29 Sep In The Mix With DJ Swagg
I have enjoyed everyone that I have interviewed for my site but of course there are always those that stand out and DJ Swagg is one of them. We had a blast talking on the phone and I thank him for taking the time out of his busy schedule to let me enter into his world for a little while. I hope you all enjoy my interview as much as I enjoyed conducting the interview. You are now in the mix with DJ Swagg. -Mz.Fierce
Fierce: Introduce yourself to the world and let the people know who you are.
Swagg: I am DJ Swagg originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida but I now live here in Jacksonville, Florida. The name speaks for itself, a lot of people think that I was on the “swag” train but I have been “swagg” since 2001. I am he and he is I.
Fierce: How did you get your start in music and what attracted you to being a DJ?
Swagg: Basically long story short we started a group Peep Game Productions and we were having a hard time getting our music played in the club. As a kid I use to dabble in it but nothing big so I and my little brother went to club and the owner allowed to throw parties and DJ in the club. At first I would not let anyone call me “DJ Swagg”. They would just say “wzup swag” and it started to get people to play our music in the club. It started to blow up and we started focusing on getting this particular artist in the city. They needed a DJ and I was like hey I would do it and now 2Fresh Entertainment is still making money.
Fierce: How have you adjusted to the changes that has come with being a DJ from the crates to everything being digital?
Swagg: You have got to move with technology or you will get left behind. I started when I was younger so I can work vinyl but I do have a Mac. I would be a fool to walk in with a crate when I have over 2,000 songs at my fingerprints with my Mac. I love to use my vinyl when I am practicing at home. I made a comment the other day on Instagram “Just because you have equipment doesn’t make you a DJ.”
Fierce: What is your thoughts on the state of being a DJ right now? Some people feel that some are using the term loosely and not staying true to the roots of being a DJ.
Swagg: I have a problem with the press play DJ’s and the people that place DJ in front of their name and they just grab a mic and basically host the show. You’re a MC, you’re not playing the music. I think being a DJ is the easier way to get into the entertainment world and if you work it right you can make some money off of it. Being a DJ is not hard because they are making it so easy computer wise so if you know the hottest songs in the club then you can end up rocking the club. The people in the club are not watching what you work but the other DJ’s will never respect you.
Fierce: When you are getting a mix together what is the process for DJ Swagg as far as selecting the right songs and mixing them well together?
Swagg: Its 2 different things, if I am doing a mix for the radio it has to make sense, it has to flow and it is premeditated. When I am at the club I am reading the people in the club. It is not premeditated. All the stuff I do in the club is right there on the spot. At the moment I DJ 6 days a week and Jacksonville is not that big so you don’t want the people to say you do the same every time. Now if I am doing the radio I think about it and I put it in the list. I don’t smoke I don’t drink so getting the crowd crunk is my drug. I interact with the club.
Fierce: The DJ of course keeps the party going and sets the mood, have you ever had a moment that you felt like you lost the crowd or are you just that good?
Swagg: Oh yeah definitely. We set the mood. But if you tell me to come do your party it is your job to promote your party and get people to your party. If you have a building that supports 1000 but you only get 100 people…… it’s something about black people if the club is not thick the vibe will not get there. You may have some girls or dudes going hard but you will never get the whole crowd but if you get me in front of 1,000 people in a building that holds 1000 people you will get the crowd going but I think every DJ goes through that.
Fierce: Have you ever been nervous about breaking records in the club (major or indie) thinking that maybe the crowd would not like it?
Swagg: It’s a fine line between breaking records. It’s levels to this sh*t. You really gotta know when and how. I’m known in Jacksonville but I don’t get the respect I feel I deserve because I am not from here and I feel that I have a point to prove. I don’t have time to break people records and after midnight we are going in. I can only speak for Jacksonville and its very fickle here. There is a dude called K Camp and he has a song called “Money Baby” and In Atlanta it is hot but in Jacksonville it was crickets. I can’t say I am a record breaker but me being a DJ I have to go in every time I am in the club. I let them know I am working.
Fierce: What does being a DJ mean to you?
Swagg: First and foremost I love music. I don’t have to watch TV, I can just listen to music all day. I love music. Yes I am black and I was raised on hip hop but I listen to all music. To just watch the reaction of the crowd, I feel like I am a director in the club. When we dropped songs like “Swag Surfin” I am the leader of the crowd. If I do this they gone do this, if I drop this they gone do this. It’s unexplainable and I get paid to do it and when I got my first check as a DJ it was for $150.00 and I was working at Wal-Greens at the time and it was easy money. I love music and the only thing I am not is a people person. I am like the dude in the corner but when I get on stage I am a whole different person. Chris and Swagg are 2 different people and it is the world to me to be able to feed my kids by doing something I love.
Fierce: If you could never make another dime being a DJ would you continue to do it and why?
Swagg: Yeah. It’s something that I will be doing forever. My son going to be looking at me crazy. I get on my turntables at home practicing, you can never stop learning. When I am 50 I am still going to be Swagg and this job keeps you young. There is a DJ here that is well known in the industry, Bigga Rankin, that’s the big homie. He old as sh*t but that’s my dude. I work for his family at one of the clubs in Jacksonville and when I look at him he doesn’t even look his age because of this job.
Fierce: In one word describe the feeling that you get looking across the crowd and seeing the people enjoy their selves all because of what you are doing in the booth and why?
Swagg: High like I popped a molly. I don’t drink or smoke but whatever feeling they get from popping mollies or drinking that is the feeling that I get. I DJ till I sweat, it’s crazy. I go home and I dream about it and I think that I am still in the club rocking the party. It is an adrenaline rush. I am nervous till I drop that first song and when I see them rock with me I’m like got em.
Fierce: Being a DJ is it hard to be in a relationship?
Swagg: Oh yeah we are celebrities. You can look at it how you want to look at it but we are in the club, we have control over the club. The girl has to be very understanding and understand the business. We flirt to gain fans. Some take it to the extent and flirt and have sex but we are celebrities. Certain type of women flock to that. I am single right now. I live in the club. Nobody can deal with what I have
Fierce: Anything that you would like to say to your fans and or supporters?
Swagg: Thank you a whole lot. I really appreciate the support and stick with me. We will get there. I won’t stop till I get there.
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