Talking DJ Trends, Dark Bass Music and Button Pushing With DJ Schoolboy
Have you began to notice some of the DJ trends that are going on in EDM culture right now? It seems that there is an overall consensus that DJs like memes, video games, technology (of course), the occasional cat picture and zombies (which includes yourself Day 3 of Coachella). That story is no different for emerging DJ/producer, Schoolboy, who recently released his new video for his single “Aftershock.”
We caught up with Schoolboy and wanted to ask him a few questions regarding DJ trends.
First off, when you picture a “schoolboy” you most likely think a polo shirt and khakis. Ha. That is the complete opposite perception of Schoolboy the DJ as he tells us how he got his name.
I’m a former LAUSD employee, worked as a Teacher’s Aid for about four years. At the time, me and my buddies would joke around about potential DJ names, Schoolboy was one of the few. The thought of releasing dark bass driven music with that name made me laugh, so I kept the name and it’s who I am now.
Fair enough and it seems to fit. “Dark bass music” is exactly what Schoolboy is as you probably saw in the video. A young bedroom producer in a dark room playing with wires and circuits is not the typical angle people choose with their first music video. Schoolboy explains the direction of the video because believe it or not it was his concept.
Basically there is this boy in the video who lacks the resources to create electronic music. He dissembles and circuit bends his toys, throughout the video he short circuits his house which leads him to grab a pair of jumper cables and hi jack a nearby transformer, thus causing the city to flicker while he obsessively creates electronic music in his obscure room.
Schoolboy went on to tell me that this is not really an accurate depiction of his earlier life but that it was an idea sparked from a whole community that is dedicated to “circuit bending.” Go figure. Though circuit bending is not one of Schoolboy’s hobbies he did let us know a few things about his past.
(I was a) gamer, science and tech geek, all of the above… only things I liked besides music. I remember learning script languages in Flash when I was 14 and presenting projects in school using animations, while the whole class used powerpoint. I got an A+ but all the other kids didn’t think it was so cool since it was based on a curve. :D
… (I was) in love with zombie games since Resident Evil Director’s Cut. Changed my life.
Schoolboy was so in love with video games and zombies that his most known track before “Aftershock” was a track titled “Zombies Ate My Neighbors.” If you don’t remember the title check out the video below and it may bring back some memories to the SNES classic.
The track title can also be derived from one of Schoolboy’s favorite lines in the movie, Dawn of the Dead. A lot has changed since that game though and technology is the biggest and most important factor to the majority of DJs including Schoolboy.
Making EDM music a decade ago wasn’t as accessible as it is today, I remember flipping through music catalogs when I was 12 or 13 and wanting that groovebox, 808 sampler or workstation…frustrated as hell, I think the only software I had at the time was ACID Pro. Eventually I did buy all that hardware but now I mostly use software. Today, you have kids creating hits with just a laptop.
I continued to ask Schoolboy how he felt about the new CDJ 2000 Nexus system with new features including Beat Syncing and other capabilities. There is a lot of debate for these new features with people claiming that it is making DJing easier, Schoolboy looks at from the other side.
(It is) AMAZING in so many ways. Lets break it down.
1. Master Tempo Sync, I’ve been waiting for this function, not because of auto sync, but the ability to tempo change all decks, this makes transitions more flexible. I made a custom fader on Lemur/Ableton Live for me to able to do this when I play live. My sets don’t stay at 140, they fly all over the place, so this made life easier.
2. Auto Sync, you could be that guy who auto syncs and switches tracks and do nothing special and have 20 drinks during your set and eat a burger…OR you could take advantage of the new feature and be creative on the go without the worry of trainwrecking. Lets be real, DJing is not about how the other guy could beatmatch better than the other guy, It’s about dynamically moving the crowd, being able to read the crowd and constantly surprise them.
It is obviously clear that Schoolboy doesn’t want to be considered one of those DJs who just “push play.” But he is down to party during his set with a couple shots and makes sure to hold the Red Bull.
(I) Party. If it’s a day festival I’ll take it easy. I like to take a few shots before going on, It’s loosens my limbs so I can jump around and do all kinds of nonsense. Fun Fact: I’m allergic to Red Bull.
If you have been listening to Schoolboy already then we have some good news for you and you have just heard about Schoolboy then we have some even better news. He leaked to me that he has been in the studio working on a co-produced EP with James Egbert (We just featured an exclusive downloadable EP by Egbert). Two huge emerging DJs combining on one project, that is something we will keep our eyes on.
If you liked the song “Aftershock” enough to buy it can grab it on Beatport here.