After Mad Decent released Blaq Files earlier this year, classic Baltimore club productions from Blaqstarr became smashing hits all over again. File sharing wasn’t running rampant between 2002 and 2006 when these tracks were originally produced and released, so a re-release seemed appropriate this year. “Hands Up Thumbs Down” one of the four tracks on Blaq Files and a classic that is still in heavy rotation here in Baltimore, finally gets proper video treatment from Lofty Nathan. In the video, you’ll see Baltimore’s own ruff ryders, the 12 o’ Clock boys, performing their own dirt bike stunts while high-energy dancers let loose in the streets. Everything is in slow-mo in the video, but we all know how hype it gets in the clubs when this track bumps through the speakers. This video is making me wish I could see a lot of my favorite club classics come to life again!
Club music wasn’t always like “throw that pussy up on his ass”. Believe it or not, sometimes it was even a bit sexy. Back in 2008, Dave Nada released the perfect after hours mix, “Love In This Bmore Club” (MDWWR #37, 10/15/08), which showcased the sexier side of Baltimore club music. He’s known as a moombahton man now, but his Baltimore club days were hella respectable!
Now he paired up with his forever boo, Jen Lasher, to make “Love In This Jersey Club”, which showcases as many of the finest Jersey Club producer possible in thirty minutes – every one from DJ Sliink to Nadus and OGs like DJ Tameil and Tim Dolla. And after the truly electric experience that was Boiler Room: Jersey Club Edition, held on Wednesday night in Newark, NJ, I’m sure you’ll appreciate a little cool down sesh with your boo thang. ;)
1. Nadus – “Marriage Proposal”
2. Rihanna ft. Future – “Loveeee Song” (DJ Tameil Remix)
3. Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell – “Wanna Love You Girl” (DJ Tameil remix ft. Tim Dolla)
4. Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell – “Wanna Love You Girl” (Vices Remix)
5. R. Kelly – “Number One” (DJ Hoodboi Remix)
6. Fabolous ft. Chris Brown – “Ready” (Tim Dolla Remix)
7. Ciara – “Body Party” (DJ Sliink & Nadus Remix)
8. Ciara – “Promise” (Tim Dolla Rem ix)
9. Aaliyah – “One In A Million” (DJ Tiga Remix)
10. Jeremih – “773 love” (Cashmere Cat Edit)
11. August Alsina – “Suckas” (DJ Sliink & DJ Hoodboi & Trippy Turtle Remix)
12. Toni Romiti – “Miss Me” (DJ Sliink Remix ft. DJ Bake)
13. Isley Brothers – “Between The Sheets” (Nadus Remix)
14. Nadus x Kuddie J – “Make Me Feel”
15. Jhene Aiko – “Comfort Inn Ending” (R3ll Remix)
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!
He knows how to command a club full of party people and will undoubtedly melt off each of their unsuspecting faces. I’m talkin’ about David Heartbreak, one of the most diversely creative moombahtonistas in the game right now. His goal is simple – to make people dance. He simply knows no boundaries and will not stop until you’re movin’.
It’s nearly impossible to peg Heartbreak’s signature sound because he jumps around from genre to genre so frequently. From moombahsoul to moombahcore to Burial-esque ambience – he consistently produces different sounds so he never gets bored, and in turn, we don’t either. It’s always a win-win situation with Heartbreak. You’ll never hear him create the same tune. Thank god for that. He has an intense focus on becoming a well-rounded producer and aims to have a full understanding of the vibes and technicalities of many different genres so he stays in the lab trying to perfect their production processes.
His unrelenting hustle and unwavering curiosity about other genres have resulted in an impressive arsenal of tunes. I could sit here and rattle off all of Heartbreak’s releases but by the time you looked away, we would be well into next week and I can’t have you skippin’ out on any of this week’s moombahton releases! But seriously. “Blaze Up (That Jeffrey)”, the collaboration between Heartbreak and Toddla T – instant moombahton anthem. You’d be hard-pressed to find a moombahton party that doesn’t have this banger pumpin’ through the speakers. Additionally, Heartbreak’s mini releases – M1 through M7 – display the constant evolution of his unique style. Touting only a handful of tracks combine, the M releases created an outlet for Heartbreak to experiment with big room bangers and push the boundaries of his creativity within moombahton.
On the other hand, Heartbreak revealed his softer side this summer as he released three volumes of Moombahsoul tracks that tossed an underhanded pitch to any guy who needed to step up their love game. Heartbreak’s moombahsoul innovation directly catered to the ladies of moombahton with its sensual, soulful sex tunes. With a Mad Decent cosign to the moombahsoul movement, almost every moombahtonista in the game contributed their unique sound to the three-volume compilation, including Nadastrom, Sazon Booya, Jon Kwest, and Torro Torro. Moombahsoul added another face to the growing genre – one that oozed of an R&B revival with sexy vocals instead of hyperactive lazers, sirens, and heavy bass. There’s a time and place for everything and luckily, Heartbreak is a man of many talents.
Heartbreak serves as the tirelessly creative catalyst for moombahton. I’m pretty convinced he lives in the studio so his production never ceases nor does the quality ever waiver. He constantly encourages his fellow moombahtonistas to push the boundaries of their abilities and in turn, ignite the movement towards world domination.
Heartbreak stepped away from Pro Tools just long enough for me to yoke him up for a little Q&A session with the kid, so check it out after the jump!
As a certified party rocker and one-third of DC’s party crew, Nouveau Riche, Steve Starks is quite the force to be reckoned with here in the DC EDM scene. He maintains a heavy presence in the city by frequently collaborating on productions and live-appearances with Nacey, releasing original tunes on T&A Records, and playing for all different kinds of party people. Last Friday, he played for a rooftop of glowing ravers and moombahtonistas at Ibiza for Steez Promo’s MEGA event with Boys Noize. Next Saturday, he’ll be playing with Craze at U Street Music Hall. But if you need more evidence that he’s got the dopeness factor on lock, see below:
Exhibit A: “Fr33ky in the Club” – Starks’ utilized DC’s hometown advantage in the moombahton scene by releasing an original production, “Fr33ky in the Club”. This track turned out to be a moombahton anthem from the jump, as it encouraged party people to enthusiastically lose their shit in the club. Girls, you know what I’m talkin’ about. “Fr33ky in the Club” received some major love from Mad Decent and was also featured on many early moombahton mixes, including Brodinski’s European Introduction to Moombahton. Because of this song, all of us moombahton-lovers are now known as “fr33ks” and for damn good reason too.
Exhibit B: “Problem” – Most recently, Starks dropped a banger, “Problem”, for free download! “Problem” is most definitely one of my favorite Starks productions so far. It’s a classic dance track, full of bass and a touch of Baltimore club, all the while sampling an unlikely throwback, The Cardigans “Love Fool”. (RIGHT?!) With “Problem”, Starks not only rescued and revived “Love Fool” but also transformed it into a massive dance tune that totally bangs.
Exhibit C: KIDS – Starks was one of the originators of DC’s old-school hip-hop dance party, KIDS. For a few years on the first Saturday of every month, Starks joined his friends Nacey, DJ Jackie O, and DJ Lil Elle at DC9 to take you back to the old school by playing all the throwback hip-hop jams you could handle. KIDS was inspired by the 90s cult classic film of the same name and embraced city culture the best way they knew how. KIDS ran for a few years until they collectively agreed to end that chapter a few months ago. But in its time, it was a rager for sure, usually packed wall-to-wall with sweaty party people gettin’ busy to Montel Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It”.
Exhibit D: Nouveau Riche – On the second Saturday of every month, find Starks at his second home at U Street Music Hall for Nouveau Riche, a monthly dance party/shit show run by him and his friends Nacey and Gavin Holland. As one of my favorite monthlies in DC, you never know what to expect at this one. These self-proclaimed “party hunks” (I’m not arguing) play everything from dubstep to Baltimore club to electro to their very own productions. Anything goes at this party and the unpredictability of it all is extremely exhilarating. The only element you can truly rely on is everybody having an amazing time. Hands down. Starks and the rest of the Nouveau Riche boys rock that party like it’s their J-O-Bs (I guess it kind of is…) and they do a damn good job of it. If everyone is crawlin’ out the club lookin’ like a hot mess, I’d say it was a successful night.
Keep watch for new tracks from Steve Starks comin’ atcha at random times via the innerwebz. Unpredictable, but it’s happening. Trust me. It’s easier if you just stay ready. In the meantime, if you wanna see him live in action, catch him and the rest of the Nouveau Riche crew at U Street Music Hall this Saturday starting at 10PM. It’s bound to get totally w3ird so bring your favorite fr33k flag and let it fly high.
I recently caught up with Steve Starks to talk about his new tune, “Problem”, his favorite memory from Nouveau Riche, and what kind of goodies we can expect in the near future.
Cool Breezy: How’d you get into DJing and producing?
Steve Starks: I first started messing with production on an old demo program that I installed on my parents computer. I would just make weirdo beats all day until that computer crashed. I got one of my own in college and my homie, Nacey, showed me how to use Fruity Loops. I learned all the basics on that program and have been making music since. Along the way, I figured I should learn how to DJ so I could do the performance part. I saved up and got some turntables and started playing parties here and there. After school I moved to DC and linked up with Gavin Holland and started doing Nouveau Riche with him and Nacey and have been doing it ever since.
CB: You just released “Problem”, which is a total monster of a track. What’s next? What are you working on now?
SS: I got a new EP in the works for T&A Records and my Fr33ky in tha Club (moombahton) EP will be out shortly. In the meantime, I wanna keep putting tracks out on my soundcloud.
CB: Who are some of your influences as a DJ and producer? Is there anybody you’re trying to work with in the future?
SS: I grew up on hip-hop. When I young I was really inspired by old Missy (Elliot) and Timberland tracks. Being from Maryland, I also listened to a lot of Baltimore Club music on the radio [and at] house parties and school dances. Once I got turned on to dance music, I found a place to tie together all my influences. Blaqstarr and Green Velvet are still two of my favorite DJ/producers.
Right now I’m working on some collaborations with my hometown heroes Nadastrom and Tittsworth. I’m also hoping to get up with Baltimore’s DJ Pierre in the near future.
CB: What tunes are in your iPod rotation right now?
SS: I’ve been real into Lex Lugar and Juicy J’s mixtape. Brodinski, Brenmar, Movado, Munchi, The Dream, Eric Rincon, Tittsworth and Alvin Risk are in heavy rotation. Lots of hip-hop old and new and the most random tunes from Dolly Parton to Pantera to Jodeci.
CB: Got a favorite memory from one of those crazy ass Nouveau Riche parties?
SS: One that stands out is when the music cut one time. Some one had kicked the plug out, but the vibe was so strong that people were clapping to the beat for like a minute straight. Once the music cut back on it was pandemonium. People lost their minds! Also, our first time playing at U Street Music hall was really special. I still can get over what a good job they’ve done with that club. I’m so happy to call it home.
Real talk: I rarely see this dude without a smile on his face. BillyBennett, aka Billy the Gent, has a lot to be happy about though. He just married the love of his life, has a little baby girl on the way, and is totally killin’ it in the moombahton game right now. You’ve probably seen him around DC, inkin’ up you and your homies at Tattoo Paradise or hanging out at U Hall or DC9. But hopefully you’ve even seen him playing maestro at the Velvet Lounge.
Billy and Cam Jus join forces once a month at Velvet for their monthly moombahton rager called Tropixxx, and trust me – it’s triple x’d for a reason. I came through last month for the video shoot for “Pendejas” (the Tittsworth and Alvin Risk collaboration to be released on May 31st via Mad Decent’s Blow Your Head) and it was one of the wildest parties I’ve been to in a minute. It was a late Sunday night, the forever-dreaded Monday morning was looming on the horizon, and nobody gave a shit. Seriously, not a single shit. Tittsworth, Alvin Risk, and some random, victimized barstool were crowd surfing in a room that’s no bigger than your attic. Big booties were rockin’ everywhere to moombahton classics from Nadastrom, Munchi, Dillon Francis, and more. Everybody was shakin’ dat ass so right that not a single person in there had a dry forehead. Even the walls were sweating. It was only appropriate that they cooled us down with showers of Natty Boh and tequila. Looking up at times and seeing Billy and Cam orchestrating the madness, I had to ask myself, “Is this real life?” And indeed it was. This was all happening in the name of moombahton and it felt so right.
Tropixxx feels like Moombahton Mini, the golden child of Moombahton Massive. Let’s face it – we can’t have a regular Moombahton Massive because DC might implode from too much bass and we kinda need the Nation’s Capital around to run shit. But, have no fear – Tropixxx is here! One Sunday a month, Billy and Cam bring us all together at Velvet so we can get our moombahton fix in the same venue where Dave Nada, the godfather of moombahton, held “Moombahton Mondays”. Together they have succeeded in keeping the regular celebration of moombahton alive and well in the DMV area.
On an individual level, Billy is constantly evolving as a moombahton producer. His earlier tracks have this sexy, Latin vibe to them – a classic moombahton feel (see “Sillyana” and “La Mania”). Some even have a really smooth house groove to them (see “Home Grown” and “Latin Love Theme”). But lately, his tracks have taken on more of an aggressive style of moombahton, incorporating elements of dubstep and often treading the line between classic moombahton and its subgenre, moombahcore (see “Munchicore VIP” and “Turn Up the Volume”). Run through Billy’s SoundCloud and you’ll see he’s got something for every kind of moombahton fan out there. The man knows how to take care of his people, ya know what I mean?!
Now he’s got something for the hip-hoppers with today’s release of the Vibrate Chick EP, a joint escapade with Virginia’s Long Jawns and Miami’s JWLS. Imagine some serious crunk vibes and hip-hop vocals layered over moombahton beats. If you’re imagining something like a Ludacris video with a ton of scantily clad Latinas in 1970 Chevelles with ridiculous hydraulics cruisin’ down U Street…you’re almost there. But don’t just take my word for it – go check it out for yourself and download the free EP at moombahton.com. You’ll be handsomely rewarded with Dirty South-meets-moombahton swag. You’ll need it to complete your summer. It’s lookin’ to be a hot one. ;) And if you like what you hear, check him out at the next Dirty Sweaty Nasty Party on May 13th in Fairfax, VA.
But before you leave me, I want you to get to know Billy on a more personal level. Seriously, moombahton has recruited a really great dude. He was awesome enough to answer a few questions for me about the making of the Vibrate Chick EP, the Brotherhood of Moombahton, and one of his best dudes, Dave Nada.
Cool Breezy: First, just for the people who don’t know yet, when did you start DJing and producing and what inspired you to get into the scene? What were you playing before moombahton?
Billy the Gent: I started DJing in 2009. My good friend DJ Tom Lim gave me a few quick turntable lessons about an hour before our first party. I didn’t really know what I was doing but I knew I wanted to play music. I threw a couple local parties over the next couple years and I basically learned how to mix tracks by playing live, which if you were at any of those parties, you would know that it was pretty horrible…HA! Anyways, I made a lot of friends in the DJ community [who] helped me out along the way to try and lock down good mixing techniques and such but I think I will always feel like I could be a better DJ. I mostly learned how to spin hip-hop and Top 40 tracks, and then moved onto the dubstep scene and now its MOOMBAHTON!
As far as producing goes, I’ve been making music in some way or another since as long as I can remember. When I lived in Richmond, I played in countless indie bands and punk bands. I learned to play the drums from my older brother, Champ Bennett (yes, his real name!), when we were kids and since then, I’ve been playing music. What got me into producing music is more or less the fact that I don’t have time for a band anymore! Hah. I work as a full-time tattoo artist at Tattoo Paradise here in DC and it’s a major part of my life. So because I’m so involved with tattooing, producing music off of my computer gives me the opportunity to make music whenever I feel like – there is no organizing band practices or dealing with the hassle of gear, or anything like that…just me and my studio.
CB: What was it about moombahton that attracted you to the scene?
BTG: I got into moombahton via one of my best pals (and creator of moombahton!) DAVID ORLANDO VILLEGAS [aka] Dave Nada. We all know Dave’s story of how he stumbled onto this whole thing. But I think I got into it mostly because it was more or less a fresh genre of music. I really like the tempo and the appeal of moombahton and I think I was drawn to it by the sheer fact that there was hardly any of it around. I mean, my first moombahton crate had about fifteen tracks in it, so I got inspired to make all these edits and stuff. But now that the edit game is sorta flooded, I’m working more on making original stuff.
CB: How did the Tropixxx collaboration with Cam Jus begin and what was it like being a part of Moombahton Massive Tres?
BTG: It’s kinda funny. Cam asked me to play this party he was doing, and I didn’t really know much about it. I just knew I was allowed to play moombahton there, so I said “sure”…and the first one we did popped off really big, so we decided to keep it going. Since then, every single Tropixxx has been better than the one before it and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. We had the Toronto-based duo TORRO TORRO play one of them and the party before last TITTSWORTH and ALVIN RISK filmed the video for their latest moombahton hit “PENDEJAS”. It’s been great.
Being a part of the Moombahton Massive was amazing. One of the cool things about this genre is the camaraderie involved in it. For the most part, everyone is trying to help everyone, whether its sharing tracks, asking for opinions, throwing each other’s tracks on mixes or whatever it is – people are looking out for each other. A great example of that was the whole reason behind the Moombahton Massive Tres – to help one of my favorite producers, MUNCHI. As many of you know, Munchi had some health issues while he was traveling and needed money for bills, flights, etc. and when Dave came to me, Cam, Obeyah, Jon Kwest, DJ Ayers, and Uncle Jesse about doing a benefit for him, EVERYONE was down and that’s kinda what I’m saying. When I was playing in bands and stuff, there was a lot of jealousy and backstabbing, but the dance music scene and in particular, the moombahton scene seems to be very supportive. It’s really cool.
CB: Describe the creative process for the Vibrate Chick EP and what was it like working with Long Jawns and JWLS?
BTG: Ok, Long [Jawns] and I have been linking up and working of tracks for a while now. We were mostly working on house tracks and stuff like that, but [during] one session we sat down for, Long had played me a moombahton track he had started. I knew right away we had to finish it – it was really good. I told him it reminded me of some of the tracks that I’ve heard by this dude named “JWLS” from Miami. He gave me this look and said, “That’s funny you say that cause it was a big inspiration for this track!” So we finished that track up and sent it over to JWLS for input and he instantly hit us back and asked if he could do a remix of it…and obviously we said “yes.” So that explains the first two tracks of this EP. The third one was a track that I had started working on and sort of hit a brick wall with. I let it sit for a while and came back to it and realized that I should finish it. I tested it out at the Massive Tres and it sounded great. So meanwhile, me, Long and JWLS are sitting on these two tracks (“vibrate/vibrate remix”) and I thought, “I should just hit JWLS up to help me finish this ‘Chick like me’ track and then we should put all 3 of the songs out as an EP!” So in some way or another, we all had something to do with all the tracks – it’s pretty cool. I don’t think many people do stuff like this, especially with moombahton.
CB: It might be really hard to choose, but who’s your favorite moombahtonista right now and why?
BTG: Probably Jon Kwest. That dude puts in a lot of work, always has fresh mixes, tracks, and seems to constantly be trying to push the sound. I think he probably holds the record for most moombahton songs finished too…hahaha.
CB: Finally, congratulations on your marriage! Just curious…did moombahton have a presence during your wedding?
THANKS! Being married is awesome and believe it or not, my wife’s dad wore his MOOMBAHTON shirt to the wedding under his suit. NO lie. Dave took a picture of it and put it on his twitter, I believe. It was pretty awesome.
IF IT’S YA BIRTHDAY, MAKE SOME NOIZE! My boy DJ SEGA is turning twenty-four this week so we’re celebrating another year in his life and thanking him for dropping hot tracks for us on the regular. Sega hails from West Philly and ever since he entered the music game, he’s been trying to put Philly on the map. Taking influence from our beloved Baltimore club, Sega had an itch to create his own version and since then, he’s taken Philly club music into his own hands.
Mad Decent affiliate and Vice President of the Philly chapter of Brick Bandits, Sega is constantly bringing something new to the club music conversation and constantly pushing the boundaries of the genre. When was the last time you heard somebody remix the “Bill Nye the Science Guy” theme song and actually drop it in the club? To Sega, everything is fair game for his mixes. Every sound, every bang, every boom, blip and crash is music to his ears. He’s always tuned into his environment, pulling sounds from classic television theme songs like the “Bad Boys” intro of Cops to 8-bit beats in video games like Tetris and Mortal Kombat to hit singles like Kanye’s “Runaway” and Beyonce’s “Ego”. When he says he spins everything, he really does. At this rate, he’ll never run out of material. Thank the Club Godz for that.
So what’s he been doing with all his talent? Fuckin’ everything. While you’re busy sleeping, he’s awake all night producing mixtapes and singles and when you wake up in the morning, they’re all over the interwebz. He’s like, a Club Music Santa or something. Most recently, he did the production and mixing for Rye Rye’s mixtape, RYEot powRR – shout outz to our BMORE PRINCESS! Also, he’s been curating his own six-pack remix series called the Sixer Series. Parts One and Two are already out, so if you don’t have them, get them! I hear parts Three AND Four are already done, so be on the lookout for those. Back in 2009 he released a pretty crucial full-length album called New Jack Philly, which includes 28 club bangers and throwbacks. You need that – trust me. Sega has touched the Power Rangers theme song and it is golden. Also, just check his SoundCloud page for the latest hapz. While Sega finds success in recreating the club genre, he constantly pays homage to his original Baltimore club influences, plus I think he has one of the best drops in the game right now, so listen for those elements in his music.
If you like what you hear, you need to see him live. Find him. Do whatever you can to get him to come to your city. I’m telling you – it’s worth it. Every show is different because he thrives on being unpredictable. He knows just as much about what’s going to happen that night as you do. Every time I see Sega spin, it gets wilder and sweatier and just all around WALNUTZ. I’m not sure what it is about him and his music – maybe it’s the nostalgia you feel from hearing your childhood themes remixed; maybe it’s just refreshing to hear your favorite song from a new angle; or maybe he’s just killin’ it with the kick drums and handclaps! But any way you wanna cut it, he brings out the primal side you never knew you had. Or maybe you know you’ve got one but either way, Sega makes it okay for you let the beast out. The Sega Experience is something like heavy cardio meets sweaty catharsis meets religious experience. I really don’t want my description to be taken as hyperbole, so trust me when I say you just need to experience it for yourself if you haven’t already. It’ll be the most fun you’ve had out at the club in a long time.
Sega and I had a little chatty chat the other day about bein’ a hood nerd, working with Rye Rye, and why he doesn’t use headphones when he spins. Keep reading!
Cool Breezy: You said you started making music when you were 18. What drew you into the scene?
DJ Sega: That’s two different things [you’re] talkin’ about. I was drawn into the scene itself when I was 12. That was my first teen party; as well as my first time hearing DJ Technics’ “Ding-A-Ling” and music bump in a club. I was hooked!!!!! We had these teen parties that [had] been going on for years before I came into the picture. And yes, the main music being played at these parties [was] Baltimore club.
I started making music as an outlet and a hobby. I ended up taking a survey that led to me to getting a beta program for music productions. Around that time I was going through a journey in my life that either made or broke me; and club music just came out of me onto that program. The first two years I made club music nobody knew about it except close friends and relatives.
CB: This might be a total noob question, but how would you describe the regional difference between Baltimore Club, Philly Club, and Jersey Club?
DS: I’d say the style differs about as much as the cities themselves. We all are a product of our environment and our music is a result of it. While both Baltimore and Jersey have more of a House or Club feeling to the music, I try to bring more imagination and the mega-mix feel to my music.
CB: Some of your tracks explore certain places that extend further than where some DJs and producers traditionally draw from for material, i.e. the Bill Nye remix, the Fifth Element Opera remix, the Pinky and the Brain remix. Where else do you draw your influences from?
DS: I always had this mind that made everything into music. Every sound I heard and every thump felt all was music to me. When I would hear the Bill Nye theme when I was small, I’d dance and play my own version in my head. That’s how I was with a whole lotta things.
CB: One of the first times I saw you spin, I noticed you don’t use headphones. What’s up with that?!
DS: I like the element of surprise. I get goosebumps when I hear what’s mixing along with everybody else. Plus, I know all my music…I don’t need headphones. Not even for hip hop and other genres I spin.
CB: How did you get involved with Mad Decent and Brick Bandits?
DS: Once again, two different questions involving to different time spans. I hooked up with the Brick Bandits around 2006. At that time, I kinda was doin’ my thing in the teen club scene. I was faithfully coming out with fresh mixtapes for the kids to grab really cheap. I was honored when Mike V called me to set up a meeting at his house in Jersey. I’ve already been a fan of Mike V, DJ Tameil, and DJ Tim Dolla since I was in high school. We met up, shared some vibes, and linked up. We been goin’ hard as a family ever since.
As far as Mad Decent, I was trying to get my mixtapes into the local record stores. I met Dirty South Joe at Armand’s Record Shop in Downtown Philadelphia. Through him I met Diplo. Shortly after, Diplo, Joe, and Switch all came to check out the weekly teen night at Jamz Skating Rink. At that time, my rock remixes were creating a huge buzz and Hollertronix 8 was a result!
CB: You recently did some remixes and production on Rye Rye’s latest mixtape, RYEot powRR. What was it like working with Rye Rye and what was the creative process like for the mixtape?
DS: I never worked so hard on a mixtape in a long while. At first, I was supposed to produce only 3 or 4 songs. Somewhere along the line I ended up mixing the whole 18-track mixtape; plus produced half of it. She made it feel really easy though. I knew when she hit me up to do it that it was going to get huge. People been asking me about a collab tour with her ever since doing a 3 city tour up in Canada some years ago.
CB: Describe the craziest gig you’ve ever played.
DS: Hands down, it’s the Mad Decent Block Party here in Philly this past summer. Words can’t explain what i felt before, during, and after my performance. To say that it was incredible is a COMPLETE understatement. I can’t say much about the details of it. But it involved EVERYTHING including Four Lokos before they got [to be] a huge scandal. Check out my Youtube Channel.
CB: What are some of your favorite tracks to play?
DS: Most likely, ones I have the most fun with. Bill Nye, Power Rangers, Mortal Kombat 1&2, Angry Birds (oops).
CB: What have you been listening to lately?
DS: EVERYTHING!!! I listen to all genres but only really good music. Sometimes I feel like listening to club music…and other times I feel like listening to classical music or movie scores. It depends on my mood and mindset.
CB: What are we gonna see you doing in 2011? Any big plans?!
DS: I have big plans, but I also think there’s going to be a lot of spontaneous happenings.
CB: Do you have any advice for up-and-coming DJs?
DS: Yes, if you only doing it for money and bitches, give me your fucking turntables, mixer, speaker, and serato!!! I’ve been producing for 7 years now, and DJing for 5. Still til this day, I never had turntables or a serato kit. I do this for the love and support. And the money goes to support my family. I don’t nor ever have practice my sets at home. When I’m home I work on my music. When I spin live, you actually hearing me “practice”. But your also witnessing me live out my dream!!!! Be honest with yourselves and make a career out of something you truly love to do or create!
Sega’s having a HUGE birthday party tomorrow night at Fluid in Philly! Go here to get the info on that as well as more info on his other birthday parties. Party on yall!