Features 09 Brett Henrichson
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Features 09 Brett Henrichson


Brett Henrichsen started his career as a marketing specialist for IBM.  But at night he was in the clubs and record stores listening to dance music.  He used the (then expensive) burners at IBM to make custom CD’s for his friends of his favorite music.  As he learned the general public couldn’t buy the remixes they were hearing in the clubs, he decided to sell those compilations.  From that idea an empire grew which includes the original Masterbeat CD series, New Year’s Eve events, an international circuit DJ and now the web’s greatest online dance music store – www.masterbeat.com

brett henrichsen

 

 

 

Brett Henrichsen started his career as a marketing specialist for IBM.  But at night he was in the clubs and record stores listening to dance music.  He used the (then expensive) burners at IBM to make custom CD’s for his friends of his favorite music.  As he learned the general public couldn’t buy the remixes they were hearing in the clubs, he decided to sell those compilations.  From that idea an empire grew which includes the original Masterbeat CD series, New Year’s Eve events, an international circuit DJ and now the web’s greatest online dance music store – www.masterbeat.com

 

It was my pleasure to sit down with Brett to interview him just 2 weeks before he takes over the turntables at the infamous Beach Party for the National Gay & Lesbians Task Force’s Winter Party.

 

What was your first foray into dance music?

Meeting Erin Hamilton, Carol Burnett’s daughter, in a club.  She had recorded a cover of one of my favorite songs “Dream Weaver” and wanted to turn it into a dance mix.

 

Why did you start Masterbeat?

Out of a frustration of not being able to buy the dance music you hear in the clubs.  The goal behind Masterbeat (both the CD’s and now the new online store) is creating a place where people can find the music they can’t find anywhere else.

 

When and why did you move Masterbeat into an online retail store?

As the digital world and iTunes started taking over the world, I found there was still nowhere to go to legally download the music you hear in the dance clubs. There was a void that iTunes was leaving.  We’ve now successfully created the “dance” version of iTunes – we have everything they have plus exclusive remixes from major artists – something iTunes doesn’t carry.

 

What are the 3 most popular tracks on Masterbeat right now?

“Telephone” by Lady GaGa & Beyonce, “Make My Heart” by Toni Braxton, and “Hard” by Rihanna

 

I think people would be surprised to know that you started DJing years after you started Masterbeat. How did this come about?

It all started from trying to market the Masterbeat CD’s.  I wanted to throw parties that featured the music from Masterbeat.  But finding a DJ to play a specific style or tracks was difficult, so I did it myself.  I had no idea it would take off and become another career in its own right.

 

brett henrichsenWhat was your first residencies?

Jeffrey Sankers Orbit party in Los Angeles, and I was also a resident at Roxy in New York for the last 2 years before it closed.

 

What are some of the major cities you have spun in?

Sao Paulo, Amsterdam, Berlin, Sydney, Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Rio, Paris and everywhere it seems in the US.

 

What has been your favorite gig?

The Sydney gay and lesbian Mardi Gras because of the sheer size and scope of it. To spin for 20,000 people is overwhelming.

 

What separates you from other DJs?

I think probably the fact that I am involved in all aspects of the music business, from starting as a consumer to becoming a record label and then a music store and also an event promoter – I see the business from every angle.

 

How do you manage to run Masterbeat with your touring schedule?

It’s not easy, but Masterbeat is Monday through Friday from 10am to 7 pm and I DJ on the weekends. It would be great if I could clone myself!

 

Ok, so you explained how you balance Masterbeat and touring, but how do you find any time to keep up that beautiful body of yours?

That’s all from McDonalds. I am a junk food junkie. I guess I am really lucky, but I do work out 3 times a week.

 

What would people be surprised to know about you?

That I was actually going to be an attorney.

 

Are you excited to play the Beach Party for Winter Party?

This is my 4th time playing for Winter Party and my 2nd time back playing the beach party and I am super excited about it. Ana and I have been playing together for years in Brazil. I brought her to LA to play with me last fall so I am really looking forward to working with her again – we make a great team.

 

What does the future hold for Brett Henrichsen?

I wish I knew. Hopefully Masterbeat will become a serious iTunes competitor. I am also looking for the next great thing to re-invent the club and event scene.

 

Catch Brett spinning his unique blend of tunes along with DJ Ana Paula at Winter Party’s Beach Party on Sunday March 7th from 12 noon to 6 pm. For more information on Winter Party either look at the many ads in this week’s edition of Hotspots Magazine or check out their website at WinterParty.com


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