• Latin Trap Continues to Rise, Despite Lack of Radio Play

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    Bad Bunny
    Bad Bunny (Photo source: Facebook)

    Latin trap continues to rise in popularity despite a lack of radio support, Rolling Stone writes in a new article.

    The genre, which is a response to current trends in American rap, is led by artists like Ozuna, Farruko, Bad Bunny, and De La Ghetto.

    “[Latin trap is] popping in the streets right now with zero radio airplay,” says Horacio Rodriguez, VP of marketing for Universal Music Latino. “It’s a counter-culture of young kids listening to this music.”

    “You and I could be having this conversation 15 years ago about reggaeton,” acknowledges Victor Martinez, president of Hispanic Broadcasting Radio, when asked about the lack of Latin trap songs on the airwaves. “It would be the same conversation: We have problems with the lyrics, with the raunchiness.” Martinez adds that Latin trap artists “don’t put out clean versions.”

    Yet, despite the lack of radio play, Latin trap has caught the attention of American singers and rappers. “We’re already getting calls from mainstream artists that want to remix or work with our Latin trap artists,” Rodriguez says.

    Although it’s not Latin trap, Becky G‘s Bad Bunny-assisted single “Mayores” is currently No. 32 on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart.

    In terms of the big picture, Latin trap is diversifying the Spanish-language hip-hop scene, which has been dominated by reggaeton for over a decade. “Latin music has needed something new and fresh for a long time,” says Luis Rivera, program director for Latino Music at Music Choice, which controls audio and video content for cable TV subscribers.

    Watch the music video for Farruko, Bad Bunny, and Rvssian’s new single “Krippy Kush” below.

    Related: Watch Ozuna, Farruko, Bad Bunny, and More Discuss the History of Latin Trap

    Posted in Music Industry
  • Meet Globalization’s Program Director, Edwin Paredes (DJ Phenom)

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    Edwin "DJ Phenom" Paredes
    Edwin ‘DJ Phenom’ Paredes at SiriusXM’s headquarters in New York City.

    Last week, DJcity launched a contest with SiriusXM and Pitbull to find a new U.S. mixer on the network’s Globalization channel. The winner of the competition will receive their own year-long mixshow, along with a Pioneer DJ DJM-S9 mixer and Serato license pack.

    Launched on SiriusXM by Pitbull in May 2015, Pitbull’s Globalization takes listeners on a “musical journey of rhythm around the world.” Its daily mixers include Big Syphe (Pitbull’s former DJ), DJ Rawn (former Power 106 mixer), and DJcity’s Kidd Spin and DJ Santarosa. Other mixers include BBC 1Xtra’s MistaJam, Mad Decent’s SpydaT.E.K, and KIIS FM’s DJ Drew.

    We spoke with Edwin “DJ Phenom” Paredes, president of DJcity and program director of Globalization, to learn more about how the channel operates.

    How does Globalization differ from other stations/channels?

    It’s like we took every hot song from every popular radio station and jumbled it into one 24/7 channel. Not only that, but Globalization is bi-lingual, and sometimes we add music with languages other than English and Spanish. But the biggest difference is our DJ roster and mixshow style. Big Syphe and I have handpicked everyone on air. When I was given the green light to mold the station’s sound, I knew what I had to do: pick the best-skilled DJs across the world, pick the right daily time slots for fans across the nation, and give everyone a one-hour show to bring their A-game. Four of our mixers are on Monday to Friday. Those DJs are Big Syphe, Rawn, Santarosa, and Kidd Spin. The rest of our DJs have special weekday and weekend slots. We even have an all-female Monday to Friday mixshow called the “Diva Mix Hour.” Those ladies are better than a lot of the male DJs I know. But overall, we came up with our own fresh programming, and the fans are loving it. It’s a new age in radio and music discovery, and I want to cater to that audience but also give fans the Pitbull party and old school style they love.

    How does your background as a DJ guide you as a PD?

    Growing up in Los Angeles I listened to two main stations: Power 106 and KIIS FM. They helped mold my ear into the open-format style. The DJs on air were incredible, and I always wanted to practice and learn to be just like them. I used to stay up late or wake early to record DJs E-Man, Rawn, and Richard Vission (Powertools) from Power 106, and Drew from KIIS FM. I would use my two-deck tape recorder to edit out the commercials. I would then take the mixes to school and share them with friends. Eventually, I picked up some DJ gear and some club residencies in LA. One, in particular, lasted four years. I was there Thursday to Saturday opening up the night for a predominately Latin American crowd. That’s where I really trained my ear to play everything from hip-hop and house to ‘80s and Spanish rock to old school and new music without losing the crowd. Any DJ that really knows how to hold it down has mastered how to keep the early crowd engaged without burning the headliner. Sometimes I would do the whole night on my own and on those nights I really learned how to stretch the open-format sound for the four hours I was on. I use that model to help me pick the music and program how it airs on the station. I imagine the same club fan and program the station to what they might like. The difference is now it’s millions of listeners across the U.S. and Canada.

    What is your process for adding new tracks to the channel’s playlist?

    The management at the station votes on submissions. That team includes Big Syphe, Disko Drew, Kidd Spin, Santarosa, and myself. I also talk to many DJs from the radio and club world on a daily basis. I have the luxury of having my worldwide peers pitch me good music all the time. DJcity’s charts are a key part of what I look at on a daily basis to discover new tunes. I also look at the U.S. radio bible know as Mediabase, the Billboard charts, the iTunes charts, the Spotify charts, and I listen to new music I get from labels and artists directly. I watch how the music is moving in all of those areas regularly. If it’s doing well, I share it with my team and give it more shine on air. If it doesn’t seem to be moving anywhere else, I have a quick discussion with my team and either remove it or give it another chance. I also take notes from other PDs at Sirius XM. Geronimo, who runs BPM, is incredible at picking new music. His partner Dre, who runs Electric Area and a few other stations, is also on the cutting edge of dance music. Ron Mills is the hip-hop bossman that runs Shade 45, Hip Hop Nation, and a few other legendary channels. My main boss and contact is Kid Kelly, who heads up all the pop stations, hosts the Hits 1 radio show, and programs multiple stations across Sirius XM. I have the benefit of his guidance, and he always makes time to show me the tricks of the trade using our programming software. If you ever get a minute to chat with Kid Kelly, please make sure to use it wisely and soak up as much knowledge as possible. Learning from him and all of the other PDs has been a true honor.

    What do you look for when adding a new mixer to the team?

    I look for people who think outside the box but also follow the rules. I look for people who keep the same energy at minute 45 as they do when they kick off their sets at the beginning. I also look for people who know how to jump between different cultures, specifically English and Spanish. I get surprised when DJs only focus on one or two genres. I like clean mixers that can jump between them all seamlessly.

    How much freedom do the mixers have?

    A lot. They have a list that we curate and have a few tracks that they need to hit during their one-hour sets. But for the most part, they have a lot of creative freedom. I tell them to keep it funky and energetic. I ask them to play on air as if it was a major club. I think it creates a healthy competitive vibe among our team which brings out the best in everyone. But we all support each other. I make sure the energy among the crew stays positive.

    Enter DJcity, SiriusXM, and Pitbull’s Globalization contest here.

    Related: Pitbull and DJcity Launch Contest to Find ‘Globalization’ Mixer

  • Watch J. Espinosa Rep for Mexico in New Routine

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    With the Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin boxing match going down on Saturday, it seems right to share this Mexico-themed routine from J. Espinosa. Watch above to see him throw down a quick yet potent performance for Serato.

    Related: Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Cut Chemist, and J. Espinosa Perform on the Boiler Room

  • Creators of Guitar Hero Release DJ Game

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    DropMix

    Harmonix — the company behind Rock Band and the original Guitar Hero — has released a DJ-style game called DropMix.

    The innovative game lets players mix popular songs together using playing cards and a Bluetooth-enabled playing board.

    According to Harmonix:

    “Each card in DropMix represents a different part of a song — like vocals, bass, drums, etc. As you place cards on the electronic DropMix board, which connects to a free app on your iOS or Android device, you and your friends will hear a custom mix start to take shape in real-time.”

    It comes with a ClashMode, in which players can face off with a friend or team up with a friend to battle two others. There’s also an option to save your mix to your device.

    Harmonix plans on having 300 cards from a variety of genres available for the 2017 collection. Below are some of the songs that’ll be coming to the game this year.

    DropMix

    DropMix will hit stores in September with a price tag of $99.99. It’s also available for pre-order on Harmonix’s website.

    Watch the videos below to learn more.

    Posted in Music Tech
  • Should DJs Use Sync?

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    Syncing is one of the most controversial topics in the DJ community. People have made passionate arguments for both sides, and now it’s DJ TLM‘s time to chime in. Watch above on this episode of Share the Knowledge.

    Related: How DJs Should Use Microphones

  • Warner Music Group Buys Spinnin’ Records

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    Oliver Heldens
    Oliver Heldens at Create Nightclub in Los Angeles. (Photo credit: NAFT Photography)

    Warner Music Group has acquired Spinnin’ Records, the influential indie dance music label, along with its music publishing and artist management divisions. The deal is worth $100 million, according to Music Business Worldwide.

    Founded in 1999, Spinnin’ has a current roster that includes artists like Bassjackers, Fedde Le Grand, KSHMR, Oliver Heldens, Quintino, Sam Feldt, and Tujamo. The label has previously released music by heavyweights like Afrojack, Bingo Players, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Martin Solveig, Martin Garrix, Nicky Romero, Tiësto, Yellow Claw, and many others.

    Spinnin’ is home to a variety of sub labels as well, such as Tiësto’s Musical Freedom, Oliver Heldens’ Heldeep Records, Don Diablo’s Hexagon, KSHMR’s Dharma, among others.

    As part of WMG, Spinnin’ will be run by its co-founder Roger de Graaf as CEO, who will work with Bart Cools, WMG’s EVP, global A&R and marketing, dance music. Co-founder Eelko van Kooten has decided to leave the music business to pursue interests in other industries.

    De Graaf said in the statement:

    “Spinnin’ has found the perfect home at Warner Music. Max, Stu, Bart, and the team really believe in our culture and commitment to artist development. They share our vision for growing Spinnin’ by creating even bigger opportunities for our artists and their music. It’s been an incredible journey so far and, as we look to the future, everyone at Spinnin’ Records would like to thank our close friend Eelko for everything he’s done for our company, artists, and industry. His partnership and leadership mean he will forever be part of the Spinnin’ family.”

    Stu Bergen, CEO of WMG, added:

    “Spinnin’ is a company built for the streaming age, where the line between a local and a global hit, as well as the distinction between marketing and commerce, is blurring. For both companies, this acquisition will open up new possibilities for our artists, expand our global reach, and bring in fresh thinking. We look forward to working alongside our new colleagues on behalf of Spinnin’s artists and songwriters.”

    Posted in Music Industry
  • Pioneer DJ Announces DJM-S3 Mixer and DDJ-SR2 Controller

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    Pioneer DJ

    Pioneer DJ has announced two new products: a two-channel battle mixer called the DJM-S3 and an upgrade to their portable DDJ-SR1 Serato DJ controller.

    DJM-S3 mixer

    Pioneer DJ DJM-S3

    The DJM-S3 has a scratch-friendly layout with a durable Magvel crossfader, which is taken from the DJM-900NXS2 mixer. It also inherits a built-in sound card from the DJM-S9, making it Serato DJ- and DVS-enabled. Other key features include independent channel filters and two headphone outputs.

    DDJ-SR2 controller

    Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2

    The DDJ-SR2 includes the latest features in Serato DJ, including the Pitch ‘n Time DJ Expansion Pack, for which it has dedicated hardware controls. It is 18 percent lighter than its predecessor and comes with multicolored performance pads.

    The DJM-S3 and DDJ-SR2 will be available in September with a suggested retail price of $499 and $699, respectively.

    Watch Pioneer’s introduction videos for both products below. (The DJM-S3 video features Los Angeles’ DJ ZO and Phoenix’s DJ-R.)

    Related: Review: Pioneer DJ DJM-250MK2 Mixer

    Posted in Music Tech, Videos
  • Watch 80+ Japanese DJs Scratch in One Video

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    DJcity Japan has put together a massive scratch video featuring 83 turntablists from across the country. Yes, you read that right. The 15-minute piece includes former DMC Japan champions and Red Bull 3Style world finalists like DJ IKU, DJ FUMMY, and DJ RENA. It is organized into three sections of BPMs: 70, 95, and 112, and contains original production by ACKO, DJ Rusty, DJ OKI, and Gotaquito.

    Watch the video above.

    Related: Red Bull 3Style Japan Finalists

    Posted in Turntablism, Videos
  • How to Build a DJ Booth for Under $100

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    Mojaxx recently moved into a new house, which has more room than his previous home. Eager to take advantage of the extra space, he set out to build a simple and affordable DJ booth. Mo isn’t a pro craftsman, but he managed to put together a functional desk using IKEA parts for less than $100. See how he did on this week’s Tips and Tricks episode.

    Related: Introducing the Spinbox, a DIY Portable Turntable

  • Watch Chris Villa’s ‘Trends Mix’ for Sept. 2017

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    DJcity’s Arizona Representative Chris Villa drops a mini mix using four tracks from DJcity Trends, along with two throwbacks.

    Tracklist:

    1. KRS-One – Hip Hop vs. Rap – Acapella
    2. Nas ft. Chrisette Michele – Can’t Forget About You
    3. French Montana ft. Swae Lee – Unforgettable – Shelco Garcia, Teenwolf, $excell$, & Big Syphe Puro Pari Remix
    4. Problem ft. Bad Lucc – Get On It
    5. Robin S. – Show Me Love – Rick Live Remix
    6. DJ Scene – Scratch Ammo 2

    Follow Chris Villa on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter

    DJcity Trends is a monthly collection of tracks intended to help DJs discover new and buzzing club tracks. The songs are hand-picked by influential DJs from around the world.

    Related: Watch Chris Villa’s ‘Trends Mix’ for June 2017