Archive for the ‘ DJ Interviews ’ Category


Greetings everyone!  I am happy to announce my partnership with the Dope Underground Beats project.   See me put DJs in the hot seat where I ask them questions about their inspirations and creativity (and they have no choice to answer my questions, because I’m so charming).   After that you get to enjoy watching and listening to an exclusive set, recorded in HD, of each DJ in their element.  If you need new influences, new music, a breath of fresh air if you will, tune in.

Here is more info for you.

Based on two premises, giving back to the DJ community and allowing for safe uninterrupted creative space, the Dope Underground Beats project is dedicated to profiling up and coming DJs and encouraging them to be in their element. The DJs are given one task, play what they want as if no one is watching. Freed of expectations, the DJ is allowed to express their true creative side and let their point of view shine through unencumbered. Mustapha Louafi, the brains behind the DUB project, has been a lifelong DJ and DJ community supporter. He carefully selects each DJ based on their individuality and musical sentience.

Each set is paired with an interview by Behind The Decks founder and DJ coach Cristina DiGiacomo that illuminates each DJs background, goals, influences and intentions for their set. In addition, sets are recorded and filmed in HD quality audio and video so the viewer gets the most immersive experience possible – throw a set onto your TV and you’ve got your own personal DJ in the room. As you explore each set one thing will become apparent, each set is like a fingerprint, no one set sounds or looks like the other allowing for diversity and the sense that you will find something truly unique.

Inspiring Thoughts from a Deaf DJ

I found this interview with DJ DEF who is deaf.  I am sharing this with you because I want you to think about two things, how are you dealing with your challenges and second that anything is possible.  I have highlited parts of the interview that I find particularly interesting and inspiring.  If DJ DEF can do it, so can you and there’s no excuses for you not to.  In addition, I want you to think about DJ DEF before jealousy and anger starts creeping into your consciousness and instead reflect and appreciate your DJ life.

The First Deaf DJ

Thanks for the time man. How’s life been?

No problem! Life has been great just working on my mixtape and hope to have it released soon.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is LaDon Battle. I was born and raised in Arizona born into a deaf family, went to a deaf school, played football at UNLV for a year, then transferred to Gallaudet University a deaf university in Washington D.C. I played professional football for 2 years until I got hurt. I started DJing as a hobby but then my love for music has always been strong so i decided to take my talent to the next level. So I burst into the scene known as DJ DEF. Being deaf is a permanent and unchangeable part of my life, so the only thing left for me to do is to strive for self-improvement in communication. Deaf people are able to enjoy and love music just as anyone else. They do not feel that their lack of hearing handicaps them or is an imposition. Deaf people love music just as much as hearing people do…they just understand it differently. They can feel it. This is in the most literal sense as well as emotional. The part of the brain that normally processes sound to those who can hear is the same portion that the brains of hearing impaired use to process vibrations of sound. Since these different processes take place in the same area of the brain, the experiences are equivalent in sound. Just because my hearing ability is limited does not mean I can’t be a DJ and make music the way hearing people could it just means I have to work a lot more harder and be more dedicated to it.

You have to have a different process preparing for a set than most DJs. How do you select what songs to play?

My sets are a combination of what’s the people’s favorite and instrumentals. I try to use a little instrumentals. I try to show people how deaf people can actuallly reconnect with the music without lyrics.

I stay up to date with record pools and go out a lot and study what the people want to hear.

Who are some of your favorite djs? And whats the best way for you to learn from others?

My favorite is of course DJ FLIPSIDE but others I admire are DJ SCENE, STEVE AOKI, DJ KLEVAR, DJ AM, DJ CRAZE and Q-Bert. I also respect every other DJ that does this on a daily basis being creative takes great minds. The best way I learn from others is to network and go out to their events and chill in the booth watch how they mix, scratch and just come home and try to learn. I don’t really have anyone teaching me the tricks or anything I just go out and watch them spin and self-educate.

You’ve played shows all around the country, where are some of your favorite places to play?

I love playing in the east coast. Washington D.C. one of the places I always enjoy. The crowd always loving the unique music and mixes they like whats not on the radio and of course a lot of raggae too.

Tell us about your main goal as a DJ.

My goal as a DJ is to become well known and respected and I want to be the first deaf DJ to spin in vegas along side with a well known DJ.

Why Vegas?

Vegas is a place where the weekend is almost never the same. Different people comes in and go and most of the well respected DJ spin in Vegas. I chose Vegas is because its the party capital of the US and I want to be able to rock the crowd just as good as any DJ. Its just one of the biggest achievement I want to accomplish.

How would you describe your style on the tables?

*laughs* Wow, on the tables all my mixes are timed, its like math. I remember them by watching the BPM and remembering what minutes and seconds comes in. Since I cant hear the lyrics, I try to stay focused. Headphones are always on and im always trying to make sure I’m on the right track because with me one little mistake and the whole thing is messed up and it will sound terrible!

Where can people hear your work?

I post my mixtapes online where people can download them and check them out. I also spin in Portland, my next event is at east china town
on may 12th with my dude Yo Huckleberry come through!

Closing thoughts?

Check out my facebook page all my events, mixtapes, and everything else will be posted on there!