In Conversation with DJ30A
BBS AWARDS 2018
Hello and welcome to BBS AWARDS 2018.
Today I have been joined by super DJ and producer DJ30A
Hi! Nice to have you here in BBS Awards.
What are some words you would use to describe this 2018?
The one word that comes to mind immediately is THANKFUL. I made the move years ago to focus on Music fulltime and this year, everything fell into place. My first single under the DJ30A moniker was a success and that gave me momentum to push forward this year. I was also voted as the 2018 Best DJ on the Gulf Coast award. We are a tourist destination 10 months out of the year, and we have some very accomplished DJS in this area due to the demand. To win that, was an absolute surprise and I am so grateful for the locals here that support Breaks and House.
HIT’EM WITH THE 1-2
ORIGINAL MIX – Kaleidoscope Music
Can you tell us what you like best about your track?
From the production side of things, Its actually a simple track. The pinwheel style riff instantly gets your attention and when I found the vocals to add on top, it was a no brainer! Most of the samples I used for this one have been around forever and this goes to show how everyone hears things a little different when it comes to loop based song creation. That is the amazing thing about music. Producers can create so many different approaches with the same ingredients. It also goes to show that sometimes less is more. This is not a heavily layered track. Huda and I call this type of track an A-B-C style track. Meat and Potatoes only. The drums and the main lead had no issues finding the proper space in the mix to be the center piece.
Can you tell us about the new project you will be working on in 2019?
You will actually be the first to hear it here. My Spring / Summer Full Length album is in the final stages of production. I am very proud to say that I have commissioned an absolute legend in Glen Nicholls aka Future Funk Squad to handle the mastering for this. I have always been a fan of his production work but after hearing his work on the new Crystal Method album, I was sold. A friend had booked Glen In Atlanta years ago and we stayed in touch with Social Media.
I also have releases planned through the entire year of 2019 with Kaleidoscope , my home label. Dan aka Huda and I have been close friends for roughly 20 years. We use to run around Tampa with Pat, the original Painted Puppy owner during the Tampa Party Days!
I was asked to submit test tracks to two different Grammy nominees for possible remixes . I have an all star team working with me on this. Shout out to the talented DeeJay Silver!
Imagine walking inside the studio; please, can you speak to me through a typical day? What are your habits?
Monday – Wednesday are ” Build” days. I try to have 6 to 8 projects open at once but I cap myself at 8 open projects. Period. The goal Wednesday night is to have 6 to 8 files ready to create with.
I focus on building complete song folders the first three days of the week. Sample hunting, falling asleep listening to splice sounds, sorting new packs, building drum kits .
Thursday-Sunday are the fun days. That’s the production days. I try my best to work with the folder I made earlier in the week for that project and not going down rabbit holes aka losing hours of my time. At the end of the week I will have tracks that are complete or very close to completion.
Most of the people reading this may only know the Breaks side of my studio work but I have actually sold or in the contract portion of selling 6 non break tracks to different licensing deals this year. I do all of this type work on a case by case basis when I am notified of the opportunity.
How will you choose the software and add-ons you use?
I like to know everything that I have at my disposal inside and out. If I am looking at a plug in that has a huge learning curve and a new format, it has to literally part the Red Sea for me to use it. I usually will not buy a first release of anything. I want to see it in action via youtube and some reviews.
I also do not see myself leaving Ableton anytime soon.
For me :
Price ,work flow function, and the positive benefit of the plug in dictates if I buy it.
The last plug in I purchased was Vocal Synth 2. I still haven’t used it. lol
I actually see a migration back over to outboard gear this year. People want that distinct and signature sound.
Are you an avid believer of learning an instrument?
Absolutely. I have played multiple instruments since the age of 8. My mother signed me up for Guitar and Key lessons early. Funny Story, She literally had to go with me to gigs when I was in High School because I played in bars that were 21 and up. It was so hard to look cool with my non drinking mom standing beside me while I played.
The music theory and composition benefits you gain from learning an instrument is huge. I highly recommend learning an instrument. Udemy has great online courses that will give you a solid platform to learn from.
What is the only piece of DJ / production equipment that you can not live with?
The no brainer answer is your DAW but if you are going for a unique answer, I would say my Gibson Goth Guitar. I can take a scale or arpeggio on the guitar and step record the notes in ableton. Instant riff options and combos for days. Its an absolute time saver for me.
So what are your thoughts on technology aiding the technique of DJing and Music Production?
Another nugget of info that people might now know about me, is that I DJ around 100 plus events a year. I am on the Corporate traveling DJ circuit and I am also the resident Dj at Florida’s #1 voted luxury resort. I see other DJS play every day March thru October. I see different crowds every day. They all have one thing in common. They are begging to connect with you.
You are booked to entertain and connect the crowd as one. They do not care if you play on a controller, a laptop, or CDJS. lol They want you to play good music and they want to look at the stranger beside them and high five. You are paid by the owner to move the crowd.
DJs, put your egos to the side. Play to the crowd not yourself. Once you get their respect, then experiment with them.
When I see Djs complain about technology, 99 percent of the time, they are not gigging, they are not turntablists. They are mixing front to back with a genre that consists of 128 to 135 BPM. How hard is it really to beat match that? lol
Focus on great songs that moves peoples asses and just stay in your lane. That 18 year old learning on a controller will be passing you up the ladder on your way down. Remember that.
Any artists / DJs / producers in particular that really influenced you?
Where do I start. With breaks… Icey, Huda, FIXX, Simply Jeff, DJ John Kelly from the Funky Desert breaks series. That is what got me started.
Future Funk Squad, Aquasky, Andy C, Friction, Nosia… I try to listen to all these guys for inspiration to this day.
Guilty pleasures- Prince, Sade, and James Brown. I use to DJ between sets at a local music venue, Red Bar,with James Browns long time drummer before he passed last year. Rest In Peace Jabo! I love James Brown.
What is the music scene like at this moment in your country?
DDR just had a HUGE 20 year anniversary party in Orlando. From the pictures, it looked awesome. That gives all of us hope. I hope to see more venues taking a chance on breaks this year.
Vegas, San Fran, LA, Salt Lake are always popping with great music. What we are missing now is local promotors in the smaller cities, putting on break events.
Often, certain cities are related to certain sounds and subgenres. Do you think that living in your city is reflected in your music?
Well the area I represent is 30A . Hence the DJ30A moniker. Its a cluster of small beach communities that are all unique in architecture and style. I made a bunch of beach specific tracks and mixes that in my opinion, give you that beach vibe. Obsession and Be The One specifically.