It was a hot weekend at The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City. Aqua Fridays kicked off with a Mystery Guest performance featuring Mims. This why I’m hot, this is why I’m hot, this is why, this is why, this is why I’m hot, ya’ll…who didn’t love to karaoke to that back in 2007? Then Ciara kept it going with a killer rendition of “Oh” on Saturday. But Mims and Ciara weren’t the only ones bringing the heat! DJ Ease was in the house as part of the Beatclan Takeover that went down both Friday and Saturday. You know him. He’s the one that can go from ’80s to Hip Hop to Reggae to Top 40 without skipping a beat. And you all totally feel it. DJ Ease…apropos…don’t you think?
This guy has won many honors and has made his mark from coast to coast AND from country to country. He is also a credible producer and has opened shows for big named bands like The Beastie Boys and The Black Eyed Peas. Not too shabby at all. Learn more about DJ Ease’s story in his interview with us, below.
TAC: How did your DJ journey begin?
DJ Ease: I started out gaining recognition for making Hip-Hop mix tapes in high school. I was making up to fifty dollars a day selling these mix tapes in the hallways. I went on later to compete and win scratch battles from Rochester to NYC which caught the attention of artists and record labels looking for a tour DJ at that time.
TAC: How did you get your DJ name – DJ Ease?
DJ Ease: It was my graffiti name as a kid that my peers started calling me by. It has stuck since then.
TAC: Your bio says that you are a 7x DJ champion! Tell us about this!
DJ Ease: From 2002-2005, I have won seven scratch battles from New York to New Jersey. So far this year, I have won three national battles including the Master of the Mix WMC Beat Matching Championship, WMC Scratching Championship, and the DMC U.S. Atlanta Regional DJ Championship. Winning the DMC U.S Atlanta regional championship, qualifies me to compete in the DMC USA Finals which will take place August 3rd 2013 in New York City .The winner of the USA finals will progress to the DMC world finals in the UK this fall to represent the U.S. Thus far, I am a 10x DJ champion.
TAC: Good for you! You are also a “personal celebrity party DJ”. Who is the most exciting celebrity you have ever played for? And what was the party like?!
DJ Ease: The most exciting celebrity I ever played for was Big Boi from the group OutKast. It was his Birthday party at Stankonia Studios in Atlanta where they recorded all their hits. There was even a nightclub in the back. The party was live and he had his mother barbecuing while The Big Game was on the big screen. People were dancing while rooting for the Giants over the Pats and at the end of the night Big Boi played us a load of his unreleased music. Definitely Unforgettable!
TAC: You are versed in Top 40, Club classics, ‘80s, ‘90s, Hip Hop, Reggae, House and Electro genres of music. How are you able to stay on top of so many genres and what are some of your favorite beats from each?
DJ Ease: Aside from knowing a lot of classic old music because my Uncles are also DJs (I stole a lot of their records), I spent a few years DJing on cruise ships that held up to 5,000 people. I had to be on top of what works for a crowd of different personalities and age groups. In Top 40 right now, I am feeling most of what Calvin Harris is putting out. Michael Jackson for the ’80s, mostly Jay-Z & Biggie to represent the ’90s, Beenie Man for reggae, AfroJack and my boy KILL the NOISE for electro. In Hip Hop today Kendrick Lamar and Drake are killing it.
(Hey, how about a Calvin Harris dance party break for your Monday?)
TAC: What is your favorite way of working some of those genres together in the club?
DJ Ease: Programming them in an order that builds a night of experience, surprise, and memory lane. Making the party-goer not want to go home.
TAC: What do you like most about spinning at The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City?
DJ Ease: The fact that I know this crowd is here to party. Not to sip water or to waltz, but to have the best night of their lives and to get pushed to the point of jumping in the pool wearing something it took them forever to put on. That’s the DJs job!
TAC: Totally! You have international DJ experience as well. How were you able to expand your career well outside of the East coast let alone the United States?
DJ Ease: I became a tour DJ for artists and bands with international fan bases. Capitol Records hired me to DJ for a band that had a hit record in Japan. I toured with them internationally for some time. I also went on tour with AFU-RA, a member of the Gang Starr Foundation. We toured 50 cities around the US with Wu-Tang Clan member Inspectah Deck and ended up touring Europe for two years straight. Amidst the time of international and domestic touring, I made enough connections and relationships to book my own tours worldwide.
TAC: What inspires you when creating mixes?
DJ Ease: Knowing people are going to be listening in their cars on the way to a club or work. Getting the great feedback inspires me.
TAC: What do you hope to accomplish in your DJ career that you haven’t accomplished yet?
DJ Ease: Taking my skills to the next level as a mixer and a producer. The better I get,the better the party gets!