Former DJ Angel Castillo merges music and technology with BPM Music

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Mexican-American entrepreneur Angel “AROCK” Castillo is convinced that anyone can become a DJ. The San Diego, Calif. native remembers being so mesmerized by the DJ at one of his school dances and his ability to run the whole room that he decided to take up the art form at the age of 12. “That’s when I realized music was going to be a big part of my life,” he told Remezcla on a Zoom call.

Castillo eventually landed a job at a local radio station and continued to work as a professional DJ for most of his adulthood before focusing on the digital evolution underway in the early 2000s. Now with more than two decades in the industry under his belt, he is the founder and CEO of BPM Music, a music and technology company with one of the largest music and video libraries designed specifically for DJs. He is also the founder of BPM Supreme; a record pool turned digital music service and mobile app that mediates between DJs and record labels.

Castillo traces the origins of BPM Music to two key moments. While at the radio station, he encountered a constant problem: labels often emailed him new music, which made the download process slow and cumbersome. Additionally, Castillo was still actively DJing when friends began asking about certain versions of songs he had put in his sets and the production techniques he was using. He focused on accelerating the process of discovering new music to get both classics and buzz-worthy new tracks into the hands of DJs as efficiently as possible. “That’s when I stepped back and said, ‘Instead of trying to be the superstar, why don’t I make everyone else superstars? “, he said.

“That’s when I stepped back and said, ‘Instead of trying to be the superstar, why don’t I make everyone else superstars? “”

While the heyday of DJs painstakingly sifting through stacks of vinyl records in hopes of finding the perfect song to energize the masses may be behind us, browsing BPM’s catalog evokes a comparable sense of excitement. to that of digging boxes. This is indicative of the founder’s eclectic musical tastes.

Castillo grew up on a steady diet of hip-hop and house music. Now, he mentions that he’s been a longtime fan of Tijuana-based banda superstars like Group Firm. The expansive collection contains upbeat four-on-the-floor remixes of Bad Bunny’s “Efecto,” moombahton-influenced productions like Venezuelan DJ and producer Talal Mezher’s “Elantra,” and g-funk-tinged mashups from J Dilla and Snoop Dogg. It’s sure to appeal to budding DJs experimenting with instrumental versions of Top 40 material, but also to cumbia purists or those looking to delve into more niche subgenres like electronic guaracha.

The carefully curated library is also a testament to how Castillo’s immediate and deep connection to DJ culture ultimately changed the trajectory of his life and how he hopes to inspire a new generation of Latin DJs and creatives alike.

“[DJing] it’s about connecting with your audience and reaching them emotionally,” he says. “It’s about playing something at the right time, being nimble as a DJ and changing something if it’s not going well… You see that all the time at concerts. I just went to see Bad Bunny and it was really memorable. It’s not just someone who plays an entire album and calls it a day. There’s a strategy behind it all…DJs need to realize that they are the club’s Bad Bunnys, you know?

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