The key to continued success for any DJ lies within constant evolution. What were once just two turntables and a mic became two CDs and eventually one laptop. However, Video DJ Chris Landry is now spearheading the latest movement in deejaying, combining audio and visual into one experience.
Chris Landry started spinning in 1988. Raised on a healthy diet of Punk and Hip-Hop, Landry first began as a multi-instrumentalist in Punk and Rock bands. His knack for percussions and strings led to the desire of combining those sounds. “To me listening to the Dead Kennedys was almost the same as listening to NWA or Boogie Down Productions,” he says, “angry and aggressive with something to say.” Deejaying became a natural extension of that desire to blend sounds.
While getting started on the club circuit, Landry was dividing his time as a music industry executive. As A&R for Profile Records and Funkmaster Flex’s Franchise Records, Landry eventually started his own company Sure Shot Recordings. At Sure Shot, Landry was responsible for the release of some of Hip-Hop’s biggest acts like Talib Kweli, Ghostface Killah, Rakim, Freeway, and more. Slowly but surely, the cataclysmic changes in the music industry led to Landry pursuing deejaying full time.
Already having a heavy hand in deejaying, Chris saw a technological shift in turntablism and began video deejaying. “Video deejaying doesn’t just mean playing a music video. In many cases for House and Electro music, videos don’t even exist. That’s where the creation comes into play. “We like to have special videos that the people in the club haven’t seen on TV or YouTube,” Landry says. “We’ll take a popular song and take a video and make it more exciting and interesting.”