7 questions with DJ COst
DJ Cost started djing close to ten years ago and has been a dedicated student to the art of turntablism ever since. Heavily involved in the local hip hop scene for years. Dj for P.Smurf and Cooking with Caustic and tour Dj for a number of acts including Joe New & Ozi Batla. Dj Cost has recorded studio cuts for a number of artists including Thundamentals and Daily Meds. He earned second place in his first Dj battle at the 2013 NSW DMC Competition & was runner up at the 2014 Wax Wars Battle
What first inspired you to take up deejaying/ turntablism and who are your biggest influences as far as technique?
"The Blue Mountains hip hop scene I think is what inspired me the most to start djing. I loved hip hop and there was a great scene at the time. My mates Morgs, The Silent Titan, Platterpush and Codeks all played a big part. Also my younger brother wanted to get decks so that was a very big part in me starting.
I like to think I have my honed my own style which I'm always working on. Roc Raida is obviously a huge influence of mine with his body tricks and battling style. Q-bert is a massive influence as far as scratching, I learnt a lot from his videos. Some other artists are The X-ecutioners, P-trix, Babu, Js-1, Premier, Revolution, Craze, A-trak and many more."
You came second in the NSW heat of the DMC’s in 2013 as well as this year in 2015, how important is it for you to win at some point? And how long do you spend putting together a set?
"It would obviously be great to win the DMC on any level, since I started djing it's been a dream of mine. But In saying that I do this for the love and don't need to win to justify what I do. It's a part of me. I really enjoy Battling and doing turntablist routines. It's a dying art form and DMC is a great opportunity to express myself and have fun. I'm always practicing and coming up with new ideas. 2013 DMC was the first battle I entered. It was a combination of a few old routines and a lot of new stuff. I'd say I worked on it for about a month or so while working and touring with P.Smurf, although it all came together in the week before. I was actually changing things on the day of the battle. It wasn't great preparation which is why didn't enter in 2014 and wasn't planning on entering this year, because i didn't dedicate the time to come up with a new routine that I was really happy with and was well practiced. But three days before this years heat I was pressured into entering. So that routine was done in three nights but was all old material changed up and pieced together into one new routine. Hopefully I will be properly prepared next year."
You put on a monthly night called Boom Bap Sessions at Play Bar in Surry Hills with DJs Platterpush and Codex (Down Under Beats Crew), what is different about your night and how does it contribute overall to the Hip Hop music scene in Sydney?
"Our night is based around golden era hip hop, the music we love. Hence the name Boom Bap Sessions. It is a DJ night to celebrate hip hop culture. We have a special guest each month to showcase all elements of hip hop. It gives a opportunity for a range of artists to showcase their skills. We have had mcs, beat boxers, graffiti artists and have a break dancing crew at the next one on the 12th of september. It's basically a party for the heads."
What was the album or artist that after you listened to made you fall in love with Hip Hop, and how old were you when you first heard it?
"It's hard to pinpoint that. I listened to hip hop in all through high school and loved it, but unfortunately never had my own collection. I listened to what my friends had, luckily they had good taste. So I'd say I first fell in love in my early teens but I guess it wasn't until after I left school that I started my own collection that I really fell in love. If I had to say one artist it would have to be Nas."
There’s often a lot of crossover from deejays into the production side of things. I’ve heard rumours about you making your own beats as well. Will any of these see the light of day? Or what else do you have in store for us?
"I started producing beats not long after I started djing, although I don't spend as much time as I'd like on that side of things. Especially the last couple of years I have been busy working on projects with Cooking With Caustic and P.Smurf. I've been getting busier lately on the production tip. I have a few plans on releases and will hopefully put out something soon. I'm currently working on a few things. Some cuts for a mixtape Caustic Yoda is releasing soon, with a bunch of mcs over his mpc beats, it's sounding dope! Cooking With Caustic have started working on plans for next release. And P.Smurf has been really busy, so keep an eye out for what he has in store, he's on point as always!"
What are your two favourite albums to listen to at the moment?
"It's hard to say just two. I listen to a lot of music, mainly old stuff from the 90s. But as far as new records. Cormega - Megaphilosophy is probably my favourite release of the last year or so, such a dope record, I still bump that on the regular.
Also feeling Joey Badass’, Fashawn's and Oddisee's newest records. Sorry more than two."
Top 5 Hip Hop artists?
"Very hard question!
Rapper - Nas
Producer - Dj Premier
Battling Dj - Roc Raida
Scratching Dj - Q-Bert
Crew - Wu-Tang"
You can catch DJ Cost nearly every weekend on one project or another. Whether it's showing off his turntablism tricks in competition, DJing for Cooking with Caustic or P. Smurf among others. He also organises Boom Bap Sessions the second Saturday of every month at Play Bar in Surry Hills. But be sure not to miss him AT THE ARTS AND HIP HOP NIGHT AT BAR 303 IN MELBOURNE ON SATURDAY 23RD OF JANUARY ALONGSIDE COOKING WITH CAUSTIC, SPECTACLES, DEEPSEA LIGHTS AND MR RUCKMAN AS ONE OF THE MANY SHOWS ON THE SPACEPORT 2OUR 2016. HEAD TO WWW.SPACEPORT2.NET FOR DETAILS.