::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: Von Vargas

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: Von Vargas

by Christina Campbell + Soulcialista


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The last guest facilitator of our Comrades In The Community x Ascend through Music limited residency was one of our most supportive Comrades In Arts members and President of the WDC Grammy Chapter, Von Vargas.

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Not surprisingly, Von engaged the workshop participants in a great discussion around the business side of music. With his own chill beats rocking in the background, Von gave some background of himself and his own journey in the music industry. He then went into different factors to consider, from how each contributor to a song should be compensated, how to keep track during the process, the steps of what happens AFTER creating a song, pitfalls to watch out for, and resources to help while creating.

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He challenged the youth to think through some of these different factors, guiding them to understanding the importance in the business side of music in order to be successful. In response, the youth had great questions about each stage of the process, and because of the intense interaction the workshop ended up going on about 30 minutes longer than originally planned. This was a great note to end this first limited residency that brought our professional music making members into a unique learning space with aspiring music makers.








::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: ASHA

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: ASHA

By Christina Campbell


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We were more than excited when all around music maven Asha Santee volunteered to be apart of our Comrades In The Community x Ascend through Music limited residency. Asha engaged the participants in a multitude of aspects of making and creating music. After brief introductions, Asha introduced participants to the basics of playing the drum set, breaking it down into simplifying it using "1-2-3-4".

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Each youth got a chance to play on the set a couple of times, with Asha speaking on how it takes coordination to be a drummer, with each limb often doing something different. She then showed them her cajon, a different drum, speaking on it's history and giving participants a chance to play. From there the group organically began creating a rhythm, that then turned into a few rhymes that then sparked the group to produce a whole track. The participants in 30 minutes created rhythms, a melodic line, lyrics, and ad libs, which Asha facilitated and helped them input into Logic. By the end of the session, the group had created a catchy song, which they all were excited about.

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The students really took to Asha, who had a great energy and a way of encouraging and exciting the participants. One young lady was a little familiar with playing drum set, and it was valuable for the young lady getting a chance to talk and connect with Asha. They had a long conversation about her aspirations and goals.

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Another student, the youngest in the group, struggled with the coordination, and Asha was patient and encouraging, and when the student finally got it you could see his face light up. It was magic seeing how organically the youth ended up creating an entire song, and you could tell they felt really good about accomplishing the goal, and Asha was able to make that happen and make it sound really good. The kids felt so good, the energy in the room was so high, no one wanted to leave, it was a great session!

Here is also a little video that I threw together, featuring the song they produced, as well as video and photos I captured. 

https://youtu.be/uWtRilQg68s

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: Chelsey Green

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: Chelsey Green

by Christina Campbell + Soulcialista

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We are always excited when one of our Comrades that we know has a super busy schedule makes time to give back to the community and work with our youth. Dr. Chelsey Green - in demand musician, Berklee professor, and violinist assisting in changing the face and perception of classical music was the latest Creative Nomads member ready to impact youth with our UA House Music Lab limited edition residency with the Ascend Through Music program.

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Chelsey jumped in her session by sharing some of her story and career journey with the participants, while sparking discussion about their music aspirations and career goals. To elevate the mood and set the tone, she performed a few songs on her violin for the participants, and they had a discussion about arranging music.

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Right away she engaged the students through having them begin to create their own music, using their musical strengths or interests. With a DJ, two youth interested in piano and one aspiring drummer, they ended up playing off of each other and creating music together. The youth who is a DJ pulled from some of his music, and as an excellent exercise, Chelsey guided the group in identifying the key, showing them the chord and scale of the key.

The piano players then continued to play while she guided the drummer in finding a pattern on the set that would complement the rhythms in the given song. Afterwards, they engaged in more discussion, Chelsey played another song, and the participants had a chance to ask questions.

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The students were completely entranced by Chelsey's playing, and I believe they really enjoyed how she played along to popular instrumentals, demonstrating playing a "typically" classical instrument in different styles. One young man was very captivated by Chelsey's playing and her story, it was a joy to see how he truly seemed to enjoy listening to her play, and then later being guided in playing different patterns on the piano.

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We truly appreciated Chelsey’s skill of balancing playing for the students, discussion, and having them then engage in active play. She encouraged the students about researach musicians that play their instrument of interest, and it seemed she really inspired at least 2 students to look into them. This session was certainly a music-filled workshop with great discussion points. 


::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: DJ SOUL

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: DJ SOUL


By Christina Campbell + Soulcialista

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Earlier this month, Comrade DJ Soul lended a helping hand to Creative Nomads Comrades In The Community - UA HOUSE MUSIC LAB limited residency with the Ascend through Music program. One of our newest and extremely enthusiastic Comrades, DJ Soul quickly connected with the the students began with them learning some basic concepts on the piano, such as finding "C", playing a C scale and building a C chord. He then guided them through the process of being able to create melodies, harmonies and rhythms as a group. He showed them that though each participant played something different, they could make it sound good together by listening to one another and staying in the same key. With this process he was able to show the what team work and communication can do. The students quickly understood and were hooked, creating different riffs while DJ Soul add some percussion and vocals.

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Special Moment: One participant is a DJ himself, and the two talked at length, with Duane asking him questions about his craft, point of view, style, etc. I think for that student, seeing a DJ who also had a foundation in an instrument such as piano, was really inspiring and motivating as to how it can help with his DJing. 

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The participants were visibly excited and interests had been sparked by the quick tutorial on the piano that DJ Soul led. Despite the range of comfort and ability on the piano among the youth, all were able to feel successful and contribute to the presentation. DJ Soul threw out hey terms like "bass line", "rhythm" and "tempo" as the youth created melodies, he also implored them to not only just play something but also the importance in remembering what they created. This session was a great, succinct capsule activity for the time frame.

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::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: Changa

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: Changa

By Christina Campbell + Soulcialista

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Brother Changa is among the most active members of Creative Nomads so it was no surprise that he raised his hand to participate in Comrades In The Community UA House Music Lab limited residency with the Ascend Through Music program to work with students interested in learning more about music and the arts.

Brother Changa engaged the students in the art of storytelling and the importance of imagination both in and out of the arts. After a short discussion about what storytelling is in a broader scope, he had the participants created a story as a group only contributing 2 words at a time. He really challenged them in opening their minds to the possibilities of the meaning of the story as it evolved.

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This activity sparked other conversation around imagination and how it is a tool for problem-solving. The take-away was instilling the mentality to set yourself apart and getting yourself in your career further than others, versus just following in someone's footsteps.

Through the simple exercise, our four participants that ranged in age, were really engaged. This theme was accessible to the younger participants but still challenging for the older students, providing the latter with higher thinking questions.

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An older participant who was struggling with making sense of the changing story, said "He's blowing my mind right now." By the end he had a new mindset on imagination, realizing it was a skill he could work on, but saw the relevance and benefits of it.

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::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: AxixA

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: AxixA

by Soulcialista, recap by Christina Campbell

 

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When Creative Nomads was born and the Comrades In Arts membership for professionals was conjured, it was imperative that community and serving was etched into the culture of our tribe. Our Comrades, upon joining the membership were and are aware that community service is inherent in the membership...the leadership of Creative Nomads just wasn't sure how that service would be manifested and we didn't to put what serving the community looked like into a box. And we are so glad the freedom of creativity left the vision of interaction up in the air to be whatever our membership and the youth, families and our partners can dream up.

One of our most highly impactful installations of Comrades In The Community (our professional membership volunteer initiative) has been with the UA House Music Lab limited edition residency with the Ascend Through Music program. Check out the recap featuring our second Comrade, AxixA, sharing her energy with the youth.

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::RECAP::

 

AxixA is passionate about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) and engaged our excited youth in discussion around what STEAM is, how the arts integrates into different disciplines, how  creative gifts can be used in different ways to make a living or career. She brought her electric cello, sharing her journey as a musician. She brought a traditional cello for the students to have an opportunity to play; using the cello along with a microphone, her production equipment and Logic, she had the youth engage in creating sounds and seeing the science of sound waves through their recording. She was successful in encouraging students to become engaged in the discussion, and  become interested especially in getting to play, record with the mic and see the magic happen in Logic.

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THANK YOU to Axixa and to Christina for taking to the time to partner with Creative Nomads to actively engage students around the arts in a fun and approachable way!

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: Brandon Carlyle + Carolyn Malachi

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: Brandon Carlyle + Carolyn Malachi

by Soulcialista

Photos by Soulcialista + Shipley

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Creative Nomads kicked off our Comrades In The Community - UA HOUSE MUSIC LAB limited residency with our Comrade Brandon Carlyle, his partner Shipley, and secret special guest GRAMMY Nominee Carolyn Malachi.

This workshop was a hands on class with six students delved into vocals + production with these extremely enthusiastic music makers.

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After intros, the session started with vocal exercises and breathing techniques with Carolyn. Silly sounds and goofy gestures were the best part of these new methods the students learned.  Next, the students were broken up into groups of two for a brief assignment of conjuring  1. what they wanted to accomplish in this session 2. what they wanted to accomplish in life and 3. potential song topic to create during the session. Some accomplishments including gaining more vocal range, being able to enunciate well, and sing in front of an audience ... From the mouth of babes :-)

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Brandon and Carolyn both broke down the purpose of hooks and verses and split the students into another group of twos to create a hook and a verse for a new song. Carolyn gave some great advice to the students to consider using literary devises like rhyme to develop their songs and to record their idea so that they can have a point of reference.

Each group had about 15 minutes to develop an idea with the intent to perform the finished product for each other.  All three of our guest music makers rotated to each group to listen, give feedback, provide encouragement and push them to the finish line.

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The session concluded with each group performing. Each had confidence, and exhibited pride when sharing their projects. At the last round table final advice was provided and we ended with the students empowered with more songwriting and vocal tools than they walked in with.

A special thanks to our Comrades Brandon, Carolyn, and Shipley and to Christina for giving Creative Nomads the space to place our Comrades In The Community connecting with the youth.

Stay tuned for our next special feature!

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: With Rico Love

by: Lisa Smith

 

Rico Love in an EXCLUSIVE Creative Nomads Tee

Rico Love in an EXCLUSIVE Creative Nomads Tee

The Creative Nomads' Where Art Starts Youth Program launched working with young children and families providing art, music, and cultural activities. The work has been so amazing that we wanted to move forward to implement programming with older students and parents as well. By partnering with Baltimore City Public Schools and MRI to produce Beyond Music with Rico Love and provide students with tickets to the We Love Music Conference we have jumped right in! Check out the deets through my eyes:

 

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BEYOND THE MUSIC

The weekend began on Friday, at Lakeland Elementary Middle School with Beyond The Music with Rico Love where students and parents were given a first hand, behind the scenes look at the music industry. In step with other influential community organizations, the goal was to educate the parents of creatives & future business moguls, that the entertainment business is a viable and also achievable career field. Rico Love was the feature and he spoke with students about the various career paths in music, entrepreneurship, in addition to the goals and challenges of being in the entertainment business. A few Creative Nomads professional music members, our Comrades, where also in the room to connect with students and provide their experience and advice (Monet Shelton, Brandon Carlyle, Rodney Hueitt, Axixa, Jazzo, and Mo).

 

 

It was very refreshing to see the students engaging in conversations about the entertainment business and community. I observed young creatives working in many capacities at the event, such as photography, videography and deejaying. Later, we able to take a tour of an onsite studio with other young producers and engineers.

This event gave everyone the opportunity to connect with some other impressive music organizations within the community. Shout out to Media Rhythm Institute and Youth Up Next.

 

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WE LOVE MUSIC

The following two days Creative Nomads had the pleasure of attending Rico Love’s "We Love Music Conference," and the theme was, “The Gift Is In You” and “The Era of Effort.” Featured speakers included industry professionals Edward Long, Paris Kirk, Bryan Michael Cox, Marchella Araica, Mase, Big Krit, & producers Danja, & D Town.

The speakers touched on some key topics including:

•    The Era of Effort

•    Who are You without Your Gift

•    Evolution of R&B

•    Engineering Music

•    Management

•    The Art of Song

 

The panels were insightful and impactful. Below are some takeaways , hopefully something will grab you, but we encourage you to attend the next We Love Music Conference with Rico Love... You wont be disappointed!

 

The Era of Effort ( feat. Rico Love)

This session focused on the importance of having depth as an creator. This session also discussed why mediocrity is damaging and why we must never settle. 

 

•    The goal should never be to get in the game but to change the game.

•    Don’t want catchy want timeless.

•    Anything worth having is with developing.

•    Value your time.

•    Develop & educate yourself at all times.

•    Who are you as an artist? (What is the experience ?)

•    You have to be consistent with your delivery.

•    Depth comes with experience.

•    When you have depth, you can afford to be patient.

•    Don’t rush the process.

•    Don’t move until it’s right.

•    Your depth is your currency.

•    If potential is not elevated, it’s not enough.

•    Make the perception so vivid it becomes a reality.

•    Create the movement.

•    Challenge yourself.

 

Who are You without Your Gift? (feat. Edward Long) 

This session force us to examine our hearts and mind honestly. With a moment of transparency we were asked challenging questions like: What is your gift ? What is the difference between your talent & your gift ? What do you want to be better with ? 

 

•    The gift is inside you

•    Your gift is intertwined with your spirit.

•    Do you know what your gift is?

•    Your gift is different from your talent.

•    Your life is calling you.

•    Your start isn’t your fault.

•    Be willing to do what no one else is willing to do.

•    Bring goodness, excitement, love, and creativity.

•    Your gift is not for you. Your gift will make room for you.

•    The room your gift makes is for you to give.

•    Have you been getting in your own way?

•    God will not do for you what you can do for yourself.

•    Learn to give things that are too much to God.

 

Spotify (feat. Paris Kirk)

This session explored what is Spotify ? How do I get my music on Spotify ? What is Spotify for artist ? What are Analytics & how do I make them work for me ? 

 

•    You never know who your next client may be.

•    Be useful!

•    Identify where you are strong, and grow.

 

Management

This session explored What is a manager ? What is the role of a manger? How to be a successful manager. 

 

• Understand Value

•    Bring value to the game.

•    It’s not just about the music. As a manager you build brands.

•    Learn the value of networking.

•    Have a recipe.

•    Music you feel, go back too.

•    Music is a vehicle.

•    Music connects the dots to people’s heart.

•    Music is a vibe.

•    Understand paperwork.

 

Panel discussion (feat Big Krit, Mase & B. Cox)

This session explored what is a production deal ? What are split sheets ? What are performing right organizations? The formula for a hit record. 

 

•    You have to want to be the best in the room.

•    When you want to be great, there is no neutral.

•    It’s about how bad you want it.

•    Stay on top of your business.

 

This event was not only impactful & educational but transformational. Although I have been to many conferences and seminars, this one felt very different. It felt very inclusive. I enjoyed having the opportunity to ask questions and meet all of the panelists. Leaving the conference, I felt empowered & charged up, I met new people, created new bonds, and expanded my network with other creatives and future moguls. I can not wait to attend this event next year! Make sure to join us and #BeInTheRoom!

If you attended or have some comments feel free to interact below!

 

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: The Music Lab

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: The Music Lab

  • Posted by Soulcialista
  • Photos by Christina Campbell

 

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The team at Creative Nomads is BRIMMING WITH JOY! Creative Nomads is a cycle of learning from the established artist to the emerging artist to the youth enthusiast. Because of this model, we ask that when our members join that they are willing to give a few hours of service to the community to impact the youth who may be the next emerging artists or who just need art to enrich their lives.

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The Music Lab at the UA House in Baltimore has a great program for kids in the community to get more familiar with music. As a community organization, our goal is to create partnerships with like minded entities and UA House is at the top of our list.

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When the program director Christina asked us to assist in spreading the word to our members of opportunities to volunteers we happily obliged and one Comrade in particular answered the call. Songwriter + Emcee Demiah has become one of the mentors the Pulse Collab Sessions.

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Christina has had nothing but great things to say about his involvement and engagement with the students and we are proud to call him Comrade. Make sure to follow him at http://www.demiah.com  and @idemiah.

GREAT JOB DEMIAH! Continue to #PlotTheIndustry!

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: Light City SOWEBO

::COMRADES IN THE COMMUNITY:: Light City SOWEBO

  • Posted by Soulcialista
  • Photos by Soulcialista and Solan
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Where Art Starts, the Creative Nomads youth program, turned ONE this year and we have made big impacts and set big goals. One of our goals was to go beyond the classrooms and into the community. We believe that all youth and families should have access to art. After all, when we cultivate the love for art and music, many young people grow to become musicians and as creatives, that certainly is our hope!

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Through the generosity of our new partner Curtis and the Southwest Baltimore Partnership, we were invited to set up a table and produce an interactive experience during Light City, Stories From SOWEBO edition.

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One of our most engaging experiences is our Drum Program and with the help of our Learning Leaders Baba Changa and Charles we carved out space in Zellas and connected with children fascinated by the sounds.

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We are excited to touch and teach members of our community through art, music, and cultural programming and are looking forward to deploying more Comrades into the community! Make sure to follow Creative Nomads at @creative_nomads and Where Art Starts at @where_art_starts

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It's Women's History Month!

It's Women's History Month!

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March is Women's History Month. It's a time to reflect and appreciate all of the women that have moved societies and cultures forward. It's a time to appreciate the women in our own lives that have shaped our ideals, nurtured our dreams and gave us inspiration to keep going.

This month, we wanted to commemorate Women's History Month with a fire playlist. From Whitney to Jill to Erykah and Beyonce, this playlist consists of songs that celebrate women.

Finally, one thing that is lacking when celebrating women is celebrating the diversity of women. So, in your celebration this month, don't forget to celebrate women of color, queer and trans women. For non-women, use this month to step aside and uplift the voices of women. For non women of color and cis-het women, use this month to share your platform with women of color and non cis-het women.

Happy Women's History Month! You can listen to your playlist here (or below). Tell us what song(s) YOU would have added in the comment section below!

 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day

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It is that time of year again and this year, we want to celebrate love. Now, we fully understand that the normal measure of love (being with someone on Valentine's) can make some folks resentful of this day. But here at Creative Nomads, we reject normative notions and we celebrate love in all forms.

Whether you are able to love another person or if you are taking this time to love on yourself, the overall goal is to love. Isn't that what's most important? So we wanted to do something for you. We put together a playlist for you to help set the mood for a lovely evening.

So, if your choice is to share this evening with that special someone, hopefully this playlist will help you discover and explore more about that loved one. And if you are choosing to spend Valentine's loving on yourself, hopefully this playlist will help you discover deeper levels of yourself.

You can check out our playlist here! Let us know what you think of our playlist. What song(s) would you have added?

 

Happy National DJ Day

Happy National DJ Day

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We know, it's another one of those "holidays" again but we promise we aren't making this up. Besides, DJs need love too. The time it takes to put the right set list together for your party, cookout or reception, if anyone deserves a holiday, it's definitely the DJ.  

Recently, we had a chance to speak with DJ Face. DJ Face has been in the music business for over a decade and has shared the stage with The Roots, Kid Capri and Pete Rock. We wanted to find out how he got interested in DJing and any advice for up and coming DJs. 

 When did you first take interest in DJing?

I was 12 years old when I first took an interest in DJing. My brother, who is 5 years older than me, was on it first and saved up to buy equipment, (with some help from our parents), and started practicing in our basement.

 What was it about being a DJ that sparked your interest?

I used to watch my brother all the time whenever he would practice. I was amazed at how he would take our favorite songs and manipulate them, scratch them and mix them. It was like a big video game to me, but way more interesting because it involved music. Specifically Hiphop and House music. One day my brother told me to stop watching him and leave, or get up and learn.  Needless to say I didn’t go anywhere. In fact, I stopped playing outside a lot. I wanted to stay in the basement!

Do you remember the first set of tables you got?

So the first set of tables were the ones my brother got, which I believe where these black Gemini belt drive turntables. After that he upgraded to a set of Lineartech’s, then the big boy Technic Direct Drive 1200’s.

Do you remember this first mix you put together? What did you think of it initially?

I would do mixtapes with my brother a lot where we would split the time. He would do the “A” side and I would do the “B” side. I can’t remember exactly the first one I did by myself, but I know I thought it was dope. I thought all my mixes were dope in the beginning, lol!

When did you develop your own style as a DJ?

I think I developed my own style when I got to college and was no longer under my brother’s wing. As soon as I got on campus I went straight to the radio station to try and get a show. They had a room there with turntables and a mixer with recording capabilities, that maybe two other guys on campus used. When I wasn’t at basketball practice I was in that room. It was like the DJ dojo. That’s really where I started experimenting and developing my style and recording myself. A lot.

DJing seems to be a lost art these days but to anyone looking to learn this craft, what advice would you give them?

Good question. I would say first of all, be patient! Technology has reduced the learning curve a bit but it can be frustrating in the beginning, it takes time to learn and won’t be an overnight thing. Second, practice, practice, practice! Repetition is the key with djing. Developing muscle memory and that specific coordination between the brain and your hands. Third, find a mentor or teacher if you can. They will help you develop good habits, avoid bad ones and make the process a little less frustrating. Finally, learn the history! Know where the art form started, who the key players are, watch old YouTube videos, whatever, but know who came before you and what their contributions are. It will give you a greater respect for the craft and also make you a better DJ by simply having that knowledge.

Thank you DJ Face! Follow DJ Face on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.