Q&A: DJ Sliink!
Whoever said ‘club music is dead’ was sadly mistaken. When you’ve got a producer like DJ Sliink in the studio, the genre gets a revival every time a beat is laid down. Straight outta Jersey, DJ Sliink lives and breathes club music. At just twenty-one years of age, he still holds Jersey club pioneers like DJ Tim Dolla and DJ Tamiel close to his heart, but he’s got enough knowledge and drive within him to forage his own path.
Listen to any of the sounds in DJ Sliink’s catalog, like his Vibrate EP from February; his most recent $ NJ $ mixtape; or his latest collaboration with Berts on Beats and Trouble & Bass on “RRR U”, and you’ll hear classic club breaks and true Jersey soul fatefully blended with trap and heavy bass. DJ Sliink is creating an essential new school club music hybrid that pays homage to the pioneers of yesterday and hypes up the new dance music disciples of today.
With lofty innovation and a work ethic that never sleeps, DJ Sliink has made quite a name for himself in 2012. His Vibrate EP, released by Body High, slayed every dance floor it came in contact with. He bridged the gap between dance music and trap music this summer on his tour with Flosstradamus. He’s been valiantly pushing his own label, Cartel Music, with releases dropping all year. He recently mixed an hour long set for a feature on Diplo’s “Diplo & Friends” radio program on BBC Radio 1. His $ NJ $ mixtape, bursting at the seams with his own original productions, serves as a mission statement for his unique sounds. Plus he’s Twitter verified! Instant street cred here on the World Wide Interwebs. All of these things and then some have prompted major publications, like Vibe and Fader, to name DJ Sliink as one to watch in 2013. So it’s about time you get familiar, yes?
The good homie Nadus recently hooked me up with DJ Sliink and we talked about how he started producing, what it was like coolin’ with Flosstradamus all summer, and what’s next for 2013. Read on!
Cool Breezy: How did you get started DJing and producing Jersey club? Are there any particular DJs or tracks that inspire your creativity?
DJ Sliink: I started when I was about 15-16. I actually got inspired by my younger brother who goes by the name “ClubHeadSliim”. He was always [the]more outgoing and dancing type. This dude was really into music. I always stuck to sports. I used to always see him making beats on this program and they sounded pretty cool! One day I decided “Let me try” [and] from there on I always came in and worked on little beats. Other people who inspired me were Jersey Club Kings DJ Tim Dolla & DJ Tameil. Every party I went to, they just laid it down!
CB: How do you think Jersey club sets itself apart from Baltimore and Philly club?
Sliink: I think it sets itself apart by concept. In Jersey club, I think it’s more thought of stuff and strict dance floor music. Don’t get me wrong, I see Bmore music to be a bit more soulful and [with] a deeper background. It’s definitely much more slower with a lot more breaks. Philly club is really fast and reminds me of footwork, but really good!
CB: You recently wrapped up the Nomads Tour with Flosstradamus. What was it like being on the road with them and what was your favorite memory from the tour?
Sliink: It was so amazing being on tour with these guys. They were really down to earth and they are vets. The really understand the game well and I like how they work. My favorite memory had to be the last day of tour, when we all thanked each other and said how much of a great tour it was. One final time, we all got on stage when “Test Me” came on [we] wet the whole crowd with water. It was amazing – such good times.
CB: So far you’ve worked with producers like Brenmar, Nadus, and obviously Flosstradamus, to name a few. Do you have any dream collaborations you’d like to make happen?
Sliink: I love those guys. I would love to work with Pharrell, Manny Fresh, and Timbaland. These guys really had me vibing to most of the music I heard growing up. It really would be a honor!
CB: What’s something people may not know about you?
Sliink: Haha! I’m a really great basketball player ’til this day. I used to be a basketball star when I was a little younger. I also can cook everything! Cookin italian dishes is my favorite. I can also draw. I used to sketch a lot. Music has taken up all my time, but I don’t regret it.
CB: If some insane apocalyptic event occurred and for whatever reason you could only listen to three albums for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Sliink: This is easy lol. I would choose Bone Thugs “The Art Of War”, G Unit “Beg For Mercy” and The Vibrate EP.
CB: Between the raging success of the Vibrate EP and the Nomads tour, it’s safe to say you’ve had a pretty exciting year. So what’s next for DJ Sliink?
Sliink: I really enjoyed this year. This year was pretty much a worldwide intro for me. What’s next for me? I have 3 EPs dropping with Flosstradamus, Brenmar, & MikeQ. This is something everyone should look out for. I’m trying to reach out to all genres that’s in my state’s favor.
CB: Do you have any advice for up-and-coming DJs and producers?
Sliink: I love to see young people grind! They need to keep grinding. Everyone has to start somewhere. I almost gave up on music a few times. Never give up!