Dj Mic One Interview
Djforums and Myself (Random Beat) would like to thank Mic One for taking the time out of his busy schedule and doing this interview and a special guest spot on faderwave.
Dj Mic One began playing in late 1999 working his way up through the South East party and club scene. He became a well known fixture in most of the weekly and monthly events in his home town Knoxville Tennessee. He has opened for the likes of Keoki, George Acosta, Gray Area, Deepsky, and many others. As of late he is a resident dj at the ever growing Fairbanks after hours night every Saturday,and the recently renovated Electric Ballroom on Tuesday nights. Along with the club gigs he frequently works on new production, and co-hosts a weekly radio show on 90.3 FM wutk radio.
1. At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a club dj?
Mic One: It started when I was about 17 years old. After playing with various bands and realizing it wasn't working for me I bought a set of turntables. Once I became comfortable on the decks I started promoting myself,and that's when I became a club dj. All in all I pretty much just fell into it.
2. Who Influenced you to be a DJ and a recording artist?
Mic One: My main influences are the Plump Dj's, DJ Infiniti and Massive Attack .Mainly artists with amazing production abilities. I'm a musician before a DJ,but I don't take either one for granted.
3. What equipment did you start with?(mixing/producing)
Mic One: I first but a pair of Gemini belt driven tables They were the most horrendous things.In hind sight it made me a better DJ .Production wise I just started with an Akai MPC 2000and the original version of Reason.
4. What equipment do you use now?(same)
Mic One: I am all software based now. I use Reason 3,Cubase SX, and all my sequencing in Acid 5.
5. What was your first record?
Mic One: The first record I bought was just a weird ass Sample record. Nothing really significant.
6. How many records do you bring to a gig, and how do you decide which?
Mic One: Right now I bring a full flight case, a bag,and my final scratch. Mainly because I play anywhere from an hour set to a 3 hour set.Also, I don't really believe in planning a set,so I like to be prepared.
7. What is your opinion on Digital Djing, such as CD, Laptop FS and Albeton Live?
Mic One: I feel anything digital is ok as long as you use it to it's full potential,and the software doesn't mix it for you.
8. Do you ever get nervous before you play?
Mic One: If there is a large crowd sometimes I get the shakes during the first mix. Once I get past the first mix I am fine.
9. Mic you've been spinning for 6 years, other than your love of music, what keeps your level of interest up?
Mic One: Just those tunes that blow my mind. It seems that the breakbeat genre just seems to get better and better every day. It just makes me appreciate being a part of the breaks movement.
10. Do you prefer smaller clubs, or larger venues?
Mic One: I don't really have a preference. I just appreciate being able to play out live.
11. What's the best, and worst thing about being a local dj?
Mic One: The best thing is being able to expose my music to people every week. What I don't like is the clicky feel of the local scene. I just think it limits the electronic scene in every way.
12. If you had to choose 3 records/cd's to take on a deserted island, which and why?
Mic One: 1. Massive Attack - "Mezzanine"-It covers every emotion & I just absolutely love that record.
2. Plump Dj's- "Scram" This record is just one of the sickest tunes ever.
3. Hybrid "Wide Angle" The production on this record is just amazing. While at the same time I could listen to it over and over.
13. What was your favorite gig as of yet?
Mic One: My favorite show was probably the first time I played in ASheville NC. It was at a club called "mix". I just loved the crowd there. On every mix there just yelled and raised hell, it was such a good feeling.
14. Worst Gig as of yet?
Mic One: I really don't have a worst gig. The only thing I can think of was a venue with a poor setup.
15. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Mic One: Hopefully I will have a couple records out and still doing the DJ thing.
16. Do you feel electronic music in america has peaked, or do you feel it is just the beginning?
Mic One: I feel it's growing big time. The only negative side of it is I think certain people need to concentrate on the music more than on the drugs. If you really have no love for the music without being high, what's the point?
17. What other dj pushes you to be a better dj, how and why?
Mic One: I don't look at things that way. I mainly look to myself to realize my pros & cons.
18. You've played alongside some big names, how were those shows different from your usual residencies?
Mic One: Basically it's more pressure because you have to feed the crowd to get them pumped for the next DJ.
Mic has established himself as a favorite local resident at two separate locations, combining his extreme technical mixing skills, with a strong track selection and scratching technique. This section of the interview will cover his transition from bedroom to club.
Many of us at DJF are interested in this subject, and some are in the process as we speak, this section is intended to let the up and comers in on some tips and cautions.
Now that you know a little more about Mic, lets dig into his transition from the bedroom to the club.
1. At what point after beginning djing did you start playing out?
Mic One: It was probably close to about a year. I picked it up pretty quickly.
2. How would you rate your skill level at that point?
Mic One: Probably about a 7. I still have a long way to go.
3. What were your first steps to gain attention from local promoters and club owners?
Mic One: Promoting myself with demos and playing any gig I could get my hands on. One word of advice, do not beg for a slot. It is a complete turn off to promoters.
4. Did you have assistance, ie: a friend with connections?
Mic One: Not really. I did have strong group of friends that talked me up a bit,but I don't know if that helped.
5. What do you feel is the most important thing a "rookie" club dj can do to perform better before their first gig?
Mic One: Just relax and have a good time with it. The worst thing you can do is sketch yourself out about the show so you don't play to your full potential.
6. Do you feel a strong technical ability is needed, or is track selection the deciding factor in that all important first gig?
Mic One: I do. Programming and track selection are so important. People these days have short attention spans which leaves little room for error or downtime.
7. How early do you get to the gig, nobody wants to be the eager dj?
Mic One: As of late I am usually there all night. I do the promoting thing so it requires me to be there most of the night. If I am not promoting the party I still like to get there @ least 2 hours early just to feel out the crowd.
8. When preparing a demo, what do you consider when choosing tracks?
Mic One: It usually takes me 6 months to a year to prepare a demo. I usually just pick out my favorites and find which ones work well together.
9. What suggestions do you have for our members who feel they are ready to play out, but are having trouble instigating it?
Mic One: You just need to feel personally that you are ready to play out. Once you have that just network yourself well. Some people will like what your doing some people won't. Just keep trying eventually some one will recognize your talent.
10. What cautions would you advise a transitioning dj against?
Mic One: Be careful what you play. Just remember your playing for a wide variety of people ,so make it eclectic while at the same time making it interesting.
11. Any other suggestions for the beginning club dj?
Mic One: Just keep at it. If you have the love and the drive for it good things will come.
Stay tuned for more local artist reviews and tips and tricks on how to play out, right.