Most DJs spend their entire life in the shadows. No matter how well they control the crowd or dazzle on the decks, they remain anonymous heroes lost in the darkness of the booth. Yet Cipha Sounds is not “most DJs.” Whether hosting “The HOT 97 Morning Show,” DJing and doing stand-up comedy around the world, or producing and hosting his monthly comedy show “Don’t Get Gassed”, Cipha radiates personality, driving every project with his likeable demeanor and confident tastes. Just as comfortable on stage as he is behind the turntables, Cipha has carved out a distinct voice in music and comedy over the past 15 years.
Starting out as a cassette-obsessed Bronx teenager and budding bedroom producer, Cipha got his first break interning for Wildman Steve and DJ Riz of the Flip Squad. His tireless work ethic and perceptive DJ skills earned him opening slots at legendary NYC nightspots like the Tunnel and the Palladium. Soon after that, Cipha found himself spinning for Lil Kim, Mos Def and Jay-Z on national tours, and rocking private parties & album release galas for superstars like P. Diddy, Eminem and Mariah Carey.Most importantly, Cipha got the chance to share his selections over the airwaves as part of Funkmaster Flex’s nightly radio show on HOT 97, where he learned how to break new records, helping turn once-unknowns like Sean Paul, 50 Cent, and Rihanna into superstars, and maintain a healthy sense of humor on the mic.
Cipha’s ear for talent and club-honed musical instincts also made him a natural A&R executive, a position he has held with labels ranging from Rawkus and Tommy Boy to the Neptunes’ Star Trak imprint with Pharrell Williams, and Roc-A-Fella. In 2003, he took an even bigger leap into the music industry and began hosting “Sucker Free” and “TRL” on MTV.
He has also set a goal to take over the Improv comedy world. After being a student at the UCB theatre for over two years, Cipha now has a weekly sold out Hip Hop improv show, where a different Hip Hop celebrity tells a true life story and Cipha & his team perform a completely made up show based on it. Recent guests have included 2 Chainz, Victor Cruz, Swizz Beatz, Schoolboy Q, and Zoe Kravitz.