So my stepdaughter wanted to go to this A-Trak event that’s happening tonight and I figured I’d email his people to try to get an interview with him. It’s pretty tame and lame because I have no real interviewing skills, so I don’t take offense when he dissed because I am actually embarrassed of putting this up, this is some of my worst shit ever. I just re-read my questions and feel like I must have been watching a lot of Oprah that day, but reality is that Oprah’s even more interesting than me. I feel bad that he actually went through the questions and hope he has a hired helper do it for him, because I really delivered junk on this one…..
For those who don’t know, A-Trak is Kanye West’s DJ and does other non-Kanye stuff.
1 – You are from Montreal and I live in Montreal. Do you think it’s the greatest city ever or have you moved onto bigger and better places like I would if I had money?
Well it’s kinda both, see. Yes I think Montreal is the greatest city ever but I moved to New York a little over a year ago. New York is a bit more stimulating for me, artistically, and the city kinda kicks you in the ass. And it allows me to be closer to a lot of people that I work with. But I love Montreal and every so often I climb up to the top of various mountains and yell that out.
2- You won the DMC when you were 15 years old, you’ve toured ever since. When doing University, kids would be going to the college parties, and you’d be going to Japan for the weekend, do you feel like you’re living the life, or that you missed out on a normal college life?
Once again, I would say it’s both… I’m not gonna turn this into an afternoon special but yeah there’s probably some parts of the college experience (maybe even more so high school) that I missed out on. At the same time there’s a ton of other experiences that I’ve been lucky enough to have that were incredibly enriching. I love what I do and I feel blessed to be able to make a living out of it. It also takes a ton of dedication so you end up missing out on a few keg parties but you gain elsewhere…
3- When you won the DMC you had no idea that DJing and Hip Hop would ever get this big, so you were never after the fame, how do you like having it now that it’s hit?
Right, I wasn’t after the fame, I just followed my passion when I was entering those DJ battles. I guess you can say that some fame has hit but it’s not that simple. I still feel like I’m not where I want to be. So there’s never a point where I just sit back and think “I’ve arrived”. And really, I established my name in the late 90’s as a battle DJ and now, like 8 years later or so, I’m trying to establish a whole other chapter, as a producer/remixer/party DJ/label owner… I feel like a new artist. Even though I know a lot of people from the dues that I paid over the years after doing all those battles, I don’t take that for granted. I constantly compare myself to new artists who are just coming out. Except I actually have a stigma to fight so it’s even more of a fight sometimes. As far as the fame and stardom, believe me, after being in the industry for 12 years you learn to see past that stuff pretty fast.
4- You’re Kanye’s DJ and people tend to hate Kanye, even though he has the number 1 album always. Was it a big deal to you that he chose you to work with, or did you expect it since you’re the best DJ out there?
It really was a big deal that he hired me as his DJ. I knew I could do it, but these things don’t simply fall on your lap even if you’re a good man for the job. I remember thinking, if I could choose what artist I’d like to DJ for, I’d go for Kanye in a heartbeat. This is when the College Dropout had just come out. You gotta realize, when you’re a DJ you can’t just walk up to a rapper and showcase your skills. If you’re a rapper and you run into Russell Simmons, you can just walk up to him a spit a verse. I know, my boy did that once many years ago. DJs can’t just walk to a rapper and be like “dude you gotta see this, just wait here as I plug in my phonograph.” So when an opportunity like that comes along, you thank your lucky stars.
5- Is DJ AM Gayer Than Bicycle Shorts?
Dude you’re crazy. AM is an excellent DJ. And he’s a good friend of mine. But he’s really really really a good DJ. He’s where he is for a reason. And he opened up a lot of doors for DJs like myself, by cutting up records in front of ignorant Hollywood crowds.
6- What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you while on tour or playing gigs are girls all up on your dick and shit ?
What’s up with the “US Weekly” questions? I met OJ Simpson once.
7- What can we expect out of you in the coming months?
I’m working on a few more remixes during the rest of the year. Right now I’m finishing up a remix for Simian Mobile Disco and after that I’m doing one for Boys Noize. This month we’re doing the Fool’s Gold tour of course, which starts in Montreal and then picks up during CMJ week. After that Mehdi and I are heading out to Europe together on our Walkie Talkie Tour. In November the Kanye tour starts overseas. And in general, I’m building the label, lining up a few bigger production projects for the next few months, and trying to learn to take vacations once in a while. I just took one and it was amazing. I’m still peeling from the sunburn, that’s how good it was.
Thank God that’s over….
Check Out A-Trak on Myspace…..