In Miami, DJs are a dime a dozen. For better or for (usually) worse, anyone with a laptop and a Facebook profile can potentially jump on deck and take over the party.
Fortunately, in the land of eternally thumping bass, a few real DJ talents emerged. Perhaps the most decorated, and genuinely cool, of those few is six-time DMC champion, DJ Craze. The Miami native has even been recognized by Time as America's Best DJ.
While Craze is certainly no newcomer to the game, the world-renowned scratch DJ, producer, and label head hasn't shown any sign of slowing down. With a residency at Mansion, a monthly party at the Garret to showcase his label Slow Roast, and a whole slew of projects in the works, it's safe to say we can continue to expect great things from this homegrown superstar.
Tonight, Craze will make a rare trek up to Lake Worth, where he'll throw down a solid set for the bassheads at the Speakeasy Lounge's dubstep night, Proper Dosage. To help get us pumped up for the party, the turntable master took a moment with New Times to talk about his new Slow Roast party, what kind of set we can expect at Proper Dosage, and why music will never die.
New Times: You've just started up your monthly Slow Roast party at Grand Central's the Garret. Considering the open format and freedom you've been given to showcase your label, how would you say the night fared?
DJ Craze: I think the opening night went well. Me, Louie, and the crew were extremely happy that we got to play exactly what we wanted from house (in the beginning) to Trap/Moombahton, to more deep vibes at the end of the night. People seemed to enjoy it and we got a lot of smiley faces the following day. There wasn't a line around the block, but soon come.
What are some challenges you predict you might face in the coming months keeping up the momentum of the party and how to you plan to meet them?
The only challenge we see in the future is getting the right talent with the right mentality to come play our night. We want DJs to come and throw down a good set, but at the same time we want them to feel completely comfortable playing different than what they're used to. Meaning, try new things and experiment more with new tunes. We want DJs to break records like DJs used to do back in the day. We want to give kids that dubplate feeling, where they know they're going to hear that brand new shit at our night. I think if we accomplish that, the momentum will stay high because you'll never know what to expect and that'll keep it fresh.
Between a residency at Mansion where you play to more of a Top 40 crowd, the Slow Roast Thursdays at the Garret, and other shows opening for people like Gaslamp Killer or the show upcoming at Speakeasy Lounge up in Lake Worth, how do you change or adjust your sound for different crowds?
For me it's all a challenge. I treat every crowd like a challenge and I stay on my toes when it comes to knowing all genres and all types of crowds. When it comes to Top 40 crowds, I tend to go for quick mixes and banger after banger after banger, keeping the energy high and giving them what they want. For the Slow Roast night I want to hit them with couple bangers and couple of fresh tunes that can hang with the bangers, so I can educate on what I think is that new new. For more smaller, intimate vibes like Tablist/Showcase events, I tend to just show off my skills a lot.
The Proper Dosage party at Speakeasy is traditionally a dubstep party. Will that be your main focus this Friday? What can we expect?
For the Speakeasy party I'm gonna do what I do. Most kids that are into dubstep love trap and anything with bass, so I dont think I'll have any issues. I'm just gonna go up there and have a good time and hope they don't expect a brostep set.
What else is next for Craze. Anything new on the production front? New releases on the label?
Right now my main focus is music and my label Slow Roast. I got a couple of EPs (one Moombah, one Loc'd Out) That are 75% complete that I'm gonna try to finish before the end of the year, and I got a new project with my homie Klever called "Cafe Con Leche" that is my main focus right now, because I'm having mad fun working on it. Me and Klever are also working on a mixtape called "$CRATCH NERD$ 2" (The original one was released over 10 years ago) with features by all the greatest scratchers in the world ... Q-bert, A-trak, D-Styles, Ruckazoid and Chris Karns just to name a few.
As far as the label goes, we're happy to announce that we'll be putting out ETC! ETC!'s new EP and that'll be sometime soon, in the next couple of months. We're also working on a TWONK RMXed album and more releases from Codes, Kill The Noise, and myself. I'm having a lot of fun working on music right now and it's gonna show when the music comes out!
I've just read an article in which a music journalist claims "music is dead" because most people have thrown away any physical trace of it and now only rely on subscription services through their tinny laptop speakers. What would be your response to that comment and our changing relationship to music today?
I don't think music is dead. Music will never die. I think the way people listen to and appreciate music has changed. With the internet, music has become so disposable and people have become A.D.D. like a mother*#[?3r. Genres last one year and people listen to albums for no longer than a month and move on to the next thing. Everybody's looking for the next new thing faster and faster. Trap is a good example of this. Two years ago, it was brand new, one year ago it blew up, and today people are starting to ask what's next. Seems like people arent worried about what they really like. They're more worried about whats the next big thing. But yeah ... Music will never die!
"Proper Dosage featuring DJ Craze"
With Mister Gray, DJ Jstorm, The Reazin, and others. 8 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Speakeasy Lounge, 129 N. Federal Highway, Lake Worth. Entrance is $10 for 21 and older, $20 for 18 to 20. Call 561-540-6328, or visit facebook.com/speakeasylw.