MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, DJ Fazed was making a good living for himself and growing creatively, but then, all that came to a stop in March 2020.

Malik Braxton, AKA DJ Fazed relaxing in his downtown apartment

DJ Fazed, whose real name is Malik Braxton, makes electronic and rap/hip-hop beats. He said bars and clubs shut down and his revenue source dried up. Braxton was forced to drop out of college and move back in with his brother until late this summer. He returned to Morgantown with the hopes of finishing his degree and started making music and deejaying again.

“It hit me hard because I was going to have like a whole concert and stuff,” Braxton said. “I’d already paid for like advertisements and then COVID hits and it shuts down the whole concert. We were going to have NLE Choppa, Tyga and Chief Keef, all in one place, one night for homecoming. And then they canceled it, so I lost a good amount of money.”

Throughout the pandemic, losing money has been a recurring problem for Braxton.

Canceled concert’s flier

He admitted that his wallet has been “hit pretty hard”, but he said he’s just a young man chasing a dream.

“I love music,” Braxton exclaimed. “And, I think, it wasn’t until like my sophomore year of college that I actually learned I want to do this for a career. I want to play music and produce and all that other type stuff for, you know music, and stuff. Deejaying was the way and it was a way to get paid and to do what I love. “

Now, Braxton said, when he’s on stage, it doesn’t feel like a job.  

“It feels like literally just like having fun,” he said. “So, that’s why I choose to do it.”

It’s this passion that keeps him going. Plus, he said, things are starting to pick back up since his concert was canceled in September.

He has three DJ residencies in Morgantown, at Code, Pryzym and Fat Daddy’s.

In addition, Braxton said he “just came back from a tour” about two weeks ago. And, he’s trying to get another tour arranged in Phoenix, AZ.

DJ Fazed said he remains hopeful.

“Very hopeful,” he said. “I have to stay hopeful, man.” 

He said things are not fully back to normal in the music industry, and he’s unsure if they ever will be.

However, he said, that’s not necessarily a problem. Things might change, but he knows he can still make his living as the life of the party.

“I think it will, you know, eventually become profitable, like super-profitable again,” Braxton said. Like doing concerts and stuff like that, I think it will happen again. Everybody loves concerts, so it’s going to have to happen you know? Maybe not necessarily anytime soon, but it will happen.”

Braxton working on some beats in his home studio

You can find DJ Fazed and his music online.

“I make rap and EDM beats,” Braxton said. “I have a Linktree on my Instagram account, which is DJ_Fazed. And I’ve just been making beats on that. I have a SoundCloud and stuff like that. I have a couple of mixes up now. I’m starting to get that up and, you know, getting that right. I’ve got some videos too.”