DJ Funktual aka the Sample Junkie is the host of a YouTube channel (25k subs) devoted to crate diggin', record stores and all things on 45rpm vinyl. His internet presence led to a series of UK gigs, including one opening up for James Brown's band Fred Wesley and the JB's. In 2016, he was featured in Newsweek debating Prince samples with Tonight Show bandleader Questlove of The Roots. These days he can be found at Sweet Liberty every Wednesday hosting the all vinyl party The Hump.
For DJ Iron Lyon, DJing was a calling that appealed to him early in life. Hailing from Western Massachusetts, Lyon learned of his love for music at an early age. His father, a bass player, initially inspired him with his regular play of funk and soul records. Then at the age of fourteen, Lyon began collecting his own records, never thinking that in the years to come he would find himself working alongside many of the artists that once sparked his initial love for music.
Lyons’ career began to take off when he joined up with a local collective called the True Crew. The group ran Asylum, a well known nightclub in his local Springfield, where he landed his first major DJ residency. During those years, he garnered the attention of promoters in New York City, and soon began travelling to DJ there.
It wasn’t long before he decided to make a permanent move to NYC, where his career began to really take shape. While working for street wear brand Triple 5 Soul, and music stores including Satellite and Fat Beats Records by day, he began taking on DJ gigs at night.
Soon enough he was a regular at premier venues like One Oak, Gold Bar and Butter. His DJ rotation also included Roxy Cottontail’s Legendary Sway Mondays, Vashtie Kola’s 1992 Party, and Tuesdays at Greenhouse alongside legends Questlove, Q-Tip, Jazzy Jeff, Kid Capri, DJ Premier, Clark Kent, Biz Markie and Funk Master Flex. Iron Lyon also performed at Vashtie and Q-Tip’s Open event at Santos Party House alongside DJ Premier and DJ Scratch.
Once he made his name in NYC, Lyon decided to try his hand at the Miami market, but soon into his move an unfortunate car accident left him with little use of one arm. Despite the setback, he started to DJ where he could, with the use of his one good arm, while he recovered. Eventually he was doing regular gigs at clubs Story, FDR, Set, and Mansion. Currently he plays nearly every night at premier Miami venues including headliner roles at Rockwell, Wall, Club E11even and Rec Room among others.
Style wise, Iron Lyon is just as comfortable playing at hip-hop, classics and reggae events as he is doing open format, private events for Fashion Week or Art Basel. Lyon is also no stranger to rocking celebrity heavy rooms. He’s performed for a number of VIP events hosted and attended by guests including Lebron James, Jay Z, Beyonce, Drake, Rihanna, Diddy, Maxwell, The Weeknd, Leonardo DiCaprio and Scarlett Johansson to name a few. Brands from Adidas, Puma, and Red Bull to Ciroc and Hennessy have requested him as the soundtrack to important events.
His diverse range of sound has brought him on tour throughout Japan, Europe, Canada and Brazil and he’s released countless mixes and original productions. Over the years Lyon has also been the DJ for performances for artists including Nas, Miguel, J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Rae Sremmurd, Pusha T, DJ Khaled, Method Man, Slick Rick and Too Short.
When it comes to his approach to DJing, for Iron Lyon, DJing is not about being an expert at one genre. Instead he prefers the idea of mixing a cross section of sounds together. It’s the actual craft of turntablism and the art of blending genres that really inspires him. He also cherishes the experience of building a crowd reaction and using that shared energy to elevate his sets. As a DJ he marries a seemingly effortless precision with a carefully perfected skill level and knowledge for music that makes him one of Miami’s most sought after DJs.