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Rich Medina  (US)

Rich Medina

“I don't follow a formula to make people dance. Regularly, I play music nobody has ever heard before. That's the thing that sets you apart.” – Rich Medina

Not a lot of DJs can say they’ve accomplished the same as Rich Medina. While he is a true master of the craft, DJing only scratches the surface of his story and his relation with music. As a 70s kid Medina grew up in New Jersey, but was strongly attracted by Manhattan’s Hip-Hop culture, in which he became deeply rooted in his teens. At the age of 12 his fascination for spinning records began and within that same year he played his first party in his hometown of Lakewood, NJ. 

It was from this moment on that Medina’s relationship with music kept rising to unprecedented heights, mastering not only the art of DJing, but also his in-depth knowledge of various afro-oriented musical styles. Starting out from Hip-Hop, where he was on the same bill as Bobbito Garcia, Qool DJ Marv & pioneers of the genre, the record shops were the places that decided where his musical adventure would go next; Soul, Funk, Afro and House. This resulted in the Lil’ Ricky’s Rib Shack party in Manhattan around 2001, where artist like Puff Daddy, Mos Def, Talib Kweli & Prince were frequent visitors.

With close ties and residencies in Philadelphia and New York, Rich became what many would call the ultimate DJ-in-residence, with steady established outposts in numerous cities, including cities in the US, as well as European capitals. This was partly due to the legendary establishment of JUMP N FUNK in 2001, North America’s Original Afrobeat party, dedicated to the late Nigerian icon Fela Anikulapo Kuti.  The groundwork laid down by Medina via his JNF brand to raise global awareness (not to mention the dancefloor potential) for Afrobeat was silently vital in setting the stage. 

But Rich Medina’s passion ascends the turntables and the clubs. From an early age, he’s become a well-respected spoken word artist and a journalist who contributed to music culture with columns and features in different magazines, including The Fader, Complex and Wax Poetics. Medina was writing, spinning and producing records, all while simultaneously pursuing an Ivy League degree that was subsequently followed by two Fortune 500 jobs. Though later he realized his passion (and career) in music was worth more that these jobs could ever provide for and bravely made the move to step into in the music industry with both feet.

Both behind the decks as behind the scenes, Rich Medina’s career is truly inspirational. From his humble beginnings at Philadelphia, he has taken crowds on every continent on a sonic journey through hip-hop, house, afro-beat, funk and soul, bringing one musical gem after another to the turntables and adhering to a singular, uplifting creed: Love Afro Life.



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