For the past six years, the Coalition DJs DMV has been quietly building a force within the local music scene. Led by the dedicated Byron “Sleep” Stevenson, the organization goes beyond simply promoting artists –– it fosters a collaborative community that empowers Black artistry and Black-owned businesses.

Sleep DMV

When I saw how the Coalition DJs in Atlanta were able to build a community of DJs to support Atlanta artists, I knew what I had to build back home in the DMV.

– Sleep Dnt Reach


Connecting Artists and Industry Influencers

The Coalition DJs DMV is a local chapter of a national movement, with roots in Atlanta. What makes the DMV chapter unique is its commitment to creating connections between local artists and established industry figures. Through monthly live listening sessions, Sleep and his team provide a platform for DMV artists to deliver their talent directly to Club DJs, tastemakers who hold significant influence in the music industry.

DJ’s that spins sets in nightclubs have their finger on the pulse of the “Urban Sound”. The recording industry has known this for over 50 years, it is at the core of Hip-hop Culture, Urban music and all of its derivatives. The Coalition DJs DMV is simply a group of Nightclub DJs, and cultural influencers who have committed themselves to working on developing a network to provide local musicians real feedback on whether their sound will work in the nightlife environment. This type of “Experiential-Marketing Platform” has been put to use in Atlanta for almost two decades. There is no reason why it cannot see success here in the DMV.

Sleep Dont Reach

Commiment X Energy

Sleep’s dedication extends beyond local connections. By leveraging his relationships with industry veterans like Gorilla Zoe and Irv Gotti, he opens doors for DMV artists to collaborate with established names and potentially secure recording deals or broader recognition. The ability to make a phone call and get in touch with the right management teams presents real value to an Independent artist. Sleep has tirelessly worked to be in the right rooms with the right people. He has an extensive and diverse contact list that gives him and his team a competitive advantage in a heartless industry.

Coalition DJs DMV Building a Cohesive DMV Sound

Sleep on Car

The Coalition DJs DMV isn’t just about individual success stories. Sleep’s vision is to cultivate a unified DMV sound, a distinct musical identity that can compete on a national scale. This vision is reflected in the Artist Development program, which creates collaborative touring opportunities for DMV artists. These tours allow them to share stages, build relationships, and gain exposure in new markets like Richmond, VA, Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. The Coalition DJs DMV’s support extends beyond the DMV, with artists even finding themselves performing at prestigious events like Chapter Anniversaries, SXSW and overseas stages.

Investing In The Future

While the DMV hasn’t yet produced a breakout national star, the Coalition DJs DMV is laying the groundwork for long-term success. The organization is currently refining its artist intake process and raising the bar for DJ participation. The implementation of a new G.M. (DJ Tankbeats) ensures a stronger foundation built on dedication from both sides. Looking ahead, the Coalition DJs DMV plans to offer additional services to support the artists they select. Services like Synch Licensing, Metadata Management, Distribution, Promotion and overall Administration.

Impact On The Artist Community

The Coalition DJs DMV is more than just an artist development program. It’s a community where Black artists can network, collaborate, and share resources. By emphasizing Black artistry and Black-owned businesses, the Coalition DJs DMV contributes to the economic empowerment of the entire DMV music scene.

A Success Story In The Making

Six years in, the Coalition DJs DMV is a success story. They’ve fostered a thriving creative community, provided invaluable connections for local artists, and helped build a strong foundation for the future of DMV music. With Sleep’s continued dedication and the combined talent of DMV artists and DJs, the next national breakout star from the DMV might just be waiting to be discovered.