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Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
by Christina Li on Apr 01, 2010
A talented young DJ with an open mind and personality, Miles Medina knew he found his calling after touching his first turntables at age 13. Known for his scratching and inventive mixes that incorporate a variety of genres, he has the ability to entertain just about any crowd. Taking a break with SF Station, Miles Medina clues us in on his style and inspirations.
SF Station (SFS): I hear you got inspired to DJ at a Jordan Knight concert? Tell me a little about that.
Miles Medina (MM): Yes! (laughs) I was at a festival where he did a little show, and he was cool enough to let his DJ shine for a few minutes. I was probably 10 or 11, and this DJ just blew me away. I remember him juggling two songs back and forth, and the crowd going wild. I was instantly obsessed with wanting to know what that felt like. So there I was, this 11 year old kid, trying to get my hands on some DJ equipment.
SFS: What was a pivotal moment that cemented the fact of, "hey, I can do this?"
MM: I'm not even sure I feel like that now. I really just got into it because I had so much fun doing it and I couldn't ever walk away from the turntables. I never dreamt of getting paid, or even being asked to DJ certain events. It’s still a little weird to me.
SFS: How did it feel when E-Rock offered you the gig on 94.9? Were you super nervous?
MM: Well, when I first met E-Rock, it was at Aura Nightclub and I was opening for him. I was nervous then. He was impressed and asked me to do a guest spot on his show, "Club 949", which showcased club DJs from all over the country. It wasn't until after I became a resident on the show when I realized, "Ok what just happened?" This is a guy I used to listen to as a kid and bought his CDs at Sam Goody or whatever it was.
SFS: Since you cater to many different crowds, how did you fit in time to listen to all of the new music to find out what's hot?
MM: You know, when I’m not working, I mainly listen to indie rock or Frank Sinatra or 60s jukebox pop records or whatever. I love hip hop and house and everything I play, but there's just so much music out there that I feel needs to be listened to. I have A.D.D. when it comes to music and I get so bored of listening to the same thing. This can be really conflicting at times, but for the most part I’m just a music lover lucky enough to share my taste in music with others via turntables.
SFS: Was your previous name HellaMiles a reference to the NorCal slang word?
MM: Well, people pretty much know it's a NorCal term. Surprisingly, the people who have a problem with it are the club owners and promoters from here. They say it’s too "Bay Area" or even "ghetto" at times, which is totally understandable. I was a kid when I made the name, not thinking about the future. For re-invention purposes, I actually dropped the "hella" not too long ago, and am just going by Miles Medina.
SFS: Since you're fairly young, have you gotten any flack from older DJs? How do you manage to stay positive through it all?
MM: Of course! I was doing 21+ clubs when I was 18, taking gigs next to DJs who've been doing this for years. I've pretty much been the baby in everything I’ve done until that point, surrounding myself with older, more experienced people. It just gives me the chance to go ahead and learn from them. E-Rock, more than anyone, has definitely acted as a big brother, teaching me about this not-so-normal industry.
SFS: Any words of advice to younger DJs?
MM: I try to stress this to everyone getting into it: Just have fun. Don't listen to anyone and just let you passion shine through. Nothing in life is worth over-thinking and killing yourself over.
by Christina Li on Apr 01, 2010