Sean Spencer (born October 13, 1968), better known by his stage name DJ Spen or Spen, is an American DJ, record producer, and record executive. He got his start, at the age of 13, as a local DJ in Baltimore, Maryland in the early 1980s, making mix tapes for local radio shows and playing parties. In 1983, Spencer, (along with Kevin Liles, Rodney "Kool Rod" Holloman, Darryl "Junie Jams" Mims, and Wayne Mallory) started a hip hop group called the Numarx in the basement of his parents' Baltimore row house. With Kool Rod and Junie Jams as the MCs, the group performed around Baltimore and the surrounding areas and opened for acts such as LL Cool J and Run-DMC. Later Spencer, Liles, and Holloman (along with Bill Pettaway and Ky Adeyemo) wrote Girl You Know It's True, which became a popular hit in German nightclubs and was eventually heard by Milli Vanilli producer Frank Farian. Spen also worked for several Baltimore area radio stations including V-103, WERQ-FM "92Q", WKYS-FM, and WWIN-FM "Majic 95.9" (where he started the popular Flashback Saturday Night Dance Party). He eventually became the Mix Show Director at V-103.
In 1989, Spen moved away from hip hop and joined the powerhouse dance music production team The Basement Boys who remixed or produced artists such as Paula Abdul, Michael Jackson, Crystal Waters, and Ultra Nate. Karizma later joined the group and was DJ Spen's production partner. The two often produced under the alias "Deepah Ones" and Karizma became a mix show DJ during Spen’s tenure as Mix Show Director on V-103. In 1998 DJ Spen stopped working on radio to fully devote his time to production and DJ work. He continued to work with the Basement Boys for several years before starting a business venture called Code Red Recordings, with partner Gary Deane Ahrens. Code Red eventually snagged a distribution deal with the popular house music giant, Defected Records based in the UK. In 2011, Spen ventured out on his own to start the house music label Quantize Recordings, where he serves as President/CEO. Thomas "Thommy" Davis (original member of The Basement Boys and co-producer on the Grammy Award winning song Gypsy Woman starring vocalist Crystal Waters) serves as Vice President of A&R.
DJ Spen continues to play internationally and has performed at some of the most sought after venues and locales around the world including Ministry of Sound; Coachella; Southport Weekender UK; SunceBeat Festival Croatia; and Ibiza. He and his former studio production partner Karizma often perform DJ sets together, wowing crowds with their back and forth routines that include broken beats, loops, and tricks using drum machines and up to 7 digital turntables. In the summer of 2018, DJ Spen and Italian producer Michele Chiavarini scored a number 1 on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart with their remix of Donna Summer's Hot Stuff.
Being an instrumental part of the dance music scene in Baltimore initially starting at record stores, Thommy has been involved in Baltimore’s various music genres that have kept Baltimoreans enthralled. Pioneering the way in Italian music wave with its early introduction and then being the first outside of Chicago to bring House into popularity gave Baltimore a music history that has founded many of the sounds being produced out of the city. In Music Liberated Record Store and then Metro Stereo Record Store, and then 12 Inch Dance Records (DC and Baltimore) he created the new salesman field of DJ salesman. Not only did he sell the music to the customers but skillfully demonstrated how and what was worthy of attention in skills and selection. This new category of salesman caught on and since then has yet to be redefined. Thommy was also one of the first to create and distribute his own dance record label (Thomix Records), opening the eyes of fellow Baltimoreans to the possibilities of independent promotion and distribution and inspiring other local producers. With his label he crossed the country and the world, licensing his productions in several countries around the world and giving Baltimore a reputation for dance music. His first label release, “Get the Hole” w/ DJ Spen & Beatmaster Mozes is still a classic and is still widely sought after although it was pressed from a cassette master! After the success of the first release he went on to do others and thus the Baltimorean independent label scene was born. He is very proud that many consider him a main influence in their growth and direction in music. What many know him from and connect him to is the collaboration that he and Teddy Douglas and Jay Steinhour formed called the Basement Boys. Their production company has made Baltimore legendary. The first release on Jump Street Records, was a remake of a Rose Royce classic called “Love don’t Live here No More” featuring Teddy on the lead vocals himself. They continued on to produce now famous artist as Ultra Nate’, Crystal Waters, Mass Order (Lift Every Voice), and many other projects that gave the production company a name in the world and in the music scene. While with the original production company, Thommy and the boys received several awards, gold records and even a Grammy nomination. Maintaining several major labels at once (WEA, CBS, and MCA) and multiple indie labels, the boys broke the mold for the DJ/Producer. Projects such as Ultra Nate’ and Crystal Waters have crossed the ocean and still to this day have progressed and shown the world that they are icons in her own right. As a DJ he has played at almost all the Baltimore clubs at one time or another. He’s known for his relentless energy and his passion for dance music and creativity. From legendary Baltimore/DC clubs such as Odells, Fantasy, Last Stop, Clubhouse, Underground, Paradox, and many too numerous to mention he is known for his energy and his skills to please the dancer. A dancer himself, he produces, remixes, writes and plays what he likes to hear and feel…dance music! Not just a DJ, not just a producer, not just a writer, Thommy consistently feeds the music scene with effervescence and passion. Many of his past works will make it hard to out do, but to know him is to know that you wouldn’t bet against it. The list of songs that he has either produced, written or inspired