A-Trak is one of the busiest DJs on the planet. From performing live and producing music to running his Fool’s Gold label, Days Off festival, and Goldie Awards, the Montreal native puts in a lot of miles. Given all of his experience, which includes serving as Kanye West‘s DJ in the mid-2000s, A-Trak has become an authority in the DJ community. People from around the world pay heed to his advice and opinions on the art of DJing, DJ technology, etc.
“This is my greatest discovery in recent years. I always want to have every imaginable cord or adaptor with me on the road. I’ve had so many emergencies. You’re overseas, and you suddenly need to boot one laptop in Target Mode from your other laptop. Or you forgot that your backup drive uses a different kind of port than what your new laptop has. Or you somehow need to use an ethernet jack. You need all these emergency cords, but how do you actually pack them? This Grid-It thing is the most zen-like order that I’ve ever had with my cords and adaptors.”
Comme Des Garçons Travel Wallet
“This Comme Des Garçons wallet has been my travel companion for a long time. It’s where I keep my frequent flier cards and any random reward program cards, and I can stick my passport in it when I don’t need it. I can even keep a few foreign currencies in it too. None of this needs to be in your regular wallet.”
“Airplanes are your skin’s worst enemy. Keeping up a few little habits can make a world of difference. No one wants to be told ‘you look tired,’ or feel their own skin turn into leather. I like this mist because hey, who doesn’t like Tibetan ginseng?”
“I used to carry the classic blue Shure needle case, but it’s kind of big. Then we made this smaller Fool’s Gold case with Stokyo. It’s way more portable. I also love how it has a little compartment where you can keep spare styli.”
The Bag Within the Bag
“As DJs we travel the world to secure the bag. So it’s important to have a good bag strategy. I always carry-on, I’d say 98% percent of the time. It’s extremely rare that I check something in. So the bag I travel with is bigger, but that doesn’t mean I’ll bring that to my gigs. That’s where you need a bag within your bag. Going to gigs with only a tote bag has changed my life.”
A number of turntablists have flipped Fat Joe and Remy Ma‘s “All the Way Up” since it dropped in 2016, and now A-Trak has joined in the fun. He might be late to the party, but the Fool’s Gold chief’s version is one of the most creative we’ve seen yet.
Watch above and grab “All the Way Up” on DJcity.
A-Trak at Coney Art Walls in New York City. (Photo Credit: Mel D. Cole)
Following the success of his Goldie Awards DJ and producer battle in September, A-Trak sat down with Serato to reflect on his career. The Fool’s Gold chief also performed a routine using his single “Believe” featuring Quavo and Lil Yachty.
The seven-part interview series is broken down into the following topics:
– Starting off as a turntablist
– When he learned how to rock parties
– How he discovered Serato
– Where he gets his inspiration from
– Why he improvises his sets
– His evolution as a producer
– Why he launched the Goldie Awards
Watch the interview series and routine below.
“Currently on a coast to coast Canadian tour, but I decided to come out of solo DJ battle retirement one last time to take a shot at A-Trak’s Goldie Awards. I put a little spin on a routine you may have heard before… this time with even more Mortal Kombat, some Street Fighter, Earthworm Jim, and NBA Jam.”
Vekked told us that he connected an Xkey Air keyboard to Serato Pitch ‘n Time via Bluetooth to control the pitch of the Sega loop.
The Goldie Awards is a new DJ and beat battle that will feature six DJs and six producers competing in their respective categories. The competition will be judged by a star-studded panel that includes Diplo, DJ Craze, Just Blaze, Mannie Fresh, Destructo, and Mija. The deadline to enter is August 6, and the live battle will take place at Brooklyn Steel in New York City on September 7.
Watch Vekked’s routine above.
A-Trak at the We the Future Festival in Puerto Rico. (Photo credit: Steve Garfinkel)
“The Goldie Awards isn’t the same old DJ battle,” A-Trak says in the trailer for the event. “We’re allowing literally any piece of equipment you want to bring. We’re welcoming anything that’s part of the art form of DJing now in this day in age.”
The competition is “designed to reflect the genreless, borderless, and limitless nature of music today,” according to Thump, which is a co-sponsor of the battle.
The Goldie Awards will feature six DJs and six producers competing in their respective categories. The DJs will be judged on originality, creativity, technical ability, music selection, crowd response, and stage presence. The producers will be judged on originality, creativity, technical ability, musical range, and crowd response.
The winning DJ will get to perform at the Fool’s Gold Day Off festival, and the winning producer will release a song on the Fool’s Gold label.
To enter, entrants must upload a one-minute video to their Instagram or YouTube accounts with the hashtag #GoldieAwards and fill out the application on the contest’s website by August 6. The judges will then select six DJs and six producers to be flown to the live battle, which takes place at Brooklyn Steel in New York City on September 7.
Get more information, including the competition’s rules, at the Goldie Awards website.
Watch the trailer below and grab your tickets for the event on June 9.
A-Trak has revealed that he’s organizing a new DJ and beat battle that will take place later this year. The Fool’s Gold boss made the announcement during Craze‘s appearance on DJcity’s MikiDz Show on Monday night.
“[Turntablism] is not old school. It’s not some shit from the old heads or whatever,” A-Trak said. “There’s ways to do it with the sonics of music that’s current. We all listen to new music, we all play new music, and the new routines are updated to fit with the new shit, and I think the battle world needs to adapt to that too.”
A-Trak added that Craze, Four Color Zack and “all the other homies” would judge the battle.
Craze, who was standing next to A-Trak during the announcement, described what to expect from him as a judge. “I’m gonna be the Simon Cowell of that shit,” he said with a grin. “I’ll be like, ‘you’re not supposed to be out here. What are you doing?'”
A-Trak said he would reveal more details about the competition in the next couple of months.
Watch the announcement below and stay tuned for video of Craze’s set and interview.
Related: Watch A-Trak’s Video for ‘We All Fall Down’ Ft. Jamie Lidell
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