Q&A: DJ Sliink!

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!

Meet Your Moombahtonistas (#4): JWLS

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Probably one of the most excited DJs in the game right now, JWLS (aka Julio Mejia) is livin’ The Good Life.  Located in Miami, Florida, dude’s constantly cookin’ up fresh tracks in the lab, eatin’ mad Cuban sandwiches, and watchin’ bikini-clad girls strollin’ by with that switch that drives the boys crazy.  (Don’t worry – I’ve seen the Will Smith video.  That’s what it’s like, right?)  Anyway.  If you’ve been keeping up with the moombahton genre at all, you probably know JWLS from the Vibrate Chick EP.  (If you don’t have that yet, get dat ass over to moombahton.com and download it for free!  Then come back and keep reading.)

It turns out JWLS was a pretty big influence in the creation of the Vibrate Chick EP, the three-way collaboration between himself, DC’s Billy the Gent, and Virginia’s Long Jawns.  In the very first installment of Meet Your Moombahtonistas, I interviewed Billy the Gent and he explained how the Vibrate Chick EP came together.  He said Long Jawns created “Vibrate” while channeling JWLS’ sound and Billy himself felt that JWLS held the key to finishing an otherwise unfinished track, “Chick Like This”.  JWLS provided the missing pieces for the endeavor and ended up remixing “Vibrate” for the EP as well.  Basically, JWLS had his hands all up in this mix and I’d say it was for the greater good.

A moombahton hit from the jump, the three-track Vibrate Chick EP was released a month ago and has rocked every moombahton party I’ve attended ever since.  I’ve even heard “Vibrate” being played at super massive raves.  I saw Tittsworth drop it for the ravers at Starcape.  I saw Reed Rothchild drop it for the dubsteppers at Mega.  And most recently, I saw Billy drop it for the moombahtonistas at Moombahton Massive IV.  These tunes are being played for all sorts of EDM fans.  Even though the Vibrate Chick EP is only three tracks deep, it contains three solid tracks that are insanely versatile – what more could you ask for?

I’m still reelin’ off the tunes from Vibrate Chick and I needed to know more about these dudes Billy was workin’ with, so I hit the interwebz.  From there, I pretty much stumbled into JWLS’ world of musical wonderment via his SoundCloud.  His sounds bounce around from moombahton to electro to ambient chillwave but it’s all based around a strong hip-hop influence.  He’s got a Gucci Mane “Stoopid” bootleg here, a Weezy “6 Foot 7 Foot” bootleg there, but my absolute favorite is this Nicki Minaj “Did It On Em” bootleg he dropped about a month ago.  Shit is straight fire!  So hot it made the cut for that week’s Mad Decent SoundCloud Roundup and also made me realize this dude was one to watch.

JWLS is stuntin’ enough skills and swag to stand on his own, but “one is the loneliest number”, yall, so he teamed up with Van Toth (aka Matt Toth) to form Grand Theft Audio, or GTA.  Together they create these techy-house tunes that are quickly taking off.  GTA’s gotten love from official heads like Diplo, Laidback Luke, and Afrojack.  Pretty major!  Also, GTA just released a four-track EP on Monday via Mixmash Records called U&I/Next To Us, which includes an official Laidback Luke remix of their track “U&I”.  If you like the sound of that, go ‘head and buy that ish on Beatport!

So this is JWLS.  He’ll be in your area sooner than you know it.  But until then, read this Q&A I did with him where he talks about the Vibrate Chick EP, Miami girls, and Munchi’s hair.

 

Cool Breezy:  How long have you been DJing and producing and what got you into the game?  Also, I did a little facebook stalking in preparation for this.  Were you in a ska band?!

JWLS:  I’ve been producing for about a little over a year and a half, and DJing for a little over a year. I got into it through my friends in high school!  But I didn’t really do house or moombahton ‘till I met my friend (and partner in my other project, GTA) Matt Toth!

Haha! Yes, I actually was in a ska band.  I used to play trumpet back in high school.

CB:  How’d you first hear about moombahton and what initially attracted you to the genre?

J:  I first heard moombahton through SoundCloud.  I follow Dillon Francis on there, and I saw he favorited a track by Munchi, and I checked out his tracks and died.  I was really attracted to the Latin side of the whole thing.  I’m really into that type of music, and the fact that it could be involved so heavily with electronic music was awesome to me too.  Big ups Dave Nada!

CB:  You just collaborated with Billy the Gent and Long Jawns on the Vibrate Chick EP.  What was it like working with them, especially with none of you living in the same state? Also, what’s next on your agenda?

J:  Working with Billy The Gent and Long Jawns was dope.  They sent me their track “Vibrate”, and I thought it was super dope.  I asked if I could remix it, and they let me do it!  Long Jawns called me after I finished to tell me he loved it, haha.  Those guys are swagged out.  Billy The Gent and I kept in touch, also.  I was a fan of his when I first got into moombahton.  We ended up finishing this track he started by him sending me parts of the song, and I just put my touch on it with some marching band drums and rap beats!

Right now, I’m working on some new JWLS moombahton, and also working a lot in my other project, GTA. We have a release coming out this month on Laidback Luke’s label: Mixmash Records!  Be sure to check it out and cop it! #swag

CB:  What’s the moombahton scene like in Miami?  Is there a lot of competition as far as DJs and producers go and are the party people receptive to the genre?

J:  Moombahton down here is still underground, but I’m starting to see a lot of DJs fit moombahton into their sets.  There are a lot of DJs here actually, haha, so there is a good amount of competition.  At parties, everyone goes crazy when they hear moombahton, especially the girls, haha!

CB:  Who’s your favorite moombahton producer right now and why?

J:  I’d have to say Munchi, he’s so flexible with his genres and I think his hair is cool!

CB:  Last five albums you downloaded – go!

J:  1.  Tyler The Creator, Goblin
2.  Blow Your Head Vol. 2: Moombahton
3.  (idk if mixtapes count, but) Bird Peterson, Drankenstein (one of my favorites ever!)
4.  N.E.R.D, In Search Of (because I lost it)
5.  Bird Peterson: Holiday Spectacular