Meet the man from Miami with the world at his fingertips! One of the king of scratch walked away with the prestigious U.S. title at this year’s Technics DMC World Championships in New York this month, a dream come true for the turntablist who grew up with listening to ‘Thriller’ and evolved into thrilling crowds around the world with his incredible thrills. Will he moonwalk to the World Title in November? Dan Prince dives in for a world DMC exclusive…
Photos by Ming Han, Ignacio Soltero and Christie Z
Scott, a huge welcome to DMCWORLD Magazine… where in the world are you right now?
Hey Dan, hey DMC!! Right now I am in my home city of Miami, Florida.
We always kick off DJ interviews with this – what is the best piece of new music you have heard this week?
I’m very excited for an album coming out from Ta-Ku called SONGS TO COME HOME TO. Been a big fan of his for a while.
I know you have been asked a trillion times before – but tell us about your DJ name…
It comes from a scene in the Steve Martin remake of Pink Panther. He answers a telemarketer and gives his email as email@example.com. A young me thought this was hilarious and started using the entire email address as an online gamer tag. The other people playing would shorten firstname.lastname@example.org to just knockers when talking to me and after a while it stuck. When it came time to pick a DJ name I figured why not. Also, everyone loves knockers. Right?
So here we go… CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING THE 2023 DMC USA TITLE!!! Dude. Were you confident as you stepped up?
Confidence in a battle context is interesting. I wouldn’t say going in that I was thinking this is mine 100% – because you can really never predict what will happen in a live battle. But this was the most comfortable I’ve ever felt going into a battle. So at least in my ability to perform this routine, I was pretty confident.
Who were you fearing in this year’s comp?
Perly defending was always something in the back of my mind.
This year DMC have really stepped up with live finals at some of the biggest festivals in the world. What were your thoughts when Christie Zeeannounced the U.S. Final would be at LL Cool J’s Rock The Bells festival?
I was really just happy that live battling was coming back at all – so I was completely blown away to hear that the finals would be with Rock The Bells!
“Doin’ it” is so good. A close second is Deepest Bluest (Shark’s Fin).
Okay let’s rewind for a moment. What is your earliest memory of music in your life?
The Michael Jackson – Thriller music video is a pretty vivid one. I also clearly remember my parents putting on a Roxette – The Look vinyl for me to dance around to.
Do you hail from a musical family, was there music everywhere in the family home?
No one played musical instruments but music was always around. Latin family parties would always mean Tio’s and Tia’s end up dancing. My mom would also play background music in the house while cleaning.
At what point did DJing enter your world… how old were you when you first put the needle on the record?
Kind of late in life actually. I was about 21 when I first actually touched turntables with the intention of DJing.
Name us a big tune from back in the day you still like playing out…
Eprom – Regis Chillbin is my favorite sound check song. It’s 11 years old but somehow still sounds like it’s from the future.
When did you first encounter DMC?
DJ Immortal was my introduction to DMC. He was preparing for the 2012 US Finals and I saw him practice.
DMC just held their UK Final at the massive Boomtown Festival – I was hanging backstage with Craze, Mr Switch, Prime Cuts, JFB, DJ Lord, DJ QuestionMark and a whole lot more… and the main topic of conversation was how there is a real band of brothers/sisters vibe between turntablists… unlike the house and techno scene. It’s one big family! Why is that do you feel?
This is so true! I’ve always felt at home around fellow turntablists. I think we understand the time commitment and love you have to have to be working so hard at perfecting a craft. We can appreciate the kind of shared goal we all have of pushing the culture.
The greatest battle set you have ever witnessed?
This one is so hard! Going to go with DJ Brace. We battled the year he won a DMC World Online title. Craze showcasing his new stuff is also up there but it wasn’t technically a battle.
What new competitions would you like DMC to introduce and why?
Maybe a Scratch Music category. Could be a way to showcase the musicality that’s possible with turntablism without scaring away people who aren’t into more hardcore battle formats.
An artist dead or alive you would like to hit the studio with?
An album you would never sell?
The entirety of my way too large scratch record collection. Especially the out of print stuff from Cut & Paste Records.
What is your greatest attribute/skill as a DJ/turntablist?
My DJ super powers are scratching and unique song selection.
And finally – the World Finals are next for you on November 3rd. You bringing the trophy home?
Again it’s so hard to say with these kinds of things. But I can absolutely promise that I’m doing everything possible to bring a world title back to the USA.