November 12, 2007
In 1983 hip hop exploded when sounds from the South Bronx came booming into people’s homes and stereos. That same year, Zack Hellman a.k.a The World Famous DJ Vibe was born in New York City.
He grew up immersed in the developing hip-hop culture and this remains evident to this day. Today, DJ Vibe is a leading figure in the mixtape industry with tapes sold in hip-hop shops around the world. Vibe works relentlessly, gaining praises from personalities, socialites, executives, club goers, and music aficionados while deejaying globally.
Having moved to Southampton as a child, Vibe started partying at parties and became infatuated with DJs and DJ culture.
“I got my first set of decks as a freshman in high school — They were made for European outlets and my mixer didn’t even have a crossfader.”
While attending NYU, Vibe worked for Sam Crespo, director of promotions at Island/Def Jam. There he met some of the nation’s leading DJs including Mister Cee, Enuff, DJ Clue, Big Mike, Craig G, and Tapemasters Inc. At Def Jam, Vibe also met many of the street DJs who work day in and day out to supply the street with the newest music.
He began releasing old school mix CDs to the various distributors from Canal Street and Fulton Street to Jamaica Avenue and Fordham Road. Quickly, Vibe’s mixtapes were being sold across the nation, from Chicago to Los Angeles. CDs were even being sent to rural areas in North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, and New Hampshire. Vibe’s CDs gained even more popularity globally. DJ Vibe mixtapes began appearing in stores in Paris, London, Tokyo, Berlin, and Montreal. Mixtapes may have brought DJ Vibe recognition, but his work as a live DJ is his true passion.
In Fall 2002, Vibe was accepted into New York University’s prestigious Music Technology program where he studied Music Theory and History, as well as audio recording. As an undergraduate, Vibe worked as a recording engineer at Carnegie Hall with Tonmeister Leszek Wojcik while spinning at NYC’s leading nightlife venues. In early 2008, Vibe received a Masters of Music from NYU’s graduate Music Technology program. His thesis titled “The DJ Aesthetic: A Look into the Philosophy and Technology That Enable the Disc Jockey” was one of the first comprehensive works on the subject.
In 2010, Vibe began working for Josh Katz and Ernie Lake as a music programmer at EL Media Group. Today he is responsible for the soundtracks for Nobu, Philippe Chow, The Borgata Hotel and Casino, Tao Restaurant, EMM Group, Fresh Cosmetics, Lavo, China Grill Management, Del Frisco’s Restaurants, Gansevoort Hotels, Thompson Hotel Group, Jet Blue Terminal 5 at JFK Airport and many more.
Vibe’s eclectic sets include everything from Disco, Soul, Funk, and New Wave to Hip Hop, R&B, Reggae, and Rock ‘n’ Roll. On the turntables, nothing is excluded from the mix. This is what makes DJ Vibe so popular.
Sitting among stacks of records in his Brooklyn studio, Vibe continues to search for that lost record that still deserves to be played.
“DJs are responsible for giving life to new music, but we also must keep old music alive. The latter seems to take up much more of my time.”