Agent 21 Spotlight: Put My Record On – Part 3

27 Apr

The record continues to spin for part three of my series.  If you missed Monday’s or yesterday’s blog don’t worry here are the link, Put My Record On – Part 1, Put My Record On – Part 2.

Today’s lineup: Lil Jon, Rick Rude, DJ 88, DJ Que, DJ Melo-D, Jeffrey Thomas, DJ Shift, Eric Forbes

Lil Jon
Surrender Nightclub and Blush Boutique Nightclub
www.facebook.com/LilJon
twitter.com/liljon
www.universalrepublic.com/community/artist/default.aspx?mid=329434
www.myspace.com/liljonworld
www.liljononline.com/
 
A21: The name your parents gave you?
LJ: Jonathan Smith

A21: Hometown:
LJ: Atlanta, GA

A21: How did you choose your DJ name?
LJ: Everybody just called me Lil’ Jon, that was my nickname, and so it just seemed right to use it has my DJ name. It was an easy transition.

A21: You are a producer, artist, rapper, deejay, and overall music superstar, what got you started with music? Has it always been your passion?
LJ: Yeah, it’s always been my passion. I started off as a DJ before I was a producer and DJing actually got me into producing. I used to put dancehall acapella and put them over hip hop beats and hip hop acapella over dancehall beats. That got me a remix for reggae artist, Capleton, and we ended up at the time, my partner I was producing with, Paul Lewis, had a crew that we called ourselves the next “Dynamic Duo.” So we did this remix and called it the “Dynamic Duo Remix” for Capleton’s tour and the record went number one in New York City, Jamaica, and all these places. It launched my career as a producer.

A21: Who were your influences?
LJ: Earth, Wind and Fire, Marvin Gaye to Bob Marley to 2 Live Crew, Big Daddy Kane, I grew up on everything. In the 80’s, radio was like really, really big so you might hear The Police, all kinds of different of music. Then in the 90’s and 80’s too I was a punk rock kid. I grew up with Ramones, Dead Kennedys and I was skating at the time. I got a real vast musical mind for what I like. Now I’m just listening to everything from like Swedish House Mafia to Rick Ross.

A21: So your sound is like hip hop right? Is that how you would describe your sound or would you say it’s more?
LJ: For me I can’t be put in a box because if you look at records I did in the past ten years you got Yeah!, “The Anthem” with Pitbull, “Shots”! with LMFAO, then you got I Don’t Give a Fuck, Outta Your Mind, there’s so many different musical things I’ve done. I’ve been produced and been on so many different types of record that I feel like I get under anything. I just did this remix with Chuckie so I can’t be put in a box. I’m the guy that can hype up anything.

A21: Who would like to work with that haven’t yet already?
LJ: I was talking to Calvin Harris about doing some stuff and Axwell from Swedish House Mafia. I would love to do something with Dr. Dre, Rhianna, Eminem. I kind of did something with him because I did a D-12 mix. Also with Jay-Z, I kind of did something with a remix of one of his greatest hits, but I would like to work with him. I’ve met Tiesto a bunch of times. I would love to do something with him. Afrojack and I have been talking for about year, but we need to schedule studio time. That would be crazy.

A21: Do you remember what your first gig was?
LJ: Of course not, probably in my basement. That’s how I started my craft. I would have house parties in my basement. We had a big house. I had my turntables set up and in front was a nice area where people could dance.

A21: There are rumors that you attended Harvard college or Ohio, so what’s the truth?
LJ: You know you can change anything on Wikipeda. No, I didn’t go to Ohio State. No, I didn’t go to Harvard. Thankfully, my mom was in the Army so I was allowed to go to the Army base and take college classes. I went to Georgia Military College for a couple of semesters. After that I took off and worked for Jermaine. My plan was to take my general classes and attend Georgia State, but I ended up working with Jermaine Dupri’s record label.

A21: What if you weren’t “Lil Jon,” what would you be doing?
LJ: I would be in psychology. In high school I was always the girls’ best friend. They would come and tell me their problems, and I would talk to them about their problems. It’s ironic too because my brother’s a doctor in general medicine and my mom is a nurse. She works as an operating role supervisor. My family is in the medical profession so that’s probably where I would be.


A21: You’re staying strong on Celebrity Apprentice Season 4 and stated “you have to think outside the box and set no boundaries.” Do feel the same about your music?
LJ: Yeah, I use everything I learned in my career in the show. As an artist you got to market and promote yourself. When you own a record company you got to come up with your own marketing ideas and marketing plans.

At least that’s how I am in my career. Anything I can get my hands on. I’m part of every aspect from ideas to radio promotions. That’s what I do, when I’m shooting video, I’m right there with the director making sure the shoot is going right or co-directing.

A21: You also did an art project on the show and mentioned you would like to get into art. Have you started that yet?
LJ: You know I haven’t really had the time. When the show wrapped I went to Europe for two weeks. My schedule has been like nonstop packed, but when I get some downtime I’m definitely going to get some art supplies and start painting. My son likes to paint so that could be something my son, my wife, and me could get together and paint.

A21: Favorite spot to spin at?
LJ: Vegas, you know I do Surrender once a month. In Miami, I do LIV, I do Mansion. Those are my favorite cities to rock in because those people are always ready to get crazy. I did Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and they went nuts. South of France, Cannes, crazy… I love them.

A21: Favorite spot to party at in Las Vegas?
LJ: I’m always at Surrender, that’s my spot and Blush. Blush is chill, low key, upscale, intimate and then you go to Surrender for the craziness.

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
LJ: My son being one of the hottest DJs, and I’m just laid back and producing television shows. That’s the next thing I’m ready to get in to, producing television. Behind the scenes and doing voices for animation and cartoons.

A21: Is it hard being father and husband with your busy schedule? Does your son want to get into music as well?
LJ: I’ve been doing this for a long, long time so they are used to it. When I come home we just try to spend as much time as we can together. My son is a DJ now. I didn’t push him that way. He just wanted to do it on his own. He’s really deep into it. He graduated from Scratch DJ Academy last year and he’s only 12 years old. He’s already getting parties so he has a future in music.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
LJ: Research other DJs. Go to the clubs and listen to other DJs, good ones. Know your history and remember you are playing for the crowd and not yourself.

You can buy Lil Jon’s tracks on iTunes or Amazon.com and hear his tracks on his myspace.

Rick Rude
Tryst and Surrender Nightclub, Blush Boutique Nightclub
djrickrude.com
twitter.com/rick_rude_
www.facebook.com/djrickrude
SkamArtist.com/RickRude

A21: The name your parents gave you?
RR: Richard James… yes, like Rick James

A21: Hometown:
RR: Boston, MA

A21: How did you choose your DJ name?
RR: I used to play at reggae parties in my teenage years and one night the MC called me “Rick Rude” while I was playing the Martial Arts Riddim, and it stuck.

A21: Who are your influences?
RR: Anyone who is successful by doing what they love to do.

A21: How long have you been spinning?
RR: 10 years

A21: If you weren’t a DJ, what you would be doing?
RR: I’d have a job in the restaurant business, I saved money to buy turntables by working at a restaurant when I was younger.

A21: Favorite spot to spin at?
RR: Trousdale in LA and Surrender in Las Vegas.

A21: Favorite spot to party at in Las Vegas?
RR: Surrender, Blush, Tryst or XS then that place named after an animal with amazing chicken fingers.

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
RR: I want to have produced my own original music by then and be able to play it out.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
RR: Stay humble and true to what music you love to play.

A21: Where can fans download or buy your music?
RR: djrickrude.com

DJ 88
Marquee Nightclub
www.facebook.com/IamDJ88
twitter.com/dj88
www.iamdj88.com/

A21: The name your parents gave you?
88: Bree Mikal (pronounced Michael) DeLano

A21: Hometown:
88: The “Valley”, in CA, I still have my 818 area code.

A21: How did you choose your DJ name?
88: I wish I had a fascinating story about it, but my favorite/lucky number is 8. DJ8 isn’t that catchy so I doubled it.

A21: Describe your sound.
88: Funky, soulful, ahead of the curve, timeless

A21: Who are your influences?
88: As a woman, my mother and my step-mother they’re incredibly resilient. As a DJ, DJ Jazzy Jeff, he’s incredible to watch, creative, and has resurrected himself brilliantly.

A21: Who would like to work with?
88: People who love good music and visionaries who get it!

A21: How long have you been spinning?
88: 7 years

A21: What was your first gig?
88: The Motorcycle Diaries premiere after-party in Los Angeles, nerve racking but amazing night.

A21: If you weren’t a DJ, what you would be doing?
88: Soundtrack supervision, painting, and opening a rescue sanctuary for Pitbulls.

A21: Favorite spot to party at in Las Vegas?
88: Anywhere where people go to hear dope music and dance their asses off.

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
88: Standing somewhere with a huge smile on my face.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
88: Pay attention, watch other DJs you love but don’t rip them off. Nurture your own individuality and figure out what is missing in your market. Do it for the right reason, which should be for the love of music, and practice.

A21: Where can fans download or buy your music?
88: www.iamdj88.com

DJ Que
JET Nightclub, Liquid and Bare Pool
www.facebook.com/DarQUEFader
twitter.com/djque
dj-que.com

A21: The name your parents gave you?
Q: My Name is Quincy D Giles.

A21: Hometown:
Q: Well, I was born in this crazy town we call Sin City aka Vegas baby… Vegas.

A21: How did you choose your DJ name?
Q: I got my DJ name from my nickname everybody already called me. I wanted something crazy or different that’s why I have the alias, Darquefader. However, I stuck with Que since it’s what people called me.

A21: Describe your sound.
Q: I like to say I play music that makes people want to dance and laugh. I have a weird since of humor. So it’s not strange if you hear a song being played that’ll either make you laugh or at least smile and look at the DJ booth like “you’re crazy.” So my sound is whatever’s hot right now, club style.

A21: Who are your influences?
Q: What made me want to become a DJ was my uncle. When I was younger, he had a pair of tables and wouldn’t let me play. He said I had to wait until I get older and he’d let me. He stopped DJing before I came of age, so when I could, I brought a pair of tables and a mixer. Iset up shop in my parents’ garage playing every day and battling what I heard from the DJ we had on the radio at the time. I wanted to be a radio DJ, It seemed so cool.

My influences are DJ Vice, he taught me to be humble no matter what. Dj RiskOne teaches me drive and that it’s a lot of hard work to stay on top. Love those guys.

A21: Who would you like to work with?
Q: I would love to work with Skrillex, Deadmau5, RiskOne, Vice, the list goes on and on.

A21: How long have you been spinning?
Q: About 8 or 9 years now

A21: What was your first gig?
Q: My first gig was in this little whole in the wall bar. They used to spin drum and bass and I’d go on for about a half hour and play “top 40.” They started to call me “TP 40” because of it (LOL).

A21: If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be doing?
Q: I’d probably be working in lighting. I was lighting technician for Martin Professional and Cinelease.

A21: Favorite spot to spin?
Q: I love spinning at the pools. It’s so refreshing not having cigarette smoke in your face and people are happier when they’re at a pool party.

A21: Favorite place to party at in Las Vegas?
Q: The pools, love it.

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Q: Hopefully I won’t be spinning, and I’ll have a business that has to do with the nightlife, DJs, marketing etc.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
Q: All I can say is for people who want to become a DJ, practice and market the hell out of yourself. You are the product. If you were a club owner, would you hire yourself?

A21: Where can fans go to download or buy your music?
Q: If you’d like to download any of my mixes, hit me at DJ-QUE.com or join my fan page at Facebook.com/ItsDJQUE. I have downloads on there all the time.

DJ Melo – D
Rain and MOON Nightclub, Ghostbar
www.mixcrate.com/UnrivaledDJMeloD
twitter.com/djmelod
www.facebook.com/pages/Unrivaled-DJs/127635937298146

A21: The name your parents gave you?
MD: David Mendoza

A21: Hometown:
MD: Los Angeles, CA

A21: How did you choose your DJ name?
MD: There I was, eating a bowl of Lucky Charms, thinking of a way to creatively fuse a DJ name with an element of music (“harmony, tempo, key, melody..) oh! my first name starts with a D!” so I came up with “Melo D” – a play on melody, as it applies to music.

“Yes. Melo D. I like that.”

*finishes cereal*

A21: Describe your sound.
MD: Better than theirs.

A21: Who are your influences?
MD: I was inspired by Tony G & the KDAY Mixmasters, DJ Aladdin (Low Profile) Jazzy Jeff, Joe Cooley, Cash Money, DJ Miz, Richie Rich (3rd Bass), DJ Curse, DJ White Knight, DJ Scratch (EPMD), Q Bert, Mixmaster Mike, & the X-Men crew, now known as the X-Ecutioners.

A21: Who would you like to work with?
MD: So many talented deejays and artists out there, I could go on and on. Off the top of the dome, I really like Sidney Samson’s production. It’d be great to collaborate with him on a project at some point in the future. Also, I’m a fan of La Roux, I really dig her sound, and I’d love to work with her as well.

A21: How long have you been spinning?
MD: Since 1988

A21: What was your first gig?
MD: My first gig was a big dance at my high school. I made my DJ debut in front of all my friends and the entire student body, I was so nervous!

A21: If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be doing?
MD: Psssh, that’s easy, working at the Lucky Charms factory.

A21: Favorite spot to spin?
MD: I’ve been fortunate to have some really next level DJ residencies over the course of my career, and each one of them has been incredible. I guess that means I don’t really have a favorite per say, because they’re all equally amazing for different reasons. Body English, Jet, Sutra, The Palms, and Fluxx would be a few of my favorites just to name a few.

A21: Favorite spot to party at in Las Vegas?
MD: All of them! Vegas is hands down the mecca for nightlife in the country.

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
MD: 5 years from now? More involved with production on a major level. However, I’ll still be DJing, selectively, as there is no substitute for a live crowd.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
MD: Mind your parents.

A21: Where can fans go to download or buy your music?
MD: www.unrivaleddjs.com or www.mixcrate.com/UnrivaledDJMeloD

DJ Jeffrey Thomas
Vibe 94.5, Blue Martini, Eve Nightclub 
twitter.com/DJJeffreyThomas
Facebook
www.djjeffreythomas.com

A21: The name your parents gave you?
JT: Jeffrey T. Basamanowicz

A21: Hometown:
JT: Denver, Colorado

A21: How did you choose your DJ name?
JT: It is my first and middle name

A21: Describe your sound.
JT: Dance, House, Electro

A21: Who were your influences?
JT: (In no order) Bad Boy Bill, Richard Vision, Ty Tek, Justin Ryan, Bobby D, Judge Jules

A21: Who would you like to work with?
JT: Anyone. I am open for whatever, but if I had the chance, (in no order) Inna, Nadia Ali, The Shapeshifters, The Freemasons, and Sunloverz.

A21: How long have you been spinning?
JT: Since i was 15. I started in my parent’s basement but professionally since I was 18 so 10 years.

A21: What was your first gig?
JT: Tracks 2000 Denver, Colorado

A21: If you weren’t a DJ, what you would be doing?
JT: EMS (Emergency Medical Services) in a 911 system on an ambulance. That’s what I used to do, I am a certified EMT.

A21: Favorite spot to spin at?
JT: An old school warehouse nightclub full of smoke and strobe lights. (haha)

A21: Favorite spot to party at in Las Vegas?
JT: My house (haha) I don’t go out a whole lot anymore unless I am working. I try and spend the rest of my time in the studio and/or with family and friends.

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
JT: Touring nightclubs all over the world and producing some great music because of the success of M.E.R.C., www.merclv.com.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
JT: Wow, where do I begin? Technology is great but don’t rely on it, your ears will never fail you so don’t stare at the waveform lines on Serato.

A21: Where can fans download or buy your music?
JT: www.soundcloud.com/merclv, djjeffreythomas.com, www.youtube.com/djjeffreythomas, www.facebook.com/djjeffreythomas

DJ Shift
Wet Republic, Rehab, and Pure Nightclub
twitter.com/djshiftlv
www.djshift.com/
www.facebook.com/DJSHIFTLV

A21: The name your parents gave you?
S: Justin Michael Bueltel

A21: Hometown:
S: Merced, California but Vegas has been my home for the past 20 years.

A21: How did you choose your DJ name?
S: Before DJing I used to race Motocross, so Shift went along with that. Shift also means change, at the time it was a change in my life and I was also a change in the music community.

A21: Describe your sound.
S: My sound is like “a combination of Fergie & Jesus” (Step Brothers haha). But really I would have to say, “I play as intense as my crowd will let me.” If they are on board, who knows where I will take us.

A21: Who are your influences?
S: Man, there are so many. To keep it short and generic I would have to say anyone making their own moves, people on the grind. Also my parents taught me so much and my little brother DJ Stretch, his genuine passion to learn pushes me to do, be better every day.

A21: Who would you like to work with?
S: I have worked with so many of the top DJs and artists out there, Tiesto, Paul van Dyk, Lady Gaga, Snoop, the list goes on. Vegas has afforded me with so many opportunities, but I would love to work with David Guetta, I love his direction. I’m not a fan of the celebrity DJs, but if Angelina Jolie wants to learn I suppose I could free up my schedule.

A21: How long have you been spinning?
S: Seven years, I have averaged 325-350 gigs a year. I’m a bit of a workaholic.

A21: What was your first gig?
S: I started DJing in the very late hours at the Emergency Room Bar back in the day. My first paid gig was the “Backyards to Big Time” party for Wireless Venture Partners (private event) and my first club gig was V-bar inside the Venetian.

A21: If you weren’t a DJ, what you would be doing?
S: I’d be Charlie Sheen’s life coach, and in my free time I’d be a fortune cookie author.

A21: Favorite spot to spin at?
S: Rehab, Pure, Wet Republic in Vegas and Vessel in San Francisco.

A21: Favorite spot to party at in Las Vegas?
S: My house or downtown. I love all the bars in old downtown, Griffin, Beauty Bar and Downtown Lounge.

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
S: I want to keep Djing as long as possible. But i would see myself moving towards a Music Director spot here in Vegas and expanding my Artist Management Company, www.thesoundsyndicate.com.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
S: When I first started DJing, DJ Hollywood told me “dont play for yourself.” I wish more DJs would understand that. Always play for your crowd, don’t play what you want to hear. You can push them, but make sure you please them.

A21: Where can fans download or buy your music?
S: www.thesoundsyndicate.com

Eric Forbes
The Bank Nightclub, Liquid and Bare Pool
www.facebook.com/djericforbes
twitter.com/djericforbes
www.myspace.com/djericforbes

A21: The name your parents gave you?
EF: Eric Forbes

A21: Hometown:
EF: San Francisco, CA

A21: How did you choose your DJ name?
EF: I couldn’t think of any other name (haha)! People told me I had a cool last name so I figured I would just use my name.

A21: Describe your sound.
EF: My sound is a smooth fluid like flow that is explosive, fast pace and high energy that can command the dance floor.

A21: Who are your influences?
EF: Early influences were DJ Dan, DJ Ghost, DJ Frank Nitty & DJ Icey. These were DJs I used to watch rock huge crowds in underground raves back on the day in San Francisco when I was just 18. It made me love house and breakbeats and pushed me to pursue my passion for music.

A21: Who would you like to work with?
EF: I would love to work with Kaskade. I have always been a fan of his music. His tracks have soul, depth and emotion and appeal to a huge genre of people.

A21: How long have you been spinning?
EF: I have been DJing for 16 years.

A21: What was your first gig?
EF: My first party was in a friend’s of mines house party. There was like 30 people there and I was so nervous. I could barely put the needle on the record (LOL).

A21: If you weren’t a DJ, what you would be doing?
EF: If I wasn’t a DJ I would probably be doing the same thing I did before DJing and that was swinging a hammer for 8 hours a day as a journeyman carpenter.

A21: Favorite spot to spin at?
EF: My favorite spot to DJ at was Aura inside Atlantis hotel in the Bahamas. I had a residency out there every 6 weeks and they used to pay for me to stay 3 days and DJ one night. It was like a paid tropical vacation every few weeks. Except I usually spent what I made working out there.

A21: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
EF: In 5 years I would like to still be involved in nightclubs, music and DJing, but from maybe a music director standpoint somewhere.

A21: Any advice for aspiring DJs?
EF: My advice for aspiring DJs is practice as much as you can at your house but go to clubs and listen to your favorite DJs rock the crowd. Mixing two records is one thing but programing and commanding a huge nightclub and dancefloor for six hours is where real talent shines.

A21: Where can fans download or buy your music?
EF: You can see all my upcoming events, photos, download free music and connect with my social media and on my website, djericforbes.com.

Please join DJ Karma and myself at The Bank Nightclub this Friday, April 29.  Open bar for all ladies, 10:30-Midnight, and free entry for those who RSVP at SpyOnVegas.com.

Part 4 of my spotlight blog will be posted tomorrow.  Thursday’s Lineup: Pauly D, Dave Fogg, Soxxi, Spryte, Greg Lopez, Scotty Boy, Mikey Swift, Casanova, Irie

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