By DJ YRS Jerzy
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Here at Hip Hop Vibe, there is a concentrated effort to show more than just one side of hip hop. A popular interest is that of the DJ, because it is the DJs who provide the soundtrack. When it comes to Ludacris’ shows, it’s DJ Infamous who provides the sounds.
DJ Infamous has been a part of Ludacris’ camp for almost ten years and he’s been DJ-ing for almost twenty years. In this period of time, DJ Infamous has made a home for himself in Atlanta, as well as a career. This year, DJ Infamous is taking all of this to the next level.
Last week, Hip Hop Vibe had the chance to interview DJ Infamous and he was very open about every topic. DJ Infamous took the conversation from his work with Ludacris and how they came together to his own solo work. He did a lot of talking about a new album he is going to put out before the end of this year.
Read the entire interview below:
The music industry is the easiest, yet hardest, game to break into, why do you think you have been so successful? First and foremost, I have been successful because I have the drive. I’ve been doing this since I was twelve years old and this is my third market. Whatever I do when it comes to DJ-ing, I give it my all and I never settle for less. I am now learning how to be a producer and my single is doing well, getting radio play and play in the club. The people love it too. I don’t let up and I always want the best for myself.
How long had you been DJ-ing before you linked up with Ludacris? I have been DJ-ing for Cris for three years, but I’ve been DJ-ing since 1996. So, that’s eighteen years almost, nonstop.
What’s your most-interesting touring experience with Ludacris? There are so many of them, but I have to say the most-memorable was when I first became his DJ and we did twelve countries in fifteen days. When I first got with him, the crowds were over 50,000, compared to 3,000 or so. Those experiences stand out the most and that is how I am working now, twelve/ten/five hour flights, nonstop.
In terms of exposure, what advantages does being a tour DJ have over doing radio, mixtapes, and clubs? Being a tour DJ’s advantages are seeing the world, as opposed to being in certain cities on the radio and doing clubs. Plus, with the radio, you are in the station a lot, so you can’t travel. But, when you’re on the road, you’re all over the place when you are a tour DJ and being with Ludacris is being a part of a worldwide brand, so I am more of an open format DJ, instead of being seen as an urban DJ. I’ve played in India, China, South Africa, Romania, Germany, and many other countries and you have to be able to play a wide range of tracks. Plus, being a tour DJ is a learning experience that teaches you about different types of music.
Do you feel it’s important for DJs to have a bit of experience in each field of DJ-ing? I think the most-beneficial is indeed having all of that. Being a tour DJ for an artist, doing radio, mixtapes, and clubs, and now having a deal like I do, means a bright career is ahead of you because there are a lot of different revenue streams there for you. I always wanted it all and I am talented enough to do it all, as I have over the past nine years. Any DJ who can do all that has the game locked up.
Being from Atlanta, how do you feel about this new generation of hip hop coming out of your city? I love it, I’ve always loved the talent coming out of Atlanta. Now, I am one of these brand new artists coming out of the city. The artists who come out of Atlanta have something for everybody. This new generation does everything and that’s the thing about Atlanta, every year, somebody new comes out. We are not like other cities, where only one or two people can blow and I like how Atlanta brings somebody new all the time and being in the middle of all of that is great for me, as I can reach out to the veterans and the newcomers, plus I DJ all the parties.
Out of these “New Atlanta” artists, which ones are you feeling the most? Which one am I feeling the most, I am feeling Rich Homie Quan the most. He is a full package when it comes to his music, he is killing those melodies, and he is making his own movement. Rich Homie Quan is not relying on anyone else to make his success happen, he did it all on his own, he hit the streets and made it happen on his own. When a person takes the initiative to do something like this on their own, it’s very rewarding. Then, what you put in, is what you get back out, so if you put 100% into it, you’re going to win automatically, plus you are delivering a good product.
Every year, Atlanta has a few new artists break out, if you had to predict some for 2014, who would they be? DJ Infamous is one (laughs). Second, it’s a toss up, but for 2014, I can say Young Thug is doing his thing. Him and K-Camp are leading the way as far as “New Atlanta,” you have to wait and see.
Are you working with any up-and-coming artists, or are you more focused on getting on the road and doing club shows? Right now, I am reaching out to all my peers and I’m not really interested in reaching out to people I don’t know. But, I have a good relationship with most people, I have records from August Alsina, Yo Gotti, Ludacris, 2 Chainz, and I have a lot of other people I am working with on this new project, I am not rushing it. After all, I am a DJ not a rapper, as long as it takes me to make records, I am not going to leak them. Anything that I make, I have to use it, so my records are coming together in a street type of way, but I have tracks for the ladies, backpackers in hip hop, and then there is a record I have with some OGs and this is for the 35 and older crowd who loves that 90s hip hop. It’s all about the marketing and doing the music the right way. You have to understand, each single is a three to four month plan with that single, there is no throwing records out every month. I have been pushing my last single since November 11 and it’s almost February and the video is coming out. I’m not rapping, so I’m not leaking it.
Can you let us know how to find you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? My Instagram is @DJInfamous, my Twitter is @DJInfamousATL, my Facebook is Calvin Infamous Donald.
Follow DJ YRS Jerzy on Twitter @IAMDJYRSJERZY.