• 93-Year-Old DJ Art Laboe Spins Oldies to Connect Inmates and Family

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    Art Laboe
    Art Laboe in his Palm Springs, California studio. (Credit: AP)

    After 75 years on the air, legendary radio DJ Art Laboe still resonates with listeners. The 93-year-old currently hosts a syndicated oldies show on 93.5 KDAY in Los Angeles.

    According to NBC Southern California, Laboe “credits one group of listeners for keeping him on the air after 75 years: family members who want to send messages to loved ones in prison.”

    Every Sunday on The Art Laboe Connection Show, the Palm Springs-based DJ asks family members to call in to make dedications to inmates in California, Arizona or Nevada.

    “I don’t judge,” Laboe told The Associated Press. “I like people.”

    Born Arthur Egnoian in Salt Lake City, Laboe grew in an Armenian American family during the Great Depression. He attended Stanford University and served during World War II. Eventually, he got a job as a radio announcer at KSAN in San Francisco.

    However, it Laboe’s tenure as a DJ at KXLA in Los Angeles that gained him fame. NBC writes that “Laboe was one of the first DJs to play R&B and rock ‘n’ roll in California and is credited by scholars for helping integrate dance halls among Latinos, blacks, Asian Americans and whites …” His show became the city’s top radio program.

    Laboe has maintained a fan base over the decades, especially among Mexican Americans. In the 1990s, he started getting calls from inmates’ family members. Current and former gang members are some of his most loyal listeners.

    In 2015, iHeartMedia’s KHHT-FM (92.3) canceled Laboe’s show after the station switched to a hip-hop format, sparking protest. Laboe later returned to the airwaves on KDAY.

    Related: This 82-Year-Old Dumpling Maker Is Now a Professional DJ

    Posted in DJ Culture
  • Idris Elba to Star as DJ in Netflix Comedy Series

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    Idris Elba
    Idris Elba at the Snowbombing festival in Mayrhofen, Austria on April 13, 2018. (Credit: Andrew Whitton)

    Actor and part-time DJ Idris Elba is set to star in a new Netflix comedy series titled Turn Up Charlie. The UK native will play a struggling DJ who puts himself in an undesirable predicament for a chance at stardom.

    Before hitting the big screen, Elba began his career as a DJ in East London under the moniker Big Dris. He has played major festivals such as Creamfields and Glastonbury and has held a residency at the world-renowned Pacha Ibiza.

    In addition to DJing, Elba is also a producer, having released several albums and remixes. His notable projects include co-producing and performing on the intro to JAY-Z‘s 2007 album, American Gangster, and his new house remix of Natalie Wood and N:Fostell’s “Circles.”

    Elba is best known for his roles on BBC One’s drama Luther and HBO’s The Wire. He also starred as Nelson Mandela in the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

    Turn Up Charlie, which was co-created by Elba and producer Gary Reich, will begin production in May. A premiere date has not been determined.

    Related: Goldman Sach’s Next CEO Is a Part-Time DJ

    Posted in DJ Culture
  • Goldman Sach’s Next CEO Is a Part-Time DJ

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    DJ D-Sol performs at the 2017 EM Awards. (Credit: Gotophotography)

    David Solomon, a longtime investment banker who doubles as a DJ/producer, is set to become the president and CEO of Goldman Sachs. The 56-year-old made headlines in 2017 when The New York Times reported on his hobby as a DJ.

    DJ D-Sol, who began DJing last year, has already performed in New York City, Miami, and the Bahamas. His remix of Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” was featured on SiriusXM’s dance music channel, BPM. He also performed at the inaugural EM Awards (Electronic Music Awards).

    Solomon currently serves as the co-president of Goldman Sachs. According to the NYT, “the decision was signaled Monday with the abrupt retirement of Mr. Solomon’s lone rival for the job, Harvey M. Schwartz.”

    “David’s always believed that having a wide range of outside interests leads to a balanced life and makes for a better career,” Jake Siewert, a Goldman spokesman, told the New York Times. “He’s preached that regularly to younger employees in the firm and tries to lead by example.”

    Related: This 82-Year-Old Dumpling Maker Is Now a Professional DJ

    Posted in DJ Culture
  • Watch Dillon Francis Take the Hot Ones Challenge

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    Dillon Francis is the latest celebrity to take on First We Feast’s Hot Ones challenge. The series challenges guests to answer questions while they eat spicy hot wings.

    Among the topics discussed were Francis’ prank war with former Hot Ones guest DJ Snake, his bromance with Diplo, and doing Crossfit with Skrillex. He also weighs in on celebrity DJs and talks about his wild tour rider.

    Dillon recently made his acting debut on Viceland’s TV comedy, What Would Diplo Do? In August, he dropped a Moksi-assisted remix to his single “Say Less” featuring G-Eazy.

    Watch Dillon take on the challenge above.

    Related: DJ Snake Answers Questions While Eating Spicy Food

  • DJ Snake Answers Questions While Eating Spicy Food

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    Complex’s online magazine First We Feast blends the worlds of culinary arts and pop culture.

    In addition to recipes and guides, the website also has a unique interview series called Hot Ones. The show challenges celebrities to answer a barrage of questions while they eat some of the world’s spiciest foods.

    On the latest episode, the one and only DJ Snake gets put to the test. The “Turn Down For What” producer grew up on spicy cooking (his mother is from North Africa), but can he handle the heat?

    Watch above to find out and learn some interesting facts about him.

    Related: Watch DJ Snake’s ‘The Half’ Video Ft. Jeremih, Young Thug and Swizz Beatz

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  • This 82-Year-Old Dumpling Maker Is Now a Professional DJ

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    Changing careers isn’t that uncommon these days. However, 82-year-old Sumiko Iwamuro a.k.a. DJ Sumirock is a rare case.

    The Japanese native, who works as a dumpling maker during the day, started DJing in her ’70s. She had been inspired by choosing music for her son’s birthday party.

    Sumirock now performs at clubs across Japan — usually for younger audiences. So far, she has only played in her home country, but she hopes to make it to New York City one day.

    As the saying goes, you’re never too old to reinvent yourself.

    Watch a short video about Sumirock above.

    Related: Britain’s Oldest DJ Retires

    Posted in DJ Culture, Videos
  • Watch Stonic’s ‘Lego Scratch’ Routine

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    Italian DJ/producer Stonic is known for his creative turntablism videos.

    In 2015, we shared a routine of his in which he placed himself inside the world of Grand Theft Auto V. The Sicilian turntablist has also released a UFO-themed video.

    Now, Stonic has returned with a “stop motion” animation that features a crew of Lego turntablists. (Stop motion is a technique in which an object is physically manipulated so that it appears to move on its own.)

    Watch the impressive video above, which was produced by Nosheek Film.

    Related: Watch Stonic’s ‘Grand Theft Auto’-Inspired DJ Routine

    Posted in Turntablism, Videos
  • Top 5 Viral Club Tracks of 2016

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    Rae Sremmurd
    Rae Sremmurd in their “Black Beatles” video. (source: Vevo)

    Like recent in years, there were a number of tracks that went viral in 2016. Some of them were fueled by dance challenges while others took off on their own. Below are the five most popular records that not only dominated social media but also became club staples.

    1. Rae Sremmurd ft. Gucci Mane – Black Beatles

    Rae Sremmurd has dominated with this single, which became the soundtrack for every mannequin challenge and the go-to song for every DJ. Now, after months of buzz, the track is currently number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

    Download on DJcity

    2. Zay Hilfiger ft. Zayion McCall – JuJu On The Beat (TZ Anthem)

    Detroit rappers Zay Hilfiger and Zayion McCall scored the biggest viral dance record of 2016, which samples Crime Mob and Lil Scrappy’s 2004 street anthem, “Knuck If You Buck.”

    Download on DJcity

    3. PIKOTARO – PPAP (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen)

    The “WTF viral track” of 2016.

    Download on DJcity

    4. DJ Suede The Remix God – You Name It! (UNameItChallenge)

    This Instagram video-turned-song took off around Thanksgiving and is now an official release. People have made remixes with its lyrics “I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes. …”

    Download on DJcity

    5. Polo Frost ft. Ayo & Teo – Best Ever

    We don’t know much about this track or the artists, but it’s growing quickly. The verse is particularly popular.

    Download on DJcity

    ***

    Styles Davis, Kidd Spin, and DJ Primetyme contributed to this article.

    Related: DJcity’s Top 50 Most Downloaded Tracks of Nov. 2016

    Posted in DJ Culture, Tracks
  • Robot Performs DJ Set Alongside DJ Yoda

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    YuMi
    “YuMi” and DJ Yoda

    Robots are making their way into just about every industry — including the DJ world.

    An example of this is a robot named “YuMi,” which recently performed alongside DJ Yoda at the unveiling of Ford Motor Company’s next-generation Fiesta.

    YuMi was specifically programmed to perform the one-off set and was mentored by Yoda, who spent two weeks on the project.

    “I’ve collaborated before with a classical orchestra a beatboxer and a brass band but teaching a robot to DJ has been crazy. There were times when I didn’t know if it was going to work or not,” Yoda said. “The biggest challenge was trying to teach rhythm to robot coders. There were a lot of calculators.”

    YuMi is a collaborative robot, also known as a co-bot, and works closely with workers on the assembly line.

    Watch Ford’s behind-the-scenes video below.

    Related: Hear a Vinyl Record Played in Space for First Time

  • Hear a Vinyl Record Played in Space for First Time

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    Jack White‘s Third Man Records has played a vinyl record in space for the first time ever.

    The feat, which took place on July 2, was made possible with a space-proof turntable called the “Icarus Craft.” It was designed by former NASA associate Kevin Carrico in collaboration with SATINS (Students and Teachers in Near Space).

    According to Third Man Records, the Icarus Craft ascended 94,413 feet above Earth in under 90 minutes, where it played a gold-plated 12-inch master of Carl Sagan’s “A Glorious Dawn.”

    The endeavor took three years of planning and preparation.

    Watch the video above.

    Related: Pioneer DJ Announces New PLX-500 Turntable

    Posted in DJ Culture, Videos