Rolling Out

DJ Hollygrove shares what it takes to be an elite mixer

Mixing pro gives inside scoop on the art of deejaying
DJ Hollygrove shares what it takes to be an elite mixer
Photo courtesy of Greyvoe The Shootah

DJ Hollygrove was born in New Orleans but is currently based in Houston. Hollygrove has been in the DJ space for over a decade, and his influences come from some of the legends such as DJ Black N Mild, Jam Master Jay, and OG Ron C. He’s mixed at multiple big events and venues and is looking to help up-and-coming DJs.

What inspired you to become a DJ?

I used to mess up my mother’s vinyl when I was young. I'[ll] never forget, [how] I used to scratch “Silent Night” by The Temptations. Doing that, and then seeing my uncle and then a couple of other people in New Orleans deejaying and how they ruled the crowd, it was cool. It was like you’re a king over a castle. You have all these people just doing whatever you say, and they’re just vibing to the music. I always thought it’d be cool because I was a music dude, and I was in the marching band from elementary to college. One of my friends was a DJ when I was in college, and he was a chopped-and-screwed computer DJ. I was blown away [by that], I was already into screw music the previous year and then being with him and learning was cool, then eventually I got on the turntables and started doing it.

What skills does it take to be a DJ?

You have to know your music. You have to know if you’re playing this song what’s going to mix well with that song. A lot of DJs that I hear nowadays, they’re deejaying and they’re crashing records, meaning at one point you’re playing a song by Tems, and then you go from Tems to something extreme. You just can’t go from one extreme to another extreme, and if you do it in a way where it mixes and blends, that’s OK. People will eventually start getting into it, but they’re going to be looking at you crazy.

What advice would you give to aspiring DJs?

You have to work hard, don’t take it lightly. Don’t think that because you’re a DJ that everybody’s going to book you. It doesn’t work that way. You have to work to get these bookings. I always tell hip-hop DJs or DJs in an urban environment that focus on hip-hop and R&B, find a young artist that is dope and hungry so you two can build together. If he’s cool, he’ll let you come on the road with him too. When Chamillionaire was on the road he got OG Ron C with him, and when Slim Thug was on the road, he took Young Sam with him. Drake took Future the Prince, and Future took DJ ESCO, and that’s one of the biggest DJs in the world now. When you build those relationships with those artists, you elevate faster. Also, study the craft and learn about the art of deejaying and turntablism.

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