DJ Mu$a on living in Brixton, playing in Paris with Saul Williams and being an envelope-pusher

Categories: Interviews

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Paul Winner

Every Friday we spotlight the hottest cats (and kittens) behind the decks in the MHC, grilling them to gain some insight on what it takes, exactly, to get the party rocking, to find out about their most treasured crate digging experiences and what they really think when we stumble up to them half cocked and ask them to play that new song by such and such -- you know, the one that goes... This week: DJ Mu$a. After touring the world with Saul Williams, Mu$a has steadily made his own mark as a producer, with his group Roadside Profits, throwing some of the hottest parties and turning people on to an absurd amount of music as an envelope-pushing DJ.

Name: DJ MU$A

Club night(s): "Dance Lab" (House, Funk, and Soul), "I Used to Love Her" Old School and Golden-era Hip-Hop...Friday May 21st @ Gallery 22 (821 22nd st.)

Style(s) of music you spin: Whatever it takes to get the crowd going nuts.

So what's your story, in 100 words or less? Born In Princeton, NJ. Grew up in Denver. Got Turntables when I was thirteen. Battling by seventeen. Went to College on a full basketball scholarship. Dropped out after a year. Moved to NYC, and went to sound engineering school. Got married. Met Saul Williams. Toured and traveled the world with him for several years. Moved to London, lived there for three years. Moved back to Denver. Got Divorced. Built my own studio. Studio got robbed. Almost gave up the music biz. Went to Burning Man and shook it off, and been throwing my own parties, art shows and events, and deejaying and producing hard ever since.

Name of a track you can't get out of your head: No one track stays there very long. I listen to so much music that changes several times a day

Name of an artist you're currently championing in your DJ sets: Myself. ha. Buy the end of the summer, I want my set to be about 75 percent my own original material or remixes

What's been your best crate digging experience in another country (if you've had a good one)? When I lived in London, I lived in Brixton, which is a pretty rough part of town. They have this dope open air market there, though, and I found this old woman selling all this crazy stuff in this little cave storage unit thing. She had pretty much everything Henry Mancini had ever done, and I got it all for like $20.

Best club experience in another country (again, if you've had a good one)? Playing in Paris with Saul: We did a TV appearance earlier in the day, and then played this amazing venue that night. The kids were going bananas from the first sound we made.

Musical mantra: Watch your crowd

Favorite DJ experience: Probably playing at Red Rocks for Monolith Festival last year. I'd been on field trips there as a kids and it always a dream of mine to play there.

Worst request: Wow, I've had so many -- maybe having this old cowboy guy asking me to play some Garth Brooks at a bar once.

Worst club faux pas you've committed: Inviting the wrong people into the DJ booth.

Most treasured vinyl score: My Uncles entire funk and soul collection. Ten crates of P-Funk, James Brown and classics.

What other music-related projects are you currently working on? I'm working on the official Afro-Punk Festival mixed tape, more of my own mixed tapes, a new Roadside Profits album and my first solo project.

What's something happening in the local music scene that should be getting more attention? There's actually DJs and performers out there that are really reaching past the commercial stuff and pushing the envelope with what they make/play. We pretty much throw our own parties and events. You may not always see or here about them, but the are always packed and people are always dancing and going nuts.

What elements would your fantasy club night entail? More women than men, cheap drinks, friendly security and bartenders, smoking sections that aren't outside and the loudest biggest possible sound system. The rest is just fluff.

Question we didn't ask you but you often ask yourself: Why I am doing this? Oh yeah, because I love it and it's fun!

Next time we can see you spin: "I Used to Love Her" Old School and Golden Era Hip-Hop...Friday May 21st @ Gallery 22 (821 22nd st.) 21+ $10


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