Local DJs spin attention toward Hurricane Harvey victims
This Saturday, Hub City’s DJ-Producer collective will extend its "neighborly watch" to the victims of Hurricane Harvey with a benefit show at NJ Skateshop.
Neighborhood Watch, the only music showcase series that partners with local businesses in New Brunswick, will be partnering with Boards for Bros at this Saturday’s free show. They will be collecting cash donations and used skateboarding gear to send to Southside Skatepark in Houston, Texas.
“Boards for Bros is an organization that gets skateboards that are damaged or broken, fixes those skateboards, refurbishes them and then gives them to inner-city and urban areas,” said Derrick Braxton, a Neighborhood Watch co-organizer. “But this time our focus is going to be geared toward the families and the people who need our help and our support in Houston.”
NJ Skateshop, Boards for Bros and Neighborhood Watch co-organizers Braxton, Isabella Sehringer, Aman Arora and Meesh Sara have all worked together in the past to host accessible shows in the New Brunswick community and raise donations.
“We wanted to make sure it was going to go to an organization that we knew and had worked with before … (and) through Jake (McNichol), at Boards for Bros, they already had plans and alliances for helping the victims of Hurricane Harvey,” Braxton said. “It’s not a good thing to just give (blindly) because you never know really where things are going — I say that with no disrespect to some of these non-profits.”
Hurricane Harvey is expected to be the most costly hurricane in United States history, according to History.com. The Category 3 storm has destroyed approximately 40,000 homes and up to 1 million cars. Harvey also dropped more than 50 inches of rainfall over some parts of Houston, literally sinking the city by 2 centimeters.
Braxton said all of the co-organizers find it important to give what they can during times of crisis like this to organizations that are available and connected to the communities in need.
“There’s plenty of money to go out have a good time and chill so there should be some funds allocated to those who don’t have the ability to do so,” Braxton said.
Although Braxton said he does not want to think about the worst, he is also ready to collaborate for any worthy cause.
“I don’t want to speak those things into existence, but we (will) do whatever we think we can do at the time,” Braxton said.
The next organization planned to work with Neighborhood Watch is the Archangels Raphael Mission (ARM). ARM’s next objective is to raise funds for a shower bus for people without homes.
One reason Neighborhood Watch’s events are so successful is due to the focus on community building.
“Anyone that we use for Neighborhood Watch is either a friend or recommended by a friend. This line up is no different,” Braxton said.
Mello Marc is a New Jersey-born and–based artist.
“Mello Marc is mostly like a lo-fi kind of style,” Braxton said. “He’s capable of great things: he’s young, he’s hungry and he’s making some incredible stuff.”
Dvl3x is a veteran of the Rutgers University music scene with an upbeat and high tempo mix that will undoubtedly get people dancing, Braxton said.
Lastly will be Zoomo, of North Carolina, who has only been in the tri-state area for about six months.
Braxton saw Zoomo and his collective Trash Supply in North Carolina and said he was blown away by his dedication.
“That guy had maybe about 2,600 to 3,000 beats,” Braxton said. “All he does is make music. I don’t know how long we’ll be able to hang on to the level of talent that Zoomo has.”
Although the music will be what brings people to NJ Skateshop for the event, there will be a strong emphasis on everyone’s philanthropic responsibilities while there.
“Shows are great, but these resources are invaluable: people need clothes, people need food, people need shelter, people need clean water, all of these things are not necessarily a give in in Houston right now,” Braxton said.