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Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
by Christina Li on May 20, 2009
A born and raised Bay Area party rocker, Trackademicks has been garnering nationwide buzz since his hot remix of E-40ís "Tell Me When To Go". With his own new single "Enjoy What You Do" having just dropped, Trackademicks is progressing and elevating his status as not only a producer and DJ, but a true multi-faceted artist. Sitting down with SF Station at the Ferry Building on a sunny Friday, Trackademicks gives thoughtful insight into the music scene today.
SF Station (SFS): So youíre from the Bay, what got you into music?
Trackademicks (T): What got me into music period was I started working with this program called Youth Radio in high school. It basically taught us about radio broadcasting. I got into beat-making in college and the reason why I started remixing stuff was because I always wanted to work with lots of people but I didnít want the headache of trying to get them to do what I wanted them to do; so why not take the songs that everyone already loves and put my own spin on them? People can get from where Iím coming from and how he gets ill. It was like that, and then I started working with my group the Honor Roll and producing for people in the crew.
SFS: How do you pick the songs you want to remix?
T: Thatís funny because thatís half the art form right there. Itís me and my other homeboy DJ Tap.10. If itís a song thatís going to make an impact and we know it and itís something we like, Iíll definitely consider remixing it. Or even something we think people would like but they havenít heard of it, and we would want to shed some light on it. Even old school classic songs too. It all depends on what Iím feeling at the moment.
SFS: Who would you say are really up and coming or prominent artists now?
T: Iím into a lot of different scenes, so when it comes to artists on the cusps of doing something big, thereís a lot of them. I just produced a song for Kid Sister, and I got one song on her album. Sheís definitely going to make some noise which is long overdue. Thereís a lot of people, and my stuff with Foolís Gold has picked up too!
SFS: Yes! Foolís Gold, tell us about that.
T: The way I got affiliated with Foolís Gold was at the Winter Music Conference in Miami and met DJ Catchdubs. He was working for the Fader and he did an article on me because I handed him a CD of remixes and production; he was really excited. After that I met A-trak, and we all hit it off really well and they wanted to put out my first single, which is out right now. They were really feeling the song, so we just started preparing and we are working on a lot more stuff.
SFS: You must have collaborated with tons of great people. What were some of the memorable ones?
T: You know whatís funny was that one of the most memorable ones was someone I wasnít even in the studio with! It was Phonte from Little Brother, a dope hip hop group from North Carolina. I actually sent him a bunch of things, and we met through the internet. I sent him beats, and usually when I do that ,stuff might not happen. But I woke up in an inbox with the freshest song in there. Itís funny how you can have chemistry with someone you havenít even met. Who elseÖMista Fab, who just had a party. With him itís really good because heís really fast, and Iíve been working with him for a long time. When we get in there, itís like ďWhat are we gonna do today?Ē Heíll write really fast and weíll talk our way through it. Itís always an easy process.
SFS: What do you see with the Bay Area music scene? You know we had the Hyphy movement, and now itís over, hopefully. Whatís the next big thing, you think?
T: Itís crazy because I think the Bay has so many different times of music, and thatís why I loved it here, born and raised. Itís crazy because my brother is a metal head, and Iím really into soul, hip hop, and electronic music. I feel like music is dictated by socio-economics, like where the people at? You just got to look at what are the people listening to. With the Hyphy, the energy is still there but itís a little more polished-sounding. The music is always going to have hints of that, but itís going to add more worlds to it, meaning like the internet is evening the playing field. I know everything Iíve been trying to do with my music is definitely in that direction. I get love when I go all over the country, and thatís whatís really great about it.
SFS: Who/what are some of your inspirations?
T: One of the things that inspire me is multiculturalism, almost. When it comes to the music I make, a lot of people might call it hybrid, because itís not any one thing. Itís definitely rooted in hip hop but itís dimmer sounding, with faster tempos and different sound base. The reason Iíve always done that is because the differences of people. There are so many differences but people are primarily the same culturally. How can we embody that musically to where you can go to a party where you have different types of people? Iím not talking about races, but rather types of people who are into different things. But somehow you can get them into a room and have a common bond, and thatís whatís driven a lot of what I do. Up to this point, itís good! One of the reasons why is that Iím half Black and Filipino, so I grew up really multi-cultural. I donít get everything I need in one place like a lot of people. With the music, letís figure out how we bring it all to us, its fun that way.
Check out more Trackademicks at http://trackademia.com/, listen to his beats at www.myspace.com/trackademicks , and see him open for The Pharcyde this Saturday at The Fillmore!
by Christina Li on May 20, 2009