A-Trak

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

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

Watch A-Trak’s ‘MikiDz Show’ Set

A-Trak

A-Trak

DJcity’s MikiDz Show episode with A-Trak was one of, if not the most, anticipated episodes of the live stream’s history. The legendary DJ/producer lived up the hype, delivering a captivating 45-minute set that spanned genres and eras. And, as promised before the show, A-Trak had some new tricks up his sleeve.

The proceeding interview with hosts MikiWAR and DJ Dainjazone was just as engaging. A-Trak discussed a variety of topics, including the Goldie Awards and the backlash against Kanye West in the DJ community.

Watch his set and interview below. An audio-only version is also available via iTunes and Spotify.

Hosts
A-Trak with hosts DJ Dainjazone and MikiWAR

Crowd
A-Trak with the audience

Follow A-Trak on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter.

Related: Watch Miles Medina’s ‘MikiDz Show’ Set

A-Trak to Perform on DJcity’s ‘MikiDz Show’ Live Stream

A-Trak

A-Trak

DJcity’s MikiDz Show has featured some of the world’s most influential in DJs, including Jazzy Jeff, QBert, Z-Trip, and Craze. On Monday, Oct. 29, the show will add to that list with a performance from none other than A-Trak.

Though many of his friends have appeared on the show, it will be A-Trak’s first performance. It’s been a long time coming, and we’re very excited to have him.

The live stream will follow Monday’s world-class performance from Miles Medina, who won A-Trak’s inaugural Goldie Awards DJ Battle in 2017. (We’ll post the video of his set and interview this Thursday.)

The MikiDz Show is hosted by MikiWAR and DJ Dainjazone and includes an opening set from DJ Rell. Watch it at 7 p.m. PT on DJcity’s Facebook page or website.

To receive email updates about the MikiDz Show, click here.

Download A-Trak’s latest single “DJs Gotta Dance More” feat. Todd Terry on DJcity.

Related: Watch A-Trak Make a Beat by Sampling Random Records

Watch A-Trak Make a Beat by Sampling Random Records

a-trak

After over five years of Rhythm Roulette, Mass Appeal has finally featured A-Trak on an episode. The series challenges producers to make a beat by sampling three records that they randomly select while blindfolded.

In the video, A-Trak stops by Good Records in New York City to get his vinyl. He then heads to the studio where he cooks up five different sounding beats with samples from all three records. The Montreal native shares some insightful production tips along the way.

Watch Rhythm Roulette above.

Related: Watch A-Trak’s ‘DJs Gotta Dance More’ Video Feat. Todd Terry

Watch A-Trak’s ‘DJs Gotta Dance More’ Video Feat. Todd Terry

A-Trak has shared a creative video for his single “DJs Gotta Dance More” featuring New York house legend, Todd Terry. The track, which was one of DJcity’s most downloaded songs of August, marks the first collaboration between A-Trak and Terry.

“For the video, I wanted to reflect the quiet, intimate vibe of the song,” A-Trak said in a press release. My brother Dave (Chromeo) came up with the idea of doing an in-studio video, showing me and my co-producer Cory Enemy creating the track in real time, and Todd getting in the booth. It’s both a ‘making of’ video and a theatrical music video, shot 16mm film.”

Watch the video above and download the track on DJcity.

Related: Silk City and Dua Lipa Drop New Single and Video, ‘Electricity’

A-Trak Demonstrates Creative Way to Use Serato DJ Pro’s Slip Mode Feature

A-Trak

A-Trak is known for pushing the DJ culture forward by creating new ideas to use in his routines then sharing how he comes up with them. As he in November when he broke down how he constructed his “rockstarroutine.

Today, the Fool’s Gold Chief has explained how he came up with a creative way to use Serato DJ Pro’s Slip Mode feature.

Slip Mode is a tool that enables DJs to manipulate a track without losing its playback position.

A-Trak uses the feature to integrate scratching into his mix while maintaining a continuous groove. He combines it with another idea he had in which he uses loops in his set instead of full tracks and what he achieves is a new way to perform a scratch routine.

In the video, A-Trak discusses his thought process behind the idea. He then demonstrates the technique using Basement Jaxx‘s 1999 interlude, “Jazzalude.”

Watch it above.

Related: A-Trak: Must-Have Items in My DJ Bag

A-Trak: Must-Have Items in My DJ Bag

A-Trak's must-have items

A-Trak's must-have items
Photo source: A-Trak

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.

Check out his must-have travel items below, and download his new single “Ride For Me” with Young Thug, Falcons, and 24hrs.

Cocoon Grid-It! Organizer

“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.”

Kiehl’s Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Face Mist

“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?”

Fool’s Gold x Stokyo Needle Case

“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

“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.”

Follow A-Trak on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter.

Related: The Chainsmokers: Must-Have Items in Our DJ Bag

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