Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, Byron The Aquarius launched his production career in 2007, collaborating with well-known Parisian producer Onra on an EP entitled “The Big Payback.” which led to numerous releases on independent labels like Rush Hour or Warp (with Flying Lotus), to name a few. It was at Denaun’s studio in Detroit that Byron realized he wanted to make his own music and bravely returned to Alabama to hone his craft through jazz studies and jazz composition programs in piano at Morehouse University and Jacksonville State University. As he’s coming to France (Lyon) with Encore collective on April 14, we asked the expert his best addresses in Birmingham. 

What’s to do in the summer when everyone’s gone?

Kind of Hard to say what to do in the summer cause I’m always gone from the heavy touring or in a studio…

What’s the collective’s HQ when it comes to drinks?

For drinks in the South, I will say the 3000bar. I love the vibe good south people tons of drinks talking and good scenery…

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Where can you find the best records in town?

For record digging, I love digging in my home town the place of Sun Ra! One thing I love about Birmingham in Alabama is that you can always find the best records for super cheap like 3 dollars, 5 dollars or highest you will pay is $10 and up but great prices.

First record shop will be Charlemagne Record Exchange, then Renaissance Records with crazy selections and OG heads that know how to show you what you’re looking for and good category of your taste.

Finally, Seasick Records : I’m a fan of there hip hop section Madlib Dilla Stones Throw etc, and crazy experimental fusion rock bands. What is so dope about Seasick Records is that you can get a fresh haircut right in the Record shop. Alabama style…

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© Charlemagne Record Exchange

What can you do for a first date?

For a first date I would go to Cheese Cake Factory (236 Summit Boulevard), intimate and sexy setting for a great date. Tons of good people and vibes.

Second choice will be Saturn Birmingham with good friendly bartenders and good whiskey brew! Good music from soul, rock bands, electronic music, hip hop to good ass food! BaMa style!

Where can you lose your dignity?

(Laughs) I will say the Strip Club called the Furnace in Birmingham. You can catch some good food, good lap dances with good music sexy classy spot for somebody to just have mad fun!

A good address for brunch?

Great place for anyone that I will recommend is Nikki’s West. People from all over the world come to this spot. One of Alabama best soul food spots where you can catch all the good food. You will want to come back, great southern hospitality with great food and jazz playing in the back ground. My favorite!

The best plan to chill on a Sunday?

Best place to chill on a Sunday for me is Airport Lounge. I love the spot if you really want to just escape and have fun on Sunday with good bartenders good soulful and hip hop music. The spot stay open till 3am, sometimes longer, but it is a great spot for me to just getaway from the studio and break away for some good dancing and sipping!

Best view of the town?

Great view would be Oak Mountain State Park, Great Lakes outdoor scenery from good mountain hiking. It is just something about this area especially at night that gives the best view. Then I will say Vulcan Park which let you see the whole city of Birmingham Alabama great at night with all the stars in the sky.

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What do you miss the most?

The Studio, vintage studio in Birmingham Alabama called Bates Brothers Recording nothing like being in that studio with the SSL board vintage gear and all. It is the place to getaway!

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A local product?

It will be Good People brewing the best beer that you will taste! In the South!

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