03 Jun Tell The DJ Turn Me UP
DJ Whizlam is a professional DJ that has been in the game for over 23 years now. When speaking to him you can tell that he takes his craft very serious and he knows what he is talking about. DJ Whizlam grew up listening to different genres of music which has helped mold him into the man and the DJ that he is now. I thoroughly enjoyed my interview with him and I hope you all will as well.
Fierce: Who is DJ Whizlam as a man and an artist?
Whizlam: I think really in a nutshell I am an individual that loves people and I am one of those people that are in tuned with knowledge of self and that we were here first and we were Queens and Kings and we still are even though we participate in ratchet behavior at time. I love who I am and I have always looked at black women as a Queen. As far as an artist I am one of a dying breed coming from the old school like Dj Jazzy Jeff and I was studying all of these guys and seeing what they were doing not knowing what a DJ was at the time. I do believe that music is a universal language and any one can appreciate it.
Fierce: What was your childhood like growing up in Denver Colorado?
Whizlam: I think that my childhood to me was the best that any kid could have had back then being a 70’s baby. There were a lot of adversities that our parents were going through at the time and growing up in a middle class neighborhood it was the best. Growing up in a multi-cultural neighborhood and it was reflected at home. You could go from hearing Kiss to N.W.A. And from that point on I knew I wanted to be in music being a fan and a lover and I wanted to be a part of that world seeing people smiling and having a good time and I wanted to be a part of that. I didn’t know what that world was but I knew I wanted to be a part of that.
Fierce: Explain the moment when you knew that being a DJ was your calling?
Whizlam: That would be easy when I saw Leader of the Pack with UTFO for the first time and I saw Mix Master Ice with the ninja suit on and he was doing something that started off as normal and I didn’t know how he was making the records sound like that but I wanted to do it so I went to my bedroom and tried to make the records sound like that so that is what did it for me.
Fierce: Who were some of your biggest influences growing up musically?
Whizlam: The biggest influences started off with Kiss as far as the imagery and the music as far as hip hop UTFO, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, Run DMC, N.W.A., all those cats back to the mid and late 80’s and Grandmaster Flash and when the 90’s came around it was Busta Rhymes but really that golden area of Hip Hop like LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys.
Fierce: Explain the importance of a DJ to music?
Whizlam: Well the DJ is really the foundation of Hip Hop, without the DJ there would be nothing. You have the 4 elements the MC, the graffiti artist, the break dancer and lastly you have the DJ. The original MC’s were the DJ’s back in the day and back in the day the MC would get on stage and would ask the DJ if he could say anything and he would start spitting and the DJ’s are really the ones that gave the baton to the rappers. They would give them the microphone to say what they have to say and the DJ is really important to the music industry and a lot of guys do no the know the history of the DJ it is way too important the role the DJ plays.
Fierce: Change is always happening in life and of course you have to adapt to them, how do you feel about the evolution of the DJ from carrying the crates to now the music is on a laptop? Do you feel that technique is still as important today as it was when Dj’ing first started out?
Whizlam: Oh yeah definitely I think that the technique and the technology has been like a blessing and a curse. Back in the day I didn’t know you can get paid for DJ’ing I was just doing it for the love of it and I didn’t know how much work it was to carry the crates up and the down the stairs and now you can have a laptop and you don’t have to carry all that equipment around but I am thankful for coming from that time of carrying the crates. Honestly I have the most music now on my laptop then what I did back in the day when you would have to press up the vinyl and send to the pressing plant and wait for it to be mailed to you but it has been a good and a bad thing. A lot of people think that you can just plug in a laptop and be a DJ but it is not that easy, the style of DJ’ing is very important. Letting music play and manipulating music is 2 different things and that differentiates from being a DJ and an occasional music lover.
Fierce: Explain a DJ Whizlam event. How do you get the crowd going and keep them going with you throughout the night?
Whizlam: Well really I am the kind of DJ that feeds off of the crowd. I have always gone off the aspect if you get one sexy female on the dance floor than you gone get 3 or 4 out there than the dudes are going to get on the dance floor then next thing you know you have 200 people on the floor. Getting them on the floor is easy but keeping them is the challenge. You can throw a song on and they are not feeling it and start to leave the floor then you have to bring them back and keep them. I’m like if you can get one sexy female on the floor than you got them. I try to make every event that I do to get that one woman on the dance floor then it will spread like wild fire.
Fierce: What would you tell someone that is wanting to become a DJ?
Whizlam: The biggest thing that I would say is definitely know your history as to where Hip Hop started, that it didn’t start with a laptop. Read up on people such as Grandmaster Flash and really know the history as to where we came from. A DJ is a music historian that goes behind the turn table and knows about the people behind the music that were into the rock records like Run DMC. They were rapping over rock records so you will need to know your history. There is a long line of phenomenal people that started DJ’ing and for people that are wanting to be a real musician, you have to know where it all started. It’s like someone wanting to be a scholar, you have to read up on literature so wanting to be a DJ you have to know about tempo and beat per minute. If you front like you know this you will get your card pulled. If you want to be a DJ you have to know exactly what you are getting into. If you are doing it for a quick hustle then you are doing it for the wrong reasons.
Fierce: Do you have any upcoming projects in the works?
Whizlam: Yeah I do there are 2 mixtapes projects in the works with Curves and Cakes magazines and with a lady affiliated with Hype Magazine and she is putting together a Bay Area mixtape with some new school cats as well and I have Phenomenal Radio where I send mixes to as well. God has been really good to me to let me do what I do.
Fierce: Is there anything that you would like to say to your fans and or supporters?
Whizlam: Why I would just like to tell anyone that has rolled with me since day one I am doing this for y’all. I do this for me as well but I do this for y’all and this year will be 23 years I have been DJ’ing professional and anyone that has stayed the whole time I am doing this for y’all and I hope that they appreciate things to come.
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Mixtape Link: Various Artists – Fleet Twerk Nation Hosted by K. Michelle , DJ Whizlam http://t.co/5V5ME0d2Mf via @DatPiff @kmichelle @ fleetdjs