Interview With DJ Supe

I work on music EVERY SINGLE DAY. Not because I have to…but because I owe music. 

Grind and hustle can never truly be appreciated by the general public; unless they’re your day ones, they probably can’t comprehend that you’ve been through a gang of peaks and valleys to get where you’re at. Producer/DJ Supe is a great example — from making music and rocking parties while living in his car, to a successful run as a radio station DJ, and active figure on the concert, festival, and club scene, he’s put in work.

Currently, he’s hitting the streets hard promoting his new release, “Guilty,” a silky new tune with singer Ayanna Charlene. We caught up with DJ Supe, who told us about the track, his influences and how he got started in the industry.

How did you get started?

I used to listen to “The God Emcee,” Rakim, like all the time in elementary school! So I started rapping and getting my flows tight. My dad had an old reel to reel player, and I used to record myself over old Funkadelic records. I had to splice the tape together when it broke from hours of playing it. I got pretty good chopping them tapes together right on the beat and made my own mixtapes. Started rapping freshman year but got drawn to deejaying my senior year. My high school friends and I started a group called Flo-Magnum, and eventually Ebro called me to guest DJ when he had a radio show in my hometown Sacramento.. (peace to DJ Tone Pesci for letting me cover for him). The rest is history.

Production/DJ wise, who are some of your influences?

Some of my influences on production are DJ Premier, Dr. Dre, and The Neptunes. My DJ influences are DJ Qbert, DJ Kid Capri and DJ Jazzy Jeff (he is going to spin at my wedding one day). I like these guys because they cut and scratch, but they also know how to rock a party. They won’t scratch all off beat just to show you how fast their wrist is. They do it fluidly – that’s how I do it. Most importantly, I can’t forget the guys around here in California that raised me, DJ Gino, DJ Racer X, Sam Starks, and DJ Tosh who gave me a lot of good advice while spinning on the air.

What are you currently promoting?

Right now I am promoting a single I produced called “Guilty” which is on iTunes, Google Play, Tidal, Spotify, etc. The artist who sang on the track is Ayanna Charlene, and the song is from her EP called The Cut Off that I wholly produced due out later this year. I am also working closely with artists to showcase their videos on my #DJSupeQuickMix series. They are 15-minute music video mixes that you can find on my website. They are also available on my app DJ Supe Mobile, which is on The App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android devices. Look for a few artists I am producing for on my EP called Weirdo due out Fall 2016; Tanjanae, Pacific Sunrise, Ruben Eaton, Carla Lawrence, and Genesis.

How would you describe your production?

My music is a fusion of modern Hip-Hop drums, Trip Hop, and downtempo ambient sounds. I combine that with R&B/Soul chords and instruments like Rhodes and organs to create a darker but still melodic flow. Singers love it; rap artists that like to experiment with me find the groove, too.

What are your goals in the industry?

My goals are to make a living at what I do. It’s not about getting rich. It’s about establishing a legacy. I love to spin records, but I also love to spin my records! So I guess deejaying is the foundation. Been doing a few concerts with Bombay VIP, which is the direction I want to go…more festivals and concerts. Want to keep that going while I continue to develop artists under my production. Having a hot single doesn’t hurt either!

What do you want people to take away from you as a producer?

My tenacious work ethic is what I want people to recognize me for. I work on music EVERY SINGLE DAY. Not because I have to…but because I owe music. I used to be homeless living in my car and making music and rocking parties AT THE SAME DAMN TIME! That was the only thing that kept me going. That is how I fed myself, so I am going to feed it back. Give and take you know?

Riley About Author

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns