dj shmeejay

Exclusive mix e intervista

C’era un periodo in cui io e il mio amico Luco chattavamo tanto e ci scambiavamo tanta bella musica. Bei tempi! Una mattina mi manda questo link, uno show radiofonico ‘Ain’t no Big Thing‘ di dj ShmeeJay, che va in onda su BoxFrequency.FM il secondo e il quarto giovedì del mese, e dopo 1 ora dalla fine dello show è disponibile in rete. È stato amore al primo ascolto. Un mix di house, disco, soul e funk, nuova musica e chicche del passato. Poi un giorno mentre ero sulla sua pagina facebook, condivido un mix, lo commento, e inzio a chiacchierare con Olof Mattias Järvegren, che altro non è che dj ShmeeJay. Da qui nasce questa bella intervista e un fantastico mix in esclusiva per Modalità Demodè.


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1) Let’s start from the beginning. I know you were born in Sweden and now you live in US. Why did you move there? Where did you start to work as dj?
I grew up in southern Sweden, in the university town Lund, just across the sound from Copenhagen, and I moved to the US with my parents when I was 17. So, I’ve really lived in the states for a long time.
For me djing, or playing tracks, is a fairly recent thing. I’ve been a music head for about as long as I can remember. When I was young my mind was blow when Beastie Boys came out with Licensed to Ill, and a few friends and I set about starting our own rap group.  In hindsight it was a pretty absurd endeavor, 5 white Swedish 14 year old boys trying to do hip hop, but we were working with drum machines, samplers and live instruments trying to recreate the music we loved. Then moving to the States I continued on my own, and my taste in music changing over the years. I spent a lot of time out at forest raves up in the Pacific Northwest US during the 90s, being a staple on the dance floor. I was the first one out and the last to leave.  Then I had kids and settled down a bit, eventually moving to a small town. But I missed the music, and the djs in the small town I was in were not playing what I wanted to hear.  Top 40 and request all night. So it was just a question of taking the mater into my own hands and start playing what I wanted to hear.


2) When I listen to your music I recognize many influences  from the past, 70’s grooves, disco and vocals. Are these samples coming from original music of that time? What are your influences?
I’m really into house and dance music, and I love the classics. Hence you hear a lot of edits and pieces that you’re going to recolonize in what I play. For me, and I’ve though if this a fair bit, I think it’s a lot of my old hip hop roots that are showing up. The music of the 70s was playing in the background when I was growing up, and when I started to listen to hip hop, they were sampling and looping all of this music that wasn’t really in my household on it’s own. When I first started to dig into the music of the 70s it was really at first a quest to rediscover this music form my youth. But instead of hip hop beats to accompany the samples, it’s house music that’s fused into the edits making it house music, disco, soul and funk at the same time.  I just love the groove.


3) Your favourites albums
 This is a real tough one.  For me music is about moods and feelings, and what’s best really depends on where I am at. In fact I’ll only give you my all time favorite, which is the Beastie’s Paul Boutique. It had been a long wait for their follow up, and the day it came out I was at the record store as it opened. I rushed in and bought two copies.  One that I’ve played to death and still listen to tho this day and one copy that’s remained on touched since.


4) Tell me more about your radio show ‘Ain’t no Big Thing’
 A some four years ago I was approached by an online radio station, now defunct GrooveSkool Radio, and was offered a radio show. For the first year the show was just me playing live for a couple of hours, once per week, but somewhere along the line I started to think about a way to incorporate guest. Like I said, I’m in a small town, and the mountain isn’t going to come to Muhammad, so I began reaching out to djs and producers asking if they’d be interested in recording a mix for me. Out of that came Ain’t No Big Thing radio show, with an hour guest mix opening up and then as the guest mix plays out, I mix in and mix live for a another hour, I record the whole thing in one take, and post it to the cloud. Of course, now a days the show is aired on BoxFrequency.FM, who were gracious enough to offer me a home when GrooveSkool Radio folded. I stream live twice a month, one the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 8pm (Pacific Standard Time), and barring any technical difficulties, it’s available as a podcast an hour after the show’s over.


4) Are you on a tour? Do you play in clubs or live?
 I haven’t really toured much.  I’ve been lucky enough to have been invited to play gigs in San Diego and  Los Angeles in California as well as some gigs in the Phoenix, Arizona area last year. Those were all dj gigs in various locations. I’m also involved with a group called Cid & Fancy where we play live shows with laptops and gear. It’s probably my favorite way to perform, but we’ll see what we’ll do next because one of the guys, Tighe (who works solo as Futurewife) just moved to Los Angeles. One of my favorite towns on the west coast, though, is Vancouver, BC. There’s a lot of great music and things happening in British Columbia of Canada.


5) In which city you like to play the most? Or you feel more closer?
That’s easily Seattle, which is at the epicenter of the northwest US musical scene. One of my favorite parties there is the Train Car House Party. It’s a small and free monthly at a Chinese restaurant that’s located in a couple of old train cars, the last Saturday monthly. The key to the party is the people though. The people come for the music and they get down to it.  When I played there a little while back there was nothing but good people getting down to the music. If you ever find yourself in Seattle, last Saturday of the month, make it down to the Train Car House Party.  You will not regret it.


6) Have you ever played in Italy?
 I have not played in Italy, but I have my eyes on Europe, and when I am there I’d definitely try to make time to connect with my friend Belabouche while there.

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