The Toronto Raptors have been by your side now for quite some time; how does one go about being supported by the only Canadian team in the NBA? How has this partnership impacted your career?
Indeed. I’m about to start my 11th season with the team! That’s crazy to me! Of the 30 teams in the league I believe 11 or 12 teams have official DJs. I don’t know everyone’s story, but for me the opportunity came up when an exec from the Raptors saw me, and my partner at the time, performing at an event and asked if we’d be interested in working with the team. It was a no brainer of course, and the impact on my career has been huge! It’s opened up a lot of doors worldwide.
Touring is a difficult aspect for any musician, how do you find yourself compromising with the difficult aspects such as time change, late night transpiration, hotels ect…?
Honestly, it used to be really REALY tough when I first started touring. Jet lag is a killer!! But then I discovered the beauty in importance of NAPS! U know how we all used to hate being told to take a nap as kids? I take it alllll back! Naps are life, especially if you can do it well on planes. Between that, eating right & staying in decent physical shape, I’m able to tour the way I do without dying three times a week.
Hip-Hop influenced music seams to be your dominant style of choice, how did this come about?
I grew up on Hip Hop! Okay well not exactly….My Dad was always a huge music guy. He even played lead guitar in a band in his younger years, so music was a part of my upbringing. He had a massive record collection and that I used to dig through as a kid. When I got old enough to start choosing & buying my own music was when I discovered Hip Hop. It was MY music, not my Dad’s music. Nobody taught it to me, I discovered it on my own. That has never left me.
Let’s go back to your early music routes, do you see that sound as an influence for the current style you are pursuing now?
Well when I first started DJing, I only played Hip Hop. Then I expanded as the years went on. But still. everything I do has roots in Hip Hop, including the way that I DJ. No matter what genre I might be playing at any time during a set, I play it the way that I play Hip Hop. Aggressively, with cuts and scratches and fast paced mixes. I think it’s what has helped set me apart from a lot of my peers. Same goes for the music I make. There’s always some very obvious Hip Hop influence in everything that I do musically.
At what point did you notice support from other local and or international artists? Which other producers and djs are influential for your career development?
For me it started very locally. I discovered and fell in love with DJing from watching the local big names doing it here in Toronto nightclubs. From there I found out about guys like Jazzy Jeff, A-Trak etc and immediately I saw the big picture. I’d say I really started to realize that I was onto something when I started getting artists and DJs from across Canada and overseas showing interest in me. They reached out wanting to send me music, wanting to arrange for me to DJ in their cities with them etc. My first “break” as a producer came 2 years ago when I released my record “WORK”, a collaboration with TWRK out of New York. It instantly flew and I started getting tons of emails and getting tagged in videos of the track being played by huge names like Skrillex, DJ Snake, Just Blaze etc. That’s when I knew for sure that making music would be my next step.
As far as influences, I’m inspired by artists that make great songs and push the envelope. As an example, I really enjoyed the JACK U album that Skrillex and Diplo put out. It was genre bending, weird sounding, non sensical madness, but it feels good. Music is supposed to make you feel, right? As for influences, I feel like I’m less influenced by specific artists and more by the different scenes and sounds that I discover from travelling and playing clubs around the world. French electro, UK Grime, Portugese / Brazillian funk, etc. Influences from these and more pop up in my music and in my sets.
What can you tell us about the future; what direction you see your sound going, and where you see the music industry developing too?
I’m really excited about the future! I’ve become known mostly for my Bass / Trap style music, but the stuff I’m working on now is a bit different. It’s not a complete departure from what I’ve down in the past and it’s still very Hip Hop, but it’s different. I’m not gonna get specific, you’ll just have to wait and hear it and it comes out. Just know that I’m super stoked! 2016 is gonna be a ride!