Rolling Out

DJ PForReal, Lil Uzi’s official DJ, shares what it takes to be a top-tier mixer

The mixer has worked some of the biggest music events in the world

DJ PForReal has always wanted to build a legacy outside of his father, and that’s exactly what he did when he picked up his first turntables. The mixer is now the official DJ for one of the most electrifying artists today, Lil Uzi, and he continues to build his resume.

DJ PForReal spoke with rolling out about what it takes to become a respectable DJ, misconceptions about the art form, and some of the shows he’ll never forget.

What is the one show or event you worked on that you’ll never forget?

The first show after the pandemic, and it might have been Rolling Loud Miami. That was the first show we did [after] we did a little in-house, weird pandemic show because there was no crowd. It was awkward… Miami…was so intense because it’s the first show back and we [hadn’t] performed in two years. It was insane. I remember that and our first Coachella show. I think more so for me I was like “I’m at Coachella. I’m performing [at] Coachella.” It didn’t click until I was about to start the show. At the time, I was probably between 27 and 28 years old, so I wasn’t super young, but I wasn’t that old yet.

What does it take to be a respectable DJ today?

You have to be a little bit creative. Creative and consistent because everything’s been done already. So now, in 2024, in order for you to get the respect, you have to do something to gain it. For me, on my end, it was, of course, being with Lil Uzi, but then I’ve also created certain things, or I’ve done certain mixes that always get used over and over and over. I always made sure that I set the bar for certain things. We were just talking about this earlier; someone stole one of my shows. I had done a little up-and-down thing with lights and someone took my whole show. It wasn’t done before me in hip-hop, but they claim it was there’s which was kind of crazy. I always set the bar.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about DJs?

Sometimes people confuse DJs as artists, and we can be artists but we’re not. We are in our own lane. Once artists are here and they’re gone, we’re still here. I could DJ for the rest of my life. Then another thing, outside of we kind of are just a basic entity and we just do one thing, but as a DJ, you also very clearly have to be creative because you’re thinking about new mixes, you’re thinking about how you put certain things together, and most producers are DJs, or the opposite. I produce as well, but it’s so easy for me to produce because I know how to put things together, what sounds good together, what and how tempos work, and what drums will go with someone else, so it goes hand in hand.

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