• 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.

    Tracklist:

    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?

  • WiDE AWAKE Go Music Shopping With Kenrick Chance

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    Kenrick Chance is back with his High Fashion Music podcast, this time taking DJ/producer duo WiDE AWAKE shopping in HMV where they discuss and go into detail about music, culture, and fashion.

    Watch the video above.

    Follow Kenrick Chance on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

    Follow WiDE AWAKE on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

    Related: Listen to WiDE AWAKE’s DJcity Podcast Mix

  • 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’

  • Watch: Maleek Berry Interview With DJ Dubl

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    London’s DJ Dubl dropped the first official interview for 2018 on DJ DUBL TV, with UK afrobeat artist and producer Maleek Berry!

    They talk about his new EP “First Daze of Winter”, changing the sound of afrobeats with Wizkid, and how he’s so famous in Nigeria right now. They also discuss his forthcoming music with Not3s and Yxng Bane, why he became an artist, selling out his UK tour and much more.

    Watch the full interview above and download Maleek Berry’s tracks via DJcity.

    Related: Logic Interview With DJ Dubl

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  • 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?

  • 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

  • Logic Interview With DJ Dubl

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    London’s DJ Dubl sat down for an in depth conversation with double platinum selling, Billboard number 1 artist, UK Top 10 charting, US rapper Logic for an exclusive interview as the only interview during his 2017 European tour.

    They talk about his latest album and break down various tracks. Logic discusses how he’s changed as a person and artist during his journey, recently getting married and his public relationship. They also talk about the importance of him talking about mental health issues in the album and addressing certain topics that don’t generally get brought up by rappers.

    They also talk about “the Kanye line” and the global impact of his groundbreaking single “1-800-273-8255” featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid.

    Related: Donaeo Interview With DJ Dubl

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  • Watch Stefflon Don’s Interview With Hot 97

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    After dropping a freestyle for DJ Whoo Kid whilst over in America, UK’s rising rapper Stefflon Don joined the Hot 97 team.

    She dropped by the New York studio to talk to hosts Ebro Darden, Peter Rosenburg, and Laura Stylez. They go into detail about her journey to becoming a recognised artist, discuss UK rap, what goes down in her DM’s, and more.

    Watch the Hot 97 interview above and check out her Whoo Kid freestyle HERE.

    Related: Watch Jax Jones’ ‘Instruction’ Video Feat. Demi Lovato & Stefflon Don

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  • Donaeo Interview With DJ Dubl

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    DJ Dubl‘s new interview is with the legendary UK artist, Donaeo! They talk about his entry to the music scene and how producer ‘Sticky’ mentored him with regards to being a producer. Donaeo discusses how he crosses across so many genres without changing his sound or sounding out of place on the records and how he came up with the name ‘Donae’o’.

    They break down his latest project ‘Sixteen’ in great detail and talk about his latest single “Let Me”. Donaeo explains that keeping younger artists around him helps to keep him plugged in and relevant, but also that it helps to keep the younger artists in touch with the culture and how to move correctly in music. Donaeo has been instrumental in most stages of most UK ‘Urban’ music genres, whether as a producer, song writer, feature or artist.

    He talks about producers that inspired him, who he’d most like to work with and throws in a few memories from his studio sessions with Giggs!

    Related: Stefflon Don Interview With DJ Dubl

    Posted in Videos