Q&A with DJ Quixx
If you are a big fan of music... a real music aficionado, then chances are you are a fan of DJ Quixx. This is one of Antigua's top DJs. He is a musicologists' musicologist. He's one of those guys who really breathes music.
We caught up with him off the release of his latest mix: Avant Garde Deux. Perhaps you've heard it. (If not, click here). It's always cool to better get to know the people who bring forth the vibes. What's he about? Who is this guy? Check out our exclusive interview with DJ Quixx.
365: hey dom, what's up? what's new personally? what are you up these days, NOT music related?
DJQ: When I have earned a little time to do nothing productive, I fire up old faithful - the PS3. Other than that, I've been trying to spend more time outdoors cycling or exercising in some way. Note I said trying. Modern Warfare and Street Fighter are time consuming as hell!
365: eaten any good meals out lately? where's your fave food spot?
DJQ: My favorite spot must be The Tides restaurant. I always have salmon. It's delicious!
365: you used to live off-island... where was that? how long?
DJQ: Miami for about 6 years.
365: i expect you were playing your trade there. what kind of grooves did you focus on then? what music genres did the circles you moved in, go for?
DJQ: I really enjoyed the time playing in Miami because I was able to do a very diverse set. My West Indian friends and I hung out at places like Big Phat Fish, Mad House & Bayside Hut, and My Hispanic friends, took me to these salsa clubs and raves in downtown. It was a really cool experience. I consider Miami a second home.
365: Where were some of the places you played in Miami?
DJQ: Lets see... Oxygen, Sobe Live, Angel's Ultra Lounge, Flavour, Bayside Hut, Nocturnal, Tiney Winey, PS14, and a few school functions and house parties here and there.
365: you're here on the island and you do a regular gig at RUSH on Friday nights. how's that going?
DJQ: It's great! Actually, I owe a lot of the other gigs I get to Rush, but I admit there are some weekends that I wish I could stay home to catch up on some sleep! But once I get to the club and see the patrons rolling in, energy finds me!
365: any recent sessions anywhere of note? blown the roof off any place lately?
DJQ: Last session was Island Time at Abras. I really enjoyed that night! Lots of my old high school friends came out to support the function, and were excited it was a reggae night! I was too because I haven't done a reggae night since The Gallery days. In primary school and the early years of high school, we used to call dancehall "rockers", and my high school friends kept requesting all the rockers they could think of! It was great to get requests like that for a change! The rockers vibe slowed down later on in the night as the Saturday night Abras crowd joined the party hoping to hear mainstream, which is expected at Abras on a Saturday during season, but that didn't spoil the session! I just went on the mic and told everyone we were gonna switch things up a bit, and the party just continued! It was a really nice crowd, everyone was just irie haha.
365: did i read correctly that you are at Sugar Ridge this saturday night? what's that about?
DJQ: That's correct! Pasha and Logiq are putting on that party (The Ridge). It will be $20 in advance and $35 at the door. Take note that this party will be from 9pm - 2am! So everyone needs to get there early! Oh and music will be provided by myself and a person I have much respect for - not just on the DJ scene but as an entrepreneur, teacher, photographer and a friend - NEZ!
365: let's talk about your latest mix. Avante Garde deux, now available to listen on 365 radio and download for FREE. right on. who did the cover? LOVE IT.
DJQ: The cover was done by my brother from another mother (I had to throw that in there haha) Terryl Howell aka Guava De Artist. He also did the artwork for my "Evolution of Reggae Music". You should check out his other stuff, on his facebook page www.facebook.com/guavadeartist! His artwork is sick!
365: this mix is definitely a departure from your last. it's brilliant. who are your motivations for such a project?
DJQ: Well just to give you a little history on the whole Avant Garde project. The inspiration to do the first one came about after listening to The Beatles box set. Avant-Garde basically is a term used to describe works that are experimental, and I came across the term after reading up on Paul McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby" on Wikipedia haha. So I thought this would be the perfect name for my next project, especially since I wanted to do something unorthodox.
Avant Garde deux has a different vibe and mood to Avant Garde, but still kept the experimental element.
I used old and new songs, jungle, dubstep, house, hip hop, R&B, and some other stuff that I don't even know how to classify and just sorta blended it all together. But the greatest influence and motivation came from my friends - Hedz, Del, Guy, Terryl, Franny, and Stuart. They have introduced me to so many different kinds of music. Prior to Avant Garde, the template for the majority of my mixes were based on whatever songs were really hot for that year or season, but in my opinion, not every season has enough good songs to put together a proper 60 to 80 minute mix without including a few "filler" tracks. So I got fedup of using that unoriginal formula and made a promise to myself that I would only do unique mixes going forward. I don't expect everyone to understand, appreciate or like every single mix I put out, but it gives me more satisfaction knowing that I put lots of thought into it, used my own ideas, and did not rely on what the masses are listening to or a billboard top 20 chart to create it.
365: do you get a chance to lay down these types of mixes live at any venues in antigua? can you find an audience who comes to a club to catch this kind of gig?
DJQ: Not really. I have been able to throw in one or two odd songs here and there , but that's usually all the patrons are willing to tolerate. Most of the weekly club goers are only interested in hearing dancehall, hip hop, mainstream and soca with a few exceptions in other genres. So it's a little tough to introduce something unfamiliar like dubstep, with it's wobbly, transformer sounding characteristics.
365: where do you get these kinds of grooves? are there some links you might recommend? facebook pages // communities to seek out? do tell.
DJQ: I stumble across most of the content I put on Avant Garde randomly - Mostly from watching Modern Warfare montages on youtube hahaha. Nah, on the real, I just make a note of anything I hear that sounds cool and save it for use later on. I could be watching a movie, a commercial, hear a song on the radio, hear someone singing a tune, anything... I just make note of anything I come across that I think I can use. If I don't know the name of a song, I'll ask around or make a note of it in Memopad so I won't forget to look for it later. I can't help being this way. I just love music...
365: is this mix anywhere besides the download? soundcloud? podomatic?
DJQ: Yes, I recently created a Podomatic and Soundcloud account but have not populated my profile with much content as yet. I wish all these tools were available back in the 90's when I used to make cassettes! High-speed dubbing was my best friend back then.
365: are there any other DJs or local crews you can big-up in Antigua?
DJQ: Most definitely! My DJs! Anderson, Assylum, Stonewall, Sporty, Nez, Miks, Sean, No Limit, Jime, The Mixologist, Selectah J, Charlie, Kuma, Wardadli Souljahs, Sistah Souljahs, Purist all my supporters and I'll just go ahead and insert and asterisk here * for all my other DJs and crews too numerous to mention!
365: who are the DJs on the island you love to catch?
DJQ: I enjoy listening to DJ Nez play. He and I grew up in the Beenie Man / Bounty Killer era of dancehall, Wu-Tang Clan era of hip hop and the Cotton Eye Joe era of house music. So he basically likes the same stuff I do, and nobody can throw down an old school set the way Nez does! DJ Jime, Selecta J, and Miks are prodigies. They learn so fast it's unbelievable!
Almost every time I hear them play they sound better than the last time!
I have much respect for them because they all started off in the Virtual DJ era, but recognized the importance of learning the art form of turntablism. Today all of them have deadly juggling skills on the 1's and 2's, and what can possibly be sweeter than watching a skilled DJ put down a real session old school style? Mixologist is a consistent DJ, so you never have to worry about if the music will be good when he's playing. DJ No Limit is the best competition DJ in Antigua! He has tricks galore! DJ Sporty has crazy energy and is not intimidated by any crowd! He'd be in the middle of a set, ease back his headphones, grab the mic and start instructing everyone in the club to do a certain dance or tell all the ladies to come behind the dj booth because he's feeling cold lol! And it's really amusing to watch him do this because he's kinda short and can barely see over the plexi glass of the dj booth at Rush haha, but he is professional and is an excellent DJ to work with! Sistah Souljahs can go toe to toe with ANY sound! Those girls are tough! And I can go on and on, but I don't want to make this thing longer than it already is. Much respect to all the hard working DJs and sound crews!
365: what about producers? are you a lone gunman or are there others you like to work with?
DJQ: For now I'm a lone gunman, but on Avant Garde deux, I used Jus Bus, Drastic and Loqiq's "Blasting Away" as the perfect ending track for that mix. Many artists, DJ's, sounds, and other groups in Antigua owe a lot to Jus Bus. He is doing so much positive things for the music community down here. I respect him a lot. So if I were to team up with anyone in the future I'd definitely say Jus Bus is the first person that comes to mind.
Thanks Quixx for your time to answer our questions. Looking forward to catching you at one of your upcoming gigs. All the best mate.