Interview

L.A. Leakers on Banning Kodak Black From Power 106

Nipsey Hussle
L.A. Leakers hosts Justin Credible and DJ Sourmilk with Nipsey Hussle (Source: Instagram)

The L.A. Leakers have spoken on Power 106‘s decision to ban Kodak Black from the station.

The move came in response to Kodak’s comments about Nipsey Hussle‘s fiancee Lauren London following the rapper’s death. The comments were widely condemned, including by rappers like The Game and T.I.

Speaking with the Reflections of a DJ podcast, Leakers members Justin Credible and DJ Sourmilk discussed how the ban came about and how long it will last. They also shared some memories of Nipsey, among other topics.

Watch an excerpt below and listen to the full interview here.

Follow the R.O.A.D. Podcast on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, Twitter, and YouTube.

Related: L.A. Leakers Team With Problem and IamSu for New Single, ‘Yesterday’

DJ Exile and Vegas Promoter Jason Aguilar Talk Latin Music on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

Jason Aguilar and DJ Exile
Jason Aguilar and DJ Exile

Las Vegas DJ/producer Exile and promoter Jason Aguilar were guests on this week’s episode of Reflections of a DJ (R.O.A.D. Podcast). Both have played a key role in bringing the new generation of Latin music to the Vegas strip.

In the interview, Exile and Aguilar discussed a variety of topics related to Latin music and the Vegas scene, including their Thursday night party “Noches Azul” at Blue Martini and bringing Latin stars like Bad Bunny and Anuel AA to venues like Drai’s, OMNIA, The LIGHT, and Kaos.

Watch an excerpt below and listen to the full episode here.

Follow the R.O.A.D. Podcast on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, Twitter, and YouTube.

Related: Craze Talks Freestyling Sets on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

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

D.A. Doman
D.A. Doman (Source: D.A. Doman)

After a breakout year in 2018, D.A. Doman has become one of hip-hop’s most in-demand producers. The Chicago native has helped lead the resurgence of 100 BPM tracks with his signature sound.

He also played a key role in Tyga’s comeback, producing two Billboard Hot 100 singles for the rapper (“Taste” and “Dip“). Doman also produced “SWISH,” which was one of DJcity’s most-downloaded tracks of the year (along with “Taste” and “Dip”).

To cap off a successful 2018, the 34-year-old produced Kodak Black’s “ZEZE,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100, and Kid Ink’s “YUSO,” which reached No. 26 on Billboard’s Rhythmic Songs chart.

Continuing the momentum in 2019, Doman has lent his signature sound to Bhad Bhabie (“Bestie“) and Tyga (“Floss in the Bank“). Both tracks appeared on DJcity’s monthly Top 50 chart. Most recently, Doman produced two tracks on Rich The Kid’s new album (“Save That” and “The World is Yours 2 – Intro”).

We spoke with Doman to learn more about his background and sound.

Most of your previous work is slower and trap-influenced, but in 2018 you started producing more 100 BPM tracks. Why did you transition?

I produced Chris Brown‘s single “Privacy” in 2017, and that did well. That was uptempo, and I wanted to do something different than the rest of hip-hop. Everyone was doing slow beats, so I said to myself, “let me make some uptempo ones.” I wanted to be unique and have my own sound. It was influential ’cause now there’s a lot of people doing uptempo music again. “Taste” and “ZEZE” definitely made an impact. I’ve had several big hip-hop producers [direct message] me and thank me for changing things up and keeping things fresh.

Yeah, 100 BPM tracks have made a comeback. How long do you think it will last?

Everything goes in trends, so this sound that I got hot will eventually die off. Hip-hop is so versatile though; you can have a bunch of different vibes going at once. For instance, trap tempo stuff is still super popular now, but so is this uptempo wave that I brought in.


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You had a very successful 2018 and are continuing to see success. Do you feel pressure to keep up the momentum?

You know honestly, I love music so much, it never feels like work when I’m doing it. And the only way to keep up the momentum is to keep making music all the time. So no, I don’t feel pressure.

Have you produced any tracks that you think got overlooked?

I think the best things don’t get overlooked. “Taste” could of easily gotten overlooked, but it didn’t, there’s a reason for that. [laughs]


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You’ve produced a lot of tracks for Tyga. What’s your relationship with him like?

It’s a good relationship. He trusts my ear.

The majority of your work has been in hip-hop and R&B. Do you have any desire to work in other genres?

Yup, I have some music coming in other genres. Rap and R&B are my first loves though, after my wife and daughter. [laughs]


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Do you have any upcoming tracks that you can tell us about?

I got a bunch of stuff coming up. I have a big record with Ty Dolla $ign coming. He’s not only a great singer but a great writer too. And I got more, but it hasn’t been officially announced yet so I can’t speak on it. The two songs I produced on Rich The Kid’s album, “Save That” and “The World is Yours 2 – Intro,” are out now. You can check those out. “Save That” is my signature uptempo sound and is club ready.

Thanks much for the interview and thank you to all the DJs, PDs, and MDs who have my records in rotation. You guys make the world spin.

Follow D.A. Doman on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. You can also listen to a playlist of tracks he’s produced on Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal.

Related: Watch Kid Ink’s ‘YUSO’ Music Video

Craze Talks Freestyling Sets on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

Craze
Craze at Q Nightclub in Seattle. (Credit: Robee Aquino)

Two weeks ago, Reflections of a DJ a.k.a. the R.O.A.D. Podcast had A-Trak and Roctakon on the show to discuss their recent Twitter debate. This week, the show sat down with Craze, who also took part in the argument.

The outspoken turntablist discussed the altercation, among many other topics, such as touring with Kanye West and working with Four Color Zack.

At one point, co-host DJ Crooked asked Craze how he goes about planning his sets. Craze revealed that he didn’t plan his sets until he started working with Zack.

Watch an excerpt below and the full episode here.

Follow the R.O.A.D. Podcast on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, Twitter, and YouTube.

Related: A-Trak and Roctakon Address Twitter Debate on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

DJ Tina T Talks Competing on ‘Master of the Mix’ on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

DJ Tina T
DJ Tina T at Backyard Kitchen & Tap in San Diego, CA. (Source: Facebook)

Following their highly anticipated interview with A-Trak and Roctakon, the R.O.A.D. Podcast sat down with veteran DJ Tina T.

Based in Los Angeles, Tina is best known for founding Camp Spin Off, a DJ camp for teens. She also competed on the third season of VH1’s Master of the Mix reality show and DJ competition.

Tina discussed a variety of topics in the interview, including what it was like competing on Master of the Mix.

Watch an excerpt below and the full episode here.

Follow the R.O.A.D. Podcast on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, Twitter, and YouTube.

Related: A-Trak and Roctakon Address Twitter Debate on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

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

Marshmello’s Manager Moe Shalizi Shares Insights, Gives Advice to Artists and Managers

Marshmello and Moe Shalizi
Marshmello and Moe Shalizi (Source: Instagram)

Marshmello‘s manager Moe Shalizi recently spoke with Music Business Worldwide as part of its “Greatest Managers” series.

The 28-year-old, who left Red Light Management to launch his own company in December, also represents Jauz, Ookay, Slushii, among others. He’s regarded as one of the brightest “next generation” managers in the industry (hence MBW’s feature).

Shalizi spoke with MBW about a variety of topics, including Marshmello’s groundbreaking concert on the hugely popular game, Fortnite.

His advice to independent artists:

“Play it slow. A lot of people get excited and go sign a label deal, but all of my guys [signed to Shalizi Group] are independent. That gives us the freedom to do what we want to do. What affects a lot of artists is that point when they start making a little bit of money. Everything changes, they go sign a deal and now they have a bunch of A&Rs telling them how their music should sound, following trends. Some artists need a label, they need that infrastructure, and some artists don’t. And for the artists that don’t, if you’re starting to bubble, you did that yourself, you know? So keep doing it.”

On Marshmello’s Fortnite performance:

“We were really nervous when it happened just ’cause we were just praying it would go successfully, especially with the voice of [‘mello] talking into the game for everybody to hear. But, in the end, it was amazing. [Mello] was in this room, geared up head-to-toe with a body-motion suit and everything, with maybe 30 or 40 people [surrounding him]. It was a crazy thing to be a part of. We’d worked on [it] for six months with [Epic Games]; those guys were and are completely ahead of the curve, big time. I think what they’re doing is going to be revolutionary for music.”

On building a core audience:

“The mistake people often make is they go way too quick into the commercial space. And once you’re there, you can’t really jump back. We look at other artists, other DJs that are now tied to corny pop single after corny pop single to keep them relevant, which is like, just whack. It’s easy to go and get a big feature [with a pop star], but we stay away from them. Everyone we’ve worked with – like Anne-Marie, Bastille or CHVRCHES – aren’t [pop megastars]. We’ve taken the position, even with the hip-hop stuff we do, to leverage our audience with the core audiences of these artists who are crazy loyal. That helps keep the [‘mello] brand cool, you know? To some people, Marshmello is as far from cool as possible, but it’s not like we ever went and did an obvious record with the biggest pop stars. That helps set us apart.”

On the traditional record label model:

“To me, the idea of owning other people’s music is weird. It’s like, if you were a painter and I was like, ‘Hey, paint a masterpiece for me, then I’m gonna own everything and give you 18%.’ You’d be like, ‘Where does the rest of the money go? Where does the 82% go?’ I mean, there is a lot of value that labels can add. But for artists, owning your masters is so important right now, ‘cause that’s your money in perpetuity. You can make money forever on those masters thanks to streaming. Streaming’s just growing, so not owning your own sh#t is crazy; just for an advance, you’re giving away everything. But then I’ve sat with artists [who signed major label deals] and they’re like, dude, I was at a place in my life where the $150,000 advance I signed allowed me to make the music I make now. I’m like, fair enough. We were lucky never to be in that position. But yeah, I get it; for some people, they need that peace of mind of having some money in the bank and being able to focus. But at what cost? A five album deal? That’s a lot of f#cking music.”

His advice to new managers:

“… the biggest thing for managers is that you have to really believe in what you’re doing. Management involves a lot of luck, and good management is really about what you do when that luck finally hits. If you have acts that are popping off but then they’re mismanaged, a week later, nobody’s talking about your act again. So have a strategy to build, for the next six months at least. ‘Cause it’s not easy when something big happens. And that fact gets forgotten.”

Related: A-Trak and Roctakon Address Twitter Debate on ‘R.O.A.D. Podcast’

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

Chris Villa Talks Competing in 3Style, How He Comes up With Routines

Chris Villa
Chris Villa at Zuma in Tempe, Arizona. (Credit: Paparazzii)

The one and only Chris Villa recently sat down with the Reflections of a DJ podcast for an in-depth interview. The Arizona native spoke on a variety of topics such as competing in this year’s Red Bull Music 3Style U.S. Finals and how he conceptualizes his routines. Villa also discussed being discovered by Power 92.3 at age 13, how he balances being a DJ and a parent, plus more.

Listen to the full interview below. New episodes of Reflections of a DJ go up on Wednesdays on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Related: Watch Chris Villa’s ‘Trends Mix’ for Feb. 2019

Laidback Luke and A-Trak Talk Heart Hands, Jumping on DJ Booth

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