The life of Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein is the focus of music video director Kevin Kerslake’s documentary As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM. The genre-bending DJ died of a drug overdose in 2009 at age 36.
The doc trailer highlights Goldstein’s wrise to fame in Las Vegas, alluding to the drug addiction and psychological issues that plagued him. “There’s a universal lie that I’ve pretty much believed my whole life, that is ‘As I am, I’m not enough. As I am, me, I’m not enough.’ And as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt that lie to be the truth.”
After a 2008 plane crash, Goldstein was left with PTSD and severe burns that led to an addiction to prescription anxiety medication. Kerslake – a veteran video director for acts like Nirvana, R.E.M. and Green Day – interviewed artists like Mark Ronson, A-Trak, Paul Oakenfold, Steve Aoki, Diplo and Jazzy Jeff to help tell Goldstein’s story for the film.
“The DJ culture didn’t really exist when he first got into it in the way that it did when he left it,” the director told Rolling Stone of DJ AM’s influence. “He dragged that culture into places — not just bottle service and posh clubs — out of skills that were born of battle culture and broader genres. He fused all that in a way that was very personal and unique. I’m still awed by his tenacity and persistence in terms of blowing through whatever resistance there was to achieve success, as well as overcoming so much adversity in his life.”
As I AM hits theaters May 27th at New York’s Village East cinema and June 3rd at ArcLight Hollywood.