You should know the name DJ Odi by now – a resident of the legendary NASA parties in New York, and a member of Digital Konfuzion, Zulu Nation, and G-Force crews. With a cool list of accolades stretching from then to now, Odi is more focused than ever, hosting a studio in North Carolina, producing multiple releases to see the light in 2017, as well as more touring in the future.
Odi, you’ve been around for a while, and one of the highlights that everyone always talks about is the NASA parties of NYC in the early 90s. What were those like? How did they play into you getting into DJing?
The NASA events were life changing. For me they were the prototype of what became the rave culture for years to come. Combined with the storm and caffeine events it defined for a generation what we thought of as rave culture.
I was already into the music, but being able to play NASA is what proved to me I could make it a career!
What was it like in NYC then? You are credited with assisting in the evolution of the scene out there.
New York City at that point was kind of an open book you were able to do anything and really likes a lot of creative muscle. I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that the mayor didn’t care as much about my life as later mayor is dead. Also the gulf war was happening. And it put a lot of anger and energy into going “against the man.
How would you say that the jungle/drum ’n bass scene in the US differed (musically) from overseas?
Over the pond they take all dance music seriously. as a culture. not just a passing fad or something to package and throw away. That is the biggest difference to me.
You were also involved in the G-Force and Digital Konfusion crews. Tell me about those. What were some of the biggest highlights?
DK is the crew my friends and I started during the NASA years of the early 90s. we are all hip hop heads and wanted something like the ZULU nation to be a part of. but we were ravers and that was the difference. G force was myself, Datcyde, Kazpa, Jo-s, Posi D, Atray U and Reid Speed for a while. We were all buddies from NYC and used to chat shit all night in chatrooms on AOL. We started hanging out and next thing you know we are getting booked and needed a name. G force was an excuse to get drunk with my friends and get paid for it!
You’ve been known primarily as a DJ. What do you believe it takes to make it as a DJ without producing tracks? Would it be more difficult to get your sounds heard (worldwide)?
You wont these days. You absolutely have to produce. It took me years to understand that and that is why I was so late to the game. and my careers has suffered for it =( Make tunes, make them all the time, push your sound and be original!
What is the biggest party you’ve ever played? Favorite? Silliest/craziest gig story?
Biggest show was probably one of the BOO events in NYC, or maybe one of the shows in LA I played over the years. My most memorable was Interstellar Dream Fest in the Midwest. Played after an amazing techno legend DJ Shiva. three Decks, turbo sound, and the crowd was INNIT!
Silliest story, I was drunk in ST. Louis and dropped the table that the decks were on. I was the closer, but needless to say I stopped drinking Jagermeister after that one.
How would you say TC Izlam and Zulu Nation influenced you as an artist? What was it like being part of that?
The Nation was the blueprint for inner city youth who wanted to learn their cultures and do something better. TC opened the door for jungle/DnB culture to become accepted by the nation. For that I am forever grateful.
You’ve recently been making a lot more tunes over the last few years. Tell me about those.
I just got more into working in my studio when I moved from NYC to Charlotte NC. I had the time to really let myself explore the space and get a sound I was happy with! I have done across the board stuff. I think its been fun so far! My favorite is a tune on my first LP called “Back to the start” Its exactly what i would have wanted to dance to when I was a young raver in the 90s
Your bio also mentions that you own and operate a recording studio. What’s up there?
I moved to charlotte and built a studio that was running for about a year. i am in Cincinnati now and will be reopening when I find the right space to build out a room in!
Current top 10?
Currently I have been working mostly on my own stuff and not touring so I don’t have a current top 10. Coming up Ill have a few EP’s in 2017 and will be attacking the touring circuit with a vengeance!
thanks for your time!