There are many perks involved with being a DJ: Complimentary booze, free schwag, the adoration of hundreds at gigs, and (depending on the particular selector or promoter) possibly a nice payday.
Then there are the more unusual bonuses, like the one that DJ Intel got the other night at The Monarch Theatre. The Chicago-based selector, who travels to Phoenix annually for the anniversary celebrations put on by the Valley's renowned hip-hop/b-boy collective Furious Styles Crew, was chillaxing backstage at the club with five ladies sporting bikinis.
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He'd performed earlier for the kickoff night the FSC's six-day party and got to decorate each of the half-naked beauties with body paint along with Edson "House" Magana and other members of the crew.
Nice work if you can get it.
Intel, who's been coming to the Furious Styles shindigs for years, told us about how bikini babes aren't the only benefit of visiting Phoenix each year to help drive the FSC b-boys on the dance floor with hip-hop and house tracks. The 34-year-old also shared the experience of being one of the millions in Chicago who celebrated the re-election of the city's favorite son Barack Obama on Tuesday night and how he wished he could've been the official DJ for the POTUS.
Name: Jason Deuchler
AKA: DJ Intel
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Preferred genres: I started out as a hip-hop-curious kinda guy and then I got into downtempo-like electronica, like just beats, and I'm from Chicago so I have a love for house.
How long have you been DJing? Oh man, I think I started in 1992-93, so almost 20 years. I was a hip-hop guy who started doing raves in Chicago in 1993-94, the rave scene has always been kinda big in Chicago. I got into drum 'n' bass also. I kinda love everything, but mainly its downtempo, hip-hop, drum 'n' bass, and house for me.
What's the significance of your nickname? I got it in high school. I started a group called Chicago Tribe -- we were like a party/DJ crew and a b-boy troupe. And I was like an honor roll kid and the other members made fun of me, called me Intel Pentium Chip. There you go.
What are some of the bigger clubs you've played in Chicago? I do The MID on a regular basis, I do Smart Bar on a regular basis too. They're probably the biggest ones. I also do a bunch of small monthlies as well.
How long have you been involved with the Furious Styles Crew? I've been coming here for probably the last five years or so. There's a graf-art crew called CMW and House is from the CMW crew and I've kinda known him that way. House was a member of Chicago's Most Wanted.
When performing at the Furious Styles anniversaries, do you spin all hip-hop? I play everything. It's definitely an open styles event to be sure. They do a separate event called open styles and I think I've DJ'd at it every year. I've played everything there: Heavy metal, dubstep, hip-hop, house, it all happens. It's a fun battle.
Have you ever been a b-boy yourself? I've dabbled here and there, but definitely not coordinated enough to give up DJing.
Do you create special mixes for the Furious Styles Anniversary? I have a few times. This year I'm kind just out here having a good time playing whatever I want to play. Its always a good time when I come out here. I never know what to expect, but its always fun.
Do you typically plan out your mixes or spin on the fly? Depends on what I'm doing. Sometimes I pre-plan, sometimes its all freestyle. For b-boys it's hard to pre-plan because you're playing for dancers, so you have to keep em dancing and kinda have to go freestyle sometimes and spin the right sound. Or at least for me that's how it is. DJ Intel performing at a Furious Styles Crew anniversary event in 2011.
Why do you keep coming out to Phoenix for the Furious Styles anniversary? I love b-boy crews and they're one of the best. They have a real good time, they love to party. The b-boy scene out here is really good. And then the guys come out to Chicago every once in awhile too and its good to see all the interchanging scenes. And then Arizona's always fun to come to. It's November in Chicago and its cold. And its like 75 degrees here. So that's always a bonus. But everybody gets down, so its always fun to come out here. It's like wall-to-wall music.
So there's plenty of perks of coming out the Furious Styles' anniversary, like hanging out with half-naked models. Yeah. There may be photos of that. And the warm weather's nice (laughs). Not bad. Now if I can only find a 4 a.m. slice of pizza I'd be really happy.
It is easier for b-boys to dance to hip-hop versus house or dubstep? It's weird. It's completely a personal thing. Like everyone can dance to different things. I think as long as there's a beat, then you can dance to it. That's kind of my rule of thumb.
What's the craziest thing that you've seen at a Furious Styles event? There's been some really crazy stuff that I've seen. I actually saw two b-boys battle it out last year to "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison. That was pretty awesome. They went full-heart in a b-boy battle to Roy Orbinson, which is not the usual b-boy jam.
It's been said that the DJ is one of the four elements of hip-hop culture along with b-boys, graf art, and rapping. Do you agree? I think the DJ is definitely the backbone of everything because we kinda provide the rhythm and everything goes based off of that.
What's your favorite track of the moment? I really like the new track from Dan the Automator and Kid Koala, its called "Pillowfight." It's so R&B and is just sick.
Will you be dropping it at any of the Furious Styles events? I actually might play it this weekend.
As a Chicago native, were you thrilled by the POTUS winning re-election on Tuesday? I can't be made that Obama won for another four years. I'm pretty excited about that. I was a little worried early on in the night because the votes weren't going the way we wanted them to go, but it worked out for sure.
Were you at the big parties in Chi-Town? I wasn't at McCormick Place [for the Obama victory party] but there was a really good DJ playing there last night, DJ Mel from Austin, Texas. He was probably the most widely-heard DJ ever getting to DJ for Obama. It was like the ultimate gig. I only wish I could've been him. I was at another party.
What's the biggest gig of your career? Earlier this year I played between Calvin Harris and Borgore for 6,000 people at the Congress Theatre in Chicago. So that was kinda awesome.
Do you feed off the energy of the b-boys dancing while performing? Yeah, you definitely feed off their energy. You're trying to keep like one-upping them, keep them going and going out there.
Based on your current haircut, Obama isn't the only favorite son of Chicago that you support. Yeah, I have Michael Jordan hair art, as I'm told its called. I was in a hair show the other day and I got a full Air Jordan piece shaved into the back of my head. Jordan is the king of all basketball.
Is this year their year, now that Derrick Rose is back? We've started out decent so we'll see how it goes.
Do you have a particular mantra when it comes to DJing? Keep it fun, keep it original. That's kinda what I always say.
DJ Intel is scheduled to perform at both Civic Space Park and the Hidden House tonight, as well as at Cyphers on Saturday and Sunday, for the Furious Styles Crew's anniversary. More details can be found on the FSC's website.