Born and raised on the north side of Houston, TX, 24 year old Tory Bryant’s life has always been influenced by the spirit and compelling nature of music. He originally found his interest in the gospel choirs of the Church of God in Christ, attended by a majority of his family. Growing up DJ AudiTory decided to take his extra-curricular musical efforts towards concert band as a saxophonist in the 6th grade. From there, he developed a more mature and cultured understanding of what music meant to him.
Later on, in high school Auditory joined the Westfield Big Red Band from 2004-2008. After becoming a drum major his senior year and performing such epic compositions by artists such as Johan Sebastian Bach, John Mackey, Paul Hindemith, and David Gillingham, he was enlightened to be more open-minded to all elements of music. Another strong influence on AudiTory’s early career was the Chopped and Screwed Movement, headlined by the late and great DJ Screw. It was that movement which proved the greatest motivation for AudiTory and a measure of where he wants to go as a DJ. After playing around and learning the concept of DJing while attending the University of Houston to pursue a degree in Music Education, DJ AudiTory was created in April of 2010. He met with a young group of MCs by the name of Gene Green, Marc Haize, and Escalator Up a month later to form the group, “2-Twenty”. It is with this team of musicians that DJ AudiTory was allowed the opportunity to compose his own renditions of Hip-Hop. All his years of musical experience have provided a solid foundation with which he plans to build his future success.
How did you come up with the name DJ Auditory?
I really wanted to have my real name be a part of my DJ name. I looked up words ending with “Tory.” I came across “auditory,” which actually means “the sense of hearing or an assembly or hearers.” And I really thought that fit perfectly.
When did you start DJing?
I started DJing in 2010, around the time I had to stop going to the University of Houston. I wasn’t financially stable and I didn’t really know what I was doing there. I went back home and made the decision that I wanted to DJ. I worked over that summer, bought all the equipment I needed and started teaching myself.
What is a DJ to you?
A DJ is a librarian of music and culture. As a DJ it’s our responsibility to keep track of our history of music. I’m responsible for making sure that we never forget where we come from musically. A DJ is also responsible for being able to give good music to people in general. We’re pretty much the middle man between the audience and the artist. It’s our responsibility to make sure people are listening to the type of music that they need to be listening to. Not necessarily just playing music because it’s popular. We need to know that people need to be listening to because they won’t know it until they give it to them. It’s our responsibility to know what’s good.
Who are some of your DJs influences?
DJ Premiere is definitely a strong influence being that he’s a Houston native. And the moves that DJ Mr. Rogers has made shows as a DJ you can do whatever it is that you want to do.
Who is a mentor in the city that you’ve learned from?
The first person that I really learned from is DJ Youngstreetz because he was another DJ at U of H around the time the party scene was real popular in Houston and he was one of the main DJs that was on that scene. I pretty much learned a lot from him; he took me under his wing, and helped put me on as another DJ. That was very inspirational to me.
Have you always been into music?
Yes, I grew up in church and a lot of my family members are deacons and pastors. I got a spiritual experience from listening to the choirs and that’s always been influential to me. Then when I was in middle school I got into band and started playing the saxophone. When I first went to U of H I was going to be a Music Director.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I feel like in 5 years I can be a very pivotal DJ as far as the Houston music scene. I’m very involved with a lot of local artist. I’m really focused on being one of the DJs that give them an opportunity to really be cultivated. That’s what DJ Screw did as a DJ. And I’m really trying to bring back that whole screw culture in general. I feel like I will e a DJ that has a huge influence on the Houston music scene. The sky is the limit.
What do you think about the music culture in Houston now?
I feel a lot of it is much undermined and not as supported as we would genuinely like it to be. I think that after DJ Screw passed away it kind of all fell apart and it never really picked back up.
Now there has to be a new generation of artist and DJs that creates their own identity. We have to able to unite, come together as a city and make music. There’s power and strength in the Houston sound and we have to learn how to let it evolve.
What does support mean to you as regards to the music and entertainment industry?
To me support is everything its support is what gets you to a different place. But a lot of people need to understand you need to have a quality of music that’s worth supporting. When some cosigns it or puts their investment into it they can see a return value. It’s all about quality at the end of the day. If you don’t have quality and you didn’t work to develop your and sound and artistry to be at a high quality you can’t expect people to naturally support it. Artists have to understand you have to work your way up. Being a musician is a craft it takes time and dedication to get to a place when you create something it can be appreciated for what you know it to be. You have to really practice patience to get to that point.
How do you rock a crowd? And how do you determine what songs to play?
I test the waters a lot to see what people are receptive to and what they aren’t. And then from there I dictate what this crowd would enjoy. I try to create a mood that I feel like people would want to be a part of or create a feeling that people would enjoy. Every event and audience is going to be different.
You have to be able to be extremely adaptive and be able to give them what they want because if you don’t know how to adapt to that crowd they’ll show you. I don’t like failure or being someone that did a bad job, so I always try to make sure I give my audience whatever it is I can, so that they’re pleased and are enjoying what’s going on.
Have you ever thought of getting into producing?
Yea, I definitely want to get into producing. I’ve always been waiting on the right opportunity to do it. I feel like I can do more as a producer for artist as well.
How supportive is your family of your DJ career?
My family has always been supportive of whatever I choose to do. They don’t necessarily understand it completely but at the same time they’ve been the main ones to encourage me. They’re allowing me to be who I want to be and I can’t thank them enough for that. It’s definitely one of those things that keeps your confidence up.
What upcoming projects are you working on?
I’m working on a few things. Chop Theory. I’m going to drop a new album that I’ve chopped and screwed every Friday. People can tweet me with the hashtag “#ChopTheory” and tell me what albums they would like to hear chopped and screwed. I really want to see if there’s a demand for it. I’m also working on mixtapes. One that I’m working on is a series called “Luv It Man.” It’s live mixing and live freestyles. It’s really open to anyone who wants to be a part of it.