Erick Copon, better known as DJ El-Capon, is widely considered one of the best entertainers in the local electronic dance music scene.
Unless you were one of his fans, you would not notice him in a crowded café. With the eloquent way in which he speaks most people would think that he was working on his doctorate degree.
Instead of following the wishes of going into medicine as his family wanted, he decided to carve a name for himself in the music scene. He followed in the footsteps of his famous brother, Michael Copon, an actor and has had roles on shows such as Power Rangers and One Tree Hill.
Copon and friend Pablo “Dstryd” Sims then learned the skill of DJ-ing. Using websites such as GottaDanceDirty and YouTube, they would watch their heroes DJ AM and Daft Punk and would emulate the DJs’ moves and charisma. Following the standard route for musicians, Copon and Sims earned their chops playing house parties for free. The big break in Copon’s career came when he played the Tallwood High School prom.
Playing in an era in which electronic dance music was relatively unknown, he took the risk and decided to pursue his love of music as a career. He made his name in the local scene playing with now defunct groups such as Noah Larmz and WeOk in underground warehouses and bars. While the crowds and paychecks arebigger, he misses, “the rawness the down and dirty grittiness, that sh** was cool,” said Copon.
The larger venues and crowds enable him to earn a living as a musician. In the summer months, Copon plays five events a week, some of them at expensive venues such as the Sky Bar in the oceanfront Hilton Hotel.
While most people are only focused on the music that is popular today, Copon has decided to go back to the songs that influenced him and use them in his sets. While some DJs cater only to the crowd, Copon plays what he enjoys hearing.
In his shows, you can hear songs made by famous local artists that have helped defined our area. Being in a southern state, Copon has played the music of southern musicians and was one of the first people in the area to bring a genre of hip-hop known as “trap” into the mainstream.
“It’s cool that trap music came along. It allows me to go into so many things [other genres].”
Growing up in a southern city that has created famous producers such as Missy Elliot, The Neptunes and Timbaland, Copon hopes to one day achieve the success they have.
Copon has also learned how to play the saxophone and plans on incorporating the sound of the saxophone with the original music he is now producing. He is is personifying what has made Virginia Beach a special place in music production.
By: David Tortolini