DJ Culture

Watch the ‘Beyond the Music Retreat’ Documentary

BTMR

Beyond the Music Retreat

In March, DJcity and DJ/producer Vice joined forces to host the inaugural Beyond the Music Retreat in Black Hawk, Colorado.

The event, which took place over two days, featured some of the industry’s brightest minds. The panelists included A-Trak, Chuckie, Z-Trip, Justin Credible, and Miles Medina.

The retreat made an impact on the attendees, including A-Trak, who took to Twitter to reflect on the experience.

Watch the mini-documentary below and check out the photos of the attendees at beyondthemusicretreat.com.

Related: Watch DJ Vice’s ‘MikiDz Show’ Set

Craze Talks Freestyling Sets on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

Craze

Craze
Craze at Q Nightclub in Seattle. (Credit: Robee Aquino)

Two weeks ago, Reflections of a DJ a.k.a. the R.O.A.D. Podcast had A-Trak and Roctakon on the show to discuss their recent Twitter debate. This week, the show sat down with Craze, who also took part in the argument.

The outspoken turntablist discussed the altercation, among many other topics, such as touring with Kanye West and working with Four Color Zack.

At one point, co-host DJ Crooked asked Craze how he goes about planning his sets. Craze revealed that he didn’t plan his sets until he started working with Zack.

Watch an excerpt below and the full episode here.

Follow the R.O.A.D. Podcast on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, Twitter, and YouTube.

Related: A-Trak and Roctakon Address Twitter Debate on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

Watch: ‘Making Mad Noise’ Turntablist Documentary

DJ Woody

British creative collective Boom City has released a turntablist documentary, Making Mad Noise – 10 Years of Community Skratch.

The Community Skratch event series brings turntablists together from around the world for showcases and networking. It began with the Community Skratch Games in 2006 in Galway, Ireland. It later expanded to Brighton, UK, with DJ Manipulate‘s Community Skratch BBQ.

As the turntablism community grew, the event series branched out with UK and European tours. Community Skratch has also begun to collaborate with Battle Avenue, expanding the turntablist network even further.

Watch the documentary above.

Related: DJ Woody Launches Scratch Sample Subscription Service

DJ Tina T Talks Competing on ‘Master of the Mix’ on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

DJ Tina T

DJ Tina T
DJ Tina T at Backyard Kitchen & Tap in San Diego, CA. (Source: Facebook)

Following their highly anticipated interview with A-Trak and Roctakon, the R.O.A.D. Podcast sat down with veteran DJ Tina T.

Based in Los Angeles, Tina is best known for founding Camp Spin Off, a DJ camp for teens. She also competed on the third season of VH1’s Master of the Mix reality show and DJ competition.

Tina discussed a variety of topics in the interview, including what it was like competing on Master of the Mix.

Watch an excerpt below and the full episode here.

Follow the R.O.A.D. Podcast on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, Twitter, and YouTube.

Related: A-Trak and Roctakon Address Twitter Debate on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

Watch: DJ Jazzy Jeff, A-Trak, and Craze Talk DJing on ‘Drink Champs’ Podcast

Jazzy Jeff, A-Trak, and Craze
From left to right: Craze, DJ EFN, DJ Jazzy Jeff, N.O.R.E., A-Trak (Source: Instagram)

DJ Jazzy Jeff recently sat down with the Drink Champs podcast for a casual yet insightful interview. The Philly legend discussed a variety of topics related to DJing and hip-hop.

Later in the interview, co-host DJ EFN spotted A-Trak and Craze in the audience and invited them to join in. It was a rare discussion with three of the most influential figures in DJing.

Watch the full show below. (A-Trak and Craze come on at the 52-minute mark.)

Related: Watch: DJ Jazzy Jeff’s Q&A at Red Bull Music 3Style IX World Finals

A-Trak and Roctakon Address Twitter Debate on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

R.O.A.D. Podcast

Last Friday, A-Trak took to Twitter to share his thoughts about the struggles of open-format DJs in today’s industry. Inspired by his experience at DJcity and DJ Vice’s Beyond the Music Retreat, he commented on the lack of infrastructure in the open-format DJ community.

A-Trak’s tweets received praise from a lot of DJs, however veteran New York club DJ, Roctakon, was not one of them. Roctakon responded with his own series of tweets, starting by saying that A-Trak “should not speak on the issues modern open format DJs face” because “he’s never been one of us.” He went on to explain why he believes A-Trak’s commentary is wrong.

Roctakon’s criticism drew a lot of attention, including none other than Craze, who defended his long-time ally.

The back and forth has sparked a larger discussion in the DJ community, and on Wednesday, A-Trak and Roctakon addressed the exchange during separate interviews on Reflections of a DJ a.k.a. R.O.A.D. Podcast.

To help facilitate the interviews, R.O.A.D. recruited guest co-host Shecky Green, co-founder of the Source Magazine and former talent director at Las Vegas’ XS Nightclub.

Watch excerpts of both interviews below and listen to the entire episode here. A-Trak and Roctakon’s original Twitter threads are also below.

A-Trak’s tweets:

Roctakon’s tweets:

Related: Laidback Luke and A-Trak Talk Heart Hands, Jumping on DJ Booth

A-Trak on the Challenges That Open-Format DJs Face and How to Overcome Them

A-Trak
A-Trak speaks at the Beyond the Music Retreat in Black Hawk, Colorado. (Credit: Julian Melanson)

DJcity and DJ Vice‘s inaugural Beyond the Music Retreat went down in Black Hawk, Colorado this week. The conference brought together DJs from around the world, including A-Trak, who spoke on the “$kills vs Bills” panel alongside Miles Medina, Kayper, and DJcity National Director, Styles Davis.

With such a long history in the DJ business, A-Trak had plenty of experience to pull from. He, along with the other panelists, spoke on topics like playing for crowds that may not understand the technical aspects of DJing, losing gigs to celebrity DJs, and more.

After speaking at the conference, the Fool’s Gold boss took to Twitter on Friday to share more thoughts about the challenges that open-format DJs face and how they can overcome them.

Read what he said below.

Related: Laidback Luke and A-Trak Talk Heart Hands, Jumping on DJ Booth

Idris Elba Talks DJing the Royal Wedding and More

Idris Elba

Idris Elba recently sat down with Ellen to talk about how he got the opportunity to DJ the royal wedding. The actor/DJ also discussed his Netflix show Turn Up Charlie, about a middle-aged DJ, and his upcoming performance at the Coachella 2019 festival.

The multitalented Londoner’s vocals can be heard on the song “Boasty” by Wiley, Stefflon Don, & Sean Paul. The dancehall-influenced track was the fourth most-downloaded song of February on DJcity.

Watch the interview above.

Related: Idris Elba to Star as DJ in Netflix Comedy Series

Chris Villa Talks Competing in 3Style, How He Comes up With Routines

Chris Villa

Chris Villa
Chris Villa at Zuma in Tempe, Arizona. (Credit: Paparazzii)

The one and only Chris Villa recently sat down with the Reflections of a DJ podcast for an in-depth interview. The Arizona native spoke on a variety of topics such as competing in this year’s Red Bull Music 3Style U.S. Finals and how he conceptualizes his routines. Villa also discussed being discovered by Power 92.3 at age 13, how he balances being a DJ and a parent, plus more.

Listen to the full interview below. New episodes of Reflections of a DJ go up on Wednesdays on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Related: Watch Chris Villa’s ‘Trends Mix’ for Feb. 2019

Laidback Luke and A-Trak Talk Heart Hands, Jumping on DJ Booth

Laiback Luke and A-Trak

While in Washington D.C. for an event last week, Laidback Luke sat down with A-Trak for a candid conversation. The two discussed topics such as A-Trak’s start as a club DJ, how French music influenced his career, and how Fool’s Gold became more than a record label.

The focus of the convo centered around the topic of real DJing, however, and some of the controversial antics DJs do on stage. Specifically, they talk DJs throwing up heart hands and standing on the DJ booth. A-Trak tells Luke why it looks bad when certain DJs throw up the heart symbol then explains why he jumps on the DJ table during his shows.

On DJs throwing up heart hands:

“I don’t hate it, but you know what it is? I think, you know, in some cases it can be, it can look like a bit of a caricature of certain kinds of DJs who aren’t actually doing much mixing and who do more of like the theater.”

Why he jumps on the DJ booth:

“That’s just an energy thing. You know, sometimes I think that my approach to DJing is, there’s a certain amount of showmanship to it. If you were to see Slash do a concert, you expect Slash to just be a showman … in a sense, my approach to DJing is comparable to that. … and sometimes I’ll get up on a table, especially at a bigger festival where it’s just a way to feel a connection with the crowd.”

On balancing DJing and antics:

“The reach of DJing has gotten so big, I think, inevitably there’s a certain amount of antics that come with just trying to make sure that the crowd feels your presence in certain ways. But I think the important thing is that the actual DJing part of the set is still, you know, the majority of the time. And that the jumping around is kind of a little spice on top. Not the other way around.”

Watch the conversation above (starts at the 2:46 mark).

Related: Watch A-Trak’s ‘MikiDz Show’ Set

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