Who are you?
I am DJ Clean, the sound of the people. I am a curator of mood and an innovator of long lasting memories through music.
Where are you from and what do you do?
I'm originally from Washington DC, but I've been living in New York for four years. I tour the United States playing a variety of genres at clubs and special events.
Are there people in your field you look up to? Why?
I look up to various DJ's and music moguls. I like Jazzy Jeff, because the guy basically created most of the scratch techniques that we use today. He's a legend in the game and has made a career out of pursing his passion. Lil Jon is dope, because he literally shifted how club music sounded. The Crunk movement was serious. He was also one of the first innovators to present twerking. Lil’ Jon transcended multiple genres of music effortlessly and has one of the most recognizable DJ/Producer brands in the music industry. Biz Markee also puts on one hell of a show. His energy is non-stop and he is a pretty down to earth guy. Chris Karns is an amazing DJ. DJ Scratch is a legend! He's another founder of the way DJ's scratch and rock parties
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I pray. I have to thank the creator for another day on earth.
What’s one thing you carry daily? Why is this item essential?
I carry my cellphone daily. I think that it's one of the best things ever created. I'm always receiving emails, texts, and phone calls about gigs, and I like to be ready to respond. I also carry gemstones. In this industry you have to be protected from bad vibes.
What musical artists have had the biggest impact on your life? How?
Jay-Z, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, Sway and King Tech, Jurassic 5, Nas, The Alchemist, Chuck Brown, Daft Punk and a lot of others I can't remember all impacted me differently. Jay Z's Reasonable Doubt literally changed my perspective on everything in my life. I would listen to that album every morning and evening on the way to school. Tribe had the smooth sound. Sway and King Tech had dope lyrics and beats. The Roots were revolutionary. I'm of Caribbean descent, so Machel Montano is one of the biggest artists that had an impact on me. I have yet to see an American artist that can compete with his dexterity during live performances. I grew up in DC, where Chuck Brown is a legend, the Godfather of GO-GO.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
The best advice I've ever gotten was from my sister. She told me that no one owes me nothing. This quote can prepare you for disappointment. There were times when I used to ask people who I knew and who worked in music for help. After continuous disappointment, I stopped asking for help and started working harder. Working harder lead to opportunities, and the rest is history.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
What inspires you to keep going everyday?
My family, my friends and my love of music.
When will you stop?
Probably when I’m 50 (or before).
To own multiple companies and make my money work for me.I’d like to relax and do the family thing.
The photos of DJ Clean contained in this post were taken during downtime on the road. DJ Clean is currently touring the U.S. with the Vans Warped Tour.
Photo Credit: Nicole Stephens (@nikkijeanphoto)