Ortofon: As an experienced DJ who is frequently confronted to new student DJ’s, do you see a difference between generations?
- When the new kids start deejaying, they generally come into it with a role model and they don’t know much about the turntablism scene. I really try to teach them about that aspect and about how it started. I usually show my students the “Scratch” documentary. Of course, they are allowed to play what they want but I try to school them in all genres of music and teach them to be open-minded. And some students are really committed, practice a lot and get into it, while some others just want to try it out.
Ortofon: Unfortunately, battles attract fewer competitors each year. What message would you send to the young DJ’s who hesitate entering the battle scene?
- I think you should practice a lot and do it when you feel ready. I have been deejaying for many years and got into the battle scene very late, in 2009. By then I already knew how to scratch, saw all the DMC championships and knew all the DJ’s but I didn’t stay home and practice patterns, techniques… I wasn’t geeky about it. Around 2007, I really wanted to try battling but I knew that I wasn’t ready. So I spent 2 years practicing. When I was ready, I knew it. I won on the first year that I entered and won every year since. If you don’t feel ready, you can also enter the competition just to try it out but with a “in it to win it” mentality, just to get the experience of playing your set on stage in front of a crowd. Even if you don’t win, you get a lot of experience just by doing your 6 minutes on stage. Competing is also a good way to keep the scene alive; if all DJ’s spent the next 2 years practicing, without entering the competition, there wouldn’t be any new DJ’s in battles for the next 2 or 3 years.