Photography by Ray Tucker
What’s your AMMO?
Oftentimes, when I look at the sky I become inspired. Organically, I’m a free spirit, and I truly believe that the sky’s the limit. I am also motivated to do my best at all times, by my mentor. I’m constantly taking in my surroundings and assessing my competition to make sure I am performing at my highest potential aim. However, above all, I would have to say that I receive my greatest AMMO from GOD, my family and friends. To receive love and support from those you cherish and trust the most has to be the utmost AMMO life has to offer.
When did you realize you wanted to be a DJ? What was your first gig?
Music has always been in my blood. I was dancing and singing before I begin to DJ, and so it’s very natural for me to be on the turntables. I think of it as my stage, so when the music comes on its “show time” baby! My first gig was at an artist showcase on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, which is always a pleasant environment to “test” things out. Today, when I look at the photos from that event, I can’t help but laugh at the serious looks of concentration on my face.
For aspiring DJs, would you say it’s a learned skill or are you just learning as you go? Is it more about knowing and loving music or studying the technique of mixing, or both?
Great question! I would say it’s a little bit of both. You have to be disciplined just like with any other craft. Surely, just as you would learn how to dance and sing, you need to learn the skills to become a talented DJ. Which means, in order to achieve any measurable amount of success in this industry, you have to do your research, and practice and practice some more. This is an ever-evolving industry, so it’s important to stay current with the movement. But, at the end of day it’s a passion that simply comes from within. You must have an excitement for style, a skilled technique, an ear for music, and a desire to please the crowd.
Can ANYONE become a DJ?
I definitely believe you can learn anything and do everything! Although, that doesn’t mean you’ll be great at it. In order to be successful in this industry you have to have a distinct ear for music and be able to connect with your audience. The technical skill is half the battle. I despise DJs that scratch over the entire song unless it’s a battle.
Where do you play most? And what was your favorite gig?
I play mostly in New York City, and I travel yearly to the Caribbean. My favorite gig is where I have a crowd that is eager to hear all types of music. I do not have a favorite gig because they are like my children – “you can’t pick a favorite!” However, playing for Martha Stewart in Grand Central was pretty freakin’ awesome!
Top 5 tracks on your heavy rotation list?
Paper Thin – MC Lyte
Don’t wake me up -Lliane la Havas (for a slower soul vibe)
Rihanna – Pour it Up trap version by RL Grime.
Bauer anything, however, I’m still getting acclimated to the Harlem Shake.
Azealia Banks -212
Kendrick Lamar – Backseat Freestyle
If you could be anything; human (dead or alive) or animal or… other; what would you be?
I love to fly so I would be a bird. The most fascinating birds seem to not fly so I would be a rare species of a flying flamingo! With Neon pink feathers. Ha! That bird would scare the hell out of you!
Where can we catch you next?
I host an online Radio Show called Sip & Scratch on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month at 8pm, check me out at: www.damatrixstudios.com. It’s good music, great drink ideas and hot topics! I have no filter. Besides the Radio Show, I’m pretty much all over NYC, because I try not to get too comfortable with any particular venue, crowd or music genre. I like to float around and build relationships with all those I connect with. Which seems to work best for me, and it’s has been a huge blessing to DJ for such wonderful clients at these amazing events.
For more information on DJ C.Devone go to www.cdevone.com