DJ Keybo is Making Beverly Hills Dance

DJ Keybo has performed at a variety of parties, weddings and other events, but he always makes time to add a little bounce to the City of Beverly Hills. He’s been recruited by Mayor Lili Bosse for several events, the most recent being the Mayor’s Mental Wellness Series: Music and Dance! on Aug. 18. 

Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Keybo, whose real name is Keith Welborn, learned his way around the turntables from his father, who was also a DJ. He would often work events with his father and that became the foundation for a lifetime of spreading music.  

Keybo is a self-proclaimed “Entertainment Therapist” and a firm believer that music has the power to heal the soul. “I feel like we all have this rhythm in us,” said Keybo. “If you vibe with that rhythm, that’s how good relationships are built, that’s how good connections are built, even good mixing is made that way. Music is the way we can all clearly align.”

He says that his job is to not only understand the music in his library, but also the people on the dance floor. Keybo is constantly trying to identify the crowd’s emotional thumbprint to bring them a tune that will truly resonate with them. “My responsibility at any event, wedding, corporate event or a movie premiere, whatever it may be, is to sense what that energy is,” said Keybo. “I trust myself that I will know what music they want to listen to based on that connection.”

By now, Keybo has gotten a good sense of what that thumbprint is for Beverly Hills, and he says it’s derived from the aspirations the people carry with them every day. “From what I’ve seen, there are a lot of people who want to see better days, in the way that tells me they’re very involved in the city, and they want to see the city get better,” said Keybo. “To me that sounds like they want something empowering or classics that remind them of times that weren’t as good and now they’re better because Gloria Gaynor said, ‘I Will Survive.'”

However, the job of a DJ is more than simply playing the hits and classics. Keybo believes that he should also push the music taste of the crowd and challenge their comfort zone with other music they may like. “[Only playing hits] doesn’t do much for the art of DJing,” said Keybo. “Introducing newer music, newer vibes and newer ways, I’m looking forward to doing that here.”

Keybo says that music should never stop evolving and neither should people’s minds. When he listens to music, he finds comfort in familiar sounds especially when they’re in a new setting. “It’s so smooth. They take stuff that they’ve grown up on, been in love with and modernize it with what we have access to now,” said Keybo. 

Music is heading in a direction that combines different elements from not just different generations or genres, but different places of the world as well, according to Keybo. 

He believes that America has already served as somewhat of a musical satellite, picking up tunes from around the globe, with Latin music for example. “Everybody’s going to be on the Afrobeat vibe, the UK drill vibe is popping off, we’re getting very international here in the states,” said Keybo. “There’s nothing wrong with appreciating different perspectives from different places.” 

But regardless of what record he’s spinning, Keybo says it’s always a pleasure to return to Beverly Hills. “We’ve done a bunch of different events with the City and it’s always cool. We’ve had a bunch of great parties with Lilli and her supporters,” he said. “We always throw down!”