DJ Burn One Jumps “In the Mix” (Exclusive Interview)
Now that he's dropped his Joints mixtape on DJBooth we thought there would be no better time to sit down with DJ Burn One and find out more about the man behind the music. In this exclusive five question interview, Burn One talks about what defines a Southern artists, what he looks for when working with rappers, how his DJ background influences his production and vice-versa and much more.
You've been a staple of the Southern hip-hop scene for a long time now. More than simple geography, what truly makes an artist "Southern"?
To me it's an emotion thing. In the south we grew up on blues music and I think that set the tone for how our brand of music sounds today. As opposed to spitting punchlines like most hip hop before us we usually do more storytelling or simple chants. Sometimes you get a song like Love Is Not Enough from Yelawolf and then a song like Flex from the Party Boyz. It's diverse but its all southern rap.
In addition your work as a DJ you're also an increasingly renowned producer. How does your DJing affect your producing, and vice-versa?
It's really like cheating, haha. To be able to tour the country and hear whats moving people, see how certain combinations of sounds affect the vibe of the place. It helps with my ear as far as hearing sound placements as well. I work with a crew of musicians/producers and sometimes it's hard to know when a record is too full. That's why I play my new beats in transitions during my dj sets. Being able to hear how its going to sound in clubs speakers before you even lay vocals is a nice advantage.
You've worked with everyone from Yelawolf to Freddie Gibbs to Pill. What is it about rappers like those that matches your production style so well?
They all can rap their asses off and we pretty much draw from the same influences. UGK, the blues and just that southern sound. I usually try to underproduce to give room for the artist to create and I think that helps as well. They all have a strong presence on record and end up making my joints sound even better. That's why I always tell up and coming producers to find artists that make their beats sound good and work with them. Zaytoven blew up because Gucci was smashing everything he gave him. Just like my boy Will Power is blowing up with Yelawolf now. People buy into a sound, a cohesive sound that they can identify an artist with.
What songs are out right now that DJs should be including in their sets?
Meet Me In The Tunnel, Rittz' High Five, Racks.
Last words? Shout outs? Confessions?
Be on the lookout for a few projects I have coming up. Rittz' White Jesus tape drops next Tuesday, March 8 on DJBooth. My instrumental album The Ashtray is coming in April, as well as P. Watts' Element of Surprise tape. You can keep up to date with my latest productions on twitter.com/djburnone.
Written by Nathan S. on 03/3/11
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