Journey

Looking Forward to 2015


2015 is upon us, and as I reflect on 2014, I'm really looking forward to continued growth in all areas of my life. I don't really believe in new years resolutions; for me they just don't work. I think a person should resolve to be better every single day. Goals are only achieved by the work you put into them every minute, hour and day. 

I'm starting the year off with some exciting changes to the way I connect with you all. I'm happy to announce that I now have my own Podcast on iTunes. I encourage you all to search for D'Mix Show and subscribe to it; here's the link just to make it easier for you: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/dmix-show-drealness/id929883763?mt=2

As well, You'll slowly notice some updates to this site. My wonderfully talented friend Giselle Perri recently did a photoshoot of me (see some sample pics above), and I'll be looking to incorporate some of her pictures into my site. Check out her website too see all her talent! gisellaperri.com

I wish you all the very best in achieving your goals in 2015!

Hip-Hop: Old vs. New

A little problem with a music-hosting site (I’ll explain in another blog) has me re-focusing on making my website the center of all social things to do with my DJ’ing. As such, guess who’s committed to blogging more regularly!

It’s been a fun year this far. I got to DJ a few times for the youth I work with at my day job and also our local community. Took a vacay to Cuba in July and some mixes I made for that trip were big hits every night at the hotel bar. DJ’d a few fun weddings recently – one alongside a live band, which created a great vibe for the guests and myself!

I also got to attend two concerts recently with Hip-Hop legends I grew up with, those being Outkast and Nas. Seeing those legends is something I’ll probably never forget. And what was awesome to see was a whole new generation bobbing their heads and spitting lyrics alongside older cats like myself.

It got me thinking about this whole debate in Hip-Hop: old vs. new.  A lot of people my age won’t mess with the new stuff – and for the life of me I don’t know why. Some of the stuff we listened to in the 90’s and early 2000’s wasn’t exactly “food for the soul”, but we loved it. And why - cause it sparked emotion, it was the sound of our generation. Aside from some real social-lyricists, we listened to some wack and obscene rhymes back in the day as well. Some of our biggest hits talked about the same nonsense we complain about in the new music. So why not respect some of the new stuff coming up, respect that it’s the sound of the new generation…and most of all admit some of it is good?

I don’t like a bunch of stuff coming out these days – I find it too dumbed down and lacking any musical depth. However, there are a lot of good beats, hooks and jams being put out by today’s artist. If I can bob my head to it and get as energized as my crowd by the sound, most likely you’ll hear me play it. Hopefully all of you will like how I mix it up!

Becoming a fan.....again

A New Year is upon us, and while I don’t really prescribe to the whole New Year Resolution idea – perhaps I should resolve to update my blog posts more frequently!

2013 just flew by for me. In terms of DJ’ing, I spent much less time making mixtapes and a lot more time playing to live crowds. I continue to be blessed with great talented DJ’s who present me with the opportunities to develop and become more well-rounded. Last year saw me playing for weddings, BBQ’s, hotel lounges and more. I’ve said it before, the ability to connect with a crowd is invaluable.

The latter half of 2013 I also struggled to come up with mixtapes. I’ve gone from putting out the latest hits, to being much more selective of what songs I want to represent me. I find myself wanting to more showcase songs I like, while at the same time being cognizant of what the listeners may like; those two elements don’t always gel together, and as such I took much more time putting mixtape playlists together. My latest mix, Urban Realness vol.7 took me over 4 months to come up with; I went back to the drawing board more times than I wish to count. There was a lot of hip-hop and R&B in 2013 that “blew up”, but the sound wasn’t necessarily reflective of what I listen to on a daily. This mix made me shift my mind from “what would they like” to “what would I like”. This shift brought me back to being a fan of music again. 

A Good Start to 2013

It’s been over 3 months since I launched D’Realness.com. Initially I envisioned myself blogging at least once a month……I’m going to have to work on that!

It’s been a busy first quarter of 2013 – collaborating with some uber-talented DJ’s on various weddings. What I love the most about collaborating on a gig, is the creativity and energy that builds throughout the event; two DJ’s bouncing ideas off each other, another set of eyes to read the crowd, varying styles coming together to take the music to another level.

But it’s also nice to have some “down-time” from gigs, so I can work on my own projects and expand not only my music library but also my knowledge base. I’ve got a lot of ideas for new mixes, and next up is some new 2013 reggae that I’ve been painstakingly sifting through. Also picked up some new gear (Pioneer DDJ-SX) at the Canadian DJ Show this past weekend; can’t wait to put all it’s capabilities to the test!

2013 has started off well for D’Realness, and I’ll be looking to build on that momentum!

Reciprocity

Def: mutual dependence, action, or influence

I put a high emphasis on being a student, and I’m not necessarily talking about school. If you want to become exceptional at anything, you need to study every aspect of it, understand where it’s come from and where it’s going. For me, being a DJ is no different, and as such I’ve read books, and watched documentaries about its history, and I keep up-to-date on the latest technology. More importantly though, I’ve listened very closely to any DJ who has insight into how he/she views their craft.

One thing I’ve noticed DJ’s love to do is debate – whether its turntables vs. consoles, to whether scratching or beat-matching or cutting is better. Everyone has his or her opinion on what makes a great DJ.

I’ve realized though, that a lot of DJ’s don’t talk about the crowd, the consumers of their art. This element of DJ’ing can’t be ignored and more and more I rely on the crowd to not only enhance my skills but also gage my effectiveness. The crowd and the DJ are tied to each other, there’s certain reciprocity between the two – a mutual dependence, action and influence.