Interview | DJ Complex - AOC Fest, New Mixtape, State of Hip Hop

Updated: Jan 4

PRESSED: Before I began this interview talking about your dj career. Let's chop it up about the Art of Cool Fest. You are one of the listed features alongside some major celebrities like Common, Rakim, Just Blaze, George Clinton and many others going down in Durham, North Carolina.. Tell us how this all came about? What is the feeling like knowing you will be a part of a major event such as the AOC Fest?

The feeling is dope to be honest! DJCMPLX: The opportunity for AOC came about, through the festival looking to include local performers, who be at the same events from time to time and networking. This is my first major festival to be on the lineup alongside artist that I respect and a huge fan of is, inexplicable!

PRESSED: Now to the basics... What was your first ever hip-hop record you ever played?

DJCMPLX: The first hip hop record I ever played as a DJ was, Bonita Apple Baum by A Tribe Called Quest. I brought that, another Tribe record from Paradise Records, and tapes in Fayetteville back in the 90s. I spent my whole allowance and weeks of not eating lunch saving my money to buy CDs, tapes, and records from there. (Laughs)

PRESSED: On that note, where do you feel the direction of Hip-Hop is heading?

DJCMPLX: I feel like at this point the direction of Hip Hop as a culture is falling off in some areas. The MCing and DJing aspect of it with technology is, making it accessible to any and every one to jump in it... It becomes diluted to a point! I do not have a grim outlook on the music side like some do, with the mumble rap and over saturation of one style of rap that is, being displayed in the mainstream media. The recent success of the J Cole's, Big Sean and Kendrick, show that the younger generation still have a want for that "classic" style of dope beats and dope rhymes, so I have hope of its preservation. Rap music is in good hands, I’d like to see the break dancing and graffiti aspects get pushed more to the forefront in the future..

PRESSED: What do you think about digital DJ setups like Serato, Traktor, Ableton? Do you use them?

DJCMPLX: I love the digital setup to be honest. You can do a lot more with the technology that’s available. Programs like Serato, which I use, and Ableton can take DJing to a completely different level. It is actually fun to be able to add, manipulate, and create on the fly due to recent technology. It made my job that much more exciting.

PRESSED: What is your favorite track / record / album / mix set of all time?

DJCMPLX: My favorite track always differs depending on what day you ask me. I am a huge Stevie Wonder fan and "Talking Book" is my favorite all time album and "You've Got It bad Girl" is my favorite track and my favorite mix of all time would be the "Kaleidescope Mixtape" by Karriem Riggins.

PRESSED: Let's fall all the way back to the beginning... For our readers who have never heard of DJ Complex, tell us who is DJ Complex and who or what inspired you to chase the dream?

DJCMPLX: DJ Complex is a born and raised North Carolinian guy, that got bit by the hip-hop bug in 92. I have spent the last 25 years, figuring out a way to be involved with the culture. (Laughs) I love helping others love dope music, it does not have to be rap, just dope music! My life revolves around music.. My parents, aunt, and brother from another BM inspired me to chase my dream. When I saw DJ Forge back in 2002, at Cat’s Cradle and Little Brother, it made me actually believe that it could be attainable.

PRESSED: What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic career?

DJCMPLX: Having people come up to me after a party, an event, genuinely love what I did, and express how it made them feel has to be some of those incisive moments.

PRESSED: If you had the chance to share the stage with a legend DJ/Artist, who would that be and why?

DJCMPLX: It would have to be DJ Kid Capri because, that is who made me want to become a DJ. Artist wise it would have to be Stevie. I know I would be able to learn so much from them, I am huge on improving myself. The caliber artist and DJ they represent I could only grow exponentially.

PRESSED: Any new mix tapes or projects you working on? What is next for the DJ Complex?

DJCMPLX: I am actually working on a mixtape that was due out in the spring. But, it is looking like Summer 17 now. I am creating an EP with production solely produced by me featuring artist from the area.

PRESSED: What is next for the DJ Complex?

DJCMPLX: What is next for me is, getting more into the production side of music. In addition, I will be DJing for this year’s Beats & Bars Festival coming up this Summer as well.


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