Substance was born in Austin and moved to Colorado Springs in 2000.  His first interest in music came in middle school where he played the violin for 3 years.  Substance learned the basics of musical structure and harmony during this time. It was not until after he graduated high school that he began taking part in the EDM scene.  He specifically became interested in DJs and turntableism. 
Substance learned the most basic required skills from a professional named DJ Ghost.  In 2010, he chose his moniker and became committed to professionally playing, performing at local clubs, competing in DJ battles, and more.  For some amount of time, he lived in Illinois where he helped establish a scene where it was non-existent.