Los Angeles native Josh Kouzomis, known in the industry as Troublemaker, began making his musical name as a college radio DJ and music director at Ohio University’s ACRN. His school stint was brief but critical, and resoundingly affirmed Kouzomis future lay elsewhere, specifically, Los Angeles.
Once home, Kouzomis joined punk/hardcore giant Epitaph Records first as a grass-roots marketing intern and then as a radio promoter, positions he capitalized on. He took what he had learned firsthand about the indie music business and production during his Epitaph tenure to co-found Celestial Recordings, the acclaimed underground hip hop and drum-and-bass label. Just one year later, Rolling Stone named Celestial-affiliated Konkrete Jungle (L.A.) Best Dance Club.
Troublemaker’s Konkrete-era sonic experiments with such Celestial partners as producer Daddy Kev, rapper Phoenix Orion, and junglist Hive fueled Kouzomis personal ambitions. Not one to miss a beat, he next enlisted E. Moss to form Backyard Bangers, whose eponymous debut track, is a a collaboration with Z-Trip.
Since then, Troublemaker has steadily turned out remixes and commercial pieces true to his name, consistently causing the best kinds of diggable disturbance. Whether edits for the likes of Rusko or Justice, winning the annual URB Magazine/Scion Mixtape contest, or remixing Linkin Park on two separate occasions (multi-platinum Reanimation album, and current lead single, “The Catalyst”), Troublemaker has proven himself both a master producer and DJ. With a diverse discography boasting works ranging from Johnny Cash, Matt and Kim featuring De La Soul, and Nina Simone, Kouzomis has roused the audio rabble in-car, in-club, and even in-Capital: in January 2009, Troublemaker, alongside De La Soul, Moby, Santigold, and Shepard Fairey, rocked D.C. at the Manifest Hope Inauguration Party in Washington.
While others are satisfied with the standard mix-and-tour, Troublemaker refuses to settle, or settle down. His two side projects, King Fantastic and Rad Omen, features tracks like the alt/modern rock-tinged “All the Girls” and the hip hop appealing “Why? Where? What?” that demonstrate Troublemaker’s ability not only to produce and remix others but also to do it for himself. Their sheer diversity and Troublemaker’s motley musical skills together make his production style one-of-a-kind. In its conception and in your ears, Troublemaker is the kind of aural showcase and body-moving rollercoaster that can not (or will not) be stopped.