It wasn’t very long ago that a bizarre and glorious new sound began creeping out of nightclubs in Chicago. Before this future music captivated the world, before it spread to London and New York, before it was even given a name, this new sound captured the imagination of a young Chicago teenager who prior to coming out of his teens would have a name synonymous with Chicago House Music: That name was Bad Boy Bill.
Beginning his career when he was a freshman in High School, it was a time when most people hadn’t even heard of House Music yet. But for Bill it was a fresh and amazing sound and he had to be involved. Influenced heavily by the Legendary Hot Mix 5, Bill spent day and night working on his craft eventually catching the eyes of the very radio stations he spent all of his time listening to. By the time he graduated high school Bill was a regular on the radio and one of the most popular DJ’s in Chicago.
While only a teenager Bad Boy Bill was already releasing music on a label he founded with his friend Mike “Hitman” Wilson called “International House Records”. Bills tracks were being played by DJ’s all over the country while his DJ Schedule was getting so busy that he was booked almost every night of the week. It seemed that Chicago could not get enough of Bad Boy Bill and he gave them what they wanted working endlessly mixing on the radio, making mix Cd’s, producing music and Deejaying at nightclubs clubs he wasn’t even old enough to get in to.
Bill’s passion for House Music and his astounding natural ability behind the turntables eventually led him to the competition scene where he would win numerous DJ Battles across the country including placing in multiple DMC Championships. Bill constantly pushed the envelope and came up with incredible style and techniques to punish his competition including a performance so infamous it was censored on the DMC contest video.
While still very young The Bad Boy Bill legacy continued to take off with his “Hot Mix” mix tape series. During a time when you couldn’t drive down the streets of Chicago without hearing Bad Boy Bills Hot Mixes blasting out of someone’s speakers, the tapes spread throughout the city as everyone had to have them as soon as they came out. Selling out of the trunk of his car and at local record stores, it became nearly impossible to keep up with the demand, which led Bill to his next venture of starting the record company Mix Connection Multimedia.
Mix Connection’s first order of business was to make Bill one of the first DJ’s to sell legal mix tapes at major retail stores. The fully licensed “Bangin the Box” mix series was the first of its kind and sold hundreds of thousands of copies in stores around the world. As Bill’s mix-tape sales increased, so did Americas fascination with electronic music. Word began to spread throughout the country about Bad Boy Bill and he quickly started to get booked across America and abroad making Bill one of the earlier touring DJs and thus paving the way for what were to become todays “Rockstar” DJ’s.
As Bill’s popularity increased, he kept his feet firmly rooted in Chicago’s House scene, expanding the Mix Connection empire by forming the legendary labels Moody Recordings and re-inventing International House Records (IHR). The labels were a huge success and allowed Bill to discover talent in Chicago as well as other parts of the world releasing some of the era’s best house music including Paul Johnsons “Get Get Down” which was one of the highest selling house records of all time. Bill continued to expand the company forming additional labels under the Mix Connection Umbrella.
In the 2000’s Bill continued his innovation, taking the concept of DJ mix to the next level with his “Behind the Decks” CD/DVDs. The DVD’s again were the first of their kind and unlike the typical mix CD, came fully stocked with live show footage, incredible visuals and lots of behind the scenes footage which gave fans a chance to truly get a feel of what its like to be on the road and in the studio with Bad Boy Bill. Bills dominance of the House Music scene, his one of a kind mix releases, his incredible live shows (which now became some of the first DJ shows to include live custom visuals along with his own team of dancers) combined with the success of his record labels led Bill to be crowned as Americas Favorite DJ by BPM Magazine in 2003 as well as in 2006.
Always one step ahead of the pack, it was in this same era that Bill foresaw the industry’s shift to digital media, and teamed up with a small group of friends to co-found Beatport.com. Starting out as a small website Beatport quickly exploded and revolutionized the DJ world and has now become the worlds leading distributor of electronic music.
In 2009, after years of touring and industry innovation, Bad Boy Bill finally made time to accomplish his goal of producing his own album. Bad Boy Bill “The Album” was a long time coming and it did not disappoint the thousands of fans who eagerly awaited its release. The record was a huge success on multiple levels with singles such as “Falling Anthem” and “Do What You Like” topping dance charts all over the world while other tracks were quickly licensed for use on TV shows and Commercials.
While Bill continues to go strong with an intense tour schedule and countless hours in the studio working on upcoming releases; one thing that will not change is his fans demands for Bad Boy Bills signature Mix Cd’s. The “Behind the Decks Radio show” a monthly podcast and free download became Bills answer to the swarms of fans that constantly asked him for new mixes. Unlike other podcasts the Behind the Decks radio show gives you the feel of a live Bad Boy Bill DJ set filled with exclusive tracks and Bad Boy Bill style mixing and scratching. Upon its launch the radio show was immediately picked up by radio stations across the world for syndication.
In an industry that’s notoriously fickle, and regularly dethrones it’s top DJs for the next big thing, Bad Boy Bill has consistently stayed ahead of the pack. His innovation has shaped the industry, not just behind the decks, but in every aspect of the business. Bad Boy Bill is the rare embodiment of past, present, and future. He will always be a legend for his contribution to the EDM world, he is lauded for what he’s doing today, and the industry and his legions of fans are always wondering what he will do next.