• Goldman Sach’s Next CEO Is a Part-Time DJ

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    DJ D-Sol performs at the 2017 EM Awards. (Credit: Gotophotography)

    David Solomon, a longtime investment banker who doubles as a DJ/producer, is set to become the president and CEO of Goldman Sachs. The 56-year-old made headlines in 2017 when The New York Times reported on his hobby as a DJ.

    DJ D-Sol, who began DJing last year, has already performed in New York City, Miami, and the Bahamas. His remix of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” was featured on SiriusXM’s dance music channel, BPM. He also performed at the inaugural EM Awards (Electronic Music Awards).

    Solomon currently serves as the co-president of Goldman Sachs. According to the NYT, “the decision was signaled Monday with the abrupt retirement of Mr. Solomon’s lone rival for the job, Harvey M. Schwartz.”

    “David’s always believed that having a wide range of outside interests leads to a balanced life and makes for a better career,” Jake Siewert, a Goldman spokesman, told the New York Times. “He’s preached that regularly to younger employees in the firm and tries to lead by example.”

    Related: This 82-Year-Old Dumpling Maker Is Now a Professional DJ

    Posted in DJ Culture
  • Tropkillaz: Taking Brazilian Music to the Global Stage

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    Tropkillaz at Bar Secreto in São Paulo, Brazil. (Credit: Lau Bacanal)

    The rise of Latin music over the past year or so has been dominated by artists from Spanish-speaking countries. However, Tropkillaz, who are from Portuguese-speaking Brazil, are looking to change that. After conquering their home country and the global open-format DJ scene, the duo is taking their unique blend of hip-hop, dance music, and Brazilian sounds to a larger audience.

    Comprised of veteran hip-hop producer and turntablist Zegon and the younger but equally talented Laudz, Tropkillaz combine the best of both generations. They also incorporate a variety of styles, including trap, twerk, hip-hop, and dancehall. Tying it all together is a foundation of baile funk and other Brazilian influences.

    Formed in 2012, Tropkillaz quickly became a favorite in Brazil and the global open-format DJ community, receiving early support from DJ Jazzy Jeff and Yellow Claw. Their remixes and edits have since been supported by influential DJs like Diplo, A-Trak, Z-Trip, and TWRK.

    Now, after five years of crafting DJ favorites, the duo is working on their debut album. The project, which is due this year via Universal Music Group, marks a new direction for them. It includes tracks with traditional song structures, not just club and festival anthems. The timing is ripe, as Latin music continues to grow worldwide.

    We spoke with Tropkillaz a couple of days before they dropped their Aloe Blacc-assisted single, “Milk & Honey.” The song, which is currently No. 8 on DJcity, is the lead track from their forthcoming album.

    Brazil isn’t known for its bass music scene. How did you get into that style?

    Zegon: We made bass music way before the EDM-trap scene got popular. We started making instrumental music with heavy 808 subs and samples like when we used to produce hip-hop beats but enhanced it with build-ups and drops. Brazil had a big drum and bass scene in the late ‘90s to early ‘00s. I consider some of the biggest DJs from the scene like Marky, XRS, and Patify as the godfathers of Brazilian bass music. And the original funk carioca a.k.a. baile funk is the Latin cousin of Miami and booty bass. Can it be considered bass music? We think so.

    You got a lot of support from DJs early on in your history. How did you manage that?

    Zegon: I’ve had a long turntablist and DJ career, and most of my DJ heroes and idols from the ‘90s became my good friends. We’ve played gigs together in São Paulo and all over Brazil. They include Q-Bert, Z-Trip, Mix Master Mike, Shortkut, Craze, A-Trak, Jazzy Jeff, Cut Chemist, Nu-Mark, and many others. It happened naturally. I believe it was because most of the turntablists were looking for a way to fit into the new scene. They were looking for tools, edits, and that’s pretty much how we started, making classic club tunes edits. We got mad support from them and all of the following generation like the Red Bull 3Style competitors. We also got big support from the new up-and-coming scene as well.

    Most DJs in the dance world use CDJs. Why do you use turntables?

    That’s very simple! [laughs] The feeling and touch of turntables are incomparable. They’re better for scratching and playing doubles. We have nothing against new technology, though. Sometimes it’s hard to stick to turntables because we see so many dusty and sh#tty ones at clubs, especially in Brazil and Europe. We also use Ableton Live and AKAI’s APC controller. Our live performances are a mix of new and old styles.

    Brazilian music is distinctive from other Latin American styles. Why?

    We have our own types of melodies and harmonies. Brazilian music is pretty unique in terms of rhythms, too. There are not as many Portuguese speaking countries as there are Spanish speaking countries. And we have more afro influences and our own style of jazz, bossa nova.

    You began incorporating more Brazilian sounds in your tracks a couple years ago. What inspired you to embrace your roots?

    We felt like that would be the only way to have a signature sound. We started with tunes that could be from any contemporary producer, but a little different because we were sampling hip-hop, which not many people were doing at the time. After releasing a few songs and gaining momentum, we started incorporating more and more Brazilian sounds and textures.

    Who are your Brazilian influences?

    There are so many names and styles to mention. There is ‘80s Brazilian gangsta rap like Racionais MC’s, Sabotage, and 509-E; Jorge Ben Jor, MPB, Nave, DJ Nuts, DJ Primo, and DJ Marky; ‘70s soundtracks; and styles like musica nordestina, bossa nova, old school baile funk, and São Paulo baile funk.

    Who are some newer Brazilian artists that we should know about?

    Luccas Carlos, Omulu, Heavy Baile, and JLZ, and baile funk producers like DJ RD Da NH, DJ Tezinho, Douglinhas, Henrique de Ferraz, and DJ Yuri Martins.

    Download on DJcity

    What made you want to work with Aloe Blacc?

    Zegon: We’ve known Aloe since his beginning at Stones Throw Records in 2006. I played a few sets at The Do-Over with him on the mic and the vibe was incredible. But the main reason is that we wanted to start making big songs, not only DJ tunes. Aloe is the perfect feature to show that we can make songs like that without losing our personality and style.

    Who else is going to be featured on your album?

    Our next single is with Major Lazer, MC Kevinho, and Busy Signal. We have songs with lesser known artists and songs with mainstream names that we can’t reveal yet.

    Follow Tropkillaz on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter.

    Related: Tropkillaz Recruit Aloe Blacc for New Anthem, ‘Milk & Honey’

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  • DJ Carlo Atendido: What It’s Like DJing a Festival in the Philippines

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    In January, DJ Carlo Atendido launched a series on DJcityTV called DJ Life, offering a glimpse into his life as a traveling DJ. The first episode finds the two-time Red Bull 3Style Philippines champion running into trouble as he attempts to perform at a show where there’s no equipment.

    Now, it’s smooth sailing for Carlo. On the second installment of the series, he heads to Iloilo City in the Philippines to DJ at the Dinagyang Festival. Carlo is greeted by dancers at the airport, holds a meet and greet with fans, and then rocks a set at the festival.

    Watch DJ Life above.

    Related: Carlo Atendido Launches DJ Lifestyle Series on DJcityTV

  • Watch: Red Bull 3Style World Finals VIII Mini-Documentary

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    In February, we traveled to Kraków, Poland to take in the full Red Bull 3Style World Finals VIII experience. In addition to five nights of battles, the week-long event included workshops, tours of the city and surrounding area, and pre- and after-parties. Red Bull gave us exclusive behind-the-scenes access to everything that went down. Watch above.

    Related: Watch DJ Nu-Mark’s Showcase Set From the Red Bull 3Style World Finals

  • A-Trak Discusses How Being a DJ Helps Him as a Producer

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    A-Trak at Holy Ship! 10.0. (Credit: Miranda McDonald Photography)

    Fresh off the release of his single “Ride For Me” featuring Young Thug and 24hrs, A-Trak sat down with the legendary Pensado’s Place show.

    Back in December, the Fool’s Gold chief got a chance to tell his story in a comprehensive interview with Complex’s Blueprint series. This time, A-Trak focused mostly on music production and how DJing has influenced his work in that realm.

    On how being a DJ and turntablist has helped him as a producer:

    “My DJing definitely informs my production. The obvious way to explain that is just like, DJs know what works well in the clubs. So there’s a bit of that, but even on a very, an almost unconscious level, some of the programming that I do, if I’m chopping up a sound, my friends will say that I make it sound like it’s a scratch. I don’t even realize it, but my ear is so accustomed to sound manipulation and certain patterns. … But the thing that’s been interesting for me in recent years is I feel I’ve learned how to produce my scratching. So there’s a lot of full circle things going on … .”

    On his limitations as a producer:

    “One of the great lessons for me as I went more into production was to accept my limitations. It’s hard, and I’m stubborn, and I like to know how to do everything, but there are certain things that I’m not as good at. And I definitely still believe that I’m a DJ who got into producing, who got into remixing, who got into running a label, all these other things. And when I was learning how to produce, at first I really wanted to do everything myself. … I would drive people crazy, and by the way, even now today I’m a month and a half late delivering a remix. Sometimes I’ve very late delivering things because I stubbornly wanna do it my way or [do it] myself. And again, I’m in my element when I’m DJing. When I’m producing, I’m still trying to get the ideas out of my head, and sometimes there’s roadblocks.”

    Watch the interview below.

    Related: A-Trak Tells His Story in Comprehensive Interview

  • Meet Jose Luis, One of the UK’s Most Influential Latin DJs and Promoters

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    Jose Luis
    Jose Luis (Source: Jose Luis)

    Latin music is exploding worldwide, and one of the DJs and promoters leading the charge in the UK is Jose Luis.

    Born and bred in Venezuela, Luis has lived in London for half of his life. For the past 11 years, he has been DJing and promoting at his monthly La Bomba event at the O2 Academy Islington, which he calls “the original reggaeton party in the UK.” Luis has promoted shows with some of the biggest names in Latin music, including Don Omar, DJ Nelson, Plan B, Tego Calderon, and DJ Kazzanova. As a DJ, he has opened for stars like Daddy Yankee, Juan Magan, Calle 13, and Hector El Father.

    When Luis isn’t DJing and promoting, he runs Latino Life, a website focused on the UK scene. He’s also a founder and managing director of the UK Latin Awards, which “recognizes the contribution of Britain’s one million Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese residents.”

    We recently spoke with Luis about the UK scene and Latin music in general.

    How did you get into throwing parties?

    I was always involved in parties when I was in secondary school. I was a party animal and had a big record collection. I was into house, punk, and salsa music. When I first came to London, I landed a job at a Latino record shop called El Barrio. The owner was a promoter for Colombian acts in Europe. I learned a lot from him and started DJing. After a while, it was a natural progression to do my own thing.

    What styles of Latin music are played at your events?

    Mainly reggaeton these days, but with London being such a multicultural city, we mix it up with what’s popping here. It could be afrobeats, dancehall, hip-hop, Latin trap, etc. We sometimes have a room where we play more traditional Latino music such as salsa. But even salsa has got an urban treatment these days. There is a newish sub-genre called “Salsa choke” from Colombia, which is great and is gaining ground everywhere.

    Have your parties gotten more popular with the rise of Latin music?

    Yes, but there are also a lot of new people doing big events which kind of split the audiences a bit. But yes, the recent popularity of Latin music has increased the number of people at the parties for sure.

    Jose Luis
    Jose Luis (Source: Jose Luis)

    Where do you see Latin music going?

    Getting bigger and bigger. Latinos are not a race, we are a culture, and our culture is made of many influences, which allows new influences to be part of it. For example, right now Baile funk is having a comeback. The latest big hit from J Balvin is a remix of a funkeiro track by Brazil’s MC Fioti, which features Balvin himself (Colombia), Future (USA), Stefflon Don (UK), and Juan Magan (Spain). “Despacito” just got a Mandarin-Spanish release for the Chinese market, and the list goes on. I truly believe Latin music, at least in the UK, has arrived and people will embrace it.

    Do you see any potential between UK and Latin artists?

    That is kind of my focus at the moment — to create a bridge. If UK artists realized the potential they have in Latin America, they would be all making Latino influenced beats! It is hard because the UK is a very dynamic and unforgiving market for artists, so they need to be on the ball. But I would love to see people like Skepta, Lethal Bizzle or even Wretch 32 doing Latino collaborations. For some reason, I never paid proper attention to Wretch and recently started listening to him proper. I can see him collaborating with someone like Residente. That would be sick!

    What differentiates the UK Latin Awards from other Latin awards?

    We are the only ones recognizing UK based talent. The UK is such an amazing place for music. Latin music is being created all over the world, and the UK, having such a massive variety of genres, is not an exception. We wanted to give UK and European artists a platform for the world to get to know them better. Most, if not all the major Latino Awards are created in the United States, and we wanted to create a counterpart in the UK and Europe.

    What do you have planned for the future?

    I just keep working man! I am a believer in hard work. This year we are planning two free outdoor events. One has been confirmed in the South Bank outside the Mayor of London’s office. It’s a festival called La Clave and will take place on June 9. We’re waiting to confirm the second event, but if it happens, it could be a game changer for Latinos in London and the UK.

    Also, I just started a new show on Colourful Radio every Thursday. It is the very first urban Latin program on terrestrial radio or DAB, which is the equivalent to satellite radio in the UK. Once independent radio stations start playing it, it is just a matter of time until the big stations to do the same.

    2018 should see me doing more music production, too. I have about 20-25 tunes to release with my crew La Kasha, which is a DJ-percussion crew. We are doing some mad stuff at the moment, trying to create a London Latino electronic sound. We’re already talking to labels about releases. Hopefully, I can get that on the road. And we are taking La Bomba abroad again. It has been a minute since we did a tour and international gigs with a full crew. We already have something about to be confirmed in Germany where I have been working for the last 10 years. I think that will keep me busy for the rest of the year!

    Listen to Luis’ new mix below and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and SoundCloud.


    1. Rocky Theme
    2. MC João – Baile De Favela – Teriyaki Boys Blend
    3. Dennis DJ, MC Léléto, & MC Maromba – Automaticamente
    4. DJ Isaac – Jiu Jitsu
    5. MC Fioti, Future, J Balvin, Stefflon Don, & Juan Magan – Bum Bum Tam Tam
    6. Kid Kaio & Moradzo – Aranha
    7. MC Kevinho – Olha A Explosao
    8. Janessa – Tarraxa – JL Reggaeton Edit
    9. Shinehead – Jamaican In New York – DJ Panji Reggaeton Mix
    10. Daddy Yankee vs Ed Sheeran – Shakes of You – JL Mashup
    11. Daddy Yankee – Dura – Refresh Hype Intro
    12. DJ Nelson ft. Alberto Stylee – Flow Salvaje
    13. J Balvin vs Toto La Momposina – Ginza’s Curura JL Mashup
    14. El Chombo – Introduccion B – El Cosita Mix
    15. Tropikore ft. Tony Touch, Chipy D, & Nigga Sibilino – Om Curry
    16. Joe Arroyo – No Le Pegue A La Negra – O.M.F. Moomba Mix
    17. J Balvin & Willy William – Mi Gente – Dillon Francis Remix
    18. Lao Ra ft. Almighty – Me Gusta
    19. Eve – Who’s That Girl – Stavros Martina Moombahton Bootleg
    20. Pitbull – POW

    Related: Chuckie Talks J Balvin Collab, ‘Machika’

  • Shecky Green: How DJ AM Became the Highest Paid DJ in the World

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    Shecky Green
    Jonathan Shecter aka “Shecky Green.” (Credit: L.E. Baskow / Las Vegas Weekly)

    Jonathan Shecter aka “Shecky Green,” the co-founder of The Source magazine and current Editor-In-Chief for Cuepoint at Medium, was recently a guest on the Reflections of a DJ (R.O.A.D.) podcast.

    A former director of programming for the Wynn, Shecky played a key role in negotiating DJ AM’s groundbreaking deal with Las Vegas’ PURE Nightclub in 2006.

    During the convo, the show’s co-host Crooked asked Shecky about how he helped broker the deal. Shecky discusses how the negotiations went down and how it raised the bar for DJs going forward. He also talks about how the death of AM marked the beginning of the EDM era.

    Reflections of a DJ is hosted by Las Vegas DJs Crooked, D-Miles, Neva, and Jaime Da Great.

    Watch the clip and listen to the full interview below. New episodes go up on Wednesdays on iTunes and SoundCloud.

    Related: DJ Scooter: WTF is Open Format DJing?

  • The Samples Behind 2Pac’s ‘Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…’

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    Power 106’s Wax Only series has examined the samples behind 2Pac’s second studio album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…. The project, which is celebrating its 25-year anniversary today, is considered by many as Pac’s breakout album.

    Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z… debuted at No. 24 on the Billboard 200 in March 1993 and went on to achieve platinum status. It featured the tracks “I Get Around” and “Keep Ya Head Up,” which reached No. 11 and 12 on Billboard’s Hot 100 respectively. “I Get Around” remains a staple in DJ sets to this day.

    Watch Wax Only above.

    Related: The Samples Behind Nas’ ‘Stillmatic’

  • Chuckie Talks J Balvin Collab, ‘Machika’

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    Chuckie at Exchange LA on Oct. 6, 2017. (Source: Facebook)

    Dutch legend Chuckie recently spoke with Billboard about co-producing J Balvin, Jeon, and Anitta‘s international club anthem, “Machika.”

    The track, which is currently No. 14 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, was also produced by Dutch trio ChildsPlay and frequent Balvin collaborator Sky Rompiendo El Bajo.

    In the interview, Chuckie explains that the foundation of “Machika” isn’t reggaeton like some listeners may think. Instead, it’s rooted in a Dutch Caribbean house style called “bubbling.”

    “Bubbling was born in the late 1980s when DJ Moortje, a Netherlands-based DJ from Curacao, accidentally speeded up a dancehall track during a club set …,” Billboard writes. “The rhythms of Jamaica [including reggaeton instigator dembow] have been favorites in the Netherlands,” Chuckie says. “Bubbling changed the speed to almost double the tempo.”

    “The sound of ‘Machika’ is [the sound] of the evolution of bubbling … A lot of the grooves are sounds I was using back in the ’90s. It’s kind of reinvented itself for this new generation of kids.”

    Along with his experience in the style, Chuckie also recognized the importance of mashing different cultures.

    “Now with the Internet, we’re all world citizens; [through music] we get to learn about other cultures and I think that’s beautiful,” Chuckie says. “They know that whatever I’m going to send them sounds different. It’s nice to have different flavors in a genre. That keeps it interesting for everyone.”

    According to Billboard, “Machika” has been rumored to be in the running to be used as a World Cup song. That makes sense, given the track’s high energy, fusion of cultures, and international appeal.

    Watch the video for “Machika” above download the track and its remixes on DJcity.

    Related: J Balvin, Jeon, and Anitta Drop New Single and Video, ‘Machika’

  • The Chainsmokers: Must-Have Items in Our DJ Bag

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    The Chainsmokers
    The Chainsmokers at XS Nightclub in Las Vegas on Feb. 3, 2017. (Source: Facebook)

    The Chainsmokers have been on fire since their 2014 breakout hit, “#Selfie.” Along with releasing follow-up hits like “Don’t Let Me Down,” “Closer,” and “Something Just Like This,” the duo has been touring the world and holding down a residency at Las Vegas’ XS Nightclub. With all their globetrotting, it’s safe to say the ‘smokers know a thing or two about traveling.

    Check out their must-have travel items below.

    Teenage Engineering OP-1 Portable Synthesizer

    “It’s the amazing sampling gadget we have been using in a lot of our songs. It’s super small and convenient to travel with.”

    Mophie Battery Packs

    “Do we even really need to explain? You got the new iPhone update your sh#t is dying instantly.”

    Neck Pillows

    “This is sort of self-explanatory, but man we got like 10,000 of these. The trick is to go for the memory foam.”

    Power Converters

    “Nothing is worse than getting to another country and not having the right power adapter.”

    Illesteva Sunglasses

    Click to enlarge

    Follow The Chainsmokers on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter.

    Related: Kittens: Must-Have Items in My DJ Bag