How did it all start for you?
I’ve always been involved in music all my life. Whether it was in the marching band, producing, or DJing, music has always been a part of my life. Growing up being a student-athlete, I always felt like I would end up in broadcasting. When my basketball career ended, I did what most people do and started working, but I was never happy going to work.
In 2007, I remember listening to the Frank & Wanda In The Morning Show every day at work. One day they were talking about broadcasting and how many people were interested in it but didn’t know how to go about getting into it. That was me. So I took a step out on faith and went to the seminar.
By springtime [of] the next year, I was interning at CBS Radio, working in the commercial/imaging department at V103, learning under DJ Herb [and] working under Lil Bankhead. Eventually, I was hired on, working my way up to co-producer of the Frank & Wanda morning show. After my tenure with the station, I went back to school during the day and hit the street at night. Having to build relationships through the station and DJs around the city, I asked one of my DJ friends to teach me. I started shadowing a few DJs. I invested my money into buying a controller so I would be able to practice. By the end of 2015, I received a called asking if I was able to fill in at a nightclub for him. That led to me working every Saturday until the club closed down, but you know what they say: when one door closes another door opens. That has led to working in other sports bars and lounges from the people I’ve met and relationships I’ve built.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Ice Cube. He came from nothing to having his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Music was his outlet, and from there, he’s been producing, directing and starring in movies on the big screen and TV screen.
Who do you have a lot of respect for?
I would have to say Meagan Good or any female in the entertainment world. You go through a lot of mess and don’t get the type of respect you deserve. I look at Meagan Good as a success story because she didn’t compromise who she was to get to where she is.
What single night out has been the most memorable for you?
As a DJ, my most memorable night had to be on my birthday in July 2016. I was DJing at a restaurant/lounge behind a local band. [There were] probably eight to 10 people in the building. Not only did the band arrive late, they didn’t have a sense of urgency about setting up, so they were not able to perform. The drummer got in his feelings, approaching me like, “Nobody wants to hear that radio music. They came here to see us.” After that, I asked him to leave because he was being disrespectful. I had all eight to 10 people plus his lead singer dancing on the dance floor. That day alone let me know, as a DJ, I can do this.
As an attendee, my most memorable night would be back when Hurricane Katrina hit, and Usher was having a benefit concert to help raise funds for the hurricane victims. To be seated front row, floor seats, and having the opportunity to watch the legendary James Brown, Usher, T.I.,and Chris Brown perform — as a fan, I was blown away. Best night of my life.
Are you able to share any of your secret tricks with me?
My secret is the K.I.S.S. method. Keep it simple, stupid.
What is one mistake you see a lot of up-and-coming DJs making?
The biggest mistake I would say is doing whatever it takes to get “put on,” taking less money when they should be compensated more for their services.
What advice would you give to aspiring DJs?
Trust the process. Don’t cheat the process. Always do your research. Find somebody you can go to for advice [and with] questions; somebody who will help you along the way and will never steer you wrong.
If you could eternally be stuck in one year’s music scene, which year would it be?
I love the ’90s, but if I had to narrow it down, it would be 1996. The year when Outkast put the South on the map with ATLiens. The Fugees came with The Score. Tupac came with two classic albums that year (The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory and All Eyez on Me). I just love the ’90s.
What is one subgenre you think doesn’t get the attention it deserves?
What is it that you love about the scene?
I like the vibe of the music. For me, House music has a lot going on, like disco music. [With] Deep House music, the instruments sound smoother, soulful [and] more relaxing.
Your subgenre’s scene?
EDM (electronic dance music).
What is something that bugs you about the DJ scene?
Politics would be the easiest thing to say, but the one thing that bugs me is how accessible the DJ is. Anybody and everybody in some place can come up to the DJ for whatever they want or feel is important at that time, and sometimes it’s not the right time. Especially when you in your zone.
Do you think this has hurt a DJ’s ability to have a “unique” style?
No, because it seems we don’t really require much from today’s DJ besides slamming records in and screaming over records, but that’s how records are being broke.
Is having your own style separate from all the other DJs out there even important in modern DJing?
Yes! There are so many DJs today; you still have to find a way to stand out. You still have to have that “it” factor, a gimmick, … or be just damn good because tomorrow [there are] going to be 20 more people saying that they DJ. By next week, you have over 100 new DJs, so what is going to make you different?
What is one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
It’s hard to say the one good track, but if I had to lock myself down to one track, you can’t go wrong with the classic, Outkast’s ATLiens.