Lately, I have been wondering what different motivations people have to DJ. For me, the first motivation was in High School when I got frustrated with the music that the ‘established’ DJ in our NYC suburban town would play during the school dances. This was an exciting time when Hip-Hop culture was really branching out of it’s NYC roots to the rest of the world with music from Run-DMC, LL Cool J, MC Lyte, and Boogie Down Productions to name a few. It was also a time when House Music was in it’s infancy with pioneers from Chicago like Jesse Saunders, Marshall Jefferson, Jamie Principle, Frankie Knuckles and Chip-E. Don’t forget about the whole Latin Freestyle scene with some of the biggest beats I’ve ever heard from acts like TKA, The Cover Girls, George Lamond, Sa-Fire, and Stevie B. Since the ‘established’ DJ in my town wasn’t playing any of this stuff, I decided to buy a DJ set to practice mixing the music and set my sites on taking his gigs.
Without a doubt, my motivations for DJ’ing in those years had more to do with being the big man on campus and playing homogenized music for the masses instead of playing music that I was truly into. Then, I discovered the underground nightclub world of NYC during the early 1990’s and the impact that those experiences had on me were enormous. Even though the clubs were many times bigger than ones I have ever been to and there were more people in those clubs that I have ever seen, I felt a much deeper connection to the music and a more isolated ‘personal’ experience with the music than before. It was in those clubs that I took some of my most memorable musical journeys and it was all about the connection between me and the music. The journey. When I was immersed in that state of mind, there were no other distractions around me. I would separate myself from my friends who would feel the need to talk over the music, I didn’t have anything in my hands, there were no people in the club that I was interested in. It was just me and the full experience of taking a musical journey with songs and sounds I had never heard before. Each sound that was used in the production got analyzed by me, the clarity in the bass, the mids and the highs, etc. I wasn’t only listening to music, I was listening to an assembly of individual sounds. From that point, I always wanted to create a vibe that would not only appeal to the musical listeners ears, but to a higher level of consciousness that not music, but SOUND can bring to you. But in the end, it’s all about the music…..
The main reason I am into Dj’ing these days is STRICTLY for the music. Everyone hears people say that all the time and I think it’s the biggest load of BS in clubland these days. I love to play in a club every now and then. But, going on the air LIVE each week on www.PressureRadio.com is the perfect way for me to keep all of my focus on the music and to vibe with like minded people who are actually LISTENING to the music and not showing up to meet girls/guys, or to get drunk, or to get into a fight, or to pose, or to throw shade at the DJ. I truly love the music I play and I may even love the challenge of creating a multi-hour journey of ups and downs with twists and turns even more. I guess in the end, I am motivated to DJ these days because of my quest to create the perfect multi-hour journey and if there happens to be people along for the ride, it makes things all that much better. But, even if there isn’t anyone listening, I will still be in the studio trying to come up with different ways of making a musical journey even more smooth and conscious expanding than the ones I did before…….
That was a run down of what has motivated me to DJ over the years….What motivates YOU to DJ?