CJ Peak’s sound is an evolution of a multi-faceted life. Her earliest influences were family life, having a self taught musician as a mother (afro Caribbean and jazz), a cousin and brother rooted in hard rock, and female cousins deep into soul, funk, and disco. CJ spent years playing woodwind and percussion instruments, but settled in with percussion by the age of 12. During the teen years, CJ explored hard rock and punk while performing big band and jazz onstage and in competitions. Never satisfied with a single sound and wanting a challenge, she lent out her percussive talents during her college years for anyone’s asking.
During the late 80’s, CJ strayed from her music briefly to attend to personal matters. She donned her extremely infamous alter ego (only known by a select few) for 14 years, but the passion of music never died. She found some enjoyment in the Latin hip hop/ club music scene, but she needed more. One day, some colleagues invited her to the Trocadero in Philadelphia to hear Robbie Tronco, a pivotal event in CJ’s life. The sound and the atmosphere created by Robbie Tronco burned passionately deep in her psyche forever changing her. CJ’s hunger led her to New Brunswick, NJ to a club named Todd’s, where she began a friendship with Resident DJ Robert Perez, becoming his backup dj. As their friendship grew, Robert brought his “little sister” to his favorite hangouts throughout NYC, leading her to become a familiar guest fixture at the legendary For The Record record pool owned by Judy Weinstein and Dave Morales. She spent many days and nights, absorbing knowledge from Darrin Friedman and Jeffrey Allen. CJ accompanied them to many venues, also being schooled by Frankie Knuckles, Junior Vasquez, Johnny Vicious, Danny Krivit, Danny Tenaglia, Baby Hec Romero, Hex Hector, Bill Coleman, and Gant Johnson. They saw “Connie” on a regular basis and allowed her to learn the craft.
Still hungry, CJ came across DJ Rick Miko at a record store in Western NJ, who invited her to her first rave. This was her first exposure to a harder edged style. Her next step was attending a rave in Philadelphia after a day of shopping. When DJ Dozia Blakey of the Black Banana was a late show at the Silk City rave, DJ Jay Goodwill put CJ on the decks. As “Connie” spun, Dozia showed, liked what he heard, and let the newbie spin for half of his set. CJ became a regular guest dj at the Freightyard in Allentown PA, spinning with Residents GeoffE, Miko, and Ikon. She also started playing the East Coast rave scene officially using her own name, CJ Peak.
CJ still frequented NYC and found a middle ground in both music scenes. Bucking purists on both sides, CJ was one of the first djs to successfully spin what is known as “hard house”. One dj impressed with her fusion style was Dj Manny Ward. He invited her to hang out with him at his various club nights, which led her to becoming Manny’s warmup dj at Sound Factory Bar, including New Years 1994. When Frankie Knuckles arrived, CJ and Manny moved to the downstairs lounge, repeating the cycle for many months.
CJ embraced the “family” atmosphere of both cultures and felt it was time to contribute. Another budding dj, Emily Ng, was introduced to CJ, and the two became like sisters. Emiy and CJ put their heads together, and with the help of scene Celebrity/Goddess Jacquie Bacquie, threw Mix Up, their first party as the House Of Musique. Supported heavily by her Allentown “family” and introduced to the elite of NYC, CJ’s career began its rise. CJ traveled with Eightball Records to San Francisco and met DJ DRC, striking an empowering friendship. In 1994, DRC introduced CJ to promoter Alex Carson, which found CJ becoming a guest DJ in Atlanta for different events, spinning with J-Love, Debbie DeLeo, and subsequently Mike Music. CJ was also introduced to Vicki Ori, a Chicago promoter, and was invited to spin at a Chicago warehouse party. Vicki’s party merged with Miss Cookie’s party, and all their djs got thrown in a crazy mix with DJs Justin Long, Traxx, and one exceptionally humble dj who shared his set with CJ, Derrick Carter.
Word of mouth brought Gabriel (The Prophet) to CJ’s door. After experiencing CJ’s passion with the music, Gabriel offered to showcase CJ and her choice of DJ’s. Seeing an opportunity to push the image of “a good dj is a good dj”, CJ set out to amass a collection of DJs that would break stereotypes. The first House Of Musique Tour took place with the talents of DRC, Sista Spinsta, Devil Girl, Michele Sainte, Rachel, Emily, CJ, and an unknown Canadian, Miss Bianka. A special bonding took place, and the next leg of the tour made HOM international. Miss Bianka organized the tour for Ottawa, Ontario as Heartbeat, a benefit for the Heart Foundation of Canada. During the planning of the event, circumstances brought Devil Girl, Rachel, Emily, CJ, and Bianka closer, strengthening the core of HOM.
As time went on, many more were added to the list of HOM’s beloved friends and family, including Acid Maria, Misstress Barbara, Dose The Alien, The Prophet, Shortee and Faust, Manny Ward, Jay Goodwill, Eric Figlioli, Lockheart, and Panda, to name but a few. The Friends and Family of the House Of Musique have touched every continent but Antarctica (we might melt it). CJ has enjoyed multiple residencies, including Limelight NYC, Vanity NYC, Jet Lounge NYC, Silk City Philly, and a huge list of regular guest slots throughout the US and Canada. Always in mind were the other two components of HOM: the promoters who painstakingly put together the events, and the party-goers who fueled the fires, the love embodied in the House Of Musique, transcending boundaries. This is CJ’s family; she is the Mother of the House.