Jason Howson is a DJ, event promoter, broadcaster and cultural advocate. Over the course of his career he has been a pivotal influence on the promotion and development of scenes for UK Garage, Two-Step, Drum and Bass, Grime and Dubstep within New Zealand.
Born in 1971 in Auckland, where he remains based to this day, Howson got his start as a punk/hardcore singer in the eighties, before learning bass guitar and studying towards audio engineering qualifications at SAE. Having made mixtapes from a young age, in 1992 Howson and a friend collectively purchased their first set of DJ turntables and a mixer and started learning to mix with house and hip-hop records.
Informed by hip-hop DJing, alongside house, Howson quickly added jungle drum and bass records to his selections before diving into UK garage, two-step, grime and eventually dubstep music. Over his career he has been crucial in the development and popularisation of these genres within New Zealand. During this time he's been associated with and moved around a community of local DJs including Sean Lyons, Simon Grigg, DJ Sir-Vere, Stinky Jim, Nick Dwyer, Rob Salmon, Mark Burgess, Greg Churchill, Sam Hill, Grant Kearney, Paul Stothers, DJ Presha and D.Rave.
In 1998 he spent a year as a DJ on pirate radio while living in London.
Having done the odd spot on the BPM show on 95bFM in the past, in 1999 Howson began his Silk Cuts In Session radio show on George FM with Sean Lyons. Silk Cuts In Session still continues to this day. Over the last fourteen years, it has been an essential radio resource for fans of Two-Step, Hip-Hop, UK Garage, Drum and Bass, Grime and Dubstep, both in Auckland and across the nation.
At the start of the new millennium, Howson began running electronic music club nights in Auckland including Silk Cuts at FuZen (2002), Hookie at St James’ Grand Circle (2002), Wheel at FuZen (2009-2011) and Dub Wars at Rising Sun and FuZen (2009). Between 2007 and 2011 he also began promoting performances from international dubstep DJs such as Mala DMZ, Caspa, DJ Distance, Tes la Roc, Cotti, Benga, Silkie, Cyrus, Joker, Jakes, Giant, N-Type, Coki, Plastician, Loefah and Kode 9. Through presenting these acts, Howson contributed considerably to the vibrancy, life and international relevance of the Auckland UK Garage, Two-Step, Grime and Dubstep scenes.
Over his career, his technical skills as a DJ and intuitive ability to read dancefloors has seen him open for the likes of Zed Bias, Dizzee Rascal and Pendulum. He's also toured most of New Zealand and performed at festivals such as Phat, Rhythm & Vines, Northern Bass and Splore.
In 2002 Howson recorded the Silk Cuts In Session mix CD for Universal Music New Zealand. In 2009 he recorded the Every Day Dubs Vol.1 mix CD for Each And Every Records. Both immaculately presented and selected, both of these compilations became essential listening pieces within the local UK Garage/Two-Step and Dubstep scenes respectively.
In 2007 Howson became the owner and operator of Auckland record and graffiti art supply store Beat Merchants. Since 2012 Beat Merchants has operated as an online business.
In 2009 and 2010 Howson won the Our House Best Dubstep DJ award.
In 2011 while visiting Europe and the UK, he contributed an exclusive well-received DJ set to the prestigious GetDarkerTV dubstep podcast.