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Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I am HD, a DJ and producer. I run a record label called Doom Dab, and we host a monthly party and radio show on Know-Wave. I also direct and produce videos, events and other projects.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I’m lucky enough that music and other creative endeavors are taking up much of my time. I’m working on my first EP, out on Doom Dab later in 2015. We also recently released K Rizz’s first single Imagine If and Jay Boogie’s album Allure. The first music video I’ve directed for an AHBS featuring K Rizz track will premiere at the end of January.
What is one of the bigger challenges you and/or other musicians are struggling with these days and how do you see it developing? Creative economies—like music, visual art and performance—are in a unique but difficult place right now. Living in New York, I see so many talented young people trying to make it work. I’ve had experience on both sides at this point: I’ve worked closely with artists at the point of production, and with big brands and agencies moving money towards, or around, those artists. I consider it my responsibility to try new ways of building up sustainable artistic economies, with queer and women artists of color at the forefront, especially in these intense and violent times in America.
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How did your interest in music begin? I was raised in a very musical family—always encouraged to try different instruments, everyone singing together, and my parent’s eclectic taste, from Lauryn Hill to church songs to Putumayo world mixes. I also rented so many CDs from the public library. Cincinnati has a really excellent library, and I’m very curious.
If you had to explain your music to a stranger, what would you say? World Bass is what I call my style of DJing. So, dance music fundamentally, with a strong Hip Hop and R&B influence, and then a bunch of different styles from Caribbean, African, Asian and Latin communities mixed together, especially tarraxa, kizomba, reggaeton and zouk. And a lot of lady rappers.
What kinds of music and musicians are influencing your work right now? I’m blessed to be surrounded by incredibly talented singers, rappers, producers and DJs in my daily life. It is insane. Of course my Doom Dab family is blowing my mind…Thurmon Green, K Rizz, Jay Boogie, AHBS and Stryker Matthews. I could go on forever but, right now, most importantly, I’m forever inspired by my sisters producing, singing, rapping and DJing out here, including Juliana Huxtable, Nelleke, Lafawndah, A E Zimmer, Siobhan Bell, Junglepussy, Uniique, and Princess Nokia, among others. And also pretty much anything RnBass or DJ Mustard.
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What was the last show you went to that stuck out to you? Ladyfag’s last Holy Mountain was pretty amazing. In one room, Juliana slayed and Jay Boogie did a surprise performance. In the other, Dicap and Uniique blew me away. Cakes Da Killa performed with two incredible dancers. All around it was a breathtaking showcase of talent and a true lituation.
What do you do when you’re not working on music? I produce and direct videos. I work pretty closely with a few artists in a manager capacity. I throw and book parties around New York. I’m working on a clothing project and events.
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What are you really excited about right now? I’m going to LA at the end of the month to play an exciting party in celebration of the AHBS video release.
What are you listening to right now? Mostly Jay Boogie, K Michelle, Teengirl Fantasy and Nicki Minaj. And a I made a mix with lots of what I’m into, take a listen here.