Brian Foo. (Credit: Shawn Miller/Library of Congress)
In honor of the Library of Congress’ 220th birthday, America’s largest research library has announced Citizen DJ, an online-based sampling and remixing program. DJs, producers, and creatives can access the entire catalog of royalty-free sounds from the library’s audio and moving-image collections to remix or download source material sounds in bulk. A preview is currently available, and the full service will launch this summer.
The sound files can be accessed in three ways: searching by sound and metadata, a music-creation app that allows the collection to be remixed with hip-hop beats, and sample packs full of thousands of clips from individual collections.
Creator Brian Foo is a breakdancer and data visualizer, turned Innovator in Residence at the Library of Congress. He’s also an old school hip-hop fanatic, and Citizen DJ was inspired by DJs digging through crates of records for obscure samples to create unique breaks or new songs. “What is that collective crate that we all own as American citizens?” he said to the New York Times. He continued, “What are these sounds that can be used in an unrestricted creative way?” To Consequence of Sound, he added, “a new generation of hip hop artists and producers can maximize their creativity, invent new sounds, and connect listeners to materials, cultures, and sonic history that might otherwise be hidden from public ears.”
Watch the video below and preview Citizen DJ here.
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OZ. (Source: Billboard)
Emerging Swiss producer OZ has made a name for himself with Travis Scott‘s “Highest In The Room” and chart-topping Drake collaboration “SICKO MODE.” With the current Billboard number-one single “Toosie Slide,” he’s continued to solidify his place in the music industry. He was recently interviewed by Billboard, where the rising star talked about working with Drake, finding inspiration as a producer, and more.
On making “Toosie Slide” in a day:
“‘Toosie Slide”‘didn’t take me very long. I made that in like… a day?, and sent it out to Drake in the middle of January… A week later, he told me he loves the beat and he told me, ‘Yo, this is magical.’ He had some ideas on it and when he sent it back, we all knew it was the single and that this was gonna be special.”
On the difference between networking then and now:
OZ was given Meek Mill‘s email almost a decade ago, and his name grew via word-of-mouth promotion. “People were talking about me in the studio. I’d have a record come out and everyone would hit me, ‘Yo, we need a pack too. We need some beats too,'” he tells Billboard. “Back then, everyone was saying that you have to live in New York or Los Angeles to make it. But now you’re one email or one text message away from a hit.”
On being inspired to experiment with different styles:
“I started making beats in 2005 or 2006… If I had just come up in the past couple years, maybe all I’d have seen and been inspired to make were trap beats. But thanks to that era, like with Pharrell too, I’ve tried my hand at rap beats, pop beats, dancehall beats, all of that.”
On looking up to Timbaland, Scott Storch, and 50 Cent:
“I was making more Caribbean type beats, and even tried more like New York, gangster type beats. Those guys were special — every beat was different.”
On building a name for himself:
“When you don’t have number ones or any name, artists aren’t gonna trust in your sound. They’ll shrug it off like, ‘Eh, I don’t think this is the one.’ But after having different number ones — ‘Highest in The Room’ is way different than ‘Toosie Slide,’ and ‘Sicko Mode’ was different too — I think they’ll believe in me more.”
Read the full interview here.
DJ Envy. (Source: Facebook)
The Breakfast Club radio show’s DJ Envy successfully raised over $106,000 for working DJs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The radio host was able to provide 213 DJs with $500 each as the result of an Easter Sunday fundraiser on Instagram Live to support Envy’s “I Love My DJs” GoFundMe campaign.
Over 12 hours, those who tuned in heard sets from DJ Clue, DJ D-Nice, Kid Capri, DJ Will, Tony Neal, DJ Prostyle, DJ Scratch, and Quicksilva. Furthermore, DJ Khaled gave over $45,000 to the GoFundMe saying via Twitter, “Bless up to the DJs! I saw @djenvy’s go fund me post and heard the goal was to raise 50K for the DJs so I put the remaining $45,255 up. We are here to support each other! We are in this together!”
“During this pandemic, you’ve seen DJs step up to the plate and throw virtual parties to keep the spirits up during this quarantine,” Envy told People Magazine. “It’s tough right now for so many DJs to provide for their families with no bars, clubs, lounges, or events to work. Most don’t have healthcare, savings, retirement plans, or have their businesses set up where they can get a stimulus check. So how can they keep food on their table? I knew I had to help.”
In the wake of the global COVID-19 quarantine postponing this year’s Coachella festival, YouTube Originals has released their Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert documentary. Throughout the documentary, connections are made about the importance of DJ culture to Coachella’s rise. Rave culture helped to establish the festival’s concept, while hip-hop and turntablism played a crucial role in its evolution.
In the documentary, Steve Aoki credits Daft Punk‘s 2006 Coachella performance as being the “birthplace” of modern EDM. A-Trak‘s lengthy history with the festival is discussed, including his 1999 Coachella debut with the Invisbl Skratch Piklz, DJing for Kanye West in 2006, and playing alongside Armand van Helden as Duck Sauce in 2011 and 2014. The documentary also features feedback from the likes of Diplo, Moby, and more.
Watch the Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert documentary above.
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DJ Drew. (Source: DJ Drew)
Beatport and SiriusXM have partnered on “Pitch Control: Powered by Beatport,” a new weekly radio show airing on Sundays at 11 PM EST on their electronic music channel, BPM. The show debuted this Sunday, April 5, hosted by Beatsource Dance Curator Andrew “DJ Drew” Ortiz. DJ Drew has 20 years of experience programming dance radio at KIIS FM in Los Angeles, making him an ideal host.
DJ Drew’s collaborators for this program include Beatport’s Berlin-based curation team, led by Raphael Pujol, Edwin “DJ Phenom” Paredes, who serves as a Program Director at SiriusXM for Pitbull’s Globalization and BPM channels, SiriusXM’s Vice President of EDM programming, Geronimo, and Program Director, Rida Naser. Tracks will also be selected by taking into account real-time activity on Beatport LINK, the streaming service that’s fully integrated with DJ software and hardware. It allows for songs being played by DJs around the world to be immediately known to the Beatport curation team.
“We are thrilled to enter into this music and broadcasting partnership with SiriusXM, one of the leading music destinations here in the US,” Beatport CEO Robb McDaniels said. “So many U.S.-based electronic music fans are thirsty for the best underground electronic music tracks that will likely be the next big dance floor hits. Our world-class curation team and Beatsource’s expert staff are the perfect combination to deliver the goods on a weekly basis.”
Tune into the show Sundays at 11 PM EST on SiriusXM’s BPM channel.
On Friday, March 27, Beatport will present ReConnect, a live 24-hour global DJ marathon in partnership with Twitch. The goal of this streaming event is to provide a platform to unite our global community during these unprecedented times, while also supporting charities to help those most in need.
From Friday, March 27th at 8 pm GMT to Saturday, March 28 at 6 am GMT via live Twitch stream, Beatport will broadcast 24 artists including Carl Cox, Bonobo, Nina Kraviz, GRiZ, RÜFÜS DU SOL, A-Trak, Nicole Moudaber, Chris Liebing and Nora En Pure. They will be performing from their homes or studios around the globe. Beatport will be providing track IDs as songs are played on Twitch so fans can purchase any of the music they hear and support the independent artist and label community directly. Beatport will also be working with key industry partners to give away gear and merchandise to randomly selected donors during the live event.
During the live stream on Twitch, viewers can make donations, with the money going directly to benefit those most impacted by the crisis. The funds will be administered by the AFEM (Association For Electronic Music), the global non-profit trade association for the electronic music industry, and will be distributed to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization looking after the frontline health concerns, and the AFEM Members COVID-19 Hardship Fund.
Are you a DJ or music fan looking for a unique way to assist others during this global pandemic? Tune in here on Friday to watch the all-star lineup of selectors. Thanks in advance to the DJcity community of readers for your support.
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