• Watch Vice and Rapper Kyle Go on a Taco Run

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    Rising Los Angeles rapper Kyle has been featured on DJ/producer Vice‘s Electric Taco series.

    While driving with Vice to Leo’s Tacos Truck in Los Angeles, “Super Duper” Kyle discussed how his career has progressed from selling mixtapes to headlining his first festival.

    Kyle is best known for his melodic breakout single “iSpy” featuring Lil Yachty. The song peaked at No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and was certified double platinum. Kyle was also named to XXL’s 2017 Freshman Class in June.

    Watch Electric Taco above.

    Related: Watch DJ Vice and Comedian Jo Koy Go on a Taco Run

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  • DJ QBert Shares Advice on DJing

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    DJ QBert shared some advice on DJing in a recent interview with hip-hop website, 247HH.

    The legendary turntablist discussed letting loose on stage, practicing, eating healthy, and being spiritual. He said his biggest lesson in life was losing the DMC World Championship in 1991.

    “It taught me how to be humble. From my experience of not practicing, I gotta practice a lot now. Because if you don’t practice, you know, everything falls apart. I have to stay humble and keep being a student. So I practice even more nowadays.”

    In 2016, QBert reunited with his influential Invisibl Skratch Piklz crew and dropped their first album in over 20 years. The group, which consists of QBert, D-Styles, and Shortkut, recently performed at the Boiler Room in Oakland.

    Watch the video above.

    Related: Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Cut Chemist, and J. Espinosa Perform on the Boiler Room

  • Vice Tells His Story in Candid Interview

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    DJ Vice
    Vice at Encore Beach Club in Las Vegas. (Photo source: Encore Beach Club)

    DJ/producer Vice recently sat down with Young & Reckless founder Chris “Drama” Pfaff for an in-depth and candid interview. The near 2-hour conversation covered much of the Los Angeles native’s career and personal life.

    Topics discussed include starting out as a DJ at 10 years old, DJing high school dances, weddings, and quinceañeras in his teens, working at Los Angeles’ Power 106, DJ AM, landing a $1 million Las Vegas residency, building his brand beyond DJing, plus much more.

    When talking about his time as a wedding DJ, Vice said:

    “Weddings are the hardest gig anyone could ever play. It’s the most random group of people, from old to young to middle aged. And everyone’s emotional and you gotta play like swing music for the elderlies and salsa because someone wants to cha-cha dance and then the kids are pissed because they wanna hear hip-hop and then the middle-aged are like ‘Yo, we wanna hear some old school sh#t.’ And everyone’s yelling at you. Everyone’s coming up to you and saying, ‘Change the music. Change this.’ And they’re wasted. There’s so much work.”

    Stream the entire convo below via SoundCloud or on iTunes.

    Here’s some of topics covered:

    – His family and growing up in Los Angeles (8:00)
    – The moment he got hooked on DJing at 10 years old (16:00)
    – Learning how to DJ (19:40)
    – His time as a high school, quinceañera, and wedding DJ (24:10)
    – Hustling mixtapes (29:00)
    – Working at Power 106 (35:10)
    – Unexpectedly becoming a dad at 19 (41:00)
    – Attending a life-changing Tony Robbins seminar (44:45)
    – Meeting Kanye West (55:52)
    – Meeting Suge Knight and LL Cool J (58:40)
    – DJ AM (1:01:00)
    – Landing a $1 million Las Vegas DJ contract (1:16:00)
    – Surviving the EDM bubble (1:18:00)
    – Leaving SKAM Artist (1:19:00)
    – Getting into music production (1:20:50)
    – Opening his shoe store (1:28:30)
    – Starting his Electric Taco series (1:33:40)
    – Building his brand (1:35:20)

    Related: Watch DJ Vice and Comedian Jo Koy Go on a Taco Run

    Posted in DJ Culture
  • Jimmy Iovine Recalls Hearing Dr. Dre for the First Time

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    Jimmy Iovine
    Jimmy Iovine with Pharrell and Scott Vener. (Photo source: Instagram)

    Music mogul Jimmy Iovine has been making the rounds to promote his upcoming documentary on HBO, The Defiant Ones. The four-part series, which premieres July 9, tells his and Dr. Dre‘s stories and 20-year-plus partnership.

    During a recent interview on Pharrell and Scott Vener’s show on Beats 1 Radio, Jimmy recalled hearing Dre’s music for the first time.

    “When I met Dre, and I heard his music on my speakers, it was like when I first heard Phil Spector. … It just sounded like nothing I’d ever heard before. It sounded like it was gonna affect every record that ever came out, including rock music, and I knew nothing about hip-hop. But I just felt it at that moment and I said, ‘This guy will define Interscope.'”

    Jimmy admitted he wasn’t a fan of hip-hop at the time, but Dre changed that.

    “The bottom end [of hip-hop records] was a mess; I know they were trying to do it on purpose or something. There were 808s, and none of it was making any sense to me. Dre used all that stuff, but he made it sound like Pink Floyd was doing it. And I was like, ‘Okay, this is something special.’ It was different from everything else.”

    It wasn’t just Dre’s sonic ability that impressed Jimmy, though. The executive said he saw similarities between the Compton producer and The Rolling Stones.

    “I heard [The Chronic], and then I started to understand who these guys were and what they were doing and how much they reminded me of The Rolling Stones. Because the Rolling Stones, when I was a kid, they’d scare you, but they’d bring you in with their music. Their music was so cool that they’d lure you in but what they were doing was their form of anarchy in those days, you know. Snoop and Dre reminded me of Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards].”

    Among other topics, Jimmy also criticized how the music industry has handled the digital revolution.

    Watch him discuss Dre:

    Watch him discuss the industry:

    Related: Jimmy Iovine Recounts His Early Days as an Engineer and Producer, Launching Interscope

  • Jimmy Iovine Recounts His Early Days as an Engineer and Producer, Launching Interscope

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    Jimmy Iovine

    Legendary music producer and executive Jimmy Iovine was a guest on The Howard Stern Show on Monday. The mogul recounted his five-decade career, from his early days as an engineer and producer to launching Interscope Records and Beats Electronics with Dr. Dre.

    The interview follows the premiere of the trailer for HBO’s documentary, The Defiant Ones. The four-part series, which debuts July 9, chronicles Iovine’s partnership with Dre.

    “I did three albums with John [Lennon]. That’s a lot of time. We hit it off, and that’s kind of why he let me in the studio.”

    Iovine said he believes their bond was why Lennon asked him to be in the studio when he recorded vocals on David Bowie’s hit, “Fame.” The song appeared on his Young Americans album.

    “That album set the tone of … a big part of my music career.”

    In 1975, Iovine helped engineer Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run album, an experience that shaped his work ethic.

    “Sony was gonna drop him. It’s not a secret. Bruce is not for sale. He’s not even for rent. There is nothing you have that he wants. … I learned my work ethic from this guy. This guy’s got the greatest work ethic, the most discipline, of anyone I’ve ever met in my life.”

    Born to Run peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 200 chart and eventually sold over 6 million copies in the US. It also earned Iovine a reputation as one of the best in the business.

    After a string of successes with U2, Tom Petty, and Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, Iovine launched Interscope Records with the help of David Geffen.

    “Business to [Geffen] is an art form. He just shows you how to move. … He has never gotten anything from me except friendship, and he’s given me so much wisdom over the years.”

    Eventually, Iovine connected with Dr. Dre and signed a deal to distribute Suge Knight’s Death Row Records. Stern asked him about the feud between West Coast and East Coast rappers and he how dealt with it.

    “In a lot of ways, it was terrifying. Going backwards is not an option.”

    Iovine also recalled the day he ran into Dre on a beach and heard about a sneaker deal he was considering.

    “I said, ‘Dre, f#ck sneakers, man. Let’s do speakers!’ … How could we miss? We make records.”

    Watch two clips from the interview below.

  • NGHTMRE Talks Production and More

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    It’s not an overstatement to say that NGHTMRE is one of the most dominant and influential forces in bass music. Not only do the biggest names in the genre play his tracks, but he has influenced many producers with his unique sound.

    From 2013 to 2014, NGHTMRE honed his craft at Los Angeles’ renowned music production school, Icon Collective. The institute has spawned other influential artists, most notably Jauz, MAKJ, and SNBRN. However, NGHTMRE’s big break came in 2015 when Skrillex dropped his trap song “Street” at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival. The track became a festival anthem and set the stage for collaborations with Dillon Francis, Flux Pavilion, and Zeds Dead. Festival appearances, world tours, and a residency at Hakkasan in Las Vegas followed.

    NGHTMRE’s most recent release, a twerk remix of Terror Squad‘s “Lean Back,” was DJcity’s 12th most downloaded track of May. It marks his highest-charting release on DJcity to date (it beat “Need You” by one place).

    Despite his busy schedule, we had a chance to chat with NGHTMRE about production and his meteoric rise.

    A lot of dance and electronic producers sound the same, but you have a unique sound. Where does it come from?

    I think it’s a combination of a lot of different things I grew up listening to. Everything from old school and indie rock, to the dirty south hip-hop, to the dubstep and house music.

    What was the most important thing you learned at Icon Collective?

    While all the technical skills I learned were extremely valuable, Icon taught me how to think about being creative, which was most important. I learned to not compare myself to other artists and to focus on creating music for myself rather than for other people or ulterior motives like money or DJ support.

    Do you think attending a school makes sense for all producers?

    Not always. I think the curriculum can be learned in many difference places, but it’s important to have a mentor or someone who knows what they’re talking about when you’re asking questions. I spent many years searching the internet for tutorials and ways to learn production, and you never really know if you are getting the right answers when just searching through YouTube tutorials. One thing I think is super important is being around other people who are doing creative work. It can really provide you with the spark you need to continue working and producing in times when you get writer’s block.

    Download on DJcity

    It seems like some producers have been heavily influenced by your sound. How do you feel about that?

    I think it’s amazing! I was certainly influenced by many different artists and producers, and it’s important to me to be inspiring other artists to create and push music forward.

    What’s your preferred production gear?

    I use Ableton Live for all my production. Having been on the road so much recently, I’ve gotten much better at producing with nothing but a laptop. Keeping a MIDI keyboard nearby for writing chord progressions and melodies is important for me when I’m at home. Almost everything I use is built-in Ableton effects or third party VSTs like Serum, Spire, Omnisphere, and more.

    Did you know “Street” would be a hit when you produced it?

    Not at all. I knew I liked it, but I thought it was way too weird to be a hit. Fortunately, Skrillex liked it too and played it at Ultra a few years ago. He is such a tastemaker that if he supports something, it really allows it to break through into the scene!

    Your collab “Need You” with Dillon Francis was also big for you. How did it come about?

    Dillon began supporting some of my originals and remixes in his live sets, and then I finally met him on a flight back to LA one day. We both expressed interest in working on a song together, and I was excited to try something at the moombahton tempo because I didn’t get to do it often. After starting the idea, we met up in LA to work together and finished the song in just a few sessions! We get along great and use all the same production software, so it was a super smooth and easy collaboration.

    You play quite a bit of hip-hop in your sets. What’s your take on dance music becoming more open-format in recent years?

    I grew up listening to all types of music, so I love when I get the opportunity to incorporate all kinds of music in my sets. Listening to one tempo or one style of music for more than an hour straight can get tiring! It’s important to change it up a little to refresh the listener’s ears a little bit. [smiles]

    From a DJ’s standpoint, who are your favorite upcoming-and-coming producers?

    JOYRYDE, Rickyxsan, YOOKIE, KRNE, MYRNE, and many more!

    What do you have planned for this year?

    Lots of touring! I’m going back to Asia and Europe again and launching a NGHTMRE tour near the end of the year. Another NGHTMRE EP will be out in the coming months, as well as a few fun collaborations I’ve been doing on the side.

    Download on SoundCloud

    Follow NGHTMRE on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter.

    Related: Watch Dillon Francis and NGHTMRE’s ‘Need You’ Video

  • IAmChino Talks Blending EDM and Latin Music

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    DJ Chino

    Pitbull‘s official DJ and go-to producer IAmChino recently spoke with the Miami New Times about his unique style of Latin EDM.

    The Cuban-born DJ and producer just released his new single, “Amor,” featuring fellow Cuban artist Chacal and reggaeton veteran Wisin. It follows Chino’s 2016 breakout single, “Ay Dios Mio,” featuring Pitbull, Yandel, and Chacal. The latter track has received over 177 million streams on Spotify.

    “I’m Latin and I was raised in Miami, but I’m in both worlds, you know?” said Chino. “I feel like with the music I’m trying to do right now especially with the new single… we hit it right on the money with who I really am as a DJ.”

    Of course, Chino isn’t the only DJ/producer in the mainstream who blends Latin and EDM, but the article points out he’s the only Cuban.

    “While there are other Latinos in the mainstream EDM world like Puerto Rican house legend Robbie Rivera and Ultra Records’ Mexican-American producer Deorro, Chino is the only Cuban DJ topping the charts.”

    Chino is currently preparing to hit the road with Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias for the duo’s third upcoming tour, which kicks off June 3 in Chicago.

    “The sound is ahead of its time,” Chino said. “It’s an up-tempo EDM sound which reminds us of a Calvin HarrisDavid Guetta world sound, but it’s still an amazing sound. I didn’t want to take away from what the song is about. If you play it on the guitar, it’s still an amazing record.”

    Stream “Amor” below and download it on DJcity.

    Related: Watch IAmChino’s ‘Ay Mi Dios’ Video Feat. Pitbull, Yandel and Chacal

    Posted in DJ Culture
  • Watch DJ Vice and Comedian Jo Koy Go on a Taco Run

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    DJ/producer Vice has returned with a new episode of Electric Taco, this time featuring rising comedian Jo Koy.

    A native of Washington, Koy has been receiving a lot of press lately thanks to his new special on Netflix, Live from Seattle.

    Watch above to see him and Vice catch up as they make their way to Casita Taco Al Carbon in Los Angeles.

    Related: Watch DJ Vice and Perez Hilton Go on a Taco Run

    Posted in Videos
  • Major Lazer’s Walshy Fire Talks All Things Dancehall

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    Walshy Fire
    Walshy Fire in the mix at Tuxedo Junction in Danbury, Connecticut. (Photo credit: Dan Nilsen)

    Leighton Paul Walsh, a.k.a. Walshy Fire, is best known for being a member of Major Lazer. The Jamaican-born MC, selector (DJ), and producer has had a successful career outside of the group, though. In 2004, Walshy joined the Miami Black Chiney sound system. He toured with it for 8 years and also hosted a popular radio show in the city. It wasn’t until 2012 that Walshy joined Major Lazer. Yet, despite the group’s success and busy schedule, he has still found time to continue his solo career. On Wednesday, Walshy dropped a new riddim album called “Chicken and Dumplin” with soca producer Kubiyashi. The project includes songs from heavyweights Beenie Man, Sean Paul, Shaggy, among others. On Friday, Walshy will headline Mad Decent’s takeover of Avalon’s Control party in Los Angeles.

    We caught up with Walshy before the show to discuss all things dancehall.

    As someone who was born in Jamaica and has been involved with dancehall for their entire career, how do you feel about its current popularity in the mainstream?

    It’s great. Dancehall is for everyone, for the masses. Hearing it world wide is a great feeling.

    Some pop artists have been criticized for appropriating dancehall culture and not giving credit where credit is due. Do you agree with that criticism?

    Credit is really all anyone wants in life. Every genre of music, every artist, every musician. So credit should always be given. Allow people to know where you sampled from.

    You once said in an interview that your sole purpose with Major Lazer is to “bring back some glory and international exposure [for] reggae and dancehall.” Do you think you’ve achieved that aim?

    I wouldn’t say, but I have a lot more work to do.

    Walshy Fire and Kubiyashi’s “Chicken and Dumplin” riddim album. Download select songs on DJcity.

    You’ve been credited with coining the term, “future dancehall.” What’s your definition of it?

    Future dancehall is dancehall mixed with EDM influences. It stays at the same dancehall tempo (94 to 100 BPM) but has rises and drops. And I don’t want the credit for making that name up. A lot of folks were calling it that before me. I might just be the one who made it popular.

    What is your favorite dancehall riddim of all time?

    The Answer Riddim.

    In your eyes, what are the similarities and differences between Jamaican selectors and American DJs?

    For Jamaican DJs, it’s not about the music as it is about the personality of the DJ. You can play an obscure song no one’s heard and with your personality make it big. You can make people laugh and do things they didn’t plan on doing, etc. Also, Jamaican DJs mix very quick. For American DJs, it’s more about shutting the club down with the big songs, scratching, blending, etc.

    Your role in Major Lazer is an MC and producer, but you also have a solo career as a DJ and producer. Is your approach different?

    Yeah, I bring the Jamaican and Miami style of DJing.

    A recap of Major Lazer’s historic concert in Havana, Cuba on March 6, 2016.

    How did your experience as a radio host in Miami influence you as an artist?

    I miss it a lot. It allowed me to be able to be humble and relate to the average person who just wants to have a good time. It’s not about trying to be this untouchable celebrity DJ. That will never be me.

    In 2016, Major Lazer became the first major American artist to perform in Cuba since diplomatic ties were restored. What was that like?

    It was the Highlight of my DJ life. Check out the documentary we did on it called Give Me Future.

    Are you or Major Lazer working with any Cuban artists?

    I work with Yotuel [from Orishas]. He’s a dope dude. I also work with Ari Lopez who now lives in Jamaica.

    Who are some newer artists that you’re feeling right now?

    Meleku [Sizzla’s son], Jah9, Masicka, and Ricardo Drue.

    Walshy Fire and Sillva’s back-to-back set at the 2017 Rum Set Boat Party in Miami.

    Follow Walshy Fire on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter.

    Related: Wax Motif Remixes Major Lazer’s ‘Run Up’

  • A Look Inside the Beat Junkies’ DJ School

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    Beat Junkies

    In April, the legendary Beat Junkies crew launched a DJ school called The Beat Junkie Institute of Sound. Located in Glendale, California, the school offers fundamental and specialized DJ courses, workshops, and private lessons, all taught by members of the crew.

    The Beat Junkie Institute of Sound puts on an emphasis on the foundation of DJing. For example, students start by learning with original vinyl and then move to digital. Its state-of-the-art facility features 12 workstations, a merch store, and a “longtagon,” which is a table for group scratch sessions.

    Power 106’s DJ E-Man recently took a tour of the institute and spoke with instructors DJ Babu and Mr. Choc. While he was there, he saw a scratch session that included DJ Premier. Afterwards, E-Man spoke with Premo about what it means to be a DJ today.

    Watch the video below.

    Related: Watch DJ Premier and Miguel’s ‘2 Lovin U’ Video