DJ Craze

DJ Craze is a world-renowned turntablist and DJ from Miami.

He’s won the DMC World DJ Championship three times in a row and is known for his precise scratching and intricate routines.

With over two decades of experience, he continues to push boundaries and inspire new generations of DJs.

The Interview
By Calvin Cyrus

You’ve had an illustrious career spanning several decades and including 3 consecutive DMC world championships for turntables. With that said, what does being DJ Craze mean to you?
Being Craze is kinda cool I’m not gonna lie 😉
At this point in my career and life, I’ve come to appreciate what I’ve done for the game, the culture and myself. For years, and still now, I just wake up and try to make what I think is dope shit. From now till I’m gone, I’m gonna continue to be the best at what I do.

You’re surrounded by A1 talent all the time, from Goldie to Skrillex. Do you ever reminisce and think about the struggle years?
I always reminisce about the struggle years. It’s important to not forget that struggle and what made you become who you are. Being around GOATS is amazing and keeps me inspired, but nothing has inspired me more than being broke hahaha.

You’ve had a relationship with so many different sounds, as evidenced by your DMC sets, from hip hop to drum and bass. What kind of sounds are you looking for when you create a set?
For me, whatever I play has to excite me. I got into DnB because I was not excited by Hip Hop anymore. I got into Moombahton cause DnB was not exciting anymore, and so on and so on. I have to be excited with anything that I’m doing and that’s how I usually come up with my sets. A combination of what excites me and how I can get people to relate to my excitement.

You’ve curated collections for music lovers under your record label Slow Roast. Tell us how that got started and what the future looks like for the label.
Slow Roast Records was started around 10 years ago by me and Kill The Noise (Jake). We just wanted an outlet to put out music that we believe in. Our motto is “No Fast Food Shit … We Slow Roast” Meaning, We have always looked to put out music that will stand the test of time and not trendy. We set trends, we don’t follow them. We’ve put out music from Kill The Noise, Brillz, Jon Casey, Singularis, Sober Rob, Codes, Klever and recently Baile producers Klap, Klean and A-Par to name a few. I’m always looking for the next wave and I think 2024 is gonna be big for Future Baile.

Are there any producers you wanna shout out that are going to be doing big things soon?
Imani, Buunshin, Caracal Project, Karan, Totten, A-Par, Klap, Klean, Hamdi, Visages, and Airglo are all going up!!!

You are a product of Miami Dade County. How did Miami shape your early experiences with music?
Miami has been a great inspiration to me when it comes to music. Everything from growing up with Miami Bass and Freestyle music which is very club orientated to Reggae/ Dancehall, Salsa, Merengue and Hip Hop. Miami is like a lil Latin America so my love for Bass and Caribbean culture runs deep.

What are your Top 3 food spots in Miami?

  1. KOTE
  2. Texas De Brazil
  3. Guayacan

What’s a story from the road that you can safely share with the audience about what’s its like to be a traveling artist?
Awww man hahaha … Too many stories, but the one I can share is to please make sure you got proper work visas, cause getting deported from countries sssuuuccckkksss. Also the obvious, take care of your body when you’re on the road cause that shit catches up with you.

Your NEW SLAVES routine has almost 3 million views on YouTube. Pretty powerful numbers. What inspired you to create that piece and how has it impacted you since it dropped?
the New Slaves routine was one of, if not, my best routine of all time. It came at a time when celebrity DJs was a thing and the art form was being ignored. I wanted to make a statement and I wanted people to see how amazing the art form of Turntablism can be. I wanted to make a video expressing what I felt at the time, without saying a single word. The reception it got when it first came out was amazing and the video in my opinion is still relevant. The DJ game has become a producer game and the art form of it has almost been forgotten. But the New Slaves routine is still a reminder that this thing we call Turntablism is an ARTFORM and will always be here. My next video will be another reminder of how amazing Turntablism is.

You are putting on for drum and bass in Miami. What’s that experience been like, from working with venues to sourcing and bringing down talent?
I’ve been spinning Drum and Bass for a long time but I took a break from 2009 — 2020 … The Pandemic made me reevaluate what I wanna do moving forward with my career and I simply wanted to go back to the things that truly make me happy which is Hip Hop, Drum & Bass and Turntablism. We decided to bring back Beatcamp and it’s been going great ever since. I really wanna make Miami a Drum And Bass hotpot for North America. I’m gonna keep pushing and we’re gonna keep throwing dope parties.

Your daughter is a DJ now. What were some things that you’ve taught her along the way? Tell us about what it’s like being a DJ parent to a younger DJ.
Yeah shout out Angie aka “Orchid” (Funny story — Goldie gave her that name after one night we was hanging in Miami ;)). I never thought she was gonna be a DJ or a Liquid DnB DJ at that because she was more into singing. But she would go out with us and see the vibe that DNB had and she just fell in love with the music. I asked her if she would like to open for us at Beatcamp and she was down. Now she’s working on tunes and she’s loving it so that’s all I care about. I always told her that whatever she wants to do I would support it but it has to make her happy and she has to work hard to be dope. She has a bright future ahead of her so I’m a proud dad 🙂 It’s awesome that she DJs cause even before she did all we do at the crib is talk about music and DJ culture so now she’s a part of that and it’s such a vibe knowing that my daughter is becoming a DJ as well.

We love to see that you’ve been getting a ton of bookings recently. What’s on your plate for 2023?
Thanks! 2023 is gonna be filled with tons of gigs and I’m gonna be heading to EU in June and New Zealand and Australia early next year. I just wanna keep making tunes, putting out tunes on Slow Roast and keep touring. It’s what makes me happy!

If we fast forward to 2033, where is DJ Craze?
Hopefully we’re all still alive and living in a habitable planet. If yes, I hope I’m still doing what I love and still healthy. That’s all I care about …. Living out my last days on this planet with a smile on my face 🙂
Thanks guys!!!

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