On The Record: DJ Infamous Styles
BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Meet Matthew Branciere. Better known as DJ Infamous Styles, he’s a hardworking, humble guy who paid his dues. House parties, baby luaus, empty clubs on slow nights; you name the gig and he’s played it, sometimes just for the experience, other times for the love.
Welcome to the life of a DJ intent on making a name for himself. Looking back on those experiences, he said it was worth the effort. It took three long years, but he eventually broke out of the background and landed residencies at Mad Dog Saloon and the now-closed Zanzabar Nightclub and The Cellar in Waikiki.
These days, the Aiea native is the busiest he’s ever been, reaping the rewards of opportunity gained via his early sacrifices.
“At one point, I worked 14 days straight because I work for everyone,” Branciere said.
Asked to explain why his style is so “infamous,” he said it’s about being crowd-friendly without selling his soul and becoming a jukebox DJ.
“I started out (into hip-hop) like everyone else … but as time progressed, EDM became mainstream,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s about getting everybody to dance. My style has always been (to play) what the people like to hear.”
Branciere gets his party clientele at The Crown in the groove by playing island jams and reggaeton. Pop and EDM hits reign supreme when he’s at Upstairs Waikiki or Michelle’s, his two other current residencies.
“Sometimes I like to do me and mix it up a little so I won’t be the same DJ (who) just plays the hits,” he said. “That’s how people get to know you, by the certain way you DJ and pick and mix songs.”
Branciere considers himself a go-with-the-flow type of guy, but the act of undercutting (when another DJ charges a lesser rate in order to lock down a gig) is one of the few things that gets under his skin. He estimated he’s at least 20 gig opportunities due to the practice.
“There are a lot of upcoming DJs undercutting for $50 (or) less, or even play for free,” he said. “Man, I see all these DJs under cutting other DJs (who) are obviously (a) better fit for the gig.”
And so it goes, all is not always fair in the DJ world. DJ Infamous Styles will continue to press on, representing Hawaii DJs the best he can.
“I try to be different by being unpredictable, so people don’t get bored with the music and the energy is like a roller coaster ride,” he said. “Hopefully everyone that is there has a good time.”
Kalani Wilhelm covers nightlife and music for the Pulse. Contact him via email or follow him on Twitter.