Carnivale loves being your colorful alternative to the drab ordinary or the non-stop pounding of 24-hours news. One of the arrows in our quiver: music! And just like our food, decor, beverages, and overall ambiance, we shoot for the moon. If you’ve spent much time on the scene in Chicago over the past decade, chances are you’ve seen My Boy Elroy in one capacity or another. Beyond being a deep house DJ, he performs with Grammy-nominated Liquid Soul, is the musical director for Midnight Circus (which produces Circus in the Parks), and regularly performs with countless bands, including an original project with Kris Myers from Umphreys McGee called Johnny Derp.
Can you tell that we’re excited to add him to our regular lineup of entertainment?
We sat down with the man himself to pick his brain and find out a little more about how he went from David Arredondo to My Boy Elroy and became part of the Carnivale family.
The Path to Turntablism?
It’s hard to say that there was an actual path or calling for me to becoming a DJ as it was just being around people who owned turntables and vinyl that I looked up to in my younger teen years. The first time I was able to touch the platters in a way that I was able to pull record after record out in an attempt to blend tracks and/or scratch was in 1998 after a friend of mine who threw art gallery events at his home in San Diego and let me dig through his crate.
As much of the influence that I have had since I was born in a very musical family, it was deep house that I fell in love with immediately. Still, the challenge of matching tracks with two different beats per minute was so much fun for me, especially with my background as a drummer from my early youth.
So you can definitely say that just being around rhythm my whole life made it very fun for me to want to manipulate it as well as create a vibe in the room that made everybody feel good with me at the helm!
My biggest influence growing up has been and always will be Michael Jackson. I was always infatuated with entertainers who danced and sang shamelessly! To name a few more, Freddie Mercury will always go down in history as one of the greatest artists that ever lived in my opinion as well as the entire band of Queen (to this day my favorite band ever!). Of course prince was a big one and James Brown and so many more I could be here all day! Lol
To be honest, it’s amazing how some of my
favorite gigs are either ones that are completely intimate or completely out of control. Some of my
favorite moments range from underground parties thrown all over the country to moments like opening up for Massive Attack
at the Riviera here in Chicago not even a year after moving to Chicago!
Then to playing with my
band Digital Tape Machine headlining Electric Forest in 2013. And there was the night when we opened for Primus
at all good festival for 20,000 people. What a dream come true that was seeing that many fans dancing to our music I was in heaven.
Then there are moments like when I flew over seas with my
band Liquid Soul
To open up for Stevie Wonder in Austria. Or opening for B.B. King at the House of Blues here in the Windy City when I got to kneel down next to him after the show and tell him how grateful I am for his influence on my
mother and in turn me. What a blessing that was!
Well, my new residence at Carnavale took many years in the making and came unexpectedly at the same time the best possible time. About 10 years ago I was playing a show at Kenmore life Studios with my band Liquid Soul and met Brynn (Carnivale’s newest member of the crew) whose boss had asked me to DJ his private event.
Brynn was there, she really liked my energy and musical taste and then years down the road I got the call from her to be one of the new resident DJs. So blessed, we come a long way. Love you Brynn!
So one of the things that I would say defines me as a DJ is my ability to adapt and perform through eclectic environments from hip-hop to funk and soul to Disco to house to live performance beat boxing etc. But what we got cooking ranges from our Samba night to our Brunches to our Industry nights Where the music will range from down tempo and chill out to your house and funky house to hip-hop rock and some potential mashup’s of classic songs songs that have been produced in the past two decades.
Exactly where I love to be, expressing all forms of music to all forms of people and there just couldn’t be a more ideal place for this than Carnivale!