It Took A Stolen Set Of Turntables For Latin DJ El Dusty To Catch A Break

Welcome back to Uncharted, an Uproxx original series highlighting the best artists you haven’t heard of, yet. With the support of our friends at Honda, we are following some of the best emerging talent as they follow their dreams and make great music.

El Dusty’s origin story would get tossed out if you wrote it up as a script. It’s almost too on-the-nose to be real. The Texas-based DJ who mixes together traditional Latin music with the sounds of modern dance and trap music first got his hands on a set of turntables after his brother stole the DJ equipment from a quinceañera.

That’s right. A man who ended up making his living by scratching and mixing over music that can trace its lineage back hundreds of years… only got his start thanks to sticky fingers at a party that dates back 2,500 years. That’s a Marvel-level connection of catalyst to eventual end. The only thing more fitting would be if he was bitten by a radioactive member of La Sonora Dinamita while holding a copy of Flockaveli.

But we’ll get there. For an artist that finds inspiration in the well-placed throwback sample, it’s only fitting that we start his story way, way back.

Dusty Oliviera realized he wanted to be a DJ from very early on — we’re talking before the age of 10. He understood that he wanted to be a DJ from the very first moment he ever saw one — that is, at a going away party his older brother threw before leaving Miami for Corpus Christi, Texas.

“I guess the first time I saw a DJ live was in Miami.” he says. “He had a DJ and breakdancers. And cars with backs torn out. I was really drawn to that. Something attracted me to the cases and turntables and scratching…I knew then that I wanted to DJ, but I didn’t know it would be what it is now.”

Far from some passing childhood obsession, El Dusty stuck with it. Soon thereafter, he saw an ad for a DJ-in-a-box kit in the back of a magazine and he begged his father for it.