DJ Skee Jumps “In the Mix” [Exclusive Interview]
As you undoubtedly already know (you're listening to it now, right?), today we dropped Vol. 4 of our Best of the Booth mixtape series - thanks to everyone who made Vol. 3 such an enormous success, - and this time around we have the honor of working with DJ Skee, the L.A. based entrepreneur, media personality and foundation of the new school DJ scene.
Before Best of the Booth Vol. 4 becomes the first mixtape to win both a Grammy and Nobel Peace Prize (yeah, it's that dope) we thought we'd take a step back and get to know the man behind the boards. In addition to playing some of the highest profile DJ gigs in the country, Skee is currently continuing to build his Skee.TV channel, his new Skeetox concert series, and too many other ventures to name here. In this five question interview, Skee explains the roots of his extraordinary work ethic, the inevitable rise of west coast hip-hop, how technology has opened the DJ game up for the better and much, much more.
You've become a leader in the west coast hip-hop movement. Can the west coast can regain the status on the national scene it once enjoyed?
Absolutely, every region and zone has its ups and downs, the west coast being no different. The jerk movement last year, although it came and went, showed a new side of LA and represented what these kids out here in LA were really doing. Similarly, there are a few unique sounds heavily centered in LA right now ranging from the expansion of dubstep from London to here, the Electro/Dance craze (with groups like Far East Movement), to a new breed of talent in hip-hop coming up. With LA and the West being the cultural mecca that it is, it will always have its moments in the spotlight for music.
Your sets are renowned for their versatility. How would you describe your DJing style?
Thank you- I just like to play good music, it doesn't matter the style. I grew up listening to everything from rock, jazz, hip-hop, etc., and love incorporating a touch of everything in my sets.
Obviously, each time I play is different- on HipHopNation im not going to play outside of street hip-hop, with KIIS its more mainstream (but still dope) music, and in the club its whatever rocks the crowd. I try to absorb as much as I can from others and play for the people while at the same time never turning my back on my style, sound, records I play, or what I am known for. I just evolve and try to have fun and play dope music.
For you, what's the difference between a professional DJ and an amateur?
Being able to live off of DJing as a full time job verse just playing for fun. Obviously you always want to have fun, but being a professional and making a living, in any area, you have to sacrifice sometimes and it becomes work then, verses an amateur who may just play in the bedroom for fun. Now with Serato and virtual DJing programs it is so easy to pick up and say your a DJ, there are a lot more amateurs, and pros for that matter, and a lot of DJs hate the accessibility that has come with it and all the DJs out of know where.
I understand that point, but I personally see it as a chance for many more people to shine, new technology to evolve and make new things possible on a Dj performance level, and the aftermath to be the art of DJing evolving into new areas no one will see coming. These kids coming up now are killing it at such a young age and grew up on these technological advances so its going to be amazing to see them 10 years from now.
You've been much more than "just" a DJ, putting on your Skeetox concert series, coordinating marketing efforts and much more. What inspired you to step out from behind the turntables?
Similar to what I was saying before, I wanted to evolve. I feel like every DJ has the same songs now thanks to Mp3s and Serato, and kind of got bored doing just the regular DJ shows and playing the same songs, and with DJ culture becoming so popular, wanted to take the live DJ stage show to another level. Obviously, others like Travis & AM, or even say a Dead Mau5 or Daft Punk even set the bar high with live shows, I took influence from everything I saw to create my vision of Skeetox as today's ultimate live DJ concert.
On the biz side, I've always been involved in that and enjoy building , breaking, and marketing artists and products as much as anything else. I get bored quickly and can't always do the same thing, I want to see whats next.
Last words? Shout outs? Confessions?
Shout to DJBooth.net for killing it and supporting the DJs and culture always! Check out this new Skee.TV x Karmaloop.TV site we are launching soon and look for Skeetox soon in a city near you!
Written by Nathan S. on 09/9/10
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