The 20 most coveted Colorado music-industry jobs: The complete list with five new profiles
Mobile Party Master (Ben Travis, Whomp Truck Founder)
When Ben Travis acquired a legitimate sound system for the purpose of throwing his own events, it never occurred to him that he should pack it into a box truck and park in random gravel lots to blast dubstep.
"I found a 1969 Chevrolet ice cream truck," Travis recalls. "It was $700 and fit my needs and budget." After loading up this truck -- which was originally acquired for the sole purpose of transporting equipment -- one day out of his garage while throwing back a few cold ones with a buddy, Travis noticed that the subs just fell into place. "We stacked the [speakers] into the back of the truck and noticed they fit perfectly." Thus Whompy, the only mobile electronic party that can literally shake the ground beneath your feet, was born.
"After that, I hit up some friends at a gallery (Theory and Practice) down on Santa Fe, and we parked out front and played music during the First Friday art walk." The first round brought out a crowd that surprised even Travis, and provided great exposure for the debut in March of 2009.
Three years later, Travis has formed a crew of Whomp Truck residents to play after hour shows, and they continue throwing down for free at First Friday art walks, as well as last-minute-revealed locations for special parties. That will all change come winter when the crew plans on working on the newest addition to the Whomp Truck family, Would Shop 2.0.
So how does an information technologies consultant transform into a truck whomping DJ?
"Another just kind of happening," he says. "I played instruments my whole life, and I love all sorts of music. I used to think all electronic music was basically really bad trance. I thought all of it was like that, but then I met a friend here, and he was all, 'Do you like jungle?' he played some and I fell in love with it." After that, Travis remembers using all his spare cash on vinyl purchases, and really delving into the creative process.
For the rest of this year and into next, Travis's plans to take things to the next level are well within reach. Hosting shows and after hours at Would Shop 2.0, which doubles as both a workshop and a special event venue, is only the beginning, For now, though, you can find Whompy near 13th and Santa Fe in a parking lot, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for upcoming productions at Would Shop 2.0. -- Britt Chester
Tyler Jensen (right) with Zedd at the Beatport offices.
Senior Manager of Communications (Tyler Jensen, Beatport)
Upon acquiring his first CD, Tyler Jensen knew that he would make a career in music. After multiple internships, some paid and some not, Jensen took jobs at both Napster and Warner Music Group out in California. When the chance to work at Beatport presented itself, he immediately packed his bags and moved to Denver.
At Napster, Jensen had become acquainted with Matthew Adell, Beatport's CEO, who posted the job opening Jensen responded to. "I saw the posting for the job on Facebook," he recalls, "and after talking with Shawn Sabo [Manufactured Superstars], I was packing my stuff to move to Denver."
The road to Denver started on the East Coast, when Jensen graduated from NYU. "I aspired to work at a major record label, maybe be an A&R guy," says Jensen "That was back in the day when they were discovering girls in church and signing them to seven-record deals." Jensen later landed a gig working for a major record label, but he eventually found his way to Beatport. Then the industry took a turn. "I had a great setup in LA," he says. "I was there for six years. I was doing fine. But I saw the record label going down, and I needed to get out."
When Jensen joined the company in 2010, Beatport had around 65,000 "likes" on Facebook page ("I did not expect Beatport to be such a major player in the music industry"), but these days, the company now sits at over 850,000, and a lot of that is thanks to the efforts of Jensen, who oversees social media for Beatport.
Probably the most enviable part of Jensen's job -- he's in charge of all other communication for the company -- is that he gets to work with all the artists that come through the Beatport offices to perform Ustream sets, a task which has allowed him to rub shoulders with some of the world's biggest names in contemporary music. -- Britt Chester