.DJ Craze was introduced to drum and bass while playing a gig in Munich in 1997, where he saw DJ Hype and SHY FX perform. The following year, he won his first of three consecutive World DMC Championships and was cemented firmly into American DJ culture.
Over the years, his career has taken him on a crazy ride that has included being tour DJ for the likes of Kanye West and Yelawolf, tours around the world, and the launch of Slow Roast Records. But Craze has been slowly dippin’ his toe back into the waters of Lake Drum and Bass as of late, so we took it as an opportunity to talk to the G.O.A.T.
Keep reading to find out which current artists get him excited, how to succeed in the music business, how he approaches his DnB sets. You’ll also find out where you can catch one of his exclusive and legendary all drum and bass performances this week.
How do you approach your drum & bass sets compared to the other styles you’re known for?
“I approach my DnB sets like I do all my sets. I prep things I know will work and I try to sneak in a lot of things that I like, things that separate from all the other dnb DJs. I’ll definitely sneak in some of my hip hop roots whether it be an acapella or a dope little intermission. I’ll add some “flavaful” scratching (not too much) And I’ll do a lot of trick mixing.”
It seems the last couple of years you’ve been doing more drum and bass sets again. Anything specific bringing you back? Any chance for a resurrection of Cartel Records?
“Well, I’ve done 3 dnb sets in the last couple years, excluding my Beats & DnB night that I started in Miami a couple of months ago. It all started with Machete asking me if I could play Respect two years ago. I didn’t wanna do any more DnB sets, but getting into the Beats scene made me start loving it again.. That night was so awesome that I decided to start spinning it again for select dates. I don’t want to be pigeonholed into being a Dnb DJ again so I’m just gonna select parties that I really like.
Unfortunately, Juju is out of the game so I wouldn’t dare try to restart Cartel Recordings without him.”
You’ve said in the past that you’re a DJ first and a producer second. Any advice you’d give to DJs on how to succeed in the current landscape of the music industry?
“I’ve said that in the past but oooohhhhh… how times have changed! Nowadays people don’t care how good of a DJ you are. All people care about is analytics and clout. Promoters and agents don’t care how good of a DJ you are. It just matters how big your numbers are and how many people you can get in the door.
That’s why it makes more sense to become a producer nowadays. And that kinda sucks for the culture because there’s no one educating people on new music. That’s one of the reasons why DnB isn’t that big in the U.S. anymore. New producers just wanna make what’s “popular”. Since dnb isn’t as popular other genres, there’s no education on how good it is.”
Time to name drop! What current DnB artists have your attention and why do they excite you?
“Signal, Current Value, Urbandawn, Audio, TC. There are just too many great producers in DnB. The quality coming out right now is amazing!
…I miss Dillinja though.”
You can catch DJ Craze dropping one of his exclusive all drum & bass sets on Friday, August 23rd at the SD Union 9 Year Anniversary party at Spin Nightclub.