Some people seem destined to make a career in music, but for others, the decision to become a musician feels like a complete coin-flip. With DJ El Dusty, a leader in the Corpus Christi, Texas, club scene, his start on the creative path was a little bit of fate and a smidge of happenstance. 

When El Dusty was a kid, his older brother led a crew down in CC that got involved in some shady activities. One night, big bro came home with a set of turntables he’d boosted from a quinceañera. He told his little brother to keep away from his gear, but of course, El Dusty had other plans. He began training himself on the 1s and 2s, and by the time he was 16, he was spinning in local clubs.

Another remarkable coincidence occurred later in El Dusty’s life, when an uncle passed away and left El Dusty’s family a record collection numbering in the thousands. El Dusty combed through the collection and soon discovered that he had inherited a treasure trove of classic Mexican Cumbia. Cumbia is a Latin American dance genre with a strong African influence.

Today, DJ El Dusty is pioneering a new genre altogether, fusing house, trap, and other electronic styles with samples from vintage Cumbia. The process of mixing the sounds requires someone with El Dusty’s immense talents. The older Cumbia recordings are very loose and unstructured, so it’s tricky to work samples into the framework of contemporary dance music, while still keeping the spirit of the original groove.

But El Dusty knows how to persevere and keep striving. After a car accident left his father paralyzed, turning his mother into a caregiver 24/7, El Dusty began appreciating his good fortune and paid it forward. He now works with programs like Turntable Academy and Chicas Rock in Corpus Christi, which bring music to the community’s Latino youth.

For more on El Dusty and his one-of-a-kind career (and sound), check out the latest installment of Uncharted, presented by Honda, by hitting the play button on the video above.