We had a quick chat with Miami turntablist extraordinaire DJ Craze about his music, influences, loves and upcoming show with Klever at DC's Rock and Roll Hotel on April 11 (tickets available here).
TA Live: How did living in Miami influence your decision
to be a DJ? Who inspired you in music?
DJ Craze: It wasn't so much me living in Miami that made me wanna be a DJ, it was
more of the influence my older brother had on me. He was a moblie local DJ and I
thought it was the coolest thing in the world to be a DJ. Living in Miami I was
inspired by a lot of Latin, Caribbean and bass music.
the rest of the country or do you think it's pretty isolated?
Craze: I think the dance scene here is like it is everywhere. You got your
beach clubs that are filled with douche bags, with top 40 hip-hop, house and
trance, and you got your downtown clubs that are more forward thinking with
anything from good club music to indie dance to dubstep to hip-hop to Miami bass
recognition as a DJ – how does this affect you as a DJ, a performer and as a
Craze: Being a DMC DJ [a world DJing competition that Craze has won three times] has been a blessing and a curse at the same time. I put
everything I had into becoming one of the greatest champs of all time, but
that's where I was at that point in my life. As an artist it's always hard to
grow and keep your fans happy at the same time.
Once I achieved my goals as a
battle DJ I wanted to move on to something else that excited me. At that point
it was drum and bass. A lot of my fans were confused but it was something that I
really wanted to do at the time so I just followed my heart. I ended gaining a
lot of new fans but then when i got tired of D'n'B and wanted to move on to
something different the same thing happened again. It affects me as a performer
because I don't want to let my fans down but at the same time I gotta follow my
heart and hat I like. It hasn't affected me too much as a person. It's just made
me realize how much you can achieve in life if you put your mind and heart into
TA: What are you top 10 fave dance floor
fillers and records you love to mix to get a crowd going? (Craze's thoughts after each tune)
Dubstep version of "In The Air" by Phil Collins")
Craze: I own too many records to count, but I know it's in the thousands. I
will never get rid of them.
Craze: The first record I ever bought with my own money was "Fly Tetas" by Jose
Chinga. It's a funny ass freestyle/Miami bass track that talks about ladies
breasts. The title translates to Fly Titties. Amazing tune! I will always
remember that song because I bought it with my own money, everything I bought
before that was with mommy and daddy's money.
Kanye West? What was touring with him like?
he decided to fall back to focus on other goals. It was amazing seeing the level
of rockstarness that he's on. It was the biggest production I've ever been a
part of. I did the whole Glow In The Dark tour with him and it was an amazing
Kanye is a cool ass dude. I think people are scared of people with high
self esteem. They think they're conceited or strung up on themselves, but if you
really think about it, everybody should have high self esteem. This world would
be a better world. As of right now I'm not touring with Kanye. I'm starting a
label with Kill The Noise and Klever and want to put all my energy into the
TA: What's your fondest, most vivid memory of
knew that I proved myself beyond any doubt and nobody could ever tell me nothing
after that. It was also amazing to have my family there supporting me. I will
always remember that day.
TA: Have you toured with Klever before? Will you be
performing/battling together? How do you guys get along?
Craze: Klever is one of my best friends. We've toured together on and off since
2000. We used to be in the same battle group called The Allies (me, A-Trak,
Develop, Infamous, Spiktacular, J-smoke and Klever) and we've always been into
the same kinda music. We will be performing on four decks. It's gonna be sick party
vibes – come out and meet us at the bar!
DJ Craze will be performing with Klever at Rock and Roll Hotel on April 11. Tickets available here.