As a professional DJ in the Bay Area for over 20 years, D-Sharp has had an adventurous career. We caught up with him to discuss a recent outing in Italy with Snoop Dogg, his newfound rap career, and more.
Since he began DJing, D-Sharp has never slowed down, filling his life with world tours, sharing the stage with big-name artists, and producing songs and remixes. He’s a club staple in the Bay Area, often labeled as “Kelly Rowland’s tour DJ” or the DJ of local rock-rap group Flipsyde. For the long July 4th weekend, he DJs every night at a different local club as well as the two-day Brooklyn Circus anniversary celebration on Fillmore Street, July 2nd and 3rd.
You’ve been DJing in the Bay Area since you were 15 years old. How have you seen the state of hip hop change during that time?
You’ve got a lot of people doing stuff themselves now, and with the state of the industry, they have to. When I first started DJing, the big Bay Area artists were Tony! Toni! Toné!, Digital Underground, Tupac, and Too Short. Now you’ve got all these younger cats doing it all on their own. They’re taking the Bay Area hustle out-of-the-trunk approach, but they’re applying it to Internet. It’s pretty cool and refreshing to see.
I do a party every Monday night called Monday Soul with my partners at The New Parish and this week we featured the Honor Roll crew. They did a great show; they always do a great show. We try to showcase natural Bay Area talent and have a platform for new and upcoming artists.
Traveling all over the world, what have been some of your most memorable shows?
Ther are a lot of memorable shows with Flipsyde. We did some big shit. Probably one of my most memorable shows was with Snoop Dogg in Italy at Isle of MTV. It was hundreds of thousands of people and they knew the songs, I couldn’t believe that. It was amazing.
But nothing tops being home at the Oakland Colosseum when we opened for the Black Eyed Peas. That was really special. I’ve done a lot of good shows with Flipsyde, we’ve seen the world together.
You’ve started to put out some songs with your own rhymes. What made you go from DJing to get into rapping?
I’ve always been rapping. I started rapping when I got into DJing, but I was always a better DJ. I had a homie that I was DJing for and he filled the rapper for our crew. “D-Sharp rapping? Aw, you can’t rap, he’s the DJ.” It was kinda like that. But I would always write my little rhymes or songs.
“Definition of a Star” was the single I put out about a year ago and did way better than I expected it to do. It got a lot of love. They played it on KMEL a couple times. The DJs there definitely helped out in breaking it.
Right now, I’m working with the rapper Essential on a mixtape that will hopefully come out by the end of the summertime. Then we’re gonna come out with an EP called Hateful. I’m also working with this cat F.L.O., and we’re doing a mixtape and then an EP called The Black Eye. All that is produced by me.
I have a gang of songs right now and I’m just trying to figure out which is the next fit.
Any songs you see becoming the hot jams of the Summer?
With the ladies, Kelly Rowland’s “Motivation” is killin’ em. I get a lot of requests for that song depending on where I’m DJing. I think cats should look out for Big Sean this summer, too. He’s got something up his sleeve.
You seem to have a packed schedule, what do you have going on for the upcoming 4th of July weekend?
The Brooklyn Circus Block Party will be going on for two days, Saturday and Sunday with a huge list of DJs. Friday I’ll be DJing Vessel. Saturday I’ll be at Fluid. Sunday I’ll be at The New Parish for a White Party. Busy weekend.
For the 4th in the Bay, I enjoy being home, getting to hang out with friends and family, and barbeque.