You’ve probably seen their heavy-metal inspired logo in the corner of a number of event fliers. Whether it was to do a set for a Craig Xen show, a Smoke Purpp collaborative show with Plus Minus, or their own series of infamous “Yungins Get Hyphy” events, Death Amphetamine knows how to get the crowd moving (most likely by going dumb in a moshpit). The collective of DJs, producers, and visual artists consists of 7 members, most of which met at different times during their time attending El Cerrito high and even through the internet. The collective which consists of 7 members — Adrian, Lindsey, Elison, Peace, Jeff, Jason, and Isa — are all Bay Area natives (except for Isa) and under 21 years in age.
Born January 2016, Death Amphetamine came together with the common goal of throwing shows to bring people together for a good time. The group, which consists entirely of artists who are close friends, all share similar musical taste, and has been on fire since their first show in February.
“The growth has been crazy,” says Adrian, the youngest member of the group at 17 years old. “We’re either working on shows or working on mixes.”
Every member dabbles in a little bit of everything. Together, the seven contribute mixes to the collective, play sets at events, organize and host their own events, design clothing, and more. To learn about the 6 Bay Area based members, read about each one on the following page.
Adrian Corpus, 17
Goes by Yung Adrian
At seventeen years old, Adrian is the youngest member of Death Amphetamine. In 2015, as a junior at El Cerrito High, he would go to fellow member Lindsey’s house after class and watch him mix. This inspired him to pursue mixing himself. He describes his sound as “calm jazz with a mix of hyphy and violent, very vulgar music… and a little bit random.” His artistic influences are predominantly local Bay Area artists, but he mentions a range of inspiration (21 Savage, Lil B, Waka Flocka, 2 Short, and more). When he’s not mixing and organizing shows for Death Amphetamine, Adrian dabbles in photography or designs streetwear. He is currently focusing on a project called “Lowkey”, a compilation of 100 collaborative mixes that he plans on dropping at the very end of 2016.
Lindsey Vernon, 18
Goes by Lindsey
When asked how he would describe his sound, Lindsey answered with one word — sad. Influenced by a mixture of classic jazz singing and dark rap (mentioning artists such as Sade, older Earl Sweatshirt, Cortex, Erykah Badu, and anyone making fusion jazz), he got his start in mixing music about 3 years ago. Originally, he treated it as a mere hobby, without knowing “people were actually doing sets outside of their home.” He had his eyes opened to the scene when he started going to local events. Lindsey plays around with piano and has toyed with producing, but prefers to stick with mixing and networking. He likes getting people involved with the group, promoting, and booking artists for Death Amphetamine shows. For his future plans, he plans on setting up their website and dropping more merchandise.
Elison Bailey IV, 19
Goes by Elison
Elison’s eclectic style is displayed physically through his fashion and sonically through his mixes. In his senior year at El Cerrito High, he stumbled upon Virtual DJ and started mixing, eventually developing the dark and versatile sound he has now. His mixes have a standard progression: hype to happy, mellow music, to sad, dark songs that lead back to mellow sounds, and end with hype. He draws inspiration from a number of places, including sub-genres of metal, the diversity of the Bay Area (and its ‘80s thrash-metal scene), and especially from Bones, an artist known for his versatility. Elison doesn’t want to be known for any one thing; he wants to be known by all that he identifies as, “not just being the livest in the mosh pit, not just mixes.” He’s currently working on a handful of mixes as well as designing clothes.
Jeff Wright, 18
Goes by Smakalak
Like the majority of Death Amphetamine’s members, Jeff, who goes by the artist pseudonym of Smakalak, is an alumni of El Cerrito High. Starting fresh out of middle school, he splits his focus equally between mixing and producing, something inspired by watching his friend’s father professionally DJ. For his mixes, Jeff describes his style as “hyphy depression trap,” inspired by hip-hop from the bay and beyond, as well as by every member in Death Amphetamine. His personal production has a heavier trap influence: “It’s always some type of trap beat,” he said. He’s always working on personal production aside from his mixes and currently plans on drop more of his own tracks and clothing soon..
Peace Taylor, 20
Goes by Peace
Peace’s passions are as varied as his musical style. His goals include making mixes that feature everyone in Death Amphetamine, making his own cartoon, and taking over the world. Currently, he’s working on his first tape, as well as studying animation in San Jose. At 20 years old, the oldest member of Death Amphetamine, Peace balances a chill personality with a sense of urgency — and you can see it in his music, which he describes as “a kaleidoscope, a mixture of everything that sounds good.” Most mixes consist of slow tempo tracks; his newer songs are mixed with older house music (such as Daft Punk), but if working with other members, Peace likes to switch his sound: “I’m always tweaking things… I want to put out the best I can, whether it’s a painting or a drawing, or a mix.”
Jason Clemente, 19
Goes by Champloo Papi
It all started in 2012, during his sophomore year of high school, when a friend Jason bought DJ hero for his PS3. Playing the game while witnessing friends take mixing seriously led him to believe that being a DJ was something he could pursue. Aside from mixing, he focuses on creating mashups of songs. He’s currently working on the “Guava City Tape”, a combination of mixes and mashups that encompass his perspective of the Bay Area — “music I recall driving through the city listening to,” he described. On top of this project, he also plans to work on designing new apparel for Death Amphetamine.
Photos and article by Eileen Syrop