Meet Your Moombahtonistas #9 – Smutlee


This Special Edition of Meet Your Moombahtonistas combines some of my favorite things from across the pond: Smutlee, Neil Queen-Jones, and moombahton.  Smutlee produced one of my first and all-time favorite moombahton tracks – an edit of Mescal Kid & Ms Kid’s “Majik”.  This carnival-esque jam led me on the craziest Internet goose chase for it’s download but I finally found it, along with a connection to the man himself via Neil Queen-Jones.  Neil has written for his own blog, Pop Culture Care Package, but has since moved on to bigger and better things, like writing consistently based articles for Mixmag, joining me at, and constructing devious plans for moombahton’s world takeover.  All that being said, it was only right that I gave him the very first guest post on Cool Breezy. – -Casey

God help the person who has to write the story of moombahton. It’s a sprawling, viral bastard, one that has zero regard for potential journo man hours. Even trickier to write will be the chapter on the UK. Nobody can fuck with our contribution to dance music history – if we’re not giving birth to genres like grime, we’re making them happen, as we did with house, or finding a way to put our own stamp on it, as we did with hip hop. We feel that we have our own special cosign tucked away in our back pockets, that genres aren’t complete unless the UK is involved. Even moombahdon Dave Nada admitted this: “I’m beyond excited about the UK response, that’s the biggest compliment. You’ve got cats like Toddla and Smutlee on it – and I can’t wait to hear new stuff from other UK producers. I think my brain just melted!” See?  So the fact that moombahton is doing perfectly fine without us is pretty fucking galling. I blame the island mentality – it’s the geographic equivalent of only-child syndrome, the isolation makes us here in the UK a bit chippy. It’s not like we haven’t played  a part; Toddla T, Sinden, Annie Mac, Zane Lowe, Mixmag, The Guardian, Mistajam and Kayper have all given it a huge push, it’s just that any kind of scene has struggled to take shape, and no discerning sound has shown its buds. Yet.

That’s not quite the whole story, though. One man has been a virtual cottage industry within the genre: Smutlee. Emerging from a background of bashment, UK funky and tropical, The London DJ may not have been the first person in the country to pick up on the sound – DJs like Martelo and Sinden clocked it early doors, while journalist Joe Muggs wrote an outstanding intro piece that helped win over Smutters (and myself into the bargain), but Smutlee did make the biggest moves to boost the profile in this tiny island of ours. All it took was one tune: his edit of Mescal Kid & Ms Thing’s “Majic”. Knowing Smutlee as I do, it’s hard to not see how the man and the track are inextricably linked: he’s perpetually happy, positive and buoyant  – everything you could say about “Majic”, a ready-made anthem converted to a compact 108bpm bundle of elation. It also hit a sweet spot in terms of the UK’s involvement in moombahton: though a highly multicultural land, the influence of latin culture is marginal – far greater is the Caribbean vibe, so Smutlee’s Majic edit customised moombahton’s DNA, reducing the latin, pumping up the Dembow connection by giving it a dancehall collagen shot. With Dave Nada offering full support and DJ Melo reaching out to include the track on his Winter Of Moombahton comp, alongside fellow Brits Jimi Needles and Jera , Smutlee’s spot had been secured, and moombahton finally had a foothold in the UK – and his bashment vibe set a template for a nation; check out Jake Twell & Jamrock’s Elephant Man-led Neck Tie on Pickster’s Rise Of Moombahton comp and the presence of Feral, nee MC Kinky, the glorious potty-mouthed toasty ragga factory that she is.

And so it continued, with drops like his blend of Booka Shade’s Body Language and Natalie Storm’s Look Pon Me, the fella confirmed a distinct flair for highly melodic and resonant tracks, a trait that also runs through his DJ sets and mixtapes – always led by an ear for character and melody, full of expansive emotional drive. For me, his Mixpak mixtape remains one of the genre’s finest, followed closely by his one for Mixmag, which is a virtual Cliff’s Notes for newbies.

While he sits on a pile of astonishing but ungrabbable edits, many of them featured on his Mixpak set, another of his tracks, his official remix of Schlachtofbronx’s Chambacu (munch on that shit, Scrabble heads), proved that he neither follows anyone else’s sound, nor does he recycle his own.  One part Dembow, one part cumbia, 2,000 parts airhorn, it sticks out in any set like a ginger albino at an Odd Future gig. Then there’s the Toddla T connection. Before T went
stateside to hang with Nada, Munchi and Dillon, Smutlee was on hand to keep the Sheffield DJ on his 108s, popping up on Toddla’s Radio 1 show. Not saying that Smutlee gets the assist for Toddla’s patronage of the scene, but I am in a roundabout way saying that he should get a knowing nod and a large glass of whatever he fancies for being there.

What remains so striking about Smutlee is that he observes a strict quality over quantity approach – he’s not one to flood SoundCloud, nor does he seem the go-to man for compilations, but this doesn’t seem to dampen the regard he’s held in. In the past few months he’s been more in demand than ever – with bookings at the bookends of the states, first at Que Bajo in New York, then more recently alongside Sabo at Vibrate in LA. Oh, and he’s just off for some dates in Australia as you read this (warning: this sentence elapses NOW), plus he’s actually prepping to release an EP, due on Greenmoney in the new year.

Before he disappeared Antipodes-wards to get stock up on wifebeater shirts and to step up his finishing-every-sentence-tonally-as-if-it’s-a-question game, I took the chance to speak to him on behalf of your girl Casey for Cool Breezy. Here’s what emerged from the part of his brain which selects words and constructs sentences…

Continue reading “Meet Your Moombahtonistas #9 – Smutlee”

Meet Your Moombahtonistas (#7): Pickster One


Yesterday I raved about the talents of DJ Melo from Arizona.  I’m gonna continue the rave today with his counterpart, Pickster One.  Dude’s the dopeness!!  No, he really is.  Like I said, I didn’t really expect moombahton to thrive in Arizona.  After all, it is the desert, right?  But Pickster and Melo are really bringing sexy back with their productions.  But more importantly, they’re putting Arizona on the map as a thriving environment in which moombahton can originate and grow.

Pickster and Melo’s first collaboration came in the form of the Arizonaton EP.  I’ve fangirled about this release so much recently that you probably already know ALL about it but I’ll recap it really quick.  Arizonaton is a seven-track release that captures the essence of Pickster and Melo’s brand of sexy:  not this booty-shakin Beyonce sexy, but it feels more like this slow, seductive, gypsy sexy.  Just listen and you’ll get it.  Pickster has two solo productions on Arizonaton, “Waistline” and “Keep the Dice Rolling”, which show he dabbles more in the harder side of moombahton by blasting more wobbles and lazers than sensual vocals and baby-makin’ riddims.  But versatility is the name of the game and he’s got it like that.

As a fan of moombahton, I’m super thankful for the Pickster and Melo collaboration.  It goes right along with Chad Hugo and Pharrell (Neptunes) or more relevantly, Matt Nordstrom and Dave Nada (Nadastrom).  It just feels right and not even in some regular kind of way.  I’m not too sure how it’s possible to rejuvenate a genre that’s still in the infancy stage, but with collaborative tracks like “Fat Booty” and “Sweaty Sax”, it feels like they did just that. 

But thankfully, that’s not where it ends for Pickster.  He’s just getting started in the game, yall!!  He has a track, “Don’t Go”, in Jon Kwest’s Dust Mask EP, which forms the unlikely hybrid of UK hardcore and moombahton (but what is “unlikely” anymore?).  With “Don’t Go”, Pickster’s moombahton slow-down of The Awesome 3’s UK hardcore track, he excelled at exactly what I love about his productions.  He layered these slow, desperate, yearning vocals that plead, “I cannot bear to see you leave me.  I’m begging you, don’t go…” over aggressive dubstep wobbles.  He successfully tapped into that moombahcore side of his creative genius but still kept it sexy as hell. 

Speaking of sexy, he’s also got some tunes on the first volume of David Heartbreak’s moombahsoul collection.  He collaborated with Riot Earp on “Around”, which is a moombahsoul remix of The Spinner’s soul track “I’ll Be Around”.  He also made a moombahsoul remix of Al Green’s R&B track, “Let’s Stay Together”.  These productions are simple but effective and instant classics of the moombahsoul genre.

Recently Pickster’s been gettin’ extreme though!  He’s got two pretty hardcore tracks floating around the interwebs lately, the first being on Munchi’s Verano del Moombahton release.  “Mami Mueve” combines aggressive vocals with rave-y sirens and synths.  It’s pretty serious.  And on today’s M6 release from David Heartbreak, Pickster collaborated with Mendez on a remix of “Blaze Up”, which doesn’t skimp on the state-of-emergency sirens.  These tracks are gonna send some people through the roof. 

But one of the most unique additions to the moombahton game from Pickster came via his AZ Gunslingaz EP.  It’s a five-track release that features productions from Sluggo, Riot Earp, Mendez, Noha, Melo, and Pickster himself.  AZ Gunslingaz is all about reppin’ Arizona and the South Western vibes.  Pickster’s “Put Down De Gun” is a vicious moombahcore production that goes well soundtracking a Wild Wild West shootout.  And Pickster and Melo’s track, “El Bumper” makes me wanna get my fiesta on.  You know how you can hear the difference between east coast and west coast rap?  AZ Gunslingaz is one of the first moombahton releases we’ve heard that is truly specific to geographic location, giving us a taste of the west but still fitting into the genre as a whole.  I love that and I’d really like to hear more producers reppin’ where they’re from.

So, I have good news for you.  Pickster and Melo are flying into DC today, so stay in town to catch these fools live and in action.  Tonight they’ll be playing at the Looking Glass Lounge as part of a Moombahton Massive Pregame event.  Then, tomorrow they’ll be playing the main event – Moombahton Massive VI.  Sunday, they’ll be back in their side of the country in Vegas for the Moombahton Massive Pool Party.  So you’ve got plenty of chances to see them do their thing. 

Til then, read this in-depth interview I had with Pickster where we talk about his early days as a bboy (yup!), how he got into moombahton, and what it’s like working with Melo:


Cool Breezy:  How’d you get into DJing and what were you playing before moombahton?

Pickster:  I have been DJing since the late 90’s.  [I’ve] been into hip-hop since I was a little kid.  I was in a break dancing crew when I was eight years old called Rock Steady crew, too.  Haha.  Ahh, man. Little fat kid trying to spin on his back and shit.  I used to be a MC for years.  Then one of my homies got a set of turntables in high school and I fell in love.  [I] started buying vinyl for the next three years till I could afford my own set-up.  [Then I] moved to Arizona to go to culinary school and got my degree in Culinary Arts. I was running a kitchen at a big resort here in Arizona, [but I] slowly started to realize I could make the same amount of money hustling DJ gigs in clubs as I could busting my ass all week in a HOT Arizona kitchen.  It was a no brainer.

[Before moombahton,] I was a hip-hop club DJ.  I’ve been in a couple hip-hop bands.  That was what really taught me how to write a song, structure a song, and how to bring an idea all the way to a physical CD in your hand.  That whole process is not easy at all!

CB:  What about moombahton and its community inspired you to get involved?

P:  When I first started working with Melo on some edits and remixes last summer.  It was a real small community.  It still is really.  And I thought it was cool that the dudes making the music and creating it would actually email me back, give me feedback on SoundCloud, and respond to me on Twitter.  Haha, I know that sounds cheesy, but being able to have that interaction and even if my track sucked, they would be like, “Yo.  You need to work on that before you put it out.  Maybe change this up..,blah blah…” – that’s priceless.  But it wasn’t until I had my First Moombahton Moment when I actually got bit by the Moombahton Bug.  I was playing edits, trying to mix a few tunes into my sets, and I thought that’s all moombahton would ever be.  But one day I was playing a set and I got into some Moombahton.  I saw my dance floor go from “yeah, this is cool.   I’m having fun…” to straight fr33ky!  Guys and girls dry humping, getting sweaty, and yelling when the next tune dropped.  I was floored and amazed at what just happened.  Then I tried to do it again at my next gig and I cleared the dance floor and almost lost my job!  I didn’t know what I was doing with that style of music at the time.  But after some good trial-and-error, finding out what works and more importantly, what doesn’t work, I have been lucky enough to incorporate that learning process into my tunes and get me going in the right direction.

CB:  What’s the moombahton scene like in Arizona?  Do people respond to it well?

P:  It’s actually budding pretty damn nice now.  We did an interview about two months ago with a local paper when Melo and I were about to drop Arizonaton.  At that time we still were not sure how Moombahton was gonna do in our home town.  But since then people have been catching on and a lot of local producers, DJs, and promoters are slowly starting to see what’s happening.  We have been getting more and more support and people coming out to our nights.  I have a Wednesday night here called Scenario.  It’s a rooftop party in Downtown Phoenix.  It’s a global Bass night, real heavy on the moombahton, and we have been playing moombahton real heavy the last nine or ten months.  Now people are showing up just to hear that style of music.  We had Dave Nada there for our release party.  We have David Heartbreak there this past Wednesday for our AZ Gunslingaz EP release party.  And we have Doc Adam, the Moombahtista from Portland, on the books for September.  I’m really happy where Moombahton is right now in Arizona.

CB:  You and Melo seem to have really great chemistry as a production team.  What was your creative process like for Arizonaton?

P:  We have a real raw approach to making music, haha.  We probably do a lot of things wrong if somebody was to watch us make a song.  But whatever, ya know.  I’ll tell any producers starting out, “whatever works best for you and whatever software, program or environment works best for you to be creative, run with it.”  I made some of my best tunes on shitty out-dated software, but it sounded good!  But one of us would have an idea, concept, or just start a song, then we would send files over the internet and work on them at our own houses on our own time.  We actually never sat in the studio together at all for Arizonaton.  We do now and we are using similar gear to make the tunes now which makes it easier for us to work in the studio together.  But Melo and I grew up with the same musical backgrounds – hip-hop-based but willing to play anything that is good.

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

P:  You know, that’s a hard one.  I have a few favorites right now but they really span over different styles of moombahton.  I think different producers are finding their niche and are really shining in their respective areas.  I’m really feeling all the Texas kids stuff – Sonora, Orion, and all the Peligrosa kids.  Bro Safari doin’ it.  He’s from Texas, too, but a different camp.  I’m feelin Billy the Gent, & Long Jawns stuff.  I’m feeling JWLS from Miami.  The Tactic bro’s.  There is so much good stuff out there it’s really hard to say one person. 

Meet Your Moombahtonistas (#6): DJ Melo


Alright, look guys.  I’m gonna try not to fangirl too much in this piece but I can’t help myself.  DJ Melo from Arizona is undoubtedly one of my favorite moombahton producers right now.  To be completely honest, I never really thought of Arizona to be that kind of a happenin’ spot.  But then Pickster and Melo’s Arizonaton EP came out and I was like, “WHO ARE THESE GUYS?!”  So I had to find out.  I present to you…the first installment of Who Are These Guys From Arizona and What Makes Their Music So Sexy, featuring DJ Melo.  Read on!

I keep tellin’ yall, Arizonaton is one of my favorite moombahton releases to date.  It changed the game for the better and put Arizona on the map as a legitimate moombahton hotspot.  Melo’s productions fit right into the thriving genre, offering the standard, but well-executed sounds like heavy synths and tropical vibes as seen in “Don’t Make Me Wait” and that unmistakable Hispanic influence seen in “Es Dificil”.  But the fated collaboration between Melo and Pickster has provided an undeniably incredible chemistry, a certain feeling of “EUREKA!” I haven’t felt since Matt Nordstrom and Dave Nada combined to form Nadastrom.  Their collaborated sounds add something new to the moombahton conversation – this old world, sexy gypsy style (see: “Sweaty Sax”, a remix of a track from a local Arizona band, Dry River Yacht Club).  I’ve felt the tropical vibes and the reggaeton influence in the original moombahton tracks, the dubstep wobbles in moombahcore, and the smooth R&B vocals in moombahsoul, but I hadn’t heard anything like this before Arizonaton.   They create this unique style of yearning and seduction in their tunes.  It just totally brings a brand new type of sexy to the table.  I need more of it.

But Melo is definitely not a one-trick-moombahtonista.  He’s got his hands in all sorts of creations.  One of his productions made the cut for Jon Kwest’s Dust Mask EP, which created yet another moombah-hybrid, this time between moombahton and UK hardcore – an unlikely pair on to see paper but its execution is spot-on.  Melo’s track, “Rocking Down the House” is one of the standout tracks for me on Dust Mask, with its energetic synths and hypnotic glitching vocals.

Melo also teamed up with Kwest on an unforgettable track for the first volume of David Heartbreak’s moombahsoul collection.  Kwest and Melo combined efforts to create a sweet, sensual moombahsoul track, “Ecstasy”, which sampled vocals from a track of the same name by a 70s funk band called the Ohio Players.

Switching it up a bit, Melo collaborated with Pickster again on Pickster’s latest release, the AZ Gunslingaz EP.  This release was all about reppin’ Arizona and the southwestern culture and Melo did exactly that with his two tracks, layering Spanish vocals over haunting ghost town whistles (see: “Pijama” with Noha and Mendez) and sexy fiesta handclaps (see: “El Bumper” with Pickster).

Word on the streets is that Melo’s got his own EP called Star Time coming out soon via Think 2wice Records.  There’s no specific release date but I do know that it’s another sweet collaboration with Pickster (thank the moombahgodz!) featuring remixes by Boyfriend and Fellow.  It’ll be available on Beatport and iTunes but keep your eyes here because you know I gotchu!  I can’t wait to hear what they’ve got up their sleeves.  Until then, we wait…

If you need more Melo in your life, which you do, here’s how I can help you.  First, read the Q&A I had with him below, where we talk about his early days as a DJ, how he found Pickster, and what kind of advice he can give for future producers.  After you’re done reading that, make sure you get that ass to DC this week to check him out in real life.  He and Melo are flying across the country to be with us!  Tomorrow night, Wednesday August 17th, he’ll be playing with a rack of dope moombahtonistas for a Moombahton Massive Pregame event at The Looking Glass Lounge in DC.  Then, on Thursday night, August 18th, is the main event – Moombahton Massive VI at U Hall!!!!  Everybody you know will be there.  Then, on Sunday they’ll be back in their neck of the woods for the Moombahton Massive pool party in VEGAS!!  So there are lots of opportunities to catch him playing.  Don’t sleep!

Cool Breezy:  How long have you been DJing and producing?  Who are some of your influences?

Melo:  I started DJing house parties back in the early 90’s here in Phoenix, [around] ‘92, ‘93 or so.  I’ve been doing clubs since 2000.  I’ve been producing a little over a year now.  Early influences range from Grandmaster Flash, Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Masters at Work, the KDAY Mixmasters from LA, and the Hotmix 5 from Chicago among others.  Production wise I would say I’ve been influenced by Dave Nada for setting it off, Munchi for making it legit, David Heartbreak for the constant encouragement, Sabo for the clean polished sound and Dillon Francis for just taking the sound a lot further.

CB:  How’d you hear about moombahton out in Arizona and what inspired you to get involved?

M:  My boy DJ Adikshun sent me Dave Nada’s Moombahton back in March of 2010 and asked if had any other tunes like that.  I had heard some of the raverton stuff Toy Selectah had made before that and some of the Bersa Discos stuff.  I have been spinning reggaeton, house & hip-hop for years now, so I thought Moombahton was tailor made for me, haha.  I used to DJ and produce for local Phoenix hip-hop group Ill Phonix in the late 90’s, but it wasn’t till I heard moombahton that I got inspired to make a couple edits and put them on SoundCloud.

CB:  Arizonaton is one of my favorite moombahton releases to date.  What was it like working with Pickster on the EP?

M:  I’ve tried working with other producers before but something about working with Pickster just clicked.  He has a great ear and his beats are just dope!  We made Arizonaton over the Internet.  I would send him stuff or he’d send me ideas and the other would pretty much finish it.  He did all the mastering and would test out the songs at Bar Smith on the soundsystem.  I like how that EP came out.

 CB:  Who is your favorite moombahtonista right now and why?

M:  I wouldn’t say I have a favorite.  All the guys I mentioned before I like for different reasons.  I like JWLS’ stuff, J-Trick, the El Cuco homies, Jon Kwest…I could go on and on. [There are] too many others to narrow it down to a favorite.

CB:  Do you have any advice for up-and-coming DJs and producers?

M:  Hmmmm advice?  Do work, I guess.  DJs – learn the craft.  Pay dues.  Producers – make some edits?  Just make music you like is probably the best advice I can give…

Meet Your Moombahtonistas (#5): Jon Kwest


A man of true diversity and versatility, Jon Kwest soars under the radar.  It’s not his style to be out in the limelight, flaunting his creativity.  He’s more of a “behind the scenes” type guy, and while that’s extremely humble of him, unfortunately it often leads to him being quite underrated.  Currently a resident of Philly, Kwest hails from my charming city of Baltimore.  He produces amazing Baltimore club music and despite my selfish desire to see him perform a club set in Baltimore, he is fully submerged in the moombahton scene.  I’m not mad at that at all.  He’s one of the most productive and meticulous moombahton producers in the game right now, only releasing tunes that are top of the line productions.  You won’t see any throw-away tracks coming from this guy.

While his moombahton productions vary in vibe from time to time, he’s known for creating this particularly smooth, soulful sound by replacing sirens and rave horns with house grooves and R&B vocals.  One of my favorite moombahton productions of his is “Dreamin’”, which samples vocals from that Christopher Williams’ tune, “I’m Dreamin’”.  Not exactly the standard moombahton rage tune, Kwest’s “Dreamin’” has this morning glory vibe to it.  He excels at producing tracks that are just outright super soulful, straddling the line between moombahton and moombahsoul, the hybrid of moombahton and R&B, which explains his heavy involvement with David Heartbreak’s Moombahsoul Compilation releases.  Kwest has seen his own productions featured on Heartbreak’s moombahsoul releases, as well as tracks he’s collaborated on with Heartbreak and DJ Melo.  This is where he thrives.  Don’t get me wrong – dude can rage.  But he stands out when he makes moombahton for the ladies.

As far as the subgenres of moombahton go, so far we’ve heard moombahcore, the hybrid of moombahton and dubstep, and moombahsoul.  But last week, Jon Kwest extended his creative reach by releasing Dust Mask, a compilation of new tunes that present a brand new hybrid of moombahton and UK hardcore (listen above).  Despite the lack of an official moombahname, Kwest found enough parallels between the two genres to be able to form a fresh and energetic hybrid, funneling the heavy synths of UK hardcore and the familiar dubstep wobble into moombahton zone at 108bpm.  On Dust Mask, Kwest slows down UK hardcore and revives these classic rave tunes by adding the sexiness of moombahton, reeling in all sorts of party people by appealing to both new school moombahton heads and old school ravers.  With these types of musical innovations, the moombahfamily just gets bigger and bigger by the day.

As a fan of moombahton, you owe it to yourself to see Jon Kwest live and in action.  He played a killer set at Moombahton Massive Tres in April.  And two weeks ago at the Artscape festival in Baltimore, he performed a set that was so heavily saturated in moombahton exclusives.  Tonight, he’ll be at Red Maple in Baltimore for Serious Dynamite’s first ever moombahton showcase.  Admittedly, the party people in Baltimore haven’t latched onto the moombahteet as well as its DC counterparts, but who better to open the floodgates than Jon Kwest himself?  And finally, if you can’t make it to Baltimore tonight, you better make plans to see him at U Hall on August 18th for Moombahton Massive VI.  It’s gonna be the biggest problem DC’s seen since Marion Barry.

(Tonight, Serious Dynamite begins at 10PM.  Get there early to enjoy $5 mojitos and boombas, and $3 Red Stripe until 11:30.  Plus, moombahton all night!  It’s a no-brainer.  Where else would you wanna be?!)

Anyway, I was really lucky to be able to catch up with Jon Kwest.  I had so many questions for him but I didn’t want to stifle his productivity so I kept it short.  We talked about the characteristics of moombahton that drew him to the genre, which producers are currently rockin’ his world, and what kind of advice he has for up and coming producers.

Cool Breezy:  How long have you been DJing and producing?  What came before moombahton?

JK:  [I] started DJing when I [began] high school, mostly hip-hop and some house & hardcore breaks.  My first real gig was in ‘94 playing jungle at a party in DC at that five-story “Bomb Shelter” warehouse. I remember Diesel Boy was playing too.  I was pretty hyped.

Production began around ‘98/’99, I guess.  When I started working at Music Liberated, [I] met up with Ian Carey.  Dude hooked me up with studio time here and there and that was it – I was hooked.  Around 2000 or so, Reason came out and the “room full of credit card debt” type studio wasn’t necessary.  Production became a daily thing.

CB:  What initially inspired you to start creating moombahton tunes?

JK:  The tempo is what primarily drove me to moombahton.  It was new, not just a half time snare over an existing genre.  It doesn’t mix tempo-wise with any other type of music so you have to really want to play it to play it.  I like the fact that there was pretty much every style of music represented.  It wasn’t all just noisy and hard, like it seems every new genre goes all too quickly.

I had been messing with mid-tempo type tunes for the last few years, but basically never had the balls or standing to really pursue it like Nada did.  Dude definitely went about it the right way.

CB:  Your name is at the top of many DJs’ lists of “favorite producers” right now.  How does it make you feel to be that dude?  And who are some of your favorite producers right now? 

JK:  I’m super hyped that like-minded people relate to what I do.  That’s why all of us let people hear our music.  I just do me though.  I’ve been going at this rate for a long time now.  Luckily, I found an outlet that motivated me to push myself again.

My favorites is a tough question… lotta folks.  Heartbreak, Munchi, Nadastrom, DJ Melo, Uncle Jesse, Sabo, Pickster One, Billy The Gent, Cam Jus and all the OG’s pretty much go without saying.  Tactic, Smutlee, Ckrono, Boyfriend, Neki Stranac, Sazon Booya, Soron, A-Mac, JWLS, Long Jawns, Nate Metro, DJ Theory all killin’ it right now.  Some cats I’ve only recently came across DJ DIce/Chicago Deadbeats & Habanero Posse out of Japan been sending me some nastiness lately.  I know as soon as I send this I’ll notice who I left off of this list and kick myself.

Every week I’m hearing from someone new that motivates me to go harder.

CB:  You have a lot of influence not only in the moombahton scene but also in the Baltimore club scene.  How do the two currently compare?

JK:  Current Baltimore Club is almost a grey term. It’s expanded and re-invented itself over the last few years.  Dudes like Benny Stixx, King Tutt, Murder Mark, DJ Say Wut [produce] tunes [that] can sound any number of different ways, which shows a versatility pretty much unseen since the term “Bmore Club” was termed in the early 90’s – no disrespect to anyone.

That, I believe, is the common ground.  We all wanted something new and instead of waiting for it, we made it.  We made it; expanded it; forced its evolution and made it our own voice.  That’s what makes influential music, not pandering.

It’s not supposed to be for everyone.

CB:  Do you have any words of advice for up-and-coming DJs and producers out there?

JK:  Do you 100%.  If you half ass your ideas to make dim wits happy, you should just throw in the towel and quit muddying up the craft.

Just as important, though – be humble, be polite and give credit where credit is due, but nothing of value ever comes from ass-kissing or dick-riding.