[Interview] DJ Jazzy Jeff: The Original
RubyHornet: I wanted to ask you about participating in this Redbull Thre3Style competition. You coming out is a big deal to the DJ’s participating, what does this kind of event do for you and your soul, or you and your art?
Jazzy Jeff: First of all, this is like a DJ’s retreat. Just coming to this, I’m probably more inspired than these guys, just because I get to see a bunch of up and coming DJ’s who are very skilled in their craft, from all over the world come and compete. And it’s been all week. All week all we talked about was music and we swapped files and what’s going on in your territory? What do you like? And you need that. I kept joking like this is kind of like the insurance conference for DJ’s, everybody’s the nerdy pocket protector dude, sitting around talking, but we’re all talking about our craft and music and ‘ah man, I’m supposed to be coming to such and such.’ You can’t beat this. Chicago is the perfect place to have it. Redbull laid it out. I can’t even thank Redbull enough for not only putting on a competition, but this helps the culture. This helps the culture. This brings awareness to what we’re doing. This teaches people like, ‘wow, I never knew there was a really dope DJ from Chile.’ So, it broadens people horizons when it comes to DJ’s.
RubyHornet: Mentioning Chicago, I wanted to ask you about your relationship with the Windy City. I know you’ve been working with, and a champion of Chicago emcees for a while like Rhymefest and Twone Gabz. What’s your take on Chicago as a city and Chicago Hip Hop?
Jazzy Jeff: I’m from Philadelphia, so Chicago reminds me a lot of Philadelphia. It’s a big city, a lot of culture, a lot of history. And my wife is actually from Chicago, so I’m so deep rooted in Chicago from Terry Hunter to Dave Jeff, and just my wife and my wife’s family. It’s a beautiful city. I feel very comfortable when I’m here. Coming from another big city, you kind of get the same vibes. It’s not the same, but it’s the same.
RubyHornet: Are you still actively producing? I know you’ve been DJing and traveling. Every time I look at your Instagram it’s like a different country. What’s your take right now on the production side, what are you doing creatively?
Jazzy Jeff: I’m actually finishing mixing a project that I did with this young lady from Toronto named Ayah. Hopefully it will be out by the top of the year. We did about 35 songs, so this is pretty much the full length album, which is really, really good. I’m working on some documentary film work that hopefully will be out some time next year. You know, what I really do is pretty much from September to December, I conceptualize what I want to do for 2013. I’m going to put one or two albums on 2013 and just go in the studio.