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Respect the DJ Interview with Don OD

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Respect the DJ Interview with Don OD

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into DJing?

I got into DJing in the early 2000’s. The late 90’s and early 2000’s was the golden years of Nu Metal. I had taken note of several metal bands incorporating Turn Tables into their stage set up. One most notable to me was Limp Bizkit. I was already a huge fan of DJ Lethal 

(House of pain/Limp Bizkit). Being a huge fan of both hip hop and metal, it immediately peaked my interest in learning. 

What did you do to advance your skills/knowledge?

I studied the OGs. Everybody from Grandmaster Flash & Grand Wizzard Theodore to one of my favorite instrumentalists of all time, Madlib.


What did your first set up look like?

My first set up was crazy. If we are just talking DJ set up... it was crazy. If we are talking musician/ music producer set up over all- - it was insanity. I was a purist when it came to making music. If there was a specific sound I was looking for, it usually meant another piece of equipment. I was reluctant to enter the digital age. I had to work 2 jobs while going to school in order to pay for my equipment. My room was cluttered with 13 guitars, 2 basses, MPC, Electronic drums, turntables, wires, speakers, recording equipment and way too many synthesizers to name them all. 

I remember the day I threw my bed out to make room for more equipment. I slept under a table in my room or the couch in the living room for a long time. 

My original DJ set up consisted of a single Technics SL1200 audio out into a cheap mixer and that cheap mixer into my Gemeni CDM 3600. The Gemini did not have scratching capability, so all the scratching was done on the SL1200.


What does your current set up look like?

I wised up and adapted to the new times. 

My new set up is condensed which makes for easy transportation. I have a pioneer DDJ SX2 and I use my Mac book, with Serato software. 

How did you get your DJ/Artist name?

My original artist name was just OD. When I felt anything was over the top, in a bad way or great way- - I’d always say it’s O D! Every time I’d hear a banger whether it be best lyrics, a bass heavy beat or really any composition that was perfectly constructed, I’d always yell out that it’s OD! The name caught on but I felt it wouldn’t be best to stay with it for marketing purposes. 2 letters aren’t easiest to find in a search engine. I also didn’t want anybody to feel I was promoting drug use by using an acronym for overdosing. I later added Don to my name. Now they call me Don ØD (pronounced Don odd). I’m not into self proclaiming. If I wasn’t a leader or a boss of something- - I would have probably just found another name. 

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

I’d like to bring my own live setup to Burning Man and perform anything I want for as long as I want. I’d also be interested in performing my EDM sets at Ultra and Electric Zoo. 

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

I’d love to perform in Miami and Las Vegas because I know the EDM scene in both those cities is wild. I’d most love to DJ in Florence Italy- - honestly just because I miss Florence and I want to go back. 

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

I’d love to perform in Miami and Las Vegas because I know the EDM scene in both those cities is wild. I’d most love to DJ in Florence Italy- - honestly just because I miss Florence and I want to go back. 

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

I’d be a tour DJ for any artist who is most in tune with their crowed. One of the names that comes to mind is Denzel Curry. I think he’s killin it right now and I’d love to be a part of his tour. I feed off the energy of a crowd. It makes my performance more enjoyable. 

What is your goal when you play live?

My goal when I play live is to make a connection with the audience. And to entertain. Anybody can pick up turntables and learn to spin. Anybody can pick up a mic and try to rap. It’s the human connection and entertainment that makes for a superb show. I went to a side show act recently and realized something extraordinary. A side show act is one of the last pure performances in existence. The show is true with out any ulterior motive. The performer is up on stage to amuse and entertain the audience. The audience is there to be entertained. It’s such a simple concept that isn’t respected as often as most believe it to be. 

If you could be a tour DJ for any artist (dead or alive), who would it be?
I’d be a tour DJ for any artist who is most in tune with their crowed. One of the names that comes to mind is Denzel Curry. I think he’s killin it right now and I’d love to be a part of his tour. I feed off the energy of a crowd. It makes my performance more enjoyable. 

What is your goal when you play live?

My goal when I play live is to make a connection with the audience. And to entertain. Anybody can pick up turntables and learn to spin. Anybody can pick up a mic and try to rap. It’s the human connection and entertainment that makes for a superb show. I went to a side show act recently and realized something extraordinary. A side show act is one of the last pure performances in existence. The show is true with out any ulterior motive. The performer is up on stage to amuse and entertain the audience. The audience is there to be entertained. It’s such a simple concept that isn’t respected as often as most believe it to be. 

What's your go to song right now?

I’m grinding my teeth a bit while I answer this one. My go to song right now is “I Love It” By Kanye West & Lil Pump. I think it’s such a dumb song but it gets stuck in my head all the time. I suppose that’s the genius behind the making of this song. When I play it at shows, the crowd bumps and so do I. It’s definitely a guilty pleasure song.  

What is your dream as a DJ?

My dream as a DJ is to continue to reach a wider audience with more variety. I like to turn people on to lesser known artists and broaden their knowledge of dope music. As many artists create one dimensional music- - they can all too often build a one dimensional mind set in their fan base. There is so much music out there, so I always try to stir the pot when I perform. I love when people come up to me and ask me what song I just played. I also want to continue to teach my protégés the craft. 

I’m currently working with JAY$AW teaching him everything I know from the ground up. I have a few others lined up who are interested in learning how to DJ as well. 

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

Learn your scales and BPM’s. And don’t be afraid to break a thousand turntable needles until you get it right (metaphorically speaking). 

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

www.soundcloud.com/theycallmedonod

IG- @theycallmedonod

FB- Don OD

Twitter- @theycallmedonod