August 26, 2011 | 11:00am
He's made himself at home at pretty much every DJ-focused venue in town, from Chasers to The Clubhouse, setting down temporarily tonight at Club Red. And he's only looking to take on more. The hip-hop turntablist and producer spends his days in graphic and web design.
Damn, guy! Take a break.
For this week's installment of DJ Dossier, we sucked up some of Les' free time to talk wedding gigs, history and making the tough choices.
DJ Name: Les735
Genres spun: The biggest genres I like to spin are underground hip-hop, rap and old school, but I spin just about anything -- Top 40, cumbias, dubstep, house, electronic, Miami bass -- pretty much whatever the venue is looking for.
Regular gigs: Currently I don't have any residencies, but I stay busy with underground hip-hop shows and guest appearances at local clubs. Recently I've been booked at Club Red/Red Owl, The Blunt Club, The Hidden House, Chasers, Black and Tan, The Clubhouse and I also get booked for formal events at Halls and Resorts. I've also made a few guest appearances on Rhyme & Reason Radio the Beat 92.7/99.3.
The root that started my interest was B-Boying and graffiti writing back in elementary school. Being around that culture ... lead me to love the music and wanting to become a producer. However, I found out how expensive an MPC was and spent my saved money on some cheap turntables. Throughout most my high school years I took radio class, which enabled me to practice. After going home I would continue practicing on my own tables until I fell asleep.
Back then the DJ battle circuit was hot, so I focused on scratching and juggling till my records would wear down to a hiss. I've entered a few Guitar Center battles were I made it to local finals and DMC Battles as well. Around junior year in high school I started making mix tapes and producing music with friends. Soon after, I started touring the country with my crew Avenue of the Arts (AOTA) as one of the DJs. I also helped form a group called Central Products that was signed by EMI records in 2004. Since then I've been steadily making beats and DJing.
How did you first get your start as a DJ? I didn't officially call myself a DJ until I entered the battles and competed. DJ battling introduced me to people that were already established as DJs. It also introduced me to hip hop artists that needed a DJ for their performances. So through that I was able to meet promoters and club owners. Plus, when I joined AOTA Crew we started with the mentality of doing it all ourselves. We didn't wait for people to book us. We made our own shows and sometimes booked our own tours.
If you had to choose between producing and DJing, which do you pick? That's definitely a tough choice because I love them both almost equally, but overall I'd have to say DJing. I get a rush from both. I like to see people's reactions when they first hear a track I produced, but I like being on stage performing, cutting it up and getting the crowd moving.
Tell us about a time when gig went drastically wrong. I was just starting and my buddy asked me to help him DJ a wedding. I didn't want to do it but he convinced me to. We were both more comfortable playing underground music and we weren't prepared for a wedding. Basically, the crowd was just giving us the "WTF" look and no one got up to dance the whole night. The groom was his buddy and basically told him to play whatever and so we did. By the time it came down to make the introduction announcement we totally messed it up. We played the wrong song and my friend couldn't get the names right and even freaked the guests out when the microphone gave a loud ass feed back. We didn't know where to hide. We just looked and blamed each other. Shout out to the homie DJ Konradio for that memory.
What are you listening to these days? Right now I've been listening to Jay-Z and Kanye's Watch the Throne, Eminem and Royce's "Bad Meets Evil," Kendric Lamar, Pete Rock and Smif N Wessun, The Game, Odd Future, Evidence, Fashawn, Skyzoo, some dubstep, and the list goes on. I get tired of the same stuff quick, so I'm always looking for new stuff. Also the homie Pickster One got me listening to a little Moombahton that's good stuff right there.
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