Updated: Jun 30
Hailing all the way from the UK, we caught up with Fleet's DJ "DJ Koolhand", one of UK's seasoned DJ. DJ Koolhand is making his name a trademark within djing, radio and the mixtape scene.
In the interview, Koolhand talks new mixtape, Fleet DJ's, Hip Hop, Clark Kent and more. Lets find out a little more about DJ Koolhand.
PRESSED: You currently reside in the UK, a spot not necessarily known globally for hip-hop. What's the hip-hop scene like there and what's part do you play in that scene?
KH: Been in the U.K. about six years now the hip hop scene is alive an popping. Right now, I represent a set called Beats n Bars. It's a show that puts on monthly and does tours throughout London and the West Midlands with American acts.
PRESSED: What was your first ever hip hop record you ever played?
KH: LL Cool J's "Can't Live With Out My Radio" still resonates with me to this day.
PRESSED: On that note, where do you feel the direction of Hip-Hop is headed?
KH: Hip Hop in a sense is like a interstate highway. You got rappers in it that don't give two f@#ks, other than making a quick buck in one lane. Then you got the real hip hop heads trying to preserve the culture and state of not just hip hop, but dope music. On the whole, its moving back towards bars and substance in the music. There's always a good message in good music. Unlike that microwave rap music, here today and gone tomorrow.
PRESSED: What’s your favorite track / record / album / mix set of all time?
KH: Hmm! this a tuff one right here. I'm gonna say what moves my mind first and foremost is, Gangstarr's "Take It Personal" album. It definitely has an impact on me. Then of course, Tribe's "Low End Theory" a album packed to the max with everything (funk, soul, lyrics, punchlines and originality). You name it fam...
PRESSED: What do you think about digital DJ setups like Serato, Traktor, Ableton? Do you use them?
KH: Digital setups are definitely cool and dope. I use Serato DJ Pro at the moment. I can pretty much get down on anything really, cd'js tracktor scratch pro, scratch live and I also do some producing. That's one thing I would stress to anyone trying to get in the game know your gear. You have gotta keep up with the times and technology or you'll become the thing of the past rather quickly.
PRESSED: What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic career?
KH: I'm a grinder... All my moments of success are small pieces to a larger puzzle that is ongoing kinda like a marathon. We not running in a race here.
PRESSED: Speak briefly about Fleet DJs, what’s the purpose and your contribution to it?
KH: The Fleet DJ's brand is a worldwide family affair. I love the brand it has something for everybody down to aspiring artists, industry taste makers, podcast shows, fleet models, photographers and bloggers. I mainly contribute with adding my mixtapes to mixtapeheat.net . I've got the "R&B Halftime Mixshow" popping off every Saturday 4-6pm est on Fleetdjradio.com, Thursday 8pm est on Mixtape Heat Radio and Monday nights 8pm on "Straight Official Radio". The website has different stations on this one site.
PRESSED: What is one mistake you see a lot of up and coming DJs making? / What advice would you give to aspiring DJs?
KH: Biggest mistake they make is looking for that quick fix and not putting in the time and effort. Any good DJ will agree. Again get familiar with your equipment the ins and outs of it. Never overlook learning the craft thru analog turntables no matter what you learned on first.
PRESSED: Besides the obvious DJ Capri, DJ Snake, DJ Biz Markie & DJ Premier, in your opinion what other DJ’s impacted the game?
KH: DJ's like Clark Kent, Ike Love and Doo Wop influenced me early on in the game down to technical skills on the radio to blends on street mixtapes. That brought out and enhanced the music. But then, DJs that played exclusive dope sounds with exceptional hosting skills just flat out thorough wit it.
PRESSED: Let's fall all the way back to the beginning... For our readers who have never heard of DJ KoolHand, tell us who is DJ Kool Hand and who or what inspired you to chase the dream?
KH: Ha! In the beginning I would be getting all types of mixtapes all thru out N.Y.C among other things. (Laughs) Then I dubbed them and sold them in my high school. I was back packing back then with a purpose. Further back than, mom dukes was a natural born singer from as early as she can recall singing. That's probably where I get my passion for music from, especially in the female vocalist range.
PRESSED: You are currently spinning/hosting on several mix shows. Tell us how you got started in radio.
KH: Getting on the radio was always mandatory one way or another. I always had that vision. DJing thru radio would be an extension of how I would eventually express myself on a day to day basis. Consistency is the key!
PRESSED: Any new mix tapes or projects you working on? What’s next for DJ Kool Hand?
KH: Just dropped two mixtapes "Street Cred Vol 12" & "Hood Most Requested Vol 9". Coming soon "Real Kings of The Trap Vol 9" will be dropping on livemixtapes.com. New radio mix shows are produced weekly. I have a different station for each day of the week fourteen stations in total for now. Mixtapes are on sixteen digital platforms. A podcast could be potentially coming in the near future. I'm always looking for super dope artist to host my mixtapes! PEACE WORLD!