Introducing DJ A.Z. aka “MR.SEEIT2BLVIT” hailing from Rosedale, Queens.
A.Z. is of Haitian decent. He grew up in a strict household that didn’t approve of the Hip-Hop culture. “My parents didn’t allow me to be engaged in the Hip Hop world. I would beg my mother to spend the night over my cousin’s house because after my aunt sent us to bed, my cousin would leave the radio on all night and I’d get to hear all the new music and dope artists that were trending at the time. That’s how I stayed connected to Hip-Hop.”
He was particularly fascinated with the DJs and how they cut, blended and spun records. “I was mesmerized with the DJs and how they played. Hearing them take a hot record and blend it with another hot record to create an even hotter record was amazing to me!”
The first time A.Z. went to a live party and saw first hand how the DJ controlled the crowd and the mood of the party, he knew it was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
A.Z. began DJ’g in 2007 after finishing high school. He started off doing small, local events while he saved up money to buy his own equipment and rent spaces to practice his craft.
DJ’g was no hobby, this was his future. “I didn’t want to be like other DJ’s who just played songs and pushed buttons. Because to me, the turntables are an instrument. I wanted to learn how to manipulate the TurnTables backwards and forwards and be able to scratch and blend records with precision.”
He looked to local DJ’s who were well-experienced for guidance. They helped A.Z. build his library of music and taught him the basics of rocking a party. “At that point I felt I knew enough and had the confidence to DJ in a club.”
He began DJ’g regularly at local venues, gaining experience and making a name for himself. “That worked until I took a huge loss in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit. All of my equipment was destroyed and I was forced to start over from the ground up.”
A.Z. was determined to move past this loss and rebuild. It took some time but he eventually bought new equipment and got back to DJ’g clubs and lounges. “I was excited to be back on my grind! I turned it up a notch and began branding myself and I haven’t looked back since.”
A.Z. describes his style of DJ’g as aggressive and unorthodox. “Behind the set I am aggressive and spontaneous. I try to stay away from cliché mixes, for example “Maria Maria” blending into “Wild Thoughts” (laughing). My song selections and mixes are different every time I play, which helps keep other DJ’s from biting my mixes and claiming them as their own.”
He is a definite crowd pleaser and plays for the enjoyment of the masses. “I am well versed on the genres of music I play and I have an intense passion for pleasing the crowd. I like to get in and out of records a little quicker than the average DJ, which I learned from watching the greats before me. I studied their scratching, blending and joggling techniques, added parts of them to my own flavor and created my unique style.”
A.Z. aspires to become successful DJ and producer while keeping the true art of DJ’g alive. “The more and more times are changing, the more and more I feel the DJ is being forgotten about. During the golden years of Hip-Hop, an emcee wouldn’t dream of performing without his DJ. Things are very different now with the changes and developments in technology.”
And he won’t let the industry forget how important the presence of a live DJ is. “The art of DJ’g has changed from carrying crates full of records and having to know what BPM’s are. Now we carry our laptops and create playlists on the computer. Inventions like the iPad and digital music streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify have made it to where people don’t feel they need a live DJ at their event. But I think the DJ’s position in Hip-Hop is still very important. A computer can’t bring the energy that a live DJ can. It also can’t measure the crowd’s temperature or know what’s hot in the streets.”
A.Z. likes to put on a show while he’s spinning. “Sometimes I may get on the mic and tell a story that relates to the next song I’m gonna play to, you know, hype the record a bit. I also play in sets based off the vibe of the crowd. My ear for music is different. I know when to play the cliché “hottest record” then mix it up by throwing on a record that no one expects to hear in a club or a throwback record that puts the crowd in a zone. I’m pretty great at what I do, you gotta see it to believe it!”
He was fortunate enough to grow up during the best eras of Hip-Hop, from the late 80’s to early 2000’s. “I’ve seen first hand how the course of Hip-Hop has changed. There are so many DJ’s and artists who have influenced my career, as well as some historical events in Hip-Hop that influenced me to become a DJ. I feel blessed and grateful to be a part of this culture.”
DJ A.Z. released his first mixtape titled, “iB“, last winter. The tape featured new artists from various states. He personally traveled to each of their cities to record songs with them. “It was a dope experience! I called it, “The Vacation Tour”. I visited the inner cities of New York, Boston, Miami and many other states. I learned how much work really goes into putting together a complete project.”
He has plans to produce more music in the future but for now A.Z.’s focus is branding himself to become a household name and continuing to put his talents on display at a venue near you.
Keep an eye on this rising star, DJ A.Z., he is sure to leave his mark on the Hip-Hop culture!
INSTAGRAM : @DJ_A.Z._