All Eshrack Mohammed wants to do is make people dance.
Mohammed, 21, spends hours in his Arlington bedroom creating music on his computer at full blast. His music has been so loud that his neighbors have submitted seven noise complaints.
Mohammed, an up-and-coming DJ in Tarrant County’s underground music scene, doesn’t annoy his neighbors on purpose. He makes music to work through past trauma to inspire others with his upbeat catchy songs.
“I’m all about peace, love and positivity,” Mohammed said.
Turning childhood trauma into funky beats
Mohammed’s interest in music started after his father left in 2014 and never returned.
Mohammed was just 13 and he needed a way to process trauma related to his father leaving. He turned to music because his favorite rappers, like Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West, use their songs to process the good and bad in their lives.
“I needed that creative outlet,” Mohammed said.
His early music was rough, but Mohammed knew he would grow into a better musician through each song he produced.
Initially, he paid others for the background music that he would rap over. Mohammed’s wallet, though, could only take so much as an aspiring musician.
As a high school junior, Mohammed learned how to use the app FL Studio to make beats for his raps to save money. He spent hours in his bedroom creating new music for his songs so he could improve.
During a Thanksgiving trip to visit family, Mohammed noticed a house party as his mom drove through neighborhoods to avoid highway traffic.
From the car’s passenger seat, Mohammed saw around 100 people dancing. They were moving to the beats of Go-go house music, a kind of funk music that has a jumpy sound that encourages people to dance.
Mohammed wanted his music to have the same effect.
Building community through music
Mohammed pursued a visual and sound media production degree at the University of Seton Hall in New Jersey but stopped attending after officials found an irregularity on his tax documents. He could not afford his own tuition.
Mohammed applied to join the military, but he was rejected because of his peanut allergy. Instead, he moved to Arlington in 2022 because of Polo Chroma, a member of the North Texas rap group Chroma.
They first grew to know each other on Twitter where their friendship blossomed over discussions about house music. Eventually, they met in person during a concert for Inner Wave, an alternative indie-pop band.
After listening to the opener for Inner Wave, Mohammed told Chroma that he needed a roommate who could make music as fast as him.
Chroma jumped at the opportunity. The duo moved in together shortly after.
Chroma and Mohammed often work together to produce beats and write verses. The creative process usually takes around 25 to 30 minutes for each song.
“It’s amazing having someone you can bounce ideas off of when you both know your ideas are great,” Mohammed said.
After living with Mohammed, Chroma knew he would be a good addition to the underground music scene.
“As someone who also loves the community aspect of music, I can’t wait to see how he brings people together in the scene,” Chroma said.
Mohammed aims to be the best DJ by combining rap and house music, allowing him to blur the lines between the two genres.
He showed off his music when he received an invitation to play at a show in March from a University of Texas at Arlington group that helps creatives get a platform.
On that early spring night, young college students danced the night away in a cramped living room to the sound of Mohammed’s hypnotic house music.
Mohammed knew he made the right decision.
Juan Salinas II is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.