Interview

Melo D Talks West Coast Style of DJing on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

Melo-D

Melo D, from the legendary Beat Junkies crew, was featured on this week’s episode of the R.O.A.D. Podcast. The Los Angeles native broke down the West Coast style of DJing and how it compares with the East Coast style.

Melo D also discussed J Rocc’s role in founding the Beat Junkies, the crew’s Institute of Sound DJ school, and more.

Watch an excerpt above and the full episode here.

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Related Post: Boogie Blind Remembers Roc Raida on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

Boogie Blind Remembers Roc Raida on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

DJ Boogie Blind

Boogie Blind, a member of the X-Ecuctioners and Heavy Hitters crews, sat down with the R.O.A.D. Podcast this week. The veteran turntablist and party rocker remembered his former crew member, the late and great Roc Raida.

Boogie also discussed his early DJs with the X-Men, how party rocking is his foundation, East Coast vs. West Coast scratching, and more.

Watch an excerpt above and the full episode here.

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Related Post: Four Color Zack and DJ Scooter Debate Sync Feature on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

Ben Billion$ Talks All Things Production on ‘Pensado’s Place’

Ben Billion$
Ben Billion$ (Source: Instagram)

Multi-platinum producer Ben Billion$ recently sat down with the Pensado’s Place YouTube show.

Based in Miami, Ben is best known for producing hits like Future‘s “Low Life,” Yo Gotti‘s “Down in the DM,” Maroon 5‘s “What Lovers Do,” and The Weeknd‘s “Often.” Most recently, Ben scored placements on DJ Khaled‘s new album Father of Asahd, including “You Stay,” which was one of DJcity’s most downloaded tracks of May.

Ben discussed a number of topics in the interview, such as starting out as an engineer, his signature “low end” sound, his definition of “strip club drums,” using live instrumentation, the importance of being humble, and more.

Watch the interview below.

Related Post: D.A. Doman: One of Hip-Hop’s Most In-Demand Producers

‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’ Hosts Discuss Rising Demand for Female DJs

R.O.A.D. Podcast

On this week’s episode of the R.O.A.D. Podcast, the crew discusses the changes in nightlife noted by the 2018 International Music Summit Business Report. The report points out that while the rates for DJs are decreasing, there is a rising demand for female DJs.

In addition to the IMS Business Report, the guys talk about Meek Mill‘s incident in Las Vegas, Nipsey Hussle‘s clothing store, Wu-Tang Clan‘s recently released documentary, and more.

Watch the excerpt above and the full episode here.

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Related Post: Eli Escobar & DJ Goldfinger Talk Playing Long Sets on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

GuiltyBeatz Talks Rise of African Music

GuiltyBeatz

GuiltyBeatz
GuiltyBeatz in East London (Credit: Naija Boi)

The global pop scene has traditionally been dominated by American music. That’s changing though; both Latin music and Kpop are making waves across the world, including the US.

Historically, Africa has had a rich music history. Its rhythms and melodies have influenced genres around the world, most notably in the Americas and Caribbean. However, African genres have yet to impact the global pop scene. That is changing, too. With the help of Nigerian artists like WizKid, Mr Eazi, and Davido, Africa is poised to take the spotlight. Non-African artists like Drake and Major Lazer have also helped spread African music, collaborating with some of the continent’s biggest stars.

On the industry side, all three major labels have launched divisions and partnerships on the continent in recent years, indicating commercial potential.

To learn more about African music and where it’s going, we sat down with GuiltyBeatz, a rising DJ/producer from Accra, Ghana. We first met the 29-year-old at Mr Eazi’s recent sold-out show in Los Angeles. The event took place between the first and second weekends of the Coachella festival, which Guilty and Eazi also performed at. Guilty made the most of his visit to Los Angeles, hitting the studio with Diplo and launching an Afro house event series with Dallas’ Poizon Ivy the DJ. (Guilty recently formed a DJ/producer duo with Ivy called GuiltyPoizon.)

As a producer, Guilty has worked with some of Africa’s biggest stars, including WizKid and Mr Eazi. He’s also a rising solo artist, achieving global acclaim with his infectious anthem, “AKWAABA,” which features Mr Eazi, Pappy Kojo, and Patapaa. Guilty’s most recent single, “Pilolo,” also features Mr Eazi, along with Kwesi Arthur. “AKWAABA” means “welcome” in the Fante language, and with that, we welcome GuiltyBeatz…


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When non-Africans talk about modern African music, they often refer to it as Afrobeats, which originated in Nigeria. How would you describe your sound?

My sound is an eclectic mix of Ghanaian azonto, South African house, and electronic music. To be honest, I like to mix it up and not box myself in as a producer and DJ. I love making music, sharing it with the world, and spreading good vibes!

What is the DJ scene in Africa like?

I can’t comment on the whole of Africa. You have East, West, South, North, and Central Africa, and each region has its own scene. I can share my experience of places I have been to, such as Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Nigeria, and my own home, Ghana. These scenes are vibrant and differ from each other. For example, in West Africa, DJs host parties and shows and have artists come and perform. In East Africa, DJs host festivals. It’s clear from the countries that I have been that the DJs are really pushing boundaries and supporting the music, especially that of their local talent. What is really exciting me though is the fact the DJs are not afraid to push the boundaries and put out their own music, by working and collaborating with artists. DJs aren’t afraid to mix it up either, sourcing music from other regions and blending it with music from across the world. Most of the time, the DJ is taking the audiences and listeners on a trip, whether that be in the club or on the radio.

What influence has non-African music had on the scene?

We’ve had sprinkles of influence, but dancehall has played a big part in the scene, especially in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, and Zambia. These countries have dancehall in most of their sets; you can’t escape it. In Ghana back in the day, let’s say in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, the music was influenced by funk. Between 1990 and 2003 or 2004, some of our songs were influenced by R&B. Some musicians at the time used to sample R&B hit songs and they would sing the same melodies but different lyrics on a very similar beat. It was a kind of trend at the time.

How did you connect with Mr Eazi?

That was many years ago. I saw his track “Pipi Dance” was blowing up and I watched the video. Eazi dropped me a DM on Twitter, around the same time, as a mutual friend recommended we connect. So I sent him beats, and we started going back and forth. That was back in 2014. Fast forward to 2019 and this year we are touring North America together. Never underestimate social media!


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What was it like performing with him at Coachella?

It has always been a dream. I literally spoke about performing at Coachella in 2017, and two years later, I got to join one of my best friends on the main stage. It really was incredible. The power of language: believe in it and anything is possible.

What was it like working with Diplo?

I have been watching Diplo for a while, and I think what he does as a DJ, producer, and artist is inspirational. He makes me want to go harder and take my music as far and as wide as possible. What is really dope, is that for a while, my fans have been tweeting me, asking when we would work together. Even during some radio interviews in Ghana, I have been asked about collaborating with Diplo, so to finally make it happen was amazing. It felt like it was a long time coming.

He and Major Lazer have done a lot to spread African music to non-African audiences. What is the perception of them there?

It is dope what Major Lazer has done, not only with the music, but with artists from across Africa, like collaborating with artists such as DJ Maphorisa, Nasty C, Mr Eazi, and Burna Boy to name a few. It has helped take sounds from across Africa to global stages. “Particula” is a big tune: it goes down well in any rave in Ghana.

You have performed around the world. Aside from the UK, which countries have been the most receptive to African music?

The US for sure. We just did part of a North American tour and seeing the crowd go crazy for sets that are two to three hours long and full of music from Africa, and the diaspora is brilliant. Also, Canada is always so receptive. Countries across Europe such as France and Sweden have great fans too. Europe is really receptive; they have their own dance crews, festivals, and parties. The scene is really healthy out there.


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Who are some up-and-coming artists from Africa that DJs should know about?

There are so many names to mention. Some of the artists that have caught my attention are J.Derobie, who’s one of the recipients of Mr Eazi’s Empawa program. His first single just got a remix featuring Popcaan. Another guy to watch out for is JoeBoy. He’s got a few jams, including “Baby.” The video just came out; I’m really feeling it. There are some names that are already big in Ghana and are making waves on the music scene, but I feel we should definitely be watching what they get up to this year. They are Kidi, Kuami Eugene, Kwesi Arthur, Joey B, King Promise, Pappy Kojo, Adina, and Teni. The list goes on. There is so much great talent coming out of Africa.

Latin music is now a major force in the global pop scene. Do you think African music can achieve a similar level of success?

Of course! African music is just touching the surface, and you’ve seen what the likes of Davido and Afro B are doing in the US at the moment. Look at Black Coffee; he’s touring the world, has a residency in Ibiza and is shutting down festivals all summer long. That is all music from Africa, and it’s really inspiring to see. We can definitely take it global. Just last year I was on the BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. I played a short Afro house set, Naija Boi MC’d, and Mr Eazi performed a set. People were going wild. It was incredible to watch, and it just shows that this music can go as far as we wanna take it!

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Eli Escobar & DJ Goldfinger Talk Playing Long Sets on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

Eli Escobar and DJ Goldfinger, two veterans of the New York City club scene, sat down with the R.O.A.D. Podcast this week. The renowned DJs discussed how to approach long sets, the effect that the 9/11 tragedy had on nightlife, and more.

DJ/producer Eli Escobar has been a fixture in New York’s house and disco scenes for over two decades. His records have been released on classic labels like Nervous and Strictly Rhythm, as well as his own label Night People. Goldfinger is a DJ and producer from Brooklyn. He started DJing at the age of seven and went on to work at the iconic Beat Street record store.

Watch the excerpt below and the full episode here.

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Related Post: DJ Big Ben Talks Art of Quick Mixing on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

DJ Big Ben Talks Art of Quick Mixing on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

DJ Big Ben

DJ Big Ben

On this episode of the R.O.A.D. Podcast, the crew travels to New York City to sit down with DJ Big Ben.

The veteran DJ discussed topics such as quick mixing, which he’s known for, working with the legendary Mister Cee at Hot 97, and the impact that rappers like Nipsey Hussle and 6ix9ine had on New York.

Watch the excerpt below and the full episode here.

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Related Post: When Should DJs Retire? J. Espinosa Discusses With ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

The Milwaukee Bucks’ DJ Shares His NBA Playoffs Playlist

DJ O


DJ O holds it down at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. (Source: DJ O)

Game two of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals goes down tonight in Milwaukee, and DJ O will provide the soundtrack.

O was born and raised in Milwaukee and is a 20-year veteran. When he’s not rocking sports or corporate events, he can be heard on the city’s only hip-hop and R&B station, V100.7.

We spoke with O about what it’s like DJing for the Bucks and asked him to share his playoffs playlist with us.

What song gets the players most hype?

J. Cole‘s “MIDDLE CHILD.” The guys got a chance to meet J. Cole right before the track dropped nationally. They built a cool relationship with the Dreamville camp. The bounce is real when that track drops.

Which player has the best taste in music?

Pat Connaughton. He likes a good mix of today’s music and throwback joints. Good balance. Anything from ’90s Snoop Dogg to T.I. to Travis Scott. But you can’t sleep on Giannis either. He likes everything from Afrobeats to ’90s hip-hop.

What’s the most surprising request you’ve received from a player?

Giannis requested the track “Notorious B.I.G.” by The Notorious B.I.G. I was only surprised because, at the time, he was only like four years old when the track came out, and he is foreign. Being that the track wasn’t one of Big’s bigger singles, I was surprised he knew about it.

Player picks

Giannis Antetokounmpo: Afro B – Drogba (Joanna)
Eric Bledsoe: YoungBoy Never Broke Again – Outside Today
DJ Wilson: Nipsey Hussle – Grinding All My Life
Bango (mascot): Lil Nas X – Old Town Road

DJ O’s picks

Migos – Position To Win
Panic! At The Disco – High Hopes
Jonas Brothers – Sucker
Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle
DaBaby – Suge
DJ Snake ft. Selena Gomez, Cardi B, & Ozuna – Taki Taki
JAY-Z & Kanye West ft. Otis Redding – Otis
Yo Gotti f. Lil Baby – Put A Date On It
Joe Stone ft. Montell Jordan – The Party
Naughty By Nature – Hip Hop Hooray
Future – Wicked
Mustard & Migos – Pure Water
Shawn Mendes & Zedd – Lost In Japan
Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name
Silk City & Dua Lipa – Electricity
Nipsey Hussle ft. YG – Last Time I Checc’d
Dem Franchize Boyz ft. Peanut & Charlay – Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It
Tiesto – Grapevine
Calboy – Envy Me
Post Malone – Wow.
J Balvin & Willy William – Mi Gente – Steve Aoki Remix
Lil Baby & Gunna – Drip Too Hard
The Killers – Mr. Brightside – Anthem Kingz Floor Fuel Bootleg
Chris Brown ft. Usher & Gucci Mane – Party
Ski Mask The Slump God – Faucet Failure

Follow DJ O on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Related Post: The Houston Rockets’ Official DJ Shares His Playlist for the NBA Playoffs

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