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Filtering by Category: Respect Thy Dj

Respect the DJ Interview with THECAINMARKO

Amanda Giordano

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Press Play on this exclusive mix by Cain Marko as you enjoy the interview

How did you get into DJing? 

Three main things/ happenings got me into DJing.  The first thing was my cousin Bones who suggested that we start DJing in high school.  We would always talk about it, saving up for equipment and learning but we never did it.  The second thing was East Village Radio.  East Village Radio was a tiny online radio station on 1st or 2nd ave in the village that would broadcast all their shows on their website but also archive everything as podcasts.  Back then you could get away with an all music podcast and not get shut down.  I used to listen to Mark Ronson's show Authentic Shit and hear the way he would effortlessly go back and forth from genre to genre, that show and really made me want to learn how to DJ so I could do the same thing.  Finally, I was unemployed at one point and answered a craigslist ad for a mobile DJing company called DJs at Work.  That was the first time I got paid to DJ and the first kind of DJ training and performing I've ever done.


What did you do to advance your skills/knowledge?

The two biggest things I did to improve my skills were going to Scratch Academy in NYC and listening to a lot of different DJ mixes.  Going to Scratch Academy was important to me because up until that point I was just DJing using my computer and a mixer and a cracked version of virtual DJ.  I went there with the express purpose of learning how to DJ using records and so that I would have a solid foundation.  Listening to different people's mixes opens me up to new music genres, new artists, and new ideas in how to blend music.  


What did your first set up look like?

The first things I ever DJed on were two CDs players and a Denon mixer for the DJ company.  I wasn't beat matching, just dropping everything on the one and using a giant booklet of CDs full of top 40s music and Spanish music.  The first set up I used myself was a Denon DN X120E3 mixer and my laptop using virtual DJ.  My friend Andre put me on to virtual DJ when I was about to try to spin on CDs.  I had already collected a massive library of songs on my laptop so I listened to him because it made sense and I didn't have time to create enough CDs for my first gig ( a New Year's Eve house party ).  After a few gigs doing that and deciding to go to Scratch Academy, I ended up buying a serato box and 2 1200's which is what I prefer.  

What does your current set up look like?

Right now all of my mixers are broken in some way so I'm primarily using a Pioneer SB2 DJ controller.  It's light portable and gets the job done, until I'm able to upgrade my laptop and get a new mixer.


How did you get your DJ/Artist name?

I took my name from the character Juggernaut from Marvel Comics.  He is one of my absolute favorite comic book characters; in particular he had an arch in the early 2000s when he went from being one the most well known villains to being a hero in three different comic books.  Now my specific name THECAINMARKO,  came from me realizing that there was a rock band and a couple other rappers named Cain Marko, so on the advice of my friend Soul Khan I made it THECAINMARKO so I'm the only person that comes up when you search.  


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

The first event is easy, Coachella.  I want the flashing lights and people going crazy on a huge stage.

The second event that immediately comes to mind is Afropunk.  I've been attending for close to a decade now and I've always wanted to touch the stage at an event full of so much positive POC energy.  I just feel like If I DJed there I would feel seen and validated.

The third event is more difficult for me to think of, but I will say at Burning Man in a random tent doing some weird marathon 6/8 hour set.  Just me and a group of people sweating out their problems in a desert searching for meaning ... wait I'm lying, it would be Hot 97 Summer Jam.  I'm from Jersey and I've been listening and going to this concert my whole life.  I'd love to represent NJ on that stage.

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

London, Rio De Janerio, Ibiza.  London because apparently there are insane clubs there and I have a couple friends out there, Rio because I've always wanted to go to Brazil and if I'm over there DJing it would mean some of the violence will have died down in the country, and Ibiza because every huge DJ ends up doing a 4am-7am set there because they never stop partying.  Honorable mention to Detroit because I've never been and the rappers out there are just a different kind of animal and I need to see it up close and personal at a show in Detroit.

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

My immediate answer to this is Outkast in the early 2000s because they are my favorite group and they were killing the game back then.  After thinking about it I realized that maybe a better answer is Ludacris then up until now because he has so many hits and so many fans and I know that when we get off stage the backstage would probably be so much fun.  Then I had a crazy thought and was like, why not Limp Bizkit.  Think about it, when they were hot, like on fire, the shows were insane.  The venues they played were giant, and they really didn't have beef with anyone so I'm sure their shows were just hours of great energy and heavy guitar riffs.  I thought about this question for a long time and I'm just going to go with Outkast.


What is your goal when you play live?

My goal when I play live is to make people dance and try to have everyone feel like I played a song just for them.  I try to make sure I play at least 4 different genres everytime I DJ so hopefully everyone can feel like they heard what they like.

What's your go to song right now?

It's weird my favorite song to play right now is Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa "One Kiss" because it's the perfect blend of house and pop and beyond it being a smash I just love the way it sounds.  My go to song right now is still Drake "In My Feelings".  It's at around 90 bpm which makes it flexible because I usually play with my pitch faders at 16%.  It can end a portion of a set and lead into a different genre or signal the beginning of a switch in the type of music I am playing.


What is your dream as a DJ?

My dream as a DJ is to be on multiple platforms weekly and to DJ festivals and conventions on the weekend.  So ideally making a couple podcasts per week, on a terrestrial station 4 days a week, and with my own satellite radio show on Sirius XM; while traveling on the weekends to do music festivals and bigger shows.   I also want people to associate me with a good time and knowing that if I'm DJing they are going to want to dance and they are going to sweat out their hair, tee shirt and scuff up their sneakers.

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

Just do it.  Just start DJing until you find your voice and do it as much and wherever they will let you.  NEVER PAY TO PLAY anywhere and be aware of yourself worth.  The last thing I would say is when figure out your rate, don't accept anything less unless it's an opportunity that is possibly life changing or it's your dream to DJ there.

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

Soundcloud.com/thecainmarko

Instagram & Twitter: @THECAINMARKO

Respect The Producer Interview with Yael Bermudez

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into Producing?
I was in an orchestra in middle school where every student had to learn an instrument and be a part of the school orchestra. All of my friends played percussion, so I naturally gravitated towards the percussion section. I already knew how to play congas, but over the years I became one of the drummers who played the drum set. This is the point of my life where I developed a love and passion for playing and creating music. Fast forward to high school where I took a music production 101 course and we started off using Reason, a DAW where you can produce music using your midi keyboard. This was in sophomore year and I became so curious about this specialized art that I asked if I could major in this when I started applying for colleges. The answer was yes, and all I did was apply to colleges who had Music Production or Audio Engineering as a major. Ever since sophomore year of high school, I’ve been creating beats and songs from my laptop and sharing it online.

What did you do to advance your skills/knowledge?
Aside from going to a four-year university where I was taught in an academic setting the ins and outs of audio engineering, how to navigate pro tools and logic, and learning to record live instruments, YouTube has been a huge resource in my search for trying to find new ways to approach music production. I look up videos of all of my favorite producers and study what they do to each song they do, I look up new and creative ways to use VST instruments I already own, and lastly I search for new music and really listen to how the song was crafted and mixed to create a certain feeling.

What did your first set up look like?

My first set-up was literally a beats audio laptop from HP that I won from a writing contest in high school and a portable midi keyboard from Akai that I could take with me anywhere I went. At the time I was producing on Reason because that was the DAW I was most familiar with and knew pretty well.

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⏳ F O C U S . ⏳ 📸: @dolea_

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What does your current set up look like?
My current set-up is now a gamer laptop from ASUS where I now produce exclusively on Pro Tools using various VST instruments I’ve acquired over the years. I also now have a 25-key midi keyboard from IMPACT and a MOTU audio express audio interface alongside a UAD satellite to run all of my UAD plugins. I recently acquired some Avantone Mix cube speakers so I can reference my mixes of beats I’ve produced to make sure the balance of all of my sounds translates well onto speakers.


How did you get your Producer/Artist name?
This is going to sound corny, but I am a HUGE J. Cole fan and when I was thinking of a producer name, for some reason I thought about how J Cole’s artist name is literally his name but only using the first letter of his name and then his last name. I found that to be so simple yet effective. Also, I know he’s a huge fan of Jay-Z who also has the short first name. Growing up my nickname was always Ja, so I wanted to incorporate that into my producer name and emulate J Cole and Jay-Z with the letter “J” at the beginning of their artist names. So I came up with Ja-B, which is my nickname, “Ja” (short for Yael), followed by the first letter of my last name.


If you could be produced for any artist (dead or alive), who would it be?
I would definitely want to produce for J.Cole. His music was so relatable to me growing up because he didn’t rap about having all of the cars, money, and jewelry. He rapped about crushing on girls in his neighborhood, being in debt off of student loans, paying rent in NYC, and so much more realistic things that I could relate to and actually feel the emotions he felt during those times. His rap flow along with his rap voice is so cool and really evokes a unique feeling of nostalgia that I love.

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Art Galleries w/ Swizz 🔲.

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What is your goal when you create?
I look up to this producer named !llmind, who I’ve actually had the pleasure of interning for back in 2015, and he says when he creates the music he wants to feel goosebumps every time. Like its his first time making a beat ever. I want to capture that feeling when I produce records and have the finished product give goosebumps to whoever is listening to it. Whether it be the artist who’s on the record, my producer peers, or even someone who may not be into the specific genre of music. I want to capture emotion. I want you to create at least three different facial expressions by the end of the record.  


What's your go-to song right now?

Currently, at this point in my life, my go-to record right now is this song called “Adult Swim” off of Jon Bellion’s new sophomore album. The song was produced by this producer named Tuamie whose drums swing like no other. The beat changes three times throughout the course of the song and it's beautiful.

What is your dream as a Producer?
My dream as a producer is to create records that allow me to travel to different parts of the world I’ve never been to and to create music that people 20 years from now will listen back to and say “ Who made this?” ( in a good way lol).

What is some advice you would give to someone with a dream to become a Producer? 
A piece of advice I would give to someone with a dream of becoming a producer is to try and find an internship where you can surround yourself with like-minded people and network. The creative side of producing is really important as well, but having connections and contacts with people who are also on the come-up with you or even already established is equally as important in helping you rise to the top!


Where can people find you? (social media, website, etc)
Follow me on Instagram: @therealja_B
Listen to some of my work on SoundCloud: Ja-B

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


Noudle Respect the DJ Interview

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into DJing?

I’ve always had a love for music since the age of 3 and started off learning the piano, singing, dancing and acting at Chiswick Saturday Music School, Sylvia Young Theatre School and The Brit School. From then I always had an interest in the way songs were structured and how from start to finish, you could feel so many different emotions. My dad was a DJ and my mum had always played records on his turntables in the house, mostly 80s Groove, Funk and Soul. In 2015 my dad found his Technics 1210s he’d had from the 1980s and so I started practicing on my parent’s vinyls and then eventually bought Traktor Scratch Pro 2.

What did you do to advance your skills/knowledge?

I practiced at every chance I could and if I didn’t have decks to practice on I’d watch loads of YouTube tutorials of how to better my skills. I’d even sit on the tube on the way to university, listening to music and tapping out rhythms on my legs, really feeling the song and trying to understand what songs could mix in best. The most effective way was where I’d record nearly every practice I did so I could listen back to how I could improve (this is still something I do now).


What did your first set up look like?

x2 Technics 1210s, Pioneer DJM 909 Mixer, Traktor Scratch Pro 2 and Laptop


What does your current set up look like?

x2 Pioneer Nexus 2000, Pioneer DJM 900 Mixer and USB’s

How did you get your DJ/Artist name?

I had a nickname at school called ’Noods’ and so when I recorded the first mix I’d put out, I played off that and first came up with ‘Noodle’. I changed the spelling to ‘Noudle’ a couple days later when I learned that ‘Nu’ translated to ‘ a new style’.


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

Glastonbury (UK), Dimensions Festival (Croatia) and Defected In The House (Worldwide)


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

New York, Tokyo and Toronto - The culture in all three cities are so varied that it would be interesting to see the type of crowds they all individually attract. It would be exciting to play alongside DJ’s from that city too, it’s the best way to discover new music.


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

Kalis Uchis - It would be insane to be a part of and DJ for her flamboyant, creative and quirky tours

What is your goal when you play live?

I’m enthusiastic when I DJ that my audience will connect with me and my set through a personal and unique experience. I want the groovers to feel a special bond between myself, them and the music.

What's your go to song right now?

Marian Hill - Down (Franky Rizardo Remix)


What is your dream as a DJ?

A world tour would be incredible! The idea of travelling the world, meeting fans and promoting my brand to new followers would be so inspiring. I’d imagine I would always feel motivated to build on my skills and create more ways for my shows to be an exceptionally special experience

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

If you truly have the dream to be a DJ you have to maintain patience and persistence not only when practicing your skills but also to build a following. Take the time to learn the core elements and always have the attitude to want to know more.

DJ CoolHand Respect The DJ Interview

Amanda Giordano

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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, instagram.com/djcoolhand. My website is my main hub, djcoolhand.com

Respect the DJ with Carmen Sandiego

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into DJing?

I had a girlfriend who was a dj and one day she took me out on a gig and I was just sold. I quit my job and signed up for scratch dj academy.

What did you do to advance your skills/knowledge?

I went to scratch academy but aside from that I started out on a controller and moved over to turntables and vinyl to really develop a strong foundation. Since then - I deejay a few hours a day to stay on top of my skill set. 

What did your first set up look like?

I had a pioneer ddj controller and a small bluetooth speaker. 

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Bliss.

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What does your current set up look like?

I have 2 technic 1200s - s9 mixer- MK1 running through my mixer. In addition is have 2 PT01 portable turntables.

How did you get your DJ/Artist name?

I used to wear a long coat and cover my face and my friends would all me Carmen Sandiego.

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

No where in particular to be honest. Everything to date has really been a blessing and very much unplanned.  

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

Seattle/Tacoma is the only one I can really think of. 

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

 Andre 3000.

What is your goal when you play live?

To create a natural high/vibe. That is my ONLY goal. 

What's your go to song right now?

Sonder- Too fast

What is your dream as a DJ?

I am not looking for fame. I want to be make a living and at the same time be able to constantly create a vibe and have a fan base that will come out to experience this natural high through music.  

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

Practice every single day. No days off.  

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

IG: DJCARMENSANDIEGO

Respect the DJ with Anthony Nikita

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into DJing? 

Ahhhhh man, so this goes back in time a bit. My sister, Melissa Nikita, (you're probably going to hear me refer back to her a lot in this interview), is an O.G DJ/producer and major influence in my passion for music. Growing up in the 90s, I was lucky to share a house with my older sister during the rise of Trance and electronic music in the United States. She just so happened to be one of the rising underground New York DJs that made the dance music scene what it is today. I’m proud to have intruded in her room during her live streaming sessions, and watched her use the dinosaur equipment they had in the 90’s haha. It was later on in life I realized that making and playing dance music is my passion and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

What did you do to advance your skills/knowledge?

Apart from having one of the best mentors in the game, I am a very independent learner and wanted to do things my way and sort of on my own. Instead of DJing i wanted to take advantage of the vast technology our generation is exposed to, and learn production. I stopped DJing for a bit because I found that making my own tunes and having my idols across the world play them live was even more amazing then before. I have to admit, I spent countless hours on youtube, learning sound designing techniques and referencing some of my favorite artists records.  

 

What did your first set up look like?

My first setup? oh man….it was ugly…..I started out using the Reason 5 DAW with big old dell computer with like 512mb of RAM (it used to crash every 5 minutes) and two little dell speakers with a stupid little subwoofer. I used my typing keyboard as a piano keyboard. I spend hours to bind each key on my keyboard to be able to do something in each plugin….lets just say I’m glad those days are over haha!

 

What does your current set up look like?

My current setup…..okay…..better….much better…..much more efficient! I’m able to get the sound I want when I want and with ease. I have and Akai professional 61 key keyboard, Event Dual monitors, 2 Samsung 24” curved displays and an Audience ID14 audio interface. Believe it or not my MacBook pro powers this whole set up with Logic X and it works like a charm! Although, my equipment keeps on changing, this setup is working wonders for me.

 

How did you get your DJ/Artist name?

Well I started out as Stamina & Nikita, a production duo with my cousin from Shaolin, Nick aka Stamina. I picked Nikita, as inspiration from my mentor and inspiration, my sister 

Melissa Nikita. Our family name is spelled “Nicchitta” (It’s a very Sicilian last name), pronounced “Nikita”, so I’m pretty sure she did it just to avoid having everyone call he “[Ni-Chee-tuh]”, plus it looks cool haha! I think it’s awesome to be brother and sister in the business and make different styles of dance music and have our “voices” heard in the dance music world. 

 

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

Wow awesome question. I have such a special place in my heart with New York’s premier electronic dance music festival, Electric Zoo. It occurs once a year on labor day weekend at Randall’s Island Park, right in our backyard in the shadows of the most beautiful skyline the world has to offer. I would love to play the progressive stage along side my label mates at Silk Recordings, it would be something i’d never forget. As for the other two, I think it’s a dream of every dj to play in Ibiza, so I’d love to play a sunset beach party on the famous sands of Ibiza then take the same vibes to the dance capital of the world in Amsterdam at Luminosity Beach Festival.

 

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

Amsterdam, the birthplace of dance music, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Mykonos, Greece. All places with awesome beaches a spectacular parties

 

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

My Idols, Above & Beyond, they changed the sound of trance and progressive house and built a family with their Anjunabeats record label. They created a scene where everyone fits in and everyone is there for the love of music, the way it should be.

 

What is your goal when you play live?

Smiling faces and dancing people. That’s it. its so worth dropping one of your own tracks you put your all into and seeing people sing your lyrics or jump around and groove to it. Best feeling in the world.

 

What's your go to song right now?

Not to toot my own horn, I really never do this lol. However, I released a track a little over a month ago with a vocalist who goes by the name of Hadar Adora (https://soundcloud.com/hadaradora), And I gotta say, it’s the best thing I ever constructed. I had so much fun making this record with her amazing and incredibly dynamic vocals, she’s honestly the best and super kind hearted. Here's the youtube link to the track, which was signed to literally my favorite record label in the biz. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAFe2_4e5W8

 

What is your dream as a DJ?

My dream is to make people smile as much as music makes me smile. Thats it. To me it’s not about the riches or the fame, I only want that so I can do this for a living and just work on the main goal, and that’s the pursuit of happiness. seeing those smiling faces and hearing that wonderful feedback my fans continue to give me, makes all of this worth while and I love it.

 

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

Literally, DON’T FUCKING GIVE UP.  DON’T STOP DREAMING. IT’S SUPER HARD…..like it feels impossible, but you gotta prove everyone wrong, you gotta show everyone that you are the shit, and you LOVE WHAT YOU DO. PERIOD. Also, if you’re in it for the money, you’re in the wrong business.

 

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

My website www.anthonynikitamusic.nyc has links to all of my social media outlets, I’m most active on Instagram so follow me there and honestly i’m always looking for vocals, artwork, and collabs on anything so feel free to email me at Anthony@Anthonynikitamusic.nyc …..I answer right away! Lets work!

Respect the DJ with Rocket Jackson

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into DJing?

I made the official leap into the world of DJing after failing in a duo I was a part of by trying to use Ableton to essentially DJ. I stumbled upon DJ controllers through that experience and became aware of Serato and all of it’s powers.

What did you do to advance your skills/knowledge?

Hours, days, weeks, months on YouTube learning the techniques of DJing. I studied the culture by being in the clubs and either in the DJ booth or next to it studying what working DJs were playing, and how different crowds react.

What did your first set up look like?

Macbook pro with Serato and the Pioneer DDJ-SX2.

What does your current set up look like?

Macbook pro with Serato and the Pioneer DDJ-SX2 running through a Universal Audio Apollo Twin for better sound quality depending on the show.

How did you get your DJ/Artist name?

Rocket Jackson Jr. is my government name, so I just dropped the "Jr.” and rock with Rocket Jackson.

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

Hmm. First would be a “Full Tilt Music Festival” , which is my production company and label imprint that will be releasing lots of music this year. I really like “the do over”, the crowd seems to appreciate all types of music. EDC is also gonna be a vibe to play at as well! The energy in that crowd always seems next level from the videos I’ve watched.

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

London, Miami, or Tokyo

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

Jay-Z, it would be a vibe to drop his classics on stage with him!

What is your goal when you play live?

Touch souls! I love when people come to me after a show and tell me that they felt some transition or flip I did in their heart & soul. I LOVE when that happens to me when I go out and hear musicians or see great talent in any field for that matter.

What's your go to song right now?

Man tough question lol. I think no matter the crowd I have to sneak in “flashing lights” by Kanye. That record always speaks to me when I hear it out in a club because it’s not necessarily a club song.

What is your dream as a DJ?

Be the best in the world.

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

Become a part of the culture. Be in the clubs/bars/parties every chance you get. When you’re there, don’t worry about pulling numbers or dancing with girls (or guys), really study and listen to what’s going on and the crowd reactions. All of the technical stuff really doesn’t matter at the end of the day, you have to be with the people.

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

IG- @rocketjacksonofficial

Website- www.rocketjackson.com

Respect the DJ-DJ Shame

Amanda Giordano

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How did you get into DJing? 

I got into DJing after watching so many episodes of Soul Train, Video Music Box, I wanted to be responsible for all the music that made me dance, that motivated me to make others want to dance.

What did you do to advance your skills/knowledge?

I listened to hip hop shows, like, Bobbito & Stretch Armstrong, Red Alert, Kid Capri, in the late 80s early 90s. Listening to their music selection and cutting and scratching, and in the mid 90s I got into battling.

What did your first set up look like?

haha, My 1st set were 2 mismatch turntables.. an audiovox turntable belt drive, and a Sony direct drive turntable and a gemini trick master mixer.. and some really crappy dual 12 inch woofer.. along with a gemini preamp.. 

What does your current set up look like?

I have multiple set ups now..basically 2 sets of technique 1200s.. 2 Rane 57 mixers.. 1 Rane 56 (Spare)  and a Pioneer DDJ SR mobile set up.. 2 12inch Mackie SRM550 power speakers 2 15 inch Mackie SRM 650s Power Speakers and 1..dual 15 inch Mackie SRM 750 powered speaker..

How did you get your DJ/Artist name?

I got my name because I use to tag it back in the day, and also it was my 1st tattoo after I graduated from basic training via the AirForce.

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

Any 3 events.. "La Marina", "SummerJam", "Hippodrome" in London.

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

 LA, Miami and Atlanta 

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

 Bust Rhymes, Big Pun and Michael Jackson

What is your goal when you play live?

Have everyone on the dance floor enjoying themselves and appreciating all the good tunes I'm playing.

What's your go to song right now?

 "Finesse" By Bruno Mars & Cardi.B

What is your dream as a DJ?

My dream one day is to DJ across the world, see my name in lights and be respected by the DJ culture and my peers.

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

Definitely "PRACTICE", you're never too old to learn new things, also learn things about music overall.

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

 You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and SoundCloud @deejay_shame

#Salute #BldgShakaz #LadyShakaz #MoreLife