DJ legend Grandmaster Flash will be at BPM to play a set in the Main Arena at 5pm on Saturday 1st October ... WITNESS HISTORY!
During Hip-Hop's nearly 30-year history, few names have become as well known to music lovers across the globe as that of Grandmaster Flash. Not only is he responsible for inventing the musical genre called ‘Hip-Hop‘ and a worldwide musical culture, but his pioneering use of the turntables make him The First DJ to play the Turntables as a Musical Instrument thus helping to elevate the status of the DJ to a masterful, artistic position. He is universally recognized as a visionary artist. He is also responsible for assembling one of the earliest and greatest rap groups of all time 'Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five'. These are some of the hallmarks of a career which has extended from the Bronx in the early 1970s to all corners of the globe into the 21st century.
Joseph Saddler, professionally known as 'Flash', was born and raised in the Boogie down Bronx, and it was the area's streets and nightlife that provided his inspirations. He developed his first crush on vinyl when he was just a boy playing with his father‘s records. By the time he was a teenager, studying electronics and engineering in school by day, he was already spinning records at block parties and in public parks.
Studying one particular DJ, known as Kool Herc, one of his greatest influences apart from his very own father, and monitoring the crowd's responses, led him to create and elevate this turntable art form as he developed such innovative turntable techniques as rearranging the arrangement of recorded songs and by extending the break in those recorded songs. He did this by using duplicate copies of a vinyl record and by manipulating his wrist and elbow moving it back and forth. He was scientifically inventing and demonstrating such methods and concepts he collectively called 'The Quick Mix Theory'. This encompassed the innovative technique of 'Cutting' which laid the foundations for what became known as 'Scratching' (along with its many off shoots: 'crab scratching', 'transforming' and 'flaring') as well as the 'Doubleback/Back Door', 'Phasing' and 'Backspinning'. Then came the 'Clock Theory' which allowed Flash to find the break of a recorded song quickly by eye, with vinyl marked by tape or crayon. This manual display of taking a song apart and rearranging its structure live on stage contributed to the early development and rise of the DJ as a Remixer, Artist, and Producer.
These innovations quickly became recognized worldwide, and put both Flash and the Bronx on the worldwide musical map. Bill Gates, founder and chairman of Microsoft Corporation, recently honoured Flash with the 'DJ Vanguard Award' for being the first to utilize the turntables as a musical instrument.
Hip-Hop Culture was created in 1971 by three DJs, Flash being one of them, and then, contrary to popular belief, came the graffitti writers and the breakdancers, and the MCs followed much later. Flash recorded the unique sounds he created, and in 1977 began experimenting and collaborating with local MCs and put together his own group who became known as 'Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five'. Their reputation grew around Flash's unrivaled DJ skills and the group's blending and trading of lyrics. Flash also gained notice for the visually dynamic and acrobatic way he could spin and scratch records using his feet, toes and elbows.
1981's 'The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel' was the first record to feature complex cuts and scratches, and introduced the name Grandmaster Flash as their originator. Following the group's demise, Flash continued to make his mark by releasing solo albums, and was immortalized in Blondie's hit song of 1980, 'Rapture: Flash is fast, Flash is cool!' In this era Grandmaster Flash & Furious Five released multi-million selling and ground breaking songs such as 'The Message' and 'White Lines' amongst others.
Grandmaster Flash has remained one of the world's most-respected musical innovators by never stopping his touring and performing schedule at the leading music festivals and events around the world.
In 2002, Flash designed, created and launched the Grandmaster Flash Signature Empath mixer for Rane Corporation, adding to previous endorsements by Louis Vuitton and Helmut Lang, Native Instruments, Gemini Sound and Kangol caps.
In recognition of his role in music history, Flash has been invited to contribute artifacts to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio and the Experience Music Project in Seattle, WA. Among his many awards are the Pioneer Award from Source Magazine, the New Music Seminar Hall of Fame Award, the DMC Hall of Fame Award and B.E.T.'s Diamond Award.
Rock n Roll Hall of Fame hosted Flash at the Museum in Cleveland where he was presented with an honorary Gold Record and Life Time Acheivement Award in recognition of his contributions to music courtesy of the RIAA. And to top it all, in 2007 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in New York - as the First Hip Hop artists ever!
With 30 Awards under his belt, honoring Flash for being the First DJ to make the Turntables a Musical Instrument and inventing Hip Hop its easy to see why this man is such an icon and great inspiration to many around the globe.