The DMC 2011 World Champion
It has only been a matter of weeks since this Colorado turntablist superstar flew into London and walked off with the title of champion of the DMC world. Dan Prince touches base with him now the dust has settled!
Welcome back Vajra to DMC. How has winning the DMC WORLD DJ CHAMPIONSHIP changed your life?
“It has given me credibility that can never be taken away. Nobody can ever tell me that I “suck” ever again.”
Q-Bert, Ca$h, Craze, the late Roc Raida all made great careers for themselves on the back of their DMC successes and Shifty has had to interrupt his academic career to accommodate DJ work. What, in an ideal world can you see Vajra doing for the next few years?
“I am very focused on making the most out of the opportunity that has been presented to me. My goals are to get out and play a lot more shows and also to represent the DMC brand by being present at all of their battles worldwide.”
To win the DMC’s require years of refusing to go out and hang with your friends, instead annoying the neighbours with the bass drifting through the walls. Did you find it easy to resist all these normal teenage activities and what did your family think of where your head had gone?
“It was easy for me to stay in and practice all the time. I just can’t seem to get enough of it. It’s my favorite thing to do. My parents were supportive once they saw that it was a catalyst for me to stay home and out of trouble.”
What was the moment you knew you had to get some turntables under your fingers?
“I tried to experiment with scratching off and on since I was 9 years old, but it wasn’t until I was 17 and saw my first DMC video that I realized that was what I wanted to do with my life.”
Describe a typical day for you?
“Wake up, do an interview, get on the decks, pick up my kids from school, take my lady out to dinner, then get back on the decks until I pass out.”
If you had to point to one element of the art which catapulted turntablism forward, where would you point that talented finger of yours?
“Scratching. It is infinite in it’s combinations and ever expanding. Music to my ears.”
You backed off at the final stage of the 2011 DMC Online DJ Championship, why when you were so near to winning? Did Uncut frighten you?
“The only reason I entered the online competition was to try and earn a spot in the World Finals. Once I had won in NYC, I was already in, so I didn’t want to give away my set to the public at that point. Unkut is an amazing DJ, but I am not scared to battle against anyone. I have never approached a battle as me vs. anyone else. I always just try to do “me” to the best of my ability, and if that’s enough to win a competition, then so be it.”
Did you agree that Uncut won, shall we say, hands down?
What do you think of the variety of styles displayed throughout the ONLINE CHAMPIONSHIP, should for example pure turntablism be segregated into it’s own contest or compete against technology?
“The online competition should stay as it is. Turntable based, with added technology. I love it.”
What do you say to those who criticise DJs advancing more and more towards digital equipment?
“Those people need to get with the times. Vinyl is always going to be relevant, but digital is so much better in so many ways. Limiting yourself as an artist has never been a good approach.”
Can they remain as visually exciting as the turntablist DJ?
“Yeah, I think so. As long as people don’t use the technology as a crutch, or an excuse to be lazy, it is definitely a beautiful thing to watch.”
What’s your own favourite piece of equipment?
“The Rane TTM 57 mixer.”
Where can we find your music?
“http://djvajra.com – or type DJ Vajra on iTunes to subscribe to my free podcast, or buy my album ‘The Required Taste’.”
Best night you have had since winning the DMC World Final?
“The Beauty Bar in Denver threw a party for me to celebrate the victory, and it was AMAZING. So many people came out who have supported me over the years, and the energy in the room was unbelievable.”
What is your current top 10 you are spinning…
B.O.B. – Strange Clouds
Lil Wayne – Megaman
Sebastian – Love in Motion (Skrillex Remix)
Skrillex – Bangarang
Noisia – Tommy’s Theme
Calvin Harris – Feel So Close (Nero Remix)
Consequence Feat Kanye West & John Legend – Whatever U Want (Jwls Bootleg)
Chiddy Bang – Mind Your Manners (Dirty)
Phonte – We Go Off (feat. Pharoahe Monch)
Rick Ross feat Meek Mill – Perfectionist feat Meek Mill (Prod by The Alchemist)
Who are your DMC hero’s?
“Q-Bert, Mix Master Mike, Craze, A-Trak, Roc Raida, Klever, Shiftee, Tigerstyles, C2C, Kireek, Izoh, Kentaro, Dexta, Babu, Total Eclipse, Precision, Spryte, Kico, and many more.”
Aims for 2012?
“To get my name out and build my brand as much as possible.”