For the last two decades Chicago DJ AFTR has been manning the booth, pumping the beats, and burning up the clubs with his Techno/Tech House infused sound. He now has a single out, “Humboldt Swagger (Wanna Go Down)”, that’s poised to climb the radio charts quicker than you can say, “play it again, Sam…” So without further ado, we introduce to you, AFTR!
NFZ: Guess the best place to begin would be by asking you the origin of your stage name.
AFTR: About 3 years ago I wanted to make a change in scene and genre. At the time I was playing as DRAC and a b2b team called Attack All Robots (AAR) which got me some amazing DJ spots, but I wanted to be more then just DJ. I wanted to be able to play my own music. So I did my first EP called “LOWER IT” and needed a name to stand out from the rest. AFTR (ALONE FOR THE RIDE) was born.
NFZ: Could you tell our readers about what was the inspiration for your new single?
AFTR: The neighborhood I lived in at the time is called Humboldt Park (North Side of Chicago) and it was always a fun time. My roommates, friends, parties and all that inspired Humboldt Swagger’s funky groove.
NFZ: Do you usually collaborate with any other artists when you record?
AFTR: I do not. Normally I work alone, but my previous release “Contagion” and 2 others TBA are collaborations with two very special people in my life; Samantha Rose (ROAZ) and Angelo Pena (Angelo Rizzo). I have also done some remixes/bootlegs with Rick Perez, from the Perez Bro., as my older alias DRAC.
NFZ: How long have you been active in the music business?
AFTR: As a DJ for about 20 plus years, as a producer 3 or 4 years and it has been a rollercoaster.
NFZ: That’s a really wild video your label has out on their YouTube channel? What’s the back story on that?
AFTR: I wanted something sexy and wild – ACRONYM and Pepper Gomez nailed it! Pepper told me she wanted to break barriers about beauty ideals. Her lyrics are deeper than the surface. So the music plus the vocals and the poetry ended up bringing this visual in the video
NFZ: How did you and the Wake Up! Music label get together for your releases?
AFTR: We met, believe it or not, through FaceBook and we started talking about tracks. I actually had the music for Humboldt Swagger done but needed something so I sent it over to Pepper and when I got it back the vox on it was amazing. In the meanwhile she was talking to our mutual friend Benji Espinoza who was telling her how much he liked my Techno music – the rest is history. I signed with Wake Up! Music.
NFZ: Chicago house music has been around for decades. What’s going on in Chicago’s with DJs like you in current house music scene?
AFTR: There’s so much good house music dropping from down tempo to bass house, sometimes its hard to keep up.
NFZ: Are you involved in any political causes or charitable actives?
AFTR: I’m very vocal with my political views. I’m not famous yet, or have millions of followers, but I do feel I can have a voice for those that can’t be heard. I have done a few charity DJ guest spots. The last one was DJ Against Cancer, put together by the homie in South Africa: Leon Van Eeden from BeatFrequency, last month.
NFZ: So far, what was your favorite venue to DJ at and why?
AFTR: Exit Chicago will always be my favorite, it’s dark, loud, and the crowd there is amazing.
NFZ: Any particular current artists you’d care to work with?
AFTR: Will Clarke, I think we kind of have the same style producing Tech House and Techno music.
NFZ: What’s the best way for your fans to follow and/or get in touch with you?
AFTR: I can be reached on pretty much all social media platform:
And of course through my record label:
NFZ: What is something about you that your fans don’t know and would probably surprise them?
AFTR: I love Country music and short walks to the bar. Thank you for your time!
NFZ: The pleasure was ours