Bear is a world renowned Dance Music artist, Producer and Dj with countless releases, fans and admiration from industry’s insiders. No one else can boast the discography of hits and international acclaim like “Bear Who?”.
Born and raised in Chicago, music runs deep in his veins, performing for crowds for over two decades. He has touched fans throughout the world, and there is no stopping. His style is a combination of classic hits to the freshest beats for any dance floor, keeping the “BEAR WHO?” brand in demand.
As a recording artist, Bear also has releases under the aliases (Fuzzy Cufflinxxx, Joey Bochinche and Mr. Riddlz). He is prolific; you receive the full package in a multidimensional artist, Dj & Producer.
What makes Bear different, is the fact that he has written and performed all of his releases, and is one of the best Dance Music dj’s on the planet. He is a brand that utilizes music as a weapon; always keeping the dance floor full and emphasizing that his first love is that of a DJ.
Bear is no stranger to the big screen appearing in short films and making his debut in “Overture Films” 2008 release “Nothing Like the Holiday’s” alongside Hollywood heavyweights Freddy Rodriguez, John Leguizamo and Debra Messing. Check out Bear Who’s exclusive Q&A with S&S below.
S&S: What’s your style of music? How do you describe it?
BW: It’s Bear. It’s Mental. It’s Chicago, it’s Puerto Rican, it’s Hood, it’s Jack, it’s Gangsta.
It’s a story of the many sounds of House that I represent and feel. 80’s, Punk, Freestyle, Hip House, Latin, Italo Disco, Jack House, Vocals and always a dash of surprise. I do not follow any rules. I am influenced by the greats before me. I am an artist and I love to rock the mic live while djing. So you get the full live show. Dj / artist. Fun.
S&S: Who or what was most instrumental to you when it came to music?
BW: My family. My neighborhood. Upbringing. They all influenced me with their music. Since the beginning I was surrounded with music. All types, even styles that most people would not even think of. I am a product of the 80’s. I came up boogie popping and locking while listening to sounds like Kraftwerk, James Brown, and Blondie.
S&S: What drives you creatively?
BW: A hot shower. True. I have an intense imagination. Crazy. I come up with at least two ideas a day. It never stops. You can get a real good look at it by listening to my first album “The Beatbox”.
S&S: How much does your audience influence you and your music selection?
BW: Always. I’m never afraid of taking chances and I’m never satisfied. I like to dig and dig to find those tunes that make the party bump. I prepare and always have a variety of ways I can go. You have to entertain. This is a business as well so you have to be able to put “people in the seats” if you can dig it. I want the audience to know they will get their money’s worth. Booty’s will be wiggling. I think that’s what I’m used to being from Chi. That’s what we do. Everybody, night after night, year after year.
S&S: What artists or genres do you listen to when you’re not working?
BW: Work never stops but I do enjoy listening to Dancehall, Moombahton, Salsa, metal, 80’s. I’m a huge Hip Hop fan.
S&S: Do you have any favorite memories of growing up with your family?
BW: Xmas all my family together listening to classic Fania records and of course recording the Hot Mix 5 on cassette every weekend with my Pops. WBMX Staying up till Armando told us to go to sleep. WGCI too. I still have a Fast Eddie mixtape somewhere.
S&S: Is there anything you would like people to know about you?
BW: This is a lifestyle that I’ve been part of for 32 years. It chose me. People choose drugs or other things. House is my thing. No other artist on this planet has recorded along side the talent that I have or has this story to tell. All my releases combined, have over 500,000 downloads, listens and views. 200 releases throughout my career. 2 number #1 dance songs The Legendary Chicago hip house artist “Kool Rock Steady” and the Godfather of Hip hop Afrika Bambatta both recruited me to be in the Universal Zulu Nation at 19 years old. I was taught how to spin by the best djs ever. Did my first dj gig at 11. Worked at two of the best record stores in Chicago. Personal heroes (in House) Fast Eddie, Green Velvet, Armand Van Helden, Roy Davis Jr, Julian Perez, Ralphi Rosario, many more.
S&S: Are there any charities you are working with or excited to tell us about?
BW: I am a big supporter of the Fibromyalgia research cause. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disease that affects millions of people. As of today there is no known cure. It is a really cruel disease and we need to defeat it.
S&S: Are there any questions that you wish people would ask you?
BW: Why haven’t we seen you more internationally? Are you planning on more releases and live performances? How can we book you for our club or event?
S&S: And on the flip side of that, are there any questions or references you wish people would stop asking or using?
BW: 1. Will we ever see you performing with Dj Sneak again? I am me, I do me. Fix My Sink was a great song. Time to move on. 2. Do not ask me to work for free! Nope!
S&S: What artist(s) have you been the most excited to work with?
BW: I’ve been honored to have worked with so many amazing people. It’s only fair to add all the djs that I’ve shared the decks with as well. It’s just unreal. Too many to name. It’s been great to have been part of so many sounds and labels. Couldn’t pick just 1. I was excited to have worked with my old friend Pedro Winter and Ed Banger Paris. Shout out to Boston Bun.
S&S: Are there any artists that you dream of working with on a collaboration?
BW: MAJOR LAZER / DIPLO, MR. V, ARMAND VAN HELDEN
S&S: What can we look forward to next from you?
BW: My website has been my major focus. It is the catalyst for the Bear Who? brand. All my new production will be available for sale on the site. New album, ep’s, videos, newsletters, events, merch and booking info. I cut out the middle man. In this day and age, you don’t need anybody else. It’s the full spectrum of Bear Who? and my new label “BUTTA UP MUSIC” www.bearwho.com
S&S: What legacy would you like to leave?
BW: When the book is written, I’d like to be remembered as an original, someone who played the best music and was a true House Soldier. I got my PHD in House. I keep it 100%.
- Ralph & Louie – “Our Fans Are What Most Drives Us” - September 29, 2017
- The 4th Annual House Music Block Party Recap - August 31, 2017
- Steve “Silk” Hurley & Shannon “DJ Skip” Syas at SAE Cultural Impact Awards - August 28, 2017
- 11th Annual Global Mixx Game Changer Award Recipients Shannon “DJ Skip” Syas & Steve “Silk”Hurley - August 24, 2017
- Steve “Silk” Hurley Live @ CFP Chicago - August 18, 2017
- Ralph Tresvant – Inside The Ride Radio Show - August 2, 2017
- Various Artist – Ain’t That A Beach Vol.2 - July 18, 2017
- City of Chicago :: Millennium Park – Chicago House Music Party - June 3, 2017
- Steve “Silk” Hurley & Cece Peniston Live @ Chosen Few Music Festival 2017 (Chicago) - May 24, 2017
- The S&S Experience at Sea Interest Survey - May 7, 2017