Monthly Archives: June 2010

An interview with Gold Medal Winner Christine Nesbitt

I’ve been fortunate enough to conduct a lot of interviews over the years. I’ve met and talked with some pretty famous people who I really admire. You’d think, by now, interviewing celebrities would be a piece of cake for me, wouldn’t you?

Unfortunately, that is not the case. This interview in particular was a bit difficult for me. I don’t know why, but I was completely star-struck by Christine Nesbitt.

I remember watching her gold medal performance at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. I was at home on my couch but I was catching the event live and not on a rebroadcast. The 1000-metre speed skate event was held at the Richmond Olympic Oval on February 18th at 1:00 PST and Christine Nesbitt owned the top of the podium at the end of the event.

She crossed the finish line with a time of 1:16.56. That is an amazingly fast race. Just think about it for a second – that is a whole kilometer in only a minute. Christine admits, “it’s the fastest self-propelled sport,” but apparently the ice there was not as fast as it possibly could be. “It was slow ice compared to what we’re used to skating at high altitude in Calgary,” she said.

Slow ice? I couldn’t even imagine traveling that fast under my own power, maybe in my car, but on a pair of skates, simply amazing!

Nesbitt appreciates all of the support that the country and the city of London has, and continues, to show her. “It was the energy of the crowd when we raced that was just incredible. And it was so great to do that in Canada.”

It really was inspiring to see her race and take home a gold medal. I know I was jumping and cheering at her performance and I wasn’t the only one. “We knew the whole country was cheering for us but it was nice to come home and see the montage on the streets of London when we won our medals, they went crazy, and everyone in the JLC went crazy. And it was great.”

She laughed when I told her that I went crazy from my couch as she won her event too.

Interesting fact about Christine, she plays the trumpet, although she admits that she is a bit rusty and hasn’t been practicing as much as she should. I think we can forgive her for that considering all that she has been able to accomplish. She admits a love for music, especially “jazz and rhythm and blues.”

What can we look forward to in the future from Christine? She plans to be at the next Winter Olympics. “Four more years and maybe a couple more gold medals then.”

Well, we wish her all the best. I know I’ll be cheering her on for sure. If you want to hear the entire interview, you can download it here or stream it with the player below. Thanks a lot for tuning in!

P.S. After posting this interview I learned that Christine was hit by a car while bike riding home from a workout. That is terrible news for an athlete. I wish her a speedy recovery. You can as well by going to her Twitter – http://twitter.com/cnezzy


MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Inspiring a Dream

This February people all over Canada were electrified by the energy and excitement of The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. It was amazing to see so many of our athletes put in stellar performances and take home some medals in the process.
London, Ontario had more than its fair share of medal winners. I especially loved seeing Christine Nesbitt take home a gold in the 1000m speed skating event. And of course, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were just beautiful to watch as they captured Gold in the Ice Dance event. 

The city of London had hoped to welcome the athletes home with a huge celebration in February but unfortunately things couldn’t quite come together then. The athletes had commitments and continued to remain busy for weeks afterwards. However, we finally had the chance to get them all together and honour them last Monday at the John Labatt Centre.
The event also honoured our summer and paralympic athletes which was really great to see. The arena was packed full of fans sporting red and white. The crowd was energetic and loud as we honoured our local heroes.
It really was an inspiring event. I was proud to be there in the media section amongst A Channel, The London Free Press, AM 980 News, and 106.9 The X.  I felt like a little fish in a big pond and held on to my media pass with pride and excitement.
I was able to do short radio interviews with;
Stay tuned to this blog for coverage of this event. I will have articles, podcasts, and transcripts to share with you all week long. Also be on the lookout for my articles in The Londoner Newspaper and for the interviews to air on Morning File on 93.3 CFMU in Hamilton.
Here is a closing thought from David Duncan,
 “Too often we don’t stop and reflect. Myself as an athlete, this gives me time to reflect as well as what’s gone on in the past year but also the community in general. So they know the unsung heroes that are out there. They put in the work every day but don’t really get seen. These kind of celebrations are great. It showcases the people that made it to the top, but there are thousands of us in London that are trying to make it to the top. Hopefully, people will give that some thought as well and come out and support their local athletes”


MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Undeniable Talent

Every now and then a new artist comes along with so much talent that it simply just can’t be ignored. It happened back in 1997 when a new artist started to garner a lot of attention and rightfully so.

I took me a while to actually see that talent though. Like a lot of other listeners, I was caught up on what I considered to be inappropriate imagery.

However, if you looked past the subject matter of his songs, you couldn’t help but see the brilliance of his writing and his performance.

Yes, I am talking about Eminem.

English teachers, bloggers, and poets, people who would never consider themselves to be hip-hop fans, sing Eminem’s praises for what he can do with the English language. He can paint a vivid story and deliver it in such a novel way that his work really has no rival.

It took his song “Brain Damage” to get me to stand up and take notice. He can rap words that don’t even rhyme by focusing on the syllables and how they are pronounced. Some rappers try to do this but it is so obvious that they were trying. Eminem does it effortlessly and does so in a story rhyme that doesn’t call attention to the brilliant mechanics of how it was put together.

For example. Eminem rhymes “orange juice” which would be impressive enough since nothing really does rhyme with orange. However, he takes it even further by matching up every single syllable of that phrase and rhyming it repeatedly over a few seconds of time.

Not content with that, Eminem does the same thing with “chocolate milk.”

Here is the lyric

“Then I got up and ran to the janitor’s storage booth
Kicked the door hinge loose and ripped out the four inch screws
Grabbed some sharp objects, brooms, and foreign tools
‘This is for every time you took my orange juice,
or stole my seat in the lunchroom and drank my chocolate milk.
Every time you tipped my tray and it dropped and spilt.’”

Here are the slant rhymes

– storage booth – door hinge loose – four inch screws – foreign tools – orange juice

And then,

– chocolate milk – dropped and spilt

Wow! That is simply amazing.

Eminem’s first album was a huge success, both critically and commercially. He continued to release great albums with amazing wordplay but some people seemed to stop noticing his craft.

“You ain’t even impressed no more; you’re used to it.”

That’s what he said on “Business” off of the Eminem Show. He was completely right. He was still giving us some amazing rhymes and wordplay. I don’t think it’s even debatable that those first three albums are hip-hop classics.

I lost interest in what he did after those classic albums though. I wasn’t sure why either. He was doing the same thing he had always done. In fact, that is what had me writing him off. He hadn’t seemed to grow as an artist. It was the same old, same old and I wasn’t impressed anymore.

Encore had some great moments and his new material for Curtain Call was good as well. But his last disc was absolutely horrible. I hated Relapse and had almost completely written Eminem off. His long hiatus didn’t help matters in my mind either. I thought he was done.

And I then I heard Recovery.

What an amazing album. It’s almost like he had heard my thoughts from the past few years and he decided to address them all.

Eminem even admits that his last two albums weren’t up to snuff. He says, “The last two albums didn’t count…I’ve come to make it up to you… I finally feel like I’m back to normal… The new me is back to the old me”

So Eminem has recaptured what it is that makes his music great. I was actually blown away by this new album. Best thing I’ve heard from him in a long time. The album captured me from the opening few seconds and didn’t let me go. There are some great moments that made me laugh out loud, or cheer like I was in front of the stage marveling at what he was able to do with a lyric.

Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of this disc. It is a great tapestry of tracks that starts and ends perfectly. In fact, it’s the best hip-hop album I’ve heard in a while. The album came out last week so go to the record store or download store and support real hip-hop and good music. Peace!

The Freedom of an Open Door

The Freedom of an Open Door – a short story
by Chase March
Locks only keep honest people out. That’s what his dad used to say and he never understood it. He always locked his door even though he wasn’t afraid of those honest people.
There were nights where he’d forgotten to lock it. In those mornings, his heart would skip a beat as he realized that he had been unprotected during the night. The next moment though he always felt relief that he hadn’t needed that lock.
His door isn’t locked right now. The screen door lets the cool spring breeze in and it feels good to have the freedom of an open door.
He’s been alone for years. Ever since she broke his heart. He knew that she might need the freedom of an open door one day. A place she could escape to if ever she needed it. No one would know about this place. She’d be safe here. That’s why he had insisted that she keep the key when she’d left him.
He hadn’t thought about that key in a while; it had been so long. She probably had forgotten all about it too. Perhaps things had worked out just fine with her and …
It still hurt to even think it …
him.
There, he completed the thought and then he rolled over and fell asleep for the last night he’d ever spend in this apartment.
The next day, he looked around at the empty digs before locking the door and moving on with his life.
She was nervous and scared to use the key after all these years but she did. She’d needed the freedom of the open door today. She wanted him to be there to tell her that everything would be okay. She needed him for that.
When she opened the door, her heart sank. Seeing the place empty at that moment broke her heart. She fell to the ground crying, closed the door behind her, locked it, and cried some more.

THE END

An Interview with hip-hop artist Future

Future is an up and coming artist from Mississauga and we caught up with him at the Stylus Awards. You can read this interview, stream it with the player at the bottom of this post or download it for free. And don’t forget to check out all of our coverage from the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards. Enjoy!

Chase: “Alright everybody this is Chase March at the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards and I’m here with Future. How’s it going, man?”

Future: “It’s going great at the Stylus Awards. Future, straight out of Saga City, T-dot, know what I’m saying?”
Chase: “Excellent. So you’re an MC?”

Future: “I’m a reggae and hip-hop artist. Coming straight from Jamaica to Canada, expanding my horizons and just trying to put in work, ya know, work hard and see what can happen.”
Chase: “Very cool. So how did you get into hip-hop?”
Future: “I’ve been involved in hip-hop my whole life, music as a general. Coming out of Jamaica, we represent Bob Marley and a lot of artists that are very significant to the first world. I’m just trying to bring my point of view, me as a young man coming up and my whole different type of flavour I bring to the game.”
Chase: “So we’re here at the Stylus Awards, giving love to the DJs. Do you have any favourite DJs who are here tonight.”
Future: “I like DJ Ill Kidz. Big up Wrispect. Big up all the reggae DJs too. I’m coming straight out of Saga City. We have a lot of music that we’re trying to put to you guys in the 2010. There are a lot of artists coming up on my label, which is 786/876 records. We have a track out now called ‘Lemon Face’ which you can see on YouTube if you just put in Future ‘Lemon Face’ you can see our video.”
Chase: “Are you active online?”
Future: “You can find me on Facebook – Jason Da Boss. My producer Snares has done most of my tracks that I have, that are singles. His name is Killer Snares. If you hear me say, ‘Snares on the Beat,’ that’s what it is. He has a lot of good beats out there for people who want beats too, ya know?”
Chase: “Very cool because I see too many MCs who have a MySpace page and they’ll be rapping over someone else’s beats.”
Future: “And that’s the thing with the game. You gotta come with your own beats. I find a lot of artists don’t do that. They’re trying to do over tracks on beats that they got from the producer. That’s one of the things I knew growing up, to make sure you have your beat man right behind you and then you’ll be alright. You can do whatever you want with each track that you go and produce in the studio. It’s not like you’re wasting time going over people’s beats.”
Chase: “Exactly. It’s part of paying your dues too. If you want to be an artist, you’ve got to come with the whole package.”
Future: “You’ve got to come with the whole package. That’s what it is. I make my own hooks. I write my own verses and everything. So the talent is there. There’s a lot of versatility too.”
Chase: “So we’ll spin one of your tracks right now. It’s been nice meeting you. Thanks a lot for stopping by DOPEfm.”
Future: “Alright, man. DOPEfm, you know what it is. H-town back to Saga City. Future. 786/876 Records coming to you.”

Arghh! What now?

This is my workstation. A laptop computer, stereo speakers, and a USB microphone. It’s how I’ve recorded all the on-location interviews I have done since signing on with CFMU.

I use a free recording program called Audacity.

I really like how easy this program is to use. You can layer multiple tracks and you can amplify and change the volume of sections.

I can fit all of my recording materials into my backpack and can do radio interviews pretty much wherever I want.

This weekend, I went to a small venue in London, Ontario to interview D-sisive. I then went to Toronto the next night to interview Eternia. The following day, I went to Toronto with the rest of the DOPEfm team so we could cover the Much Music Video Awards.

And last but not least, last night, I went to the Olympic Celebration held at the JLC to honour London’s Olympic Athletes. I was able to get interviews with Gold Medalists Christine Nesbitt, Tessa Virtue, and Scott Moir.

I can’t wait to share all of these interviews with you. I have a lot of work to do in the editing and piecing together of these radio shows.

The only problem is that my laptop seems to be slowly dying.

First off, two of the three USB ports stopped working. The headphone jack now produces a strange ticking sound that fortunately isn’t showing up on the recordings. And the latest problem, is that the keys aren’t working right.

I tried to save the show last night as “JLC” and I when I typed in those three letters this is what I got, “13c”

The “m” doesn’t seem to work at all any more. Some letter keys produce numbers now but then again, so do the number keys. I pretty much can’t spell or type up anything on it now.

So all of my saved files have some really weird file names now. I can work with that as long as I can continue to run Audacity just fine. I really can’t afford to buy a new computer right now. I just hope that I can continue to produce these segments for you before it dies on me.

Stay tuned for some great content.

Rochester Interview

rochester juice Pictures, Images and Photos
Chase: “Alright everybody this is Chase March and I’m here at the Stylus Awards with Rohecster. Just a reminder to the listeners out there that you can catch this again on the podcast or you can read the transcript on my blog. So, how’s it going man?

Rochester: “Whats up, what’s up? I’m chilling. Having a great time.”

Chase: “Yeah, it’s pretty nice that we have this award show honouring the DJs and the producers and all the behind the scenes things.”

Rochester: “Definitely.”

Chase: “But you’re on the mic too right?”

Rochester: “Yeah, I’ve been rapping since I was about 18 years old.”

Chase: “Excellent. So do you do any DJing or producing?”

Rochester: “I try to but I really suck. That’s why I’m like, ‘Let me just leave it up to the DJs man,’ because there’s some things that people are meant to do and some people are just not meant to do them. I think DJ was one of them for me. I like picking and selecting music, ya know what I mean, but I could never blend or scratch really, really well but I appreciate the art, definitely.”

Chase: “Awesome! So are you here supporting some of your producers?”

Rochester: “I’m more here for the DJs because you gotta show love for the DJs because it’s the DJs who put me on. Rochester would never be where he is right now – Did I just use my name in the third person? Oh my God-”

Chase: “We’re radio though so it’s not like we’re seeing you image.”

Rochester: “Okay cool.”

Chase: “We want people to know who you are right?”

Rochester: “True, true, true. So Rochester, myself, wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the DJs. They really spun my music on the radio, on the mix shows, college mix shows, in the club, and really helped mew get my stuff out there. So, I always show love, always.”

Chase: “Yup, that’s what we do here at DOPEfm. We’re an overnight show, Saturday overnights. We spin your stuff. Definitely.”

Rochester: “Beautiful.”

Chase: “That’s what’s really cool to see this because usually there is more of a focus on the MC rather than the DJ. So we’re here showing love to the DJs.”

Rochester: “I’m glad they started this 5 years ago because it is crucial to the game. And you can see how important it is because it brings everyone together. We all realize how important the DJ is.”

Chase: “Yeah, there’s quite the turnout today. It’s packed in here.”

Rochester: “You see how important the DJs are. Everyone has shown up, even Drake showing some love. Every artist is here. Every DJ is here. Driving out from Newfoundland out to BC, so it’s good.”

Chase: “Could you tell us something about the 411 Initiative?”

Rochester: “Yeah, What’s the 411 is my non-profit, not necessarily mine but I’m an artist in it and I work hard in it. It was created by Tamara Dewitt and she hollered at me about 5 years ago and asked me if I wanted to do something a little bit different when it came to teaching kids about different topics. Topics such as domestic violence, gun violence, crimes against women, HIV and AIDS, Black history, Asian history, women’s rights, and things like that.

Because you know when you go to high school, the assemblies are so boring. I remember falling asleep in class, I was talking to girls, I was doing whatever else I could be doing during these assemblies. So I wanted to do something cool and she wanted to do something cool and that’s how What’s the 411 got started. We’ve been touring across Canada about 5 years now and we’ve hit up every single, almost every single high school, even Native Reserves out in Calgary and different Community Centres. We’re working with a Community Centre called Brookside and that’s in Coburg.

We started an actual record label. It’s called the Rebirth Project. It helps kids that are aspiring to be musicians or artists actually figure out what it is they want to do. Everybody wants to be a rapper, right? But sometimes maybe that’s not your niche. Maybe you’d be better as a graphic designer, or maybe you’d be better as a producer, or just a writer, or something like that. So there are other options in music and that’s what we’re giving them the option to do.”

Chase: “That is so cool! I just talked to Boi 1da and I asked him how he got into production and he said because he couldn’t rap or he wasn’t so good at it. So you know that there are those other elements. I myself tried to get a rap career going.”

Rochester: “How’s that going for you?”

Chase: “Well, now I’m on the radio, so-”

Rochester: “That’s okay. We all find out, eventually.”

Chase: “Yup, we all find out. I tried to get that popping but ya know, I love hip-hop so much that I’m still involved in it. I’m writing and blogging and all that stuff. But I still rap and I’m a teacher so I appreciate this What’s the 411?”

Rochester: “You need to love the art form enough. It’s not just about making money all the time. I really feel truly in my heart that if I wasn’t doing this for money or going on tour, seeing the world or whatnot, I’d still be doing this. If there wasn’t a dollar in my pocket, if there wasn’t any ambition to move forward. It’s something within you that you love to do. Hip-hop is not just a music. It’s a lifestyle. It’s who you are. And once it’s in you, it’s like a virus, you can’t leave it alone.”

Chase: “Yeah, I still beatbox and I teach so when I erase the board I usually beatbox and do a vocal record scratch like duffa-dufa-duffa.”

Rochester: “Sick, sick! Your students must love you, man.”

Chase: “I bring hip-hop into the classroom. We did a Run-DMC song for choir. I got this rap choir thing going.”

Rochester: “That’s amazing.”

Chase: “I teach Grade 3 so it’s the little kids.”

Rochester: “What’s your last name?”

Chase: “March.”

Rochester: “Mr, March. I wish you were my Grade 3 teacher man. ‘Mr. March, you’re dope bro! Mr. March is ill!” Yeah man!”

Chase: “I can’t help it. I go around beatboxing sometimes in class and the kids remind me I’m beatboxing and I’m like, ‘Oh, I didn’t even notice I was doing it.’ Because hip-hop is inside you and it’s just something that you love. It’s cool that we can all come together and celebrate it.”

Rochester: “That’s what the Stylus Awards is all about. I wanna see all the DJs out here doing there thing man. Did you see the awards at all?”

Chase: “I’ve been stuck backstage here all night so unfortunately no.”

Rochester: “Well, I gotta get back, man. I gotta get back and see all these guys and stuff like that.”

Chase: “So what can we look forward to from you in the future? Are you coming out with an album?”

Rochester: “Yeah my new album is called ‘Genreless.’ Any other past material from me, you can find at Rochesterforever.com. So anything you haven’t heard or if you’ve never heard me before, just go to the website, check me out. My stuff is on iTunes as well but it’s also at Rochesterforever.com. Check it out!”

Chase: “Nice! Are you on Twitter?”

Rochester: “@Rochesterjuice, always gotta plug the Twitter.”

Chase: “Alright, well thanks a lot. It’s been a pleasure sitting down and talking with you.”

Rochester: “Thank you man. Thank you. Bless!”

Danny D Interview

Chase: “Alright everybody this is Chase March and I’m here at the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards with Dance Club DJ of the year, Danny D.

You can download this interview from  the DOPEfm page, read it here, or stream it with the player at the bottom of the post.

So, how’s it going man?”

Danny D: “Good. How are you?”

Chase: “Pretty good. So, what’s it feel like getting this award?”

Danny D: “It feels really special because this is the first year for this category and I’m honoured to be the first one to receive it. It’s a sign of bigger and better things to come. I’ve worked hard for all these years to get to where I am. Ya know, hustling. I started out in the industry not knowing anybody, not having those connections to get in. And people keep asking me, ‘How’d you do it?’ and I hope I’m a testament to all the up and coming DJs that hard work pays off. So just keep working hard and the results will come.”

Chase: “Nice. So how did you start? What kind of gear did you have when you originally started out?”

Danny D: “I just had my two Technics, a little, I don’t know what it was, maybe a Pyramid mixer or something. Ya know, one of those old mixers where if you pressed two cue buttons at once it bled through. It was bad. But you know what? It’s a stepping stone. It’s where I learned. I just locked myself in the basement for hours and practised and practised and practised. And I hustled.

I’m not gonna lie, I did catch a lucky break but it was being in the right place at the right time. But to all those up and coming DJs out there, that might happen to you and you have to make the most of your chances. Sometimes you only got one chance to make it. You gotta take the bull by the horns and make it happen.”

Chase: “Definitely. So, do you have an online presence?”

Danny D: “You can go to MySpace – DJ Danny D Online. Facebook and Twitter – The Real Danny D. And of course Z103.5.com, all the links are up there, you can email me. I’m easily accessible, and of course every day at 5 o’clock on Z103.5 as well.”

Chase: “Nice. Do you have a favourite record to mix?”

Danny D: “Genre of music. I like the electronic stuff, the house, trans, but I’m a music lover and I love all kinds of music. I’m very versatile in the music I can spin. I play dance and splice in some rock, or remixes of rock stuff, the trans, sometimes on the radio show I’ll throw Spanish music down. It’s what the people want. I’m the people’s deejay for a reason because I play what the people want to hear.”

Chase: “Alright. Thanks a lot Danny D. Congratulations on your award.”

Danny D: “Thank you so much for having me.”

Chase: “Alright, peace!”

Quick – What’s the last CD you bought?

Quick, answer this question,

What’s the last CD that you bought?

Were you able to answer in a few seconds?  If not, why not?

If you didn’t answer Shad, Pigeon Hole, or Drake, you need to go out and support dope hip-hop right now.

I think it’s important to support local talent. These Canadian hip-hop artists are really putting in work. I bought their CDs, here’s proof

There are some amazing hip-hop releases dropping this summer. I plan on picking up the Sweatshop Union releases soon. D-sisive is also dropping an album next month that will be a must own. I also bought Nikki Yanofsky’s album earlier this year because I listen to all sorts of different music.

Reflection Eternal has a lyric in one of their new songs that says, “you can like rap again.”

True, true! Hip-hop is not dead. 

Go out and support the artists. Don’t just download stuff for free.

Go to their concerts as well. It’s a great weekend for live shows. I’m going to see the Shad / D-sisive / NGA show tonight. I already interviewed Shad and the NGA interview I did last month will air this weekend on DOPEfm. Tonight I will be interviewing D-sisive. I’m really looking forward to that.

Lissa Monet Interview

Our coverage of the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards continues today with Female DJ of the Year, Lissa Monet. You can listen to this interview with the player at the bottom of this post, you can read the transcript, or you can download it for posterity.

Enjoy!

Chase: “Alright everybody this is Chase March and I’m here with Female DJ of the Year, Lissa Monet.”

Lissa Monet: “Hey Hamilton! Everything is good. Everything is amazing! I won an award tonight.”
Chase: “That’s pretty awesome. We’re at the 2010 Stylus Awards and they have a girl category. Hip-hop almost is a male dominated culture and same with deejaying. I mean, there’s not a lot of female DJs. Why is that, you think?”
Lissa Monet: “It’s intimidating. If you want to get really technical about it, it’s expensive. Before Serato, I was spending close to $600 a month on vinyl alone. So, it’s intimidating at first because you have to buy all the equipment and you have to practise. And you don’t really see the returns right away because you have to spend a lot of time practising your craft before you can actually start going to the clubs and getting the exposure. So, it’s long process and I feel that some females are intimidated by that and that’s why they aren’t a lot of females doing it. But it’s so rewarding. If you love music, all that stuff doesn’t mean anything.”
Chase: “Definitely, and that is what is kind of cool about your name because some DJ names, you can’t tell who it is. I don’t know if it’s just me but every time I hear a new name in hip-hop that’s a female, I give that an extra ear, ya know? I mean, I got really mad when Tanya Morgan turned out to be three guys. I was like, ‘There’s a new girl MC, maybe this is gonna be the new-”
Lissa Monet: “I thought the exact same thing.”
Chase: “Yeah so I was mad about that for a while. But I kind of like them now because like the Barenaked Ladies, they’re not really barenaked-”
Lissa Monet: “Exactly, and they’re not really ladies.”
Chase: “But they’re amazing, right? So it’s all good. But it is definitely cool to see females in DJ culture and in hip-hop.”
Lissa Monet: “It’s unique.”
Chase: “It definitely is. So how did you get started in deejaying?”
Lissa Monet: “I got started like any other DJ. I started going to clubs and just really taking in the DJ aspect of the party. I wasn’t really into partying. I was more into standing behind the DJ booth and seeing the reaction from a crowd when a DJ would play a specific song. And that kind of took to me. So, one of my DJ friends, Kap’n Kirk from 4 Korners was like, ‘Why don’t you just start DJing. You know all the songs. Old school, new school. Why don’t you just start?’ And I was like, ‘Okay!’ and I used to go to his house and he’d teach me how to mix music and I’d mix on his turntables until I was confident enough to go out and buy my own turntables and practise at home. So that’s how I pretty much got started.”
Chase: “Very cool. Do you find that there is more of a competition or a camaraderie among DJs?”
Lissa Monet: “Definitely a camaraderie and it’s an amazing, amazing feeling to know that you can go to a club and DJ with anotehr DJ and it’s not all about competition. A lot of us are easy-going and we’ll get together at the beginning of the party to see who wants to play early or during the primetime set. It’s whoever feels to do whatever at the time. Nobody feels slighted because they don’t get to play, with some DJs it’s like that, not all the time. But it’s always good to have that feeling when you can come to a party with other DJs and play and not have to feel like you’re competing with each other.”
Chase: “It definitely is. So it must be a really cool thing to be here at the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards among DJs and producers and a lot of people that don’t normally get the shine because it’s put on the MC a lot of times-”
Lissa Monet: “Or the club promoter, or other aspects of night life. The DJ has always been behind the scenes because we show up early and we leave late and nobody really sees us, we’re behind the booth. But it’s coming to the point now where DJs are becoming personalities and they’re becoming branding machines and they’re becoming these conglomerates of big business. It’s amazing to know that it’s come to a point now where us DJs can get recognized for some of the things we do outside of just playing records.”
Chase: “Definitely. Do you think video games like DJ Hero and games like that have contributed to that and how do you feel about them?”
Lissa Monet: “I’m not a big fan. I actually suck at DJ Hero. I’m like, ‘This is nothing like the real thing. What am I doing? This is insane.’ But it’s for anyone who ever has a love for the art of deejaying and I would never take that away from that person. But for me, personally, I can’t play it. I’m horrible at it. I suck. And this is coming from the Female DJ of the Year.”
Chase: “It’s funny because I am a teacher and I brought a record into the class and the kids were like, ‘That’s a big CD,’ and then they start talking about DJ Hero and ‘that thing’ they are sliding back and forth. I was like, ‘That’s a crossfader and this is vinyl.’ So I was educating them on that a bit. But I guess games like this are kind of a stepping stone into that culture.”
Lissa Monet: “Right, it kind of peaks interest and helps them learn about it and that’s why I would never take it away from, anybody because anything that can peaks somebody’s interest into diving into a world of DJing is always amazing. It’s always a good thing.”
Chase: “It’s pretty amazing to think of how times have changed from when I was a kid until now. Like you said, you had to invest tons of money to start out in it. Nowadays you don’t have to do that at all, right?”
Lissa Monet: “I think you still do. It still costs a lot of money to buy turntables. It still costs a lot of money to buy mixers. The Serato box is $600. So it’s still a hefty investment and you really have to be passionate about it, in order to take it to another level.”
Chase: “So when you’re using Serato, you’re still using vinyl to control it and the needles and the turntable and the mixer.”
Lissa Monet: “And that’s the amazing thing about Serato, the technology allows you to use both vinyl and CD. So for the DJ who isn’t into CDs, they can still have the comfort of playing on turntables. They can still cut and scratch and do all the things they would’ve done if they brought 10 crates of vinyl.”
Chase: “Yeah, the technology is amazing these days, isn’t it? Do you have an online presence?”
Lissa Monet: “I am. I’m on Facebook. I’m on Twitter – DJLissaMonet and I have a blog which is LissaMonet.com/blog and on there you can download all my mixtapes and read posts about stuff that I like and things that I’m doing. It’s pretty cool.”
Chase: “It is cool. I’m on Twitter and I’m a blogger too. I’m gonna have to look you up and start following you.”
Lissa Monet: “Let’s follow each other.”

Chase: “It’s been awesome linking up with you today and talking about music. Congratulations on your award and all the luck in the future.”

Lissa Monet: “Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.”