Last night, Manuel Camacho took a big step towards local DJ stardom. And it only took 15 minutes to do so. The 24-year-old, who performs as Maneone, bested four other mixmasters (including Convince, Mattafact, and Looney) to reign supreme during a Red Bull Thre3style University DJ battle held on Thursday evening at the Mill Avenue club.
Each competitor got exactly 15 minutes to school their opponents and win over the crowd during the contest, which is a spin-off of Red Bull's nationwide Thre3style series. Camacho did both, as he mixed up an impressive set that featured both hip-hop and Garth Brooks and saw him toss out some PB&J sammies to the audience.
Like the old saying goes, the victor gets the spoils, which in this case were a gigunda check for $1,000 and - more importantly - a spot on the Red Bull Thre3style stage at tomorrow's Sound Wave Music Festival.
As an addendum to our DJ Dossier interview with Maneone several weeks ago, we caught up with Camacho to find out what they keys to his victory were, as well as what he'll bust out with on Saturday at Sound Wave.
Name: Manuel Camacho
Genres: Hip-hop, old school disco, funk, soul, moombahton.
Upcoming Gigs: An afternoon slot at tomorrow's Sound Wave Music Festival on the Red Bull Thre3style Massive stage.
How does it feel to have won a Thre3style battle? I'm not sure if its hit me yet. Right now I'm just chilling with a big-ass check in my hand. And in a few minutes I'll be strutting down Mill Avenue with a big-ass check in my hand. Hopefully [the win] will open up a few more doors with gigs or whatever.
What was the key to your victory? I think it was my song selection, honestly. Everybody was mostly playing bangers and stuff, but I kinda took it the other way and just played some tracks that nobody has heard in awhile or never heard before. Not too much scratching going on. I'm just thinking that I won because my songs we're totally different than [my competition]. I heard a lot of people playing the same songs.
I also had a big group of friends in the back that were cheering. Really loud. I knew a lot of the other DJs had people in the front. And I guess my friends are more rowdy. It was dope.
What did you spin? I played almost everything. I played hip-hop, played some Garth Brooks and a little country, which a lot of people didn't like at first but they [went] along with it. I also used a mashup of Jay-Z and Kanye's "N*ggaz in Paris" with the "Peanut Butty Jelly Time" acapella and threw out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the crowd, which was hot. I loved it. I also put in some moombahton and some trap at the end.
How did you prepare? I mostly listened to previous Thre3style sets and got a lot of ideas from that. Like all the people that have helped my whole career. A lot of old school DJs that were big in Phoenix and that helped me a lot.
Were you nervous? Oh, fuck...I was hella nervous going up in front of a crowd that I had never seen before. I've played more than 100 times but still got all shaky and shit.
Did you practice your set? I tracked it out. I had about four different sets and this one was the best. It was over 15 minutes long so I kept going over it again and again to cut it down to fit the time allowed. I first heard about the [Thre3style] maybe two months, which is when I started. I've had all these other gigs in-between, so I couldn't really practice that much. But every know and then I'd hear a song and be like, "I want that song or that kind of music in there." Most of my practice happened this past week and it paid off.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
What do you have planned for your Sound Wave set? I don't know. I'm not sure what they're expecting. I'm basically planning to play everything I've got, only much longer.
Are you gonna try taking that big check to the bank? I hope they give me a regular little check 'cause this doesn't have no bar codes or nothing on it or anywhere I can sign. I don't know how I'm gonna fit it through the little glass security window or whatnot. They're gonna be like, "What the fuck is that?"
Maneone is scheduled to perform from 2-3 p.m. on Saturday during the Sound Wave Music Festival (via the Red Bull Massive stage) at Big Surf in Tempe. Tickets start at $65.