Yo yo friends…the Remix Album interviews keep rolling…next up, one of my most random connections and a good pal to roam the country with…DJ, Producer, Turntablist; DJ Skip, from India.
Interview by Kelly Ross/Agent 137.
You are in India, how in the world do you know Wes Smith?
Wes is a common friend of another friend of mine. He was in India in 2011 for the Red Bull 3 Style as a judge and he came across as a really cool guy. I met him again this year.
Tell us what the Red Bull 3 Style is:
The Red Bull 3 Style is a competition that takes 15 min of time where you choose three music styles that rock the party. You are judges on body language, music selection and skills. It’s a body rocking competition built for the party scene. Wes was the judge – and I came in second and in 2012 I won the National Championship and represented my country in the world championship in Chicago. It was my first foreign trip ever.
Wow – the pressure! How do you prepare for this type that type of show?
I would watch post sets online so I knew what is happening around the world. I assessed the competition and paid attention. I also knew my weakness and my strengths. Doing edits and mashups on the fly in a way to beat the competition was key. I opened the whole competition out of the 7 day competition so it was interesting to see how the week played out.
What are some of your titles:
2013 IDA #3 in the world
2014 IDA and DMC National Champion
That’s amazing. how did you start out to get to this level?
I have been a DJ for 12 years now. I was in small club that happened to have a pair of dusty turntables they were willing to let me use, so I bought needles for them. I didn’t even have slipmats for three years, I would use a thin t-shirt and cut a hole in it. I got some old Bollywood music which usually have dialogues before the track starts, so used one of those as my scratch sample for years. Everything was self taught after the basics were taught by a friend, videos, etc. I also joined QSU (Qbert Scratch University) but was unable to attend for too long due to gigs and shows I was being booked.
Do you have any advice to the new Dj or someone starting out?
Sure, when you are first starting out I recommend you join a school and learn from the pros. After joining QSU, I found things I was definitely doing wrong. Very small things like finger placement etc. can be done in a hundred diff ways. It’s very physical our bodies are different, sounds are very different and everyone has their own style. it will give you a proper edge to know if you are doing something wrong because it’s all muscle memory at the end of the day. This is one of the reasons why I thought opening a school would be a good idea.
I watched the DMC National video from this year and I thought that you were the clear winner. However, they announced the winner and the reason was his set was all analogue. You started out on turntables, what do you think about the analogue vs digital debate?
I switched to Traktor back in 2002/2003 and now I am endorsed by Native Instruments as a product specialist – things are going really well. In my sets I can do stuff I couldn’t do on techs. I use Maschine and do a lot of finger drumming and the game is changing to a whole other level. Do what works for you.
What’s next for DJ Skip?
Life is a journey to become better at what you do and Chicago was the turning point of the turntablist side of me. I’m practicing every day and have some new things up my sleeve that I have been working on for my live act. The remix I did for Wes (Turntable Sax) is coming out soon and I am really excited about it. I completely twisted and created a fully different version with scratching elements.