Interview by Lauren Welch
HHW: Congrats on your recent success, you have definitely been making waves in the DJ world. The Global Spin Awards, which honor the world’s most talented DJs, awarded you with the title of Breakthrough DJ in 2012. What was that experience like for you?
QUICKSILVA: It felt amazing. The crazy part about it is when I won that, I don’t think a lot of people understand what it really means. When I first won it people were like, ‘Breakthrough DJ? QuickSilva has been doing this for over 20 years.’ Once I explain it, and I remember talking to the founder Shawn Prez about it, the “breakthrough” DJ is not a new DJ. It is a DJ who has been around for a while but these last couple of years they have been able to “breakthrough” and get that global success. When people would hit me up and ask why I was being called a new DJ, I would just tell them it is more of a great year for me. I was definitely honored to be a part of the first Global Spin Awards. I was honored to be nominated but it felt really good to win something that you don’t campaign for. I’ve won so many accolades, but a lot you had to campaign for. When you win awards like “Breakthrough DJ,” which is made up of a coalition or academy of important people, they vote for you and name you a winner. It is an honor and a blessing.
HHW: We spoke to you back in 2012 about becoming a Ciroc Boy. Can you tell us exactly what it means to have that title?
QUICKSILVA: To be a Ciroc Boy is an honor because you are recognized for dominating your market. DJs would hit me up saying they want to be a Ciroc Boy and that they are hot in their market. I remember Puff and Shawn Prez saying, ‘If you are hot in your market, you don’t have to tell us, we will find out.’ They wanted the elite DJs who had their own name, their own brand, could market them and represent the brand in an ultra-premium way. When I got that official call, and Puff announced it on Twitter, it was definitely one of those proud moments. When Puff reaches out and says thank you, I see what you are doing, and I want to make you a part of the team, you can’t pass that up. I used to hear about it and thought it was just DJs drinking Ciroc, but then I found out this is actual programming, we get a check and it’s a real endorsement. It is definitely life changing. To be down with such a big brand and company is just another testimony to the work I have been putting in.
HHW: DJs have been present in music for many years but not always as recognized. Can you tell us the importance of DJs in 2013?
QUICKSILVA: There are elements of Hip Hop- the DJ, the MC, breaking, and graffiti. The most important to me is the DJ because without that nothing else happens. For many years they have been overlooked. For the best clubs and parties you need a good DJ or else everything else I wack right? It has always been the DJ to break the music. We are the A & R of the streets. Often times the promoter or record label have taken credit for things the DJs have done. Over the last couple years we have been able to show another side to a DJ. Shouts out to Khaled- he shows that a DJ can be an artist. We are now able to execute and be those big names that we have always been able to do. Now we are more recognized as businessmen.
HHW: Your brand continues to grow. Are there any new endeavors we should be expecting anytime soon?
QUICKSILVA: A couple things – my alias is The Party Kingpin. I DJ all the big events in D.C., everything. Besides being the party and radio DJ, I want to open a school for up and coming DJs. The actual DJ aspect is a high that you can’t sell somebody. DJing is a business and if you don’t treat it that way you will get ran over, ran through, or played out fast. I want to teach DJs the importance of branding yourself . For so many years, DJs have branded themselves around other people or companies. If you ask 10 people who is QuickSilva, you may get 10 different answers, but the answer will be QuickSilva. I didn’t have anyone put me on. I have worked my a—off. I study the market and see what people like. When hookahs got really popular I saw that I could make my own brand of portable hookahs –j QuickSticks. My wife thought of the name and I thought it was easy to hash tag. There are so many things you can put your name on and market. I am a businessman first. I have been doing 106 & Park consistently and I am liking this TV thing. I can’t speak too much on it yet, but you might see QuickSilva on TV a bit more in the next few months to a year.
Get more from Quicksilva in Special GSA 2013 Feature in November issue of HHW!!