psychedelic sound to latch onto. SILO EFFECT captured the hearts of electronic music fans with their vivid melodies, infectious rhythms, and progressive grooves.

More recently, Steve has been making bedroom beats on his MacBook Pro under the alias SANTAKILMAGIK. He sees electronic music as a way to escape the barriers of traditional music and explore the boundless possibilities of contemporary production. In an attempt to bring musicians together and shed light on underground producers, Steve began the Richmond Electronic Collective in February of 2012.

What was the initial inspiration behind Richmond Electronic Collective?

The whole thing started because I was making beats, and I didn’t know any other producers in town except for a couple of my friends. As time went on, I started meeting more people, and it became obvious that there are tons of producers in Richmond—I just didn’t know who any of them were. So I started simply just looking on Soundcloud and Reverbnation with the “sort-by-location” feature. I found everybody from Richmond, hit them up and said, “Hey. I got this idea for putting together a compilation CD.” And that’s all it was—just a compilation CD, at first. From working with SILO EFFECT, I knew the benefit of networking and getting to know people. It’s all about who you know. If nobody knows who you are, you could be incredible, but nobody is going to hear you. So this was the important next step if I wanted to get serious. It did kind of start off as a selfish endeavor for me to say, “Hey. I’m here. I’m making music. Let’s get to know each other.” That’s all it was—I just emailed everybody and said, “What do you think about this idea?”

Also, one of the main reasons this whole thing came about is that I felt there were a lot of DJs getting too much hype, but producers were getting left out or not getting the respect due. And sometime it’s hard to tell the difference. So, I wanted to draw a line in the sand to show that these are the guys who are actually making this stuff.

With a REC Room monthly residency at The Camel on the horizon, are there new producers we can expect to see perform?

We’re actually going to be doing a SATELLITE SYNDICATE takeover in September. It’s five guys; they’re all young as shit, like early twenties, and they’re killing it—like dynamite. SITTASINES and BSTFRND are in it. They are fucking phenomenal.

My whole realization over the course of doing this is that there are pockets all over the city. I just found out about these guys like two months ago. It’s all about bringing people together, whether it’s selfish or not. That’s been the effect: getting everybody on the same page.

Ultimately, the goal is to have a website with everybody’s name who I’ve come in contact with. There are people from two years ago who aren’t even [making] projects anymore, so it would almost be like a Wikipedia of Richmond producers.

At the last REC room, there was a projector with an entrancing light show; how important are visuals with the performance of electronic music?

When there’s a live band, there is enough happening in the moment—for example, people actually playing instruments—to make it entertaining. You’ve got that live interaction. The only live interactions when you’re DJing are effects and the interactions between the DJ and the crowd. As a DJ, you’ve got to really have a personality and a presence on stage to be able to rock a room. The visuals, I think, help to fill in the gaps. It puts something behind you where normally a singer would have a band with lots of motion going on stage to make it interesting. For us, having the visuals kind of puts that back. We have a guy named Dustin Klein, who does our visuals. You should see his rig. The dude’s a Jedi. He definitely elevates the whole atmosphere. It also adds another element. Obviously music is vibrations, but lights have vibrations as well. So you’re being told the same story through different wavelengths.



With two digital compilations and a third underway, are there any plans to make physical copies?

There always has been. The issue has been funding. But also there’s the question: if I’m going to make a physical release, do I make a CD? Do people want CDs? Vinyl would be ideal just because that’s a collectable, and of course it would come with a digital release. At this point, the way the music business is moving with format changes happening faster than ever, I don’t think the physical copy has any purpose other than a collector’s item.

I got some work ahead of me if I’m going to do this, but what I would really like to do is to try to get this funded from various advertisers, and have the back of the record say like The Dominion Collective or The Camel or Turnstyle or Steady Sounds. If we had a bunch of logos on the back—fifty bucks from everyone—that could easily fund the project. I might start hitting people up, and that’s just kind of a door-to-door thing.

When people think of electronic music, they often think of it as synonymous with dance music, but a lot of it is slow, ambient, and abstract. What kind of diversity have you found in the musicians who’ve been involved with REC?

It’s been very diverse. We’ve had some weird stuff. Lately, it’s been a lot of boom bap—very much on the hip hop side of things. We had AKASHA from PARTY LIBERATION FRONT out the other night, and that was definitely a dance show. DJ POSSUM’s stuff is usually a little bit dancier. We had this group 1UPYO, which is Doc B. Wildman and friends. 1UPUO is a weird, conceptual project with characters and time travel, and that was an unexpected dance party. I booked them, and this was early on when I didn’t have a lot of people involved, so I didn’t know what to expect. They [1UPYO] brought a huge crowd and everybody was there to dance. It was really cool.

What is it about Richmond that has inspired you to pursue and promote electronic music here?

I think I’m sick of the separateness of the scenes. Like I said about uniting people, it’s all about who you know, and if you don’t know about them then they don’t exist. For some people, they may see the electronic music scene as disparate or not cohesive. They don’t know about all of these pockets or where everyone is, and I’m starting to get some vantage point on that and I feel like I could do some good by putting them all in one place and making it accessible.

You continue to mention all these pockets that are unknown; do you think that has to do with the fact that many of these producers are creating in their bedrooms?

Absolutely. I did Sittasines’ first show, as well as mahLion’s first venue show. SMOKO, which is BWLR and plaad, had their first show back in February, and BSTFRND will be doing his first venue show at The Camel on July 8th. It’s awesome. I feel really privileged to be the guy pulling people out and saying, “Your shit is awesome. Do this. People will love it.” You need that encouragement. You need feedback; you need positive feedback in order to keep doing it.





Electronic music seems to be dominated by the UK, but it’s going strong in cities like LA, Chicago, and NYC. Do you ever see a time where Richmond will be the map as a prime city for EDM?

I think Richmond will be known for its underground scene because of the size of it. What would be a scene in another city will remain underground here and it’s going to be really good, but it’s not going to have the same worldwide recognition as NY, LA, or Chicago. I see it being kind of a well-kept secret, where if you know about it, you’re floored—you realize what’s going on. It’s possible, but I think the population of the city itself is a barrier. We could develop a reputation of a city like Austin, where it’s a very tight-knit music community that is obsessive about music with a lot of out of towners coming through. Austin is starting to become more of a recording capital as well, and Richmond has a bunch of great studios. I could see that happening.

What are your hopes for the future of Richmond Electronic Collective?

Andrew (MAHLION) and I have been talking about about doing a day festival. We’ve got some really cool ideas. Jefferson (BSTFRND) and I have also been talking about something similar. I actually had the idea of doing a treasure map with different times and locations, even going as far as having a GPS coordinates. We want to do it guerilla style. The whole secrecy thing is fun; it makes it special.

Also, I love the idea of featuring different crews like the Satellite Syndicate takeover I mentioned coming up in September. We may possibly do a Reeverb Entertainment or Just Plain Sounds night in the future. Plus, more out of towners—we’ve got FLITE, a drum & bass producer from Blacksburg doing his first RVA show next month; he recently had a track featured on BBC Radio 1.

Oh, and keep an eye out for Richmond Electronic Collective Vol. 3 out on August 12t!

If someone wants to get involved with Richmond Electronic Collective, what is the best way to go about it? or Just hit me up. Send me a track or two. Just talk to me. I’m an open door.

For more updates on Richmond Electronic Collective, be sure to “like” them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and listen on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.


 DJ CB 1



Originating from Richmond, DJ CARTER BALDWIN has always had a strong affinity for music. Starting at a young age, he played numerous instruments including the keyboard and guitar. Once he began college, he found himself DJing at local house parties, which sparked his initial interest.

He continued his path to becoming a professional DJ by gaining recognition at local clubs, which built connections that helped him gain numerous residencies. Starting with The Lucky Buddha Lounge, he has since gained residencies in Richmond and Washington, DC, including the renowned dance club Off the Hookah and Opera Ultra Lounge, where he performs to over 1,000 people.

DJ CARTER BALDWIN’s shows are energetic and lively, which can cater to any individual with any musical taste—an ability he is especially proud of and useful to the constant changing of venues. We had the opportunity to talk with Baldwin about his career as a DJ, his inspirations, and a potential album in the works.

How did you fall into becoming a DJ?

I have always been a huge music fan. I played instruments, like the guitar and messed around with keyboards. When I went to college, I found myself supplying the music at house parties and it stemmed from that. Then, finding a connection at a venue in Richmond led to working Tuesdays, which led to Wednesdays and so on.

Who are your main inspirations?

As far as inspirations go—A-TRACK, AVICII, TIESTO—they’re huge inspirations. I can only hope to be as big as them, and it’s a huge dream of mine. Also, DJ AM; he took the term, “turntablism” to another level. He could throw any type of genre together, and it seemed seamless. I can only hope to play at the level he did.

With musical acts like AVICII and SKRILLEX, electronic and house music has become bigger and more well-known. What are your thoughts about the genre becoming more mainstream outside of clubs and parties?

I think it’s great. I mean three years ago electronic music was just hitting the scene in Richmond, and now we have EDM radio shows and clubs who play electronic music strictly. People are now paying a ton of money to see them, and it’s getting a lot of publicity.


What do you think separates you from other DJs?

Personally, I’ve always capitalized on the ability to play to any sort of crowd. I’m essentially a chameleon; I can blend into any club and any clientele. I can play whichever type of music is needed to keep the party lively and I can have a great time doing so.

How do you get the crowed hyped up during your performance?

It’s all based on a swing. There are ups and downs to where the venue is happy and the crowd is enjoying themselves. It’s all about reading the crowd and playing the right song at the right time to get the people hyped up. Knowing the atmosphere is key.

How do you practice for your performances?

a. I just kind of empty my room, place my turntables on my desk, and combine sounds to see what works well. I like to practice mash-ups and song combinations that I’ll use live as well. Just to practice hours and hours a week, performing mixes and analyzing all the new music I’m exposed to.


I also read that you maintain residences at multiple locations. How exactly does a residency work?

Getting a residency is about putting yourself out there. Going up to the bar owners and managers as well as making friends with the bartenders and establishing connections. Then hoping the owner will give you a chance to play in the club. I’ve been fortunate to play at a lot of places in Richmond and numerous spots in DC as well. I love to DJ, and getting to play at all these unique places is awesome.

In 2012, you headlined SoRVAFest. Does the festival hold any personal significance? How did you gain the opportunity to headline the festival?

Actually one of my friends had this idea of putting all sorts of musicians, DJ’s and producers into one venue, where every genre of music came together to make a giant festival. He came to me and asked if I would like to be a part of it, and when it came down to it, I got to headline the event. I was one of my favorite moments DJing, and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to perform.

Are you working on any new material?

I’m still in the learning stages of production, and I definitely have visions of putting an album together sooner rather than later. This summer is grind time for me to know the programs and system I use to try and create the best bootlegs, mixes and originals, and anything I can think of and eventually, with the end goal to put out an LP or EP that I can showcase to everybody.

For more updates on DJ CARTER BALDWIN, be sure to “like” his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter and Instagram, and check out his music on Soundcloud.





Known to the rest of the world as Miguel Murillo, DJ MIGS was originally born in Venezuela, and he came to the United States with his family when he was just eight-years-old. His family didn’t move to Virginia until his early-teens, but it was here that DJ MIGS found a home in the local music scene. At first glance, Murillo may not seem like your typical club kid, as he loves being outdoors and his hobbies include surfing, fishing, hunting, and brazilian jiu jitsu. However, music is by far his biggest passion. on his Facebook page, Migs writes, “I’m here to open peoples mind towards dance music and help them have a good time.” We recently had the chance to talk to Migs about how he got started DJing, the types of music that he likes to spin, and what mixes he has in the works.

What attracted you to the DJing/EDM world?
I was never a big club going guy. One day, I went to this event that was held in club/theater, and I saw this guy on stage, someone I am now friends with. He was the only DJ on stage, completely by himself, except for two securities guards on either side. And I just looked at him, and it hit me and I thought, ‘I want to be that guy.’

What was your first show like?
I used to play this place called Steelhouse Tavern, where they held ping pong tournaments. What I used to play there was always new territory for me, because the genres they wanted were different from my genres of choice. It really helped me spin all types of music, and learn to adapt. I used to switch in some of my own styles into the genres they chose, and would kind of trick people into dancing on the floor before they would realize what I’d done.

What is your favorite genre of choice to spin?
Out of everything, I enjoy more tech-house than anything. I float around a bit, and what I play comes down to what my mood is. It’s a jumble, really, but it always focuses on House more than anything else.

What is your favorite genre of choice to listen to?
It’s House, just like what I spin. I hate doing things I don’t like to do, especially when it’s my job or my work. I enjoy music, and I really enjoy House music. One of the reasons I’m good at it is because I really enjoy it; that’s where it comes from. A few years ago, I went to see TIESTO for my first EDM show, and it was life changing. Ever since that, it’s been House music for me.

Is there any genre or element of the EDM world that you wish would make a comeback?
There is nothing I can think of that I’d rather have compared to what is already happening. Everything I’m involved is isn’t really old school, and everything old school that was good enough to deserve a comeback is coming back on its own.

Which sorts of events do you prefer – underground or clubs?
Clubs, without a doubt. Everything is all set up, and all I have to do is plug in and play. There’s security, people to handle the lighting so I don’t have to worry about it. I just walk in, and everything is ready for me to go. The free bar tab helps out too (laughs).


If you were to label your rave persona – industrial, kandi-kid, etc. – what would your style be?
Honestly, I’m the person you don’t expect to rave. If you really knew me, and saw me every day, at school, etc., you’d be like, ‘No, he’s just your typical guy.’ I hunt, I fish, I sometimes hit the club, and I’m just your ordinary club kid there. Really, I’m just a complete mutt of my surroundings.

Weapon of choice: Controller, C-DJ’s, or Vinyl?
As of now, I use a controller because I’m a broke college student and can’t afford a $6,000 nice C-DJ set up. People down in VA aren’t too worried about what you use to play, so there’s not a lot of discrimination against what a DJ chooses to use. I don’t care what you play on, even if it’s a bath tub with buttons; as long as you know what you’re doing and it sounds good.

What are some new mix themes you have in the works? I saw on your Facebook you mentioned a dedication to AVICCI’s new CD?
That CD is really good. I’ve personally played it a few times, and I know only a few people have actually sat and heard the full CD, instead of just parts of it. I’m really glad that he took a new approach to House music. Some of the sounds are actual live instruments that he recorded. On computers, it can’t grab the beat in the exact way. It’s really beautiful, it has the feeling of an actual band, and everything is on beat. I’m glad he took the different approach. For my new mixes, everything changes from month to month. Again, it all depends on my mood. It’s like with other artists, like ADELE for example: she broke up with her boyfriend, and started writing music. When I’m down and not in the mood, I’ll do some mash ups with deep house. In the morning when I’m fresh awake, I’m in the mood to spin some progressive house.

Do you currently only spin, or are you also working on some mash-ups, or producing your own tracks?
Right now, I’m just trying to expand within the community. I’m going to school, and it’s hard trying to find the time to produce my own music, so I’m not focused on that right now. With classes, being in a fraternity, involved with fundraisers, etc., it’s just about getting out there right now for me, and doing what I’m doing well. I’m just going to mellow out, and focus on doing what I want. Down the line, when I have more time, I’ll focus on other things, but I want to do what I’m doing now the best I can, instead of focusing on doing too much.

Any final words?
Turn up or transfer.

For more updates on DJ Migs’s upcoming events and new mixes, “like” his Facebook page and follow him on Soundcloud.