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!