Interview By Kei Renee
If you’re in the DJ space, you’ve probably used BPM Supreme to stay up to date on all the new music releases and keep your music catalogs fresh. If you’re not in the DJ space then you’re probably like girl, what is BPM Supreme? Don’t worry, later on in this story we’re going to get into all of that but before we do I wanted to help you get a little more familiar with the man behind the brand and what prompt the creation of BPM Supreme.
Angel “AROCK” Castillo, the CEO of BPM Supreme got into the music industry at the age of 18 at the local radio station Z90.3 in San Diego. He spent a few years there developing his craft and building relationships. While doing this he noticed there was a problem that needed to be solved. For every DJ there were 10 producers with music ready to go, but there wasn’t an easy process that helped Dj’s get easy access to this music. So, in 2010 the young entrepreneur launched BPM Supreme; a platform that merges technology and music in a way that’s helped hundreds of DJs streamline their businesses and grow their audience.
“The goal is to become an overall music brand,” said AROCK. “ We consider ourselves more of the music provider and a tool they [ DJ’s ] use to discover music. In the eyes of BPM Supreme, we help Dj’s discover music.”
Ten years later, AROCK has stayed committed to that goal. Now, the father of two is looking to tap into another market and have the same success that he’s had in the world of DJ’ing. Read more down below to learn about what AROCK and BPM Supreme are doing to advance the careers of upcoming and active producers!
Tell me the story behind the creation of BPM Supreme?
It was around 2006 when digital DJing began to get popular and I realized that there needed to be a simpler way for DJs to get the music they need to create amazing events. I thought if I could put all of the hit tracks that record labels wanted to promote in one central location, or on a website in this case, that it would make my life easier as a DJ and the same for tons of other DJs as well. Of course, it wasn’t so simple in the beginning, as you can imagine. Building the website and platform took a few years, and over time I’ve worked with record labels and independent artists to fill the catalog. BPM Supreme today is the leading music source for DJ-ready music, meaning not just new releases, but exclusive remixes, edits, and versions, plus we have built partnerships with over 100 record labels.
What influence has your journey with music had on how you grow and develop BPM Supreme?
Developing and building BPM Supreme really all started because I was a DJ myself back then and I realized that there was a need for a service like this. I always loved watching the way a DJ could move a crowd and I was inspired to learn, so I got into DJing at a young age, I’d say around 12 years old. My father is one of the main reasons I was able to learn to DJ after he gifted me my first set of turntables, so I really give him credit for everything and the way everything has unfolded for me. DJing back then was very different, and it was much more difficult to get music – especially the music that DJs need. So when I was able to put the pieces together and create this place for DJs to go and feel at home, it was very personal and very fulfilling. It’s amazing to see how the platform has grown since then, and how the brand has grown as well. We’re really all about the music community and about providing tools that will help musicians thrive and excel in their careers.
What pivot strategies have you implemented with BPM Supreme to continue growing during the pandemic?
Well, just as I mentioned that we are in it with the DJ community and the music community as a whole, that has been our outlook throughout this entire pandemic. Music is a constant for us. It’s the one thing that brings us all together, it’s a creative outlet, and it’s an escape for a lot of people. With that in mind, our team did not waste any time creating ways to help DJs and producers while they were at home. We hosted a ton of workshops on BPM TV on our platform, as well as a ton of Instagram Live discussions, including one of my favorite discussions, and I believe one of the most valuable, with DJ Jazzy Jeff. On top of that, we also created a “Remixer Initiative” program that allowed remixers and producers to send us their tracks for potential paid opportunities on our platforms. We never really slowed down! The launch of BPM Create ushered in a partnership and remix contest with T-Pain, which was another great way for music makers to stay creative while at home. That was the main goal throughout 2020 – keep the music community inspired and keep them working.
You’ve launched a new extension to the brand, BPM Create what’s that all about?
Yes, the BPM Supreme brand is growing! In addition to BPM Supreme and BPM Latino, our Latin music subscription service, we also just recently launched BPM Create, an online sample library dedicated to producers, DJs, and music makers of all kinds. Similar to our other services, BPM Create offers monthly subscriptions that give you access to samples, musical stems, FX, loops, one-shots, instruments, and MIDI files. Producers can download individual sounds for a few credits apiece and browse a huge library of only the highest quality content. There are also a ton of sound packs across all genres that are there to inspire creativity. We’ve teamed up with some of the most talented sound designers in the industry to compile a ton of sounds for the site. In fact, we launched in August with over 100k sounds and samples available to download, and just this week, we surpassed 200k, so it’s safe to say the library is growing fast.
What advantage will BPM Create give to upcoming or current producers?
It’s exciting to offer this new tool to the producer and music community for many reasons, the first being that we can’t wait to see the music that will come out of BPM Create. The sounds that you’ll find on this platform are meant to be turned into top hits and radio hits. There are trending sections so you know what’s most popular, and there are also great features like ‘similar sounds’ and ‘favorite’ that let producers start to build their own sound library based on past downloads. Our goal when creating the platform was to not only make it aesthetically pleasing but to surpass other similar types of services in functionality and affordability. Having an easy-use sound library for just $4.99 is an invaluable tool for newer producers, DJs who want to get into music production, or anyone who just enjoys sitting down and making beats. Plus, with the attention to detail and level of quality of the content on BPM Create, I’m confident even the most experienced producer can find what they need.
Where do you see the future of the music industry in terms of DJs and producers post COVID-19?
Oh man, I think the music industry and the DJ scene specifically are going to have a major comeback – I mean like circa 2012 bottle service days – they’re coming back [laughs]. People are missing live music so much, and the experience of connecting with your favorite artist or DJ face to face. It’s only a matter of time before we’re able to have those experiences again. I do think we’re a little way away from massive festivals and large events, but I’m already starting to see DJs play at local restaurants and bars, and the feedback from patrons is incredible. As a society, I think we appreciate the little things more now, and I think that is really going to benefit the music industry in the long run. We’ve learned so many lessons, and pivoted our strategies in entertainment. We have to all stay strong and stick together until we reach the end of this thing, but I think in the end it will just make the industry better and stronger.
What advice do you have for upcoming DJs who want to follow in your footsteps and build a flourishing brand?
My best advice is to figure out what you want and keep your eyes on the prize, as cliché as that sounds! It’s important to keep your goals in front of you and keep working towards them. Edit your plans as needed but keep working toward that bigger picture. Success looks different to everyone, ya know? So whether you decide you want to travel the world as a touring DJ, or start a business in your hometown, just have a clear focus of what you want to achieve. Also, remember there’s no point in looking behind you – at the people that said you couldn’t do it, the mistakes you might make along the way – whatever is behind you, leave it there and push forward.
Dedicated to Humberto Elvira
“Family isn’t defined only by last names or by blood; it’s defined by commitment and by love.” – Dave Willis