Garrett David has belonged to dance music’s gifted program since he was a kid. Trying his hand at music production and DJing before he had a drivers license, Garrett was given his first residency at age 17, joining the ranks of Columbus dance music institution Sweatin’. Within two years he moved to Chicago and caught the attention of Smart Bar’s bookers, who offered him a weekly disco-house night called Dollar Disco. At 19, he was the youngest resident DJ in the club’s history, even though he wasn’t allowed to attend unless he was playing. There he befriended Michael Serafini, owner of Gramaphone Records, who gave him a job at the store. Now officially on Chicago’s radar, he was recruited by Marea Stamper (aka the Black Madonna) to find music for Dust Traxx’s new dig
ital releases. Already a trusted selector before he could legally drink alcohol, Garrett began putting his stamp on Chicago’s dance scene. Joining forces with Andrew Gordon and Adam Rowe from his time at Dust Traxx, he helped found the Stripped & Chewed label that showcased up-and-coming talents, including the vinyl debut of the Black Madonna. Garrett was also instrumental in the founding of Queen!, Smart Bar’s weekly queer party, as a resident alongside Frankie Knuckles, Derrick Carter, Michael Serafini, and host Byrd Bardot. Founded in late 2011, Queen! has become the cornerstone of Smart Bar’s weekly offerings. At the same time, Garrett was taking large strides in his musical production, making his debut on Stripped & Chewed with “The Queen! Tracks” EP. His sound is nimble and precise but given to flights of fancy, working cute quirks into cutting, Prescription-strength percussion. Since then, under the mentorship of Chez Damier, he’s released solo records for Gramaphone’s in-house label, Courtesy of Balance, and Lobster Theremin sub-label Distant Hawaii. He’s released music as the Bell Boys with Adam Rowe and more recently collaborated with his studio partner, Colin Johnson. He and Johnson have also started a record label, Night Sea Journey, with its first release ready to drop at any moment. And with solo releases forthcoming on Lobster Theremin, Residual, and Balance, Garrett David is poised to stay at the head of the class.