Words and Photography by Zac Dubasik
Album Artwork by okpants.com
The season may not have turned out how Cavs fans were hoping, but it was at no fault of their official DJ, DJ Steph Floss, who helped keep the Quicken Loans Arena live all season. Sole Collector featured DJ Steph Floss in our latest issue. Here is an excerpt of the story, and pick up a copy of Issue 28, available now, for the full article.
Loving your job is a wonderful thing. It’s something I can relate to from personal experience. Waking up every day without a feeling of dread stemming from what you will spend the next who knows how many hours on is a great way to start your day. From the second I met DJ Steph Floss, it was immediately obvious that our love for sneakers wasn’t the only thing we had in common. And as the official DJ of the Cleveland Cavaliers, (not to mention DJing around Cleveland and the rest of the country up to six nights a week), it’s not hard to understand why he has a passion for his work. “Being the DJ of the Cavs is the best job in the world,” explains Steph. “I love the organization, the team and the game-time atmosphere. Being in front of over 20,000 screaming fans is unbelievable, and I like to think I play a huge role in the atmosphere.”
Born and raised in Cleveland, Steph cites the diversity in his background as playing a key role in who he is today. Although he grew up in the inner city, he attended magnet grade schools, and later an all-male Catholic high school. But it was while attending Ohio State University on a full academic scholarship that he got his first taste of DJing. “I didn’t actually start until my sophomore year in college,” he explains. “In high school, my crew used to throw parties, so when I got to college I decided throwing parties would be my money maker. … I didn’t want to work a ‘real’ job, but wanted some extra money. I figured that I could throw parties, teach myself how to DJ, and save money by not having to hire a DJ. [laughs] And that I did.” While he may not have started DJing until college, Steph’s love for sneakers began far earlier.
“I’ve always been into sneakers. My older brother was always into kicks, so that love was handed down to me,” he says. “The difference between now and when I was a kid, though, is that I can buy more now. When sneakers began costing close to $200, parents didn’t seem to understand. [laughs] Now, I don’t have to tell my mom and dad what I buy. Well, not all the time. [laughs] … And I still make excuses. With the resurgence of retros, though, my love has gotten even larger. I love feeling like I’m back in the eighth grade.” His collection is as diverse as his background, too. From Nike, to Reebok, to adidas, to designer brands like Louis Vuitton, Steph is less discriminating with his brand affiliation than former Cav Shawn Kemp was with his women. “My crew, Eighty81, loves to try and set sneaker trends. I know I like to show people that if a sneaker is hot, it’s hot. You don’t have to only buy Dunks, or Blazers or just one specific sneaker. If you truly have a love for sneakers, all sneakers are fair game.”