TJ Mizell, A$AP Ferg’s tour DJ and Jam Master Jay’s son, speaks with DJ Spider on this week’s episode of The 20 Podcast. The Queens native discusses growing up on rock music, DJing for Ferg, his experience with discrimination, plus more.
Listen to the interview above. The episode is also available on other major platforms.
TJ Mizell, Jam Master Jay’s son and A$AP Ferg’s tour DJ, put on another impromptu performance on a New York City subway train.
The performance, which Serato helped make possible, took place on the L train from Manhattan to Brooklyn. His set contained the following tracks: O.T. Genasis’ “Cut It,” Electric Bodega’s “Work,” and A$AP Ferg’s “Work” remix and “New Level.”
It follows a similar video that Mizell posted back in January 2014, which has received nearly 100,000 views on YouTube.
TJ Mizell performs at A$AP Ferg’s Always Strive and Prosper listening party on Apr. 22, 2016. (Amurri)
For years, TJ Mizell was known as the son of legendary DJ and Run–DMC founder, Jam Master Jay. These days, the 25-year-old is making a name for himself as A$AP Ferg‘s tour DJ and on WE tv’s reality show, Growing Up Hip-Hop. He’s also an ambassador for Scratch DJ Academy, which his father founded in 2002. We caught up with Mizell while he was on tour with Ferg in the U.S. to find out what it’s like DJing for one of the hottest rappers in the game.
How did you become A$AP Ferg’s DJ?
It all started when I made a scratch video using A$AP Rocky’s “Peso” and “Trilla” and MP Williams’ “Peso” remix. A$AP’s team saw it, and we built a relationship from there. Ferg and I then linked at a Drake show, and the rest is history.
What exactly is your role?
I create the live set. That includes song selection and order, which varies per show.
What’s a typical day like on tour?
I wake up and check out the city’s scene, hit soundcheck, do promo runs, skate, eat local food, make music and download new tunes, hit the stage for showtime, go to the after-party, sleep, and leave for the next city.
What’s your current live DJ setup?
I use two Technics 1200 turntables, a Pioneer DJM-S9 mixer, and Shure M44G needles.
Do you incorporate turntablism into his sets?
Yeah, I scratch and cut up all of Ferg’s adlibs and records.
TJ Mizell performs with A$AP Ferg at the Free Press Summer Festival in Houston. (Steven Guzman)
Speaking of cutting, do you still work with Scratch DJ Academy?
Yes, for sure. Whenever I’m home, I stop by the academy. I also do events with the squad as well! I learned everything I know there. I’m always preaching the importance of the school.
Have you found it difficult to balance your solo career with being an artist’s DJ?
Not really. I love the life experience that comes with DJing for an artist. I DJ for one of the best acts in the game, so it’s a feeling that is second to nothing.
What type of impact has being Ferg’s DJ had on your career?
I’ve gained a lot of experience and exposure working with Ferg.
How has your father and Run-DMC’s legacy influenced you as a DJ?
100%. Their legacy has taught me that it’s possible to change the world through music. Run-DMC changed the game with by bringing hip-hop and rock and roll music together. We now see genres blend every day. They made it possible to look at music without boundaries.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to DJ for an artist?
Have fun with it and be as creative as possible with the live set. The DJ is the second most important role after the artist. Own it and be sure to practice!
Being the child of a famous parent can be a blessing or a curse. Some take the easy route by riding the wave of their parent’s legacy while others work hard to earn respect through their own achievements.
Jam Master Jay‘s son, TJ Mizell, is an example of the latter. The Queens native paid his dues as both a student and employee at Scratch DJ Academy and currently serves as A$AP Ferg‘s official tour DJ.
During a recent interview on The Breakfast Club radio show, TJ discussed what it was like growing up as the son of a hip-hop legend, being a DJ in his own right, and the current state of the scene.
“The DJ is [becoming] the rock star now, but at the same time because of that you do have the saturation,” TJ said. “As real DJs, we gotta set that game up and keep that bar high and make sure people can see the difference and know the difference.”
Watch the full convo below.
Related: Listen to TJ Mizell’s Mix for DJcity’s ‘Friday Fix’
This week’s Friday Fix is hosted by TJ Mizell, A$AP Ferg’s official tour DJ and the son of Jam Master Jay. A self-proclaimed “bass music enthusiast,” Mizell’s 32-minute mix is packed with new trap remixes from the likes of DJ Snake, R3hab, DJ Sliink, and others.
2. ILoveMakonenn – Tuesday – DJ Snake Remix
3. Calvin Harris ft. John Newman – Blame – R3hab Trap Remix
4. Nico And Vinz – Am I Wrong – Play-N-Skillz Trap Remix
5. Dillon Francis ft. The Chain Gang of 1974 – When We Were Young – Grandtheft Remix
6. Skrillex – Ease My Mind – Jai Wolf Remix
7. KP & Envyi – Shorty Swing My Way – Kid Kamillion Remix
8. PartyNextDoor ft. Drake – Recognize – Promnite Remix
9. LOUDPVCK & Gladiator ft. Nipsey Hussle – Tony
10. Dirty Heads – My Sweet Summer – Borgeous Remix
11. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll – Gioni Trap Remix
12. Firebeatz & KSHMR ft. Luciana – No Heroes – Instant Party & Party Thieves Trap Remix
13. The Chainsmokers ft. Siren – Kanye – Ookay Remix
14. Sub Focus – Turn Back Time – Bro Safari & ETC!ETC! Remix
15. Galantis – Runaway (U & I) – Party Thieves Trap Remix
16. Mac Miller ft. Rick Ross – Insomniak – JayCeeOh & HIDEthenSEEK Remix
17. Danny Brown – Smokin’ & Drinkin’ – DJ Sliink Remix
18. Flosstradamus & DJ Sliink – Crowd CTRL
19. Low Pros – Ohmygosh
20. War – Low Rider – Lookas Remix
21. P. Reign ft. Drake & Future – DnF – Esentrik Remix
22. OutKast vs Flosstradmus – Bombs Over Recall – Siknod Edit
DJcity’s Friday Fix podcast features the hottest club tracks mixed by East Coast DJs. Every week our New York City Director Latin Prince showcases a different DJ with a 30-minute mix. Press play and start your weekend right!
Listen to last week’s Friday Fix hosted by DJ Peter Parker
Related: Watch TJ Mizell DJ on a New York Subway Train
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