ELECTRIC LIFE RECORDS MG Presents…
The Electric Lifestyle Magazine
This MONTHS – Featured Artist: MUSIC
THE FINE WINE
by Derek McKeith
When you think DJ, what’s the first picture that comes to mind?
Depending on your age and demographic, two pictures might pop up. You have the image of today, which usually consists of a young twenty something looking like a scientist doing a whole lot behind the booth. He’s pushing buttons. Color coordinating. Making sure the lines on the sound graph are lining up. He’s pre programmed. Set included. Ready to go!
Then you have the other image of what someone of todays demographic would say is…”OLD SCHOOL”. Aaahh, Old School. Yes, Old School. Those good ole’ days, when the DJ created something major out of something as simple as the break beat. When you had to actually know your music. Your timing had to be on point, because your record would skip or not blend. When the DJ was the life of the party, because they were more a fan of the music than you, and they cared. Yes, the good ole’ days. Well folks, they’re not totally lost. Some still spin vinyl. Some are still digging in the crates. Well this month I want to introduce you to one of those “Old School” DJ’s. This months Electric Lifestyle Magazine feature is on DJ A-Ski. A native to Los Angeles, and a legend in the scene.
I first met DJ A-Ski back in 93’ in Santa Monica, CA at Santa Monica College. Santa Monica College is a very well known junior college highly respected, with one of the highest transfer rates to 4 year colleges and universities. One of the mainstays on campus for African American students looking to transfer out, is the Black Collegiate Center. It’s there that you find out who’s serious about their education. I would see A-Ski in there quite often. That’s also where we first started conversing. Although we had mutual friends in common, we didn’t really hang out or anything. Rather I saw him around DJ’ing at the college functions. I think we even had a class or two, but we just never hung out.
One day, the school had a pep rally, and A-Ski was spinning. I watched how the crowd, from very diverse backgrounds, took a ride on a musical journey that was well mapped, planned and executed. Everyone was dancing in complete merriment. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT IS TO PULL OFF??? He single handedly satisfied the listening tastes of everyone in attendance. He played rock. He played hip-hop. Jazz. Blues. Country. Finally as if to say that wasn’t enough, he closed out with house! “Was this the DJ of the future”? “Was this to be my musical partner in crime”? After the pep rally, I simply walked up to him and said “You’re gonna be my DJ”! He looked at me perplexed. We shot the shit on music, and gear too! He was selling beats at the time, for like $100 a beat. He was an SP dude, and I was a user of the MPC 2000 (floppy disk version). I Still am.
Flash forward to 2000. 7 years had passed since my proclamation of “You’re gonna be my DJ”. I’m a Capricorn, so I believe timing is everything. We had still kept in touch over the years, but I was working on my solo music career which had me touring and rarely around. Finally, I started performing in Los Angeles on a consistent basis, and creating my own events. I was starting to bubble in the underground music scene, and so now I wanted to create my own club called “The Candylady”. Every ghetto in America has one, but I digress. I needed a DJ for the event. One that I could be assured would play something that everyone could rock to. He was that guy.
My show was a little ahead of it’s time I guess, because I left the crowd a little dumb founded with my set. I essentially brought them into my studio mindset, and created tracks on the spot, and sang over them. Something I see Kanye West doing now 17 yrs later. I saw a lot of open mouths that were wowed by that display, but I was more amped to see A-Ski do his thing. To me, it’s about the DJ. I’m originally from the Bronx, NY, so I have love for what the DJ brings to the party. Especially when I know he’s DOPE!
As expected, he killed it! Then he killed it some more, just to make sure they knew he was the one that killed it.
Since then, he’s continued to do just that. I’ve seen this brother consistently grow, perfect his craft, rock parties, and be the life of the party!
Like a bottle of fine wine, it ages flawlessly. It gets better with time. And when tasted, you know you’ve had an experience. Just like a fine wine, this too must be the path of a true DJ. They must get better with time, perfect their craft to a stage of flawlessness. The experience should be enlightening, laced with future flashbacks of a good time.
On behalf of those who recognize real when they hear it. On behalf of those who can recognize a damn good DJ when they hear one. I introduce you to DJ A-Ski.
DJ-A-Ski – Los Angeles