Pacal Bayley

My day job is being a producer and a DJ. I started off as a producer when I was about 14, but I quickly realized that the vocalists I was producing were having all the fun and getting all the recognition. I looked for a way to insert myself into the spotlight, and that’s when I also became a DJ. My stage name is DJ Pain 1.

As a DJ, I love the feeling of playing to the crowd and directing the emotional trajectory of an event. I’m always a bit anxious when I’m playing for a new crowd—you have to read them, understand what they love or hate and respond accordingly. I think I’ve become pretty skilled at reading my audience and adapting to any crowd.

I’ve produced for Ludacris, Public Enemy, The Game and Jadakiss.

I also have a master’s degree in linguistics and am a certified secondary educator.

My most memorable caffeine is the day when I was about 12 or 13 and discovered that caffeine does affect me! I was at my godfather’s house and he had a big bottle of Surge soda. My parents didn’t let me drink soda, so I was very excited to have that. It was about 6 or 7 at night, and I remember it was a school night. I didn’t get to sleep until about 4:00 a.m. I truly thought that I was dying—it was the first time I’d experienced insomnia and I thought I was losing my mind. I’ve never done that again.

My current caffeine of choice is tea or kombucha, which is a fermented tea. It gives me a lot of good energy and I like to have it before I exercise.

My favorite place for caffeine is Cargo Coffee on E. Wash. I’m on the executive board of UCAN, the Urban Community Arts Network, and we have all our meetings there.

The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is Dr. Huey Newton, a co-founder of the Black Panther Party.

I’ve looked at his philosophies and find myself aligned with his ideas. He was able to create a movement that spawned others and I haven’t seen a comparable figure in my lifetime. We desperately need insights into contemporary socio-political matters and values and I believe he could offer them.

World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine:  I’d actually say that people are over-caffeinated because they’re overworked and stressed out trying to provide for their families and keep up the energy just to survive, rather than improve.

We spend so much time passively consuming information without analyzing what we’re taking in. We’re in a vicious cycle of overwork, competition and distress that’s leaving us feeling isolated, uninformed and fearful of our fellow human beings.

I think the solution is to be mindful of what’s happening around us—to refocus and snap out of our energized fervor. To connect and appreciate what’s happening to humanity and take control of our own destinies.