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DJ CoolHand Respect The DJ Interview


DJ CoolHand Respect The DJ Interview

Amanda Giordano


How did you get into DJing? 

Over a decade ago, I was a promoter that needed a DJ. I was a high school student and I was putting together Hip-Hop parties called B.A.R.S. (Break. Art. Rap. Scratch.) back in Oakland. It was hard to find dope DJs I could afford and a local youth program was teaching lessons. It was just around when Serato was coming out, so I started by beat matching vinyl doubles (yes, kids you had to buy two of the same record) and worked up to more advance things. Shout out to DJ Daze, Phat Trick, and Aebldee for showing me the ropes!

What did you do to advance your skills/knowledge?

Practice, practice, practice and performing as often as I could. The advantage I had starting in high school meant I had the security to really take it as a hobby and advance my skills that way. Once I got Serato and didn’t need crates or trips to the radio station anymore, it was a wrap. Pro tip: use technology as a way to boost your creativity, not a crutch to be lazy. 

What did your first set up look like?

For $100 on Craigslist, I got a Staton Turntable, a Numark Turntable, and a Denon Mixer with the “How to DJ Right” book. From there I got a Serato box then a Vestax mixer then Technic 1200s (I ended up with 7 of those) and then eventually a Rane 57, and finally a 62 before I went from battle style vinyl DJing to club style CDJs.

What does your current set up look like?

2 CDJ 2000NXS2’s and a DJM900. Just USBs. No laptop.

How did you get your DJ/Artist name?

Because I was part of a youth program, they had an interview coming up to feature me and they deemed me DJ CoolHand based on the Paul Newman classic Cool Hand Luke. Much better than DJ Skywalker in my opinion.

If you could DJ at any 3 events/festivals what would they be?

Ultra, EDC, and a Do-Over Party.

If you could DJ in any 3 cities what would they be?

Ibiza, Miami, and LA.

If you could be a tour DJ for any artist (dead or alive), who would it be?

Beastie Boys, A-Trak, and Diplo.

What is your goal when you play live?

I’m there to rock the party. Create that undeniable energy. Get synced with my audience. Once you build trust with your party and you’re in tune with them, you can do no wrong. That’s when the magic happens. That’s when you’re in touch with a higher power. That’s when you can break records.

What's your go to song right now?

Body - Loud Luxury

What is your dream as a DJ?

Build on the legacy others have paved. Make the DJ the center of music. The DJ should cultivate talent, curate great music, and break records.

What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to become a DJ?

Don’t skip the fundamentals. I’m telling you, the ability to not rely on technology for everything will make you stand out and give you an edge over your competition.

Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)

Everything is @djcoolhand. I use Instagram the most, My website is my main hub,