• 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’

  • 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?

  • Calvin Harris Talks New Single, New Musical Direction, and Thoughts on EDM

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    Calvin Harris
    Calvin Harris

    Fresh off the release of his dancehall-influenced single “Nuh Ready Nuh Ready” featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR, Calvin Harris joined Annie Mac for an interview on her BBC Radio 1 show on Thursday.

    Among the many topics, the Scottish DJ/producer discussed what prompted him to move into a different musical direction on his last album. He also talked about how he feels about dance music and why he put Migos on “Slide.”

    On what influenced him to change his musical direction:

    “At the end of 2016, I put out a tune towards the end … And it came out and did alright. And I was like ok, great. And then I realized I never felt so unexcited about what I was putting out in my life … I knew that I needed to take action for my own sanity because my entire life is making music. I don’t do anything else. So I was like no, I need to be elated with what’s coming out. So then the last album I did was a reaction to that. I was like, you know what? I’m just going to do whatever I want and I’m going to spend all the money I’m making in Vegas on features and I’m going to get everyone to do a hip-hop album … I’m going to put Young Thug on a Motown funk tune, because no one else will because it’s a waste of money. So that’s what I did.”

    On how his new musical direction affected him:

    “… what music is now, it’s like, what playlist is this going to be added to? Or, is radio going to play it? And I didn’t care. So it felt amazing! I was like, I know this isn’t going to be successful. And then, I don’t know how, but some of the tunes did well. I was like, that’s absolutely amazing! So I had an amazing year and I felt so good about it that I was like, I’m just going to keep doing this. I’m just going to do whatever I want to do.”

    On his renewed thoughts on EDM after taking a break:

    “The other thing that’s funny as well is that at the end of 2016, I was like I hate this EDM thing. I think it’s awful. And then after taking a break I was like nah man, I think it’s amazing. Some of the best producers in the world make EDM … they’re amazing and I love it. So it kind of refreshed my opinion of all that. Some of the best producers in the world are Dutch, you know? Face facts. It’s true.”

    On why he put Migos on “Slide.”:

    “I’m not going to do a trap record, like an EDM trap record, because that makes me feel sick. Just the thought of doing that. I can’t do that. I wanna do something with soul and something that I want to listen to again. So I’m like, I wanna put everyone on something that I think is gonna work.”

    Stream the entire interview here.

    Related: Calvin Harris and PARTYNEXTDOOR Drop Dancehall-Influenced Single and Video, ‘Nuh Ready Nuh Ready’

  • Spotify Now Shows Producer and Songwriter Credits

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    Following last week’s changes that benefit remixers, Spotify announced on Friday a new feature that gives producers and songwriters the recognition they deserve.

    From now on, users will be able to view the producer and songwriter credits of tracks on the the Spotify’s desktop app. The performers are also listed.

    To view the information, right-click on a track and select “Show Credits” from the menu.


    The credits are provided by record labels, and in some cases, artists. As such, Spotify’s announcement includes the following disclaimer:

    “We realize some of the label-provided credits are incomplete or may contain inaccuracies, but this is just the first step in displaying songwriter credits on Spotify. The feature will continually evolve to become more efficient, provide better functionality, and incorporate more information from industry partners over time.”

    Tiffany Kumar, global head of songwriter relation at Spotify, said:

    “Songwriters are an integral force behind the music we love. With the newly launched credits feature, we aim to increase songwriter and producer visibility and, in turn, foster discovery among new collaborators, industry partners, and fans.”
    “The more we share information, the more opportunities we can help create for songwriters. This is just the beginning of making songwriter and producer credits more easily available to Spotify listeners, and we look forward to continually improving that information, in close collaboration with our music industry partners.”

    Producer Frank Dukes (Drake, Kanye West, and more) added, “It’s amazing to see Spotify give the unsung heroes of music some recognition on their platform. Definitely a step in the right direction.”

    The feature also benefits fans and journalists who have, up until now, had to search for credits outside of Spotify.

    Related: DJcity’s Spotify Playlist Update: Jan. 30

  • Spotify Helps Out Remixers

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    What a time to be a remixer.

    While not all online music platforms have been particularly remixer-friendly in the past, Spotify has put a foot in the right direction.

    In an email sent to artists, the Swedish streaming giant has announced a shift in the way streams of remixes are factored into an artist’s monthly listener count. Previously, streams on most remixes only counted towards the original artist’s total. However, the streams now count towards the remixer’s total as well.

    Additionally, remixes will now appear on the remixer’s profile under both the “Latest Release” and “Popular” sections. Previously, remixes were generally only listed at the bottom of an artists profile, under the “Appears On” section.

    The changes are significant for several reasons. Firstly, they shine a bigger light on remixers and their craft. Secondly, they mean that remixers can now see the performance of their remixes via Spotify’s Artist Insights dashboard.

    DJ remixes have played a starring role in breaking pop singles in recent years, with records such as Mike Posner’s “I Took A Pill in Ibiza” and Starley’s “Call On Me” being propelled into Billboard’s Hot 100 by remixes from Seeb and Ryan Riback, respectively. And while Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” didn’t need any help becoming a hit, Skrillex’s remix has been streamed over 25 million times alone.

    Spotify’s email:

    Spotify email

    Follow DJcity’s playlist on Spotify.

    Written by Matt Downey and edited by Anthony Polis.

    H/T: Works Hard Playlist Hard

    Related: DJcity’s Spotify Playlist Update: Jan. 23

    Posted in Music Industry
  • DJ Scooter: WTF is Open Format DJing?

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    DJ Scooter
    DJ Scooter at at 1 OAK in Las Vegas on Sept. 20, 2017. (Source: Facebook)

    DJ Scooter, a San Diego nightlife icon and member of the duo Scooter and Lavelle, was recently a guest on the Reflections of a DJ (R.O.A.D.) podcast.

    During the convo, the show’s co-host Crooked asked the question: WTF is open-format DJing? The answer may seem obvious, but Scooter and the hosts had different definitions.

    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 Franzen: Do DJs Still Break Records?

  • Annie Mac Addresses Cell Phone Usage in Clubs

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    Annie Mac. (Source: Facebook)

    In 2017, Annie Mac presented Who Killed The Night?, a BBC Three documentary which explores the controversies around the closure of almost half of the UK’s clubs over the past ten years. In a recent interview with Music Week, the BBC Radio 1 host discussed how the modern obsession with cell phones is damaging the clubbing experience. She also offered a potential solution.

    Mac, who recently went on a tour for the first time in two years, noticed a “distinct difference,” among club goers.

    “That difference was phones – it was next level. Everything had to be recorded on people’s phones, or they were asking me to take selfies… It was constant phones in my face.” she told Music Week. “I feel like that’s a really big problem in terms of clubbing now, because the ultimate idea and goal of clubbing is to connect…”

    As for a possible solution, Mac used New York’s Output and Berlin’s Berghain nightclubs’ no photos or videos policy as an example:

    “You’re either not allowed to bring your phone in, which I think is a bit extreme, or they put a sticker over your screen so that you can’t take photos,” she said. “I think what will happen moving forward is that it will become the thing to not have a phone in a club. I hope it will become the norm – I think that would be really good for clubbing in general.”

    Related: How California’s Proposed 4 a.m. Law Could Affect DJs

  • DJ Franzen: Do DJs Still Break Records?

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    DJ Franzen
    DJ Franzen at Drai’s Nightclub in Las Vegas. (Source: Instagram)

    DJ Franzen is the definition of an OG. A Bay Area native, Fran helped break The Notorious B.I.G. and JAY Z on the radio and in the clubs on the West Coast in the ’90s. He was also the first DJ to play Luniz‘s timeless anthem, “I Got 5 on It.”

    In 2001, Fran moved to Las Vegas where he took his career to a new level. After holding it down in Sin City for over 15 years, Fran remains a staple in the scene. He’s currently a resident at Drai’s Nightclub and a host on Hot 97.5.

    Fran recently sat down with a new podcast called Reflections of a DJ (R.O.A.D.) to tell his story. The show is hosted by Vegas DJs Crooked, D-Miles, Neva, and Jaime Da Great.

    Among other topics, Fran discussed the biggest records he’s helped break and how the game has changed.

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

    Related: A-Trak Tells His Story in Comprehensive Interview

  • Mixcloud Signs Licensing Deal With Warner Music Group

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    Music streaming service Mixcloud has signed a licensing agreement with Warner Music Group, its first deal with a major record company.

    According to Mixcloud’s press release, the agreement will help enable a new offering in which fans can subscribe to creator channels “for a more interactive listening experience.” The deal will also “help audio creators on the platform monetise their content.”

    Founded in 2008, Mixcloud offers around 12 million radio shows, DJ sets, and podcasts, which are produced by over 1 million creators. However, the platform uses a statutory radio license, which limits the content that creators can use. Some creators have experienced copyright takedowns in recent years, similar to that of SoundCloud and other platforms.

    Nico Perez, co-founder and director of content at Mixcloud, said in the press release:

    “Since the beginning, we have worked with rightsholders to both monetise long-form audio and champion the importance of curation in the streaming industry. As we embark on direct licensing relationships with the major labels, we are committed to doing what is best for artists, curators, music fans, and the industry.”

    Ole Obermann, EVP of business development and chief digital officer at Warner Music Group, added:

    “This deal is a good example of our willingness to experiment and lead in embracing differentiated new business models. As streaming opens up access to a vast universe of music, we are seeing a complimentary rise in fans’ engagement with curated experiences, such as playlists, on-demand radio shows, and DJ sets.”

    Billboard reports that Mixcloud is in discussions with Sony Music, Universal Music Group, and independent rights organization Merlin about striking similar license deals to that of Warner.

    Related: Warner Music Group Buys Spinnin’ Records

  • Sony Music Opens Its Catalog to DJs and Remixers Via Dubset

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    Sony Music blog

    Digital distributor Dubset Media has partnered with Sony Music to allow the use of the label’s catalog in DJ sets and remixes on music subscription services.

    In addition to opening up Sony’s catalog to DJs and remixers, the deal creates a new revenue stream for the label.

    Using its MixBANK rights management platform and Cross Clearance Network, Dubset identifies the underlying musical recordings used within DJ sets and remixes. Once the tracks are identified, the platform determines the label and publishing rights holders and simultaneously clears the DJ sets or remix across all rights holders.

    Although thirty-five thousand labels and publishers have registered with Dubset, Sony is the first major label to get on board.

    Dubset Media CEO Stephen White said in a press release:

    “Hundreds of millions of music fans are streaming DJ and remix content, and labels, publishers, and performance societies need robust solutions for managing the use of their catalogs within this massive category of under-monetized music.”

    Andre Stapleton, senior vp of digital partner development at Sony Music Entertainment stated:

    “We have worked closely with Dubset on a deal that not only protects our artists, but also provides us with the tools to harness new revenues for them, while amplifying the popularity of the original master recordings at the same time.”

    Bob Barbiere, Dubset Media chief strategy officer and svp of global licensing added:

    “Poorly monetized user generated content (UGC) has already cost the music industry billions in lost revenue. DJ sets and remixes, like original music, must be independently registered, tagged, and cleared before entering any subscription music streaming service – which up until now has not been possible. At Dubset we have solved this problem.

    Related: Apple Music Can Now Stream Previously Unlicensed Remixes and DJ Mixes