Story by Ari Attack, Editor
10 years in the making, Evan Black also known as DJ Stylistic has come a long way in the local music scene. Coming from a mixtape DJ background – he’s been able to weave in hip-hop, r&b and other areas. He also pushes for wellness, sustainability in black communities and has been vegan for over ten years.
It all started off with his friend who decided to rap, and Evan knew that friend would need a DJ.
“If you’re going to be a rapper in the city, then you’ll need a DJ. Since I’ already interested in DJ’ing, I’m gonna be your DJ,” he said. “I’m DJ Stylistic from now on.”
From there he transitioned from mixtape DJ to club DJ from dedication to learning and building his craft.
“I started making mixtapes. I was a typical hood DJ back then,” he said. “You have to have those growing pains to get where you’re going in a way.”
He laughs when he talks about his early DJ memories, from being signed to labels, making mixtapes, mixing parties, his MySpace page, etc. He remembers the time fondly.
“I’m the type of person that if you say I can’t do it, I’ll prove you wrong,” he said. “I saw a real DJ one time, I knew thats what I wanted to do.”
Through his sister, Evan connected with DJ Limelight – to surround himself with other DJ’s to learn and perfect his skills. He was 20 at the time, not old enough to get into the clubs.
“He showed me some things, but he was the only one I knew. When I turned 21, I basically went to every club he went to, sat and studied. I asked if he could mentor me,” he said.
Limelight was busy, but put Evan in contact with DJ Metrognome, another well known local DJ. Along with DJ Top Speed, he taught a class at the MLK center on how to DJ. Evan became a loyal student, which turned into an instructor a year later.
“They expanded the class, so I started teaching a year after learning how to DJ. From there, I got my first entry way into the club scene – through Topspeed at Club Tru,” Evan said.
The club no longer exists. He got the job with ease and became a nightly DJ, impressed others with his skills – enough to have his own Thursday, Friday nights and become the house DJ. After a while, Evan branched out and quit DJ’ing for almost three years and moved to NYC.
“I was so caught up in trying to live out there. I had to get a job and didn’t have the means to go out and DJ. When I started to come out again, I saw people I could relate to,” he said. “I was motivated to DJ again. The weird thing about Indy, it was like pushing the start button on a video game. I essentially started where I left off at.”
After that, he was asked to teach at Deckademics. Then became one of the DJs for the Pacers. Evan didn’t only want to be known as a DJ, but also someone focused on wellness and sustainability within black communities.
“I’m vegan. Outside of being a DJ, that’s what I’m known for. Yeah, I’m that dude that all about holistic health and good vibes. Also teach people how to eat better. Your body is something you only have one of,” he said.
After helping a few friends transform their lives by changing their diet, he was motivated to keep teaching others. Recently, Evan spoke at a VegFest in Indy.
“People think, once I become vegan – I become this cargo shorts wearing, playin hackey sack. Not true. I wanted to help black people let go of some of those old traditions of soul food, but not lose our identity,” he said. “Western diet is all meat and potatoes, but we didnt have to do all that. Also, the Rastafarian ‘ital’ lifestyle.”
Evan believes in sharing his knowledge with others in the community. Without sharing the info he had would be tragic to withhold from his community. By motivational speaking and one on one conversations – Evan is helping transform his community, one person at a time.
“I knew I wanted to bring that knowledge to the forefront and help others life that lifestyle,” he said.
His newest mixtape, Love and Meditation – which brings love and soul back into music from his eyes. By infusing neosoul with contemporary hip-hop. Listen here, and check the video mix here. Also, check out his website and peep his other releases.