Music is forever changing but through the years something has been constant – the DJ. Hardly recognized but ever present, the DJ contributes to both the music and entertainment aspect. The Global Spin Awards has become the Premier DJ Award & Ceremony.
The first ever GSA commencement was held, November 19th, 2012, and has been classified as the Quality Standard of DJ Recognition by music industry executives and tastemakers. This week, we highlight DJ Scream, 2012 Street DJ of the Year Award winner.
HHW: DJ Scream, you were honored with the title of “Street DJ of the Year” last year. What was it like to win that award?
SCREAM: It was cool- I was on the “Maybach Music Tour,” so unfortunately I wasn’t able to actually be there. It was dope to be recognized. I think it was fitting. Everybody knows I’m kinda always working with the up and coming as well as established street artists. It was cool and I definitely salute them for the recognition.
HHW: What does it mean to be a street DJ?
SCREAM: Well I try not to limit myself to any type of title. I’m a DJ who is in the streets. I do mixtapes- they are kinda street oriented. But at the same time I pride myself on being an entrepreneur. I do a lot of different things- I wear a lot of different hats. I do radio, tours, just other stuff. The tag “street DJ” just comes from someone being in the streets and interacting with what is new. That’s how I look at it. A lot of people, DJs, or artists don’t get their feet dirty. Someone that gets out there and kinda gets dirty a lil’ bit is a street DJ in my opinion.
HHW: DJing is definitely an artistry that has been overlooked over the years in this industry, how important are DJs in the year 2013?
SCREAM: DJs are still the back bone of music. You know in the 80s, if you went to do your record contract, you went to the DJ. Like Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince or Eric B and Rakim. As time went on we know the limelight went to the rapper but trust me, at the beginning and even at the height of careers rappers are on the phone with DJs and producers. That is where they get their push from. They gotta have the right sound, production, and platform.
HHW: How difficult is it to make a name for yourself as a DJ?
SCREAM: It is very difficult. I even feel for the DJs these days, it is even harder. There are certain things that help like technology but it is so much more saturated now. Back then it wasn’t as saturated as it is now. You had to go through going to clubs and tryna get on to DJ at parties or tryna find the next the next hot artist because the established artists didn’t want to take a risk with a new DJ. It was real difficult but I think if you love something it makes you stick to it.
HHW: So now being a DJ is hot. Everyone is tryna do it, but what makes someone a good DJ to you? Tell us what is the difference between people hopping on the trend and ones with the talent for it.
SCREAM: I think the best DJs are definitely trendsetters. They are groundbreaking and bring something new to the table. Whether it is the style of DJing, new artists, or just something the world can remember them by. For me, mixtapes are what everybody loves me for. It is like, ‘Aw he makes the dopest mixtapes, he always brings us the newest artists,’ but at the same time I use that as a transition to let people know I can do radio. Now I do radio. I can also do parties, so now I am always touring to do parties. A great DJ is groundbreaking and brings something to the table.
- by Lauren Welch