The Music Sounds Better with U Street Music Hall

This week marks the fourth anniversary of the opening of the U Street Music Hall.  Hard to believe four years have already gone by – we know.

In celebration of the event, the DJ-owned and operated basement club has been pulling out all the stops to celebrate with special guests, sets, and planned events through Monday, March 24.If you’re a fan of music in DC, and late, late nights, you won’t want to miss this.

We talked to U Street Music Hall’s Morgan Tepper about the ins and outs of the club, the growing DC scene, and plans for the future.

Q:  What have been some of your favorite sets and shows over the past four years at U Hall?
 
A: As an employee, watching the continued success of Moombahton Massive with our friends Nadastrom and Sabo. The party moved here from Velvet Lounge a little over 3 years ago, and we just about hit capacity every time we have it, regardless of the day it falls on.

 

As a patron, the nights with Stacey Pullen and Green Velvet were mind-blowing. We hit capacity and people stayed until the lights went up. That’s one of the ways you know a DJ is good – is if they can keep people at the venue until the lights are up (and after)!

 

As a DJ , it would be when I opened for Magda at the club back in 2012. I was finding my groove with spinning techno and house and she was (and still is) an huge inspiration to me. Another time when Chris Nitti and I threw our party Lost & Sound on a Saturday night there. That party had outgrown Backbar and hit capacity at U Hall that night. Never felt better to see something we’ve spent so long nurturing become a success. 

 

Q:  The sound system has always been a trademark of U Hall.  What went into planning, designing, and installing the system?  
 
Our friends over at ITI Audio set up the Martin Audio sound system. They are the best in the city and we wanted the best sound for our customers. Sound is our top priority and we’re constantly upgrading. (District Style note:  You can find details of the installation here.)
 
Q:  What inspires your posters?  Who does them and how are they designed?
 
Brian Miller (co-owner of U Street Music Hall, architect at edit labs and DJ Brian Billion) designs our posters. The posters go along with overall minimal design of the club. The most important thing we need to communicate in the design are the headliners and dates. The ever-changing geometric shapes gives the posters and clubs some life.

 

Q:  In your opinion, who are some of the most exciting up-and-coming DJs and artists in DC?
 
Have to give a shout to Beautiful Swimmers and Outputmessage. They’ve both been in DC for a while now and their hustle is non-stop. Proud to have them reppin’ our city. Both have an original sound and are making big moves.
 
Q:  Have you ever done live recordings/webcasts of sets and shows there? 
 
Yep! We record sets whenever we’re approved by artist management to do so. You can check out some of the recordings here.
 
Q:  What advice do you have for aspiring DJs in the area? 
 
Network, be humble and be a good DJ. Don’t be afraid to go to parties and meet promoters and club owners, and have a solid mix uploaded to SoundCloud that represents your artistry, accurately. DC is a small place with a lot of artists and the competition is growing by the minute! Good thing is, so is our community. More clubs have popped up in the area since we’ve opened in 2010 and it’s been a motivating factor for aspiring DJs in the area.
 
Q:  What do you envision for the next four years? 
 
Bigger bookings, bigger projects and a bigger outreach to the DC community and beyond. We’re always growing and always searching for what’s next for ourselves as individuals and for the club.

 

U Street Music Hall is located at 1115 U Street NW (between 11th and 12th).  

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