Reflections on my birthday

I just turned 38 years old. Not a big milestone birthday, spent quiet at home with my family. It did make me think about a past birthday however. Exactly 16 years ago on my 22nd birthday I moved into a new office I had rented to launch my Happy Hardcore record business.

I had been renting a room from a family to live previously, but they sold their house and I had to find a new place to live. I had started importing and selling happy hardcore vinyl out of my bedroom, and was so passionate about my music, I made a calculated gamble that I could make a real go of it. Worst-case-scenario I ended up being unsuccessful. I was young, had time to burn, so why not go for it.

The office was about 10 x 12 feet with no windows. I had a couch. That night, my birthday, I was alone in a pitch black room. I never felt so alone in my life.

I had a web page set up, and was the very first happy hardcore website ever indexed by Yahoo, which at the time was the dominant search engine. I started making contact with other aspiring happy hardcore DJs, and before long was selling vinyl to most of them. It was a very small business, but it did pay the rent, but I could not afford anything more than that. I lived in that office.

There was a shower in the building which I used, and once or twice a month I’d visit my aunt’s for the weekend to do laundry and recharge my batteries.

I spent my spare time making copies of my first widely distributed mixtape, called The Frolic Files. One at a time I would copy them, and bring boxes with me to every rave I attended and handed them out to anyone that looked like they were having fun.

I also started mailing them to record labels, and after being in my office for only a few weeks I got a call from Moonshine in Los Angeles. They were thinking of doing a happy hardcore compilation and I seemed like the right guy for them. Happy2bHardcore Chapter 1 was released a few months later.

Also a few weeks into my stay at the office I got a call from a promoter from a new Toronto rave company called Not The End. They got my tape. They wanted me to play at their first event. After playing at their party, and then getting deeply involved with them for their second event, planted the bug in me to promote my own parties if I wanted to see the music that I loved get the exposure it needed.

Hullabaloo had it’s first event 7 months after moving into my office. Happy2bHardcore chapter 2 came out around that time, and I started getting regular DJ bookings all over. From that point on it was like riding a rocket ship.

I guess as I look back at all this, none of that would have been possible without some sacrifice from myself. I decided to take a shot, and it worked out better than I could have ever imagined. It’s also a little overwhelming how much of a difference one guy can make if they set their mind on something. My advice to anyone reading this is to take their own shots. If it doesn’t work, it’s not the end of the world. But you can never reach the stars if you never attempt it.

11 Replies to “Reflections on my birthday”

  1. Happy belated birthday and thank you so much for your kind words and sharing your story! It’s hard to believe the journey that life can take us on sometimes. Your inner gut feeling will never steer you wrong! I wanted to thank you for taking the chance to share your love of happy hardcore with the rest of the world. The 2b albums have (and still do) brought so much joy and happiness in to my life. (I was just jamming out to Chapter 4 in my car the other day! LOL!) Every time I hear them I get goosebumps and chills up my spine and my mind gets flooded full of memories of the best times that I have ever had. These albums have had a tremendous impact on my life and will always have a special place in my heart! It’s amazing what the power of music can do and with that I thank you! I hope to hear more from you in the future! 😀


  2. Was just surfing the shutdown looking for the website. Sad to say it didn’t last, but noticed the Happy To Be Hardcore, then searched your archived site, then jumped to the here and now.

    Just wanted to let you know, I loved listening to it while going to University in Mississauga. Infact I know I have a number of the session/songs on some form of media (tape,cd,MP3..something).

    From a 40+ music lover. Peace!!

  3. Hi Chris since the turn of the century I’ve enjoyed the music you’ve promoted, and have purchased several of your Happy2BHardcore albums. You are to be congratulated for becoming an entrepreneur in music and for being able to find your niche in life. So many people never find their way and simply end up getting work that is unfulfilling and not financially rewarding. It’s great when you can do what you love and make a living! Life goes by fast so keep your relationships positive. Take care! Peace out. ~Pete

    P.S. the url is of me, my wife and my friends, leading worship at church. It’s progressive rock.

  4. I remember you once said that your favorite live set you ever spun was WEMF 2002 with MCs Storm and Johnny B. I used to have the 90 minute mix tape for that, until a tape player ate it, and then I bought a shorter version of it on CD (it didn’t have the tail end of the set) but that got scratched up beyond playability from my listening to it over and over.

    It is most definitely my favorite HHC set ever, the crowd energy is amazing, great MCing (even Johnny B did a good job, which isn’t always the case with him) and a wicked track selection to boot. I would like to get a hold of another copy of it.

    Do you have one Frolic, or do you know who I can contact about getting another copy?

  5. First of, thank you. sincerely, thank you for all for it. There’s a market for this music again. you can be on the for front if you make a go at it.

    is there ever a chance of you playing live again? how will we know?

    its there a place for the Scott Brown Set from oh crikey what a scorcher!. i wore my tape out !! lol

  6. So many bands are touring and playing one old album start-to-finish. I keep thinking the trip down memory lane I’d most like to revisit is a Happy 2B Hardcore best of reunion tour. Never saw you live. You’re a legend. Love from Seattle.

  7. Hey Bro, I just wanted to tell you that its November 12, 2014 and Ive been listening to all the Happy 2b Hardcore CDs for the passed 3 weeks straight. Happy Hardcore has been getting me through some rough times and its been the only thing that lifts my spirit up. I am now 35 years old and Ive been bumping this shit since I was 17. I love it man. Thank you for making my days awesome.

    -Spaz from Los Angeles, California.

  8. found one of your mixes at a variety mall. it’s pretty dope, and i couldn’t find a lot of the artists modern pages, implying they stopped making music or just made a new name for themselves. but i enjoyed the mix though, keep at the releases dude!

  9. Wanna say happy bday. I left the scene back in 02. And still dj but rarely if ever listen to hhc but i have to admit i miss looking fwd to happy2bhardcore as a way to start off the summer

  10. Chris, I wanted to thank you for taking that chance. Your music has touched so many souls(even in Idaho). I still listen to Chapter1 like its religion 😉

    BTW do you know what happened to DJ Friskey?

    Happy Birthday!

  11. Thank you. And thank you. I have been out of the loop for EDM in general and had almost forgotten about that person I was as well 16 years ago, when I would spend all night on napster and ICQ looking for music because no one in the south of Brazil knew what PLUR meant. I could have been an alien for all they knew. 10 years into Burlesque, my music and dance research have taken me in a completely different direction but that candy raver is still alive as I proved to myself at EDC Las Vegas this weekend.

    There are so many more styles of EDM out right now, but I’ll be damned if the PLUR mindset isn’t alive and well…

    Once again, thank you. Hopefully I’ll find some Happy Hardcore to dance to this summer, somewhere.

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