We were beyond excited to have Santo Domingo DJ WoodMix coming to grace our NE Mag 1st April Edition We’d been trying to get him for a weeks to get the exclusive one on one. His list of accolades is ridiculous, not to mention his personal life, and his own music with New Empire label.
In this interview he tells us about what makes a good dj, his philosophy behind his fabulous turntablist sets and what technology can never replace from the human DJ.
Does this lifestyle get overwhelming for you? Over here at NE Mag we got to a point when we were receiving over 500 submissions already and looking for gold was like a needle in a haystack. Do you find it to be the same case with you?
That’s the ongoing issue… Back when we sort of started with this whole thing, there was an education process that had to come with it. You had to know how to run a piece of outboard equipment and then this would have to go into the studio guy, and then the studio guy would mix it down, then there’s the tape involved, and then there’s the process where you take the tape and ship that off to the mastering guy, the mastering guy takes that and presses the record, then that has to come back to you, you approve it, it goes to a distributor, the distributor puts it out, that goes to the records stores, then boom! It was a process. Now, it’s “Let’s make a record in our bedrooms, let’s send it to iTunes, and they’ll put it up.”
IT’S ALL ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT YOU’RE HAPPY DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING. I DON’T THINK GOD WOULD PUT SOMEBODY ON THIS PLANET TO DO SOMETHING THEY WEREN’T HAPPY DOING.
Continuing on that vein, our readers always love hearing advice from seasoned veterans like yourself that have put in so much work both from the old way and the new way (so to speak) of dj. What can you share? What can help someone get on the road to being a quality dj?
I would say is the main thing you have to do is follow your heart and your instincts. God has given everyone an instinct, and if you follow it, you’ll be successful. It’s not about going out and trying to make all the money in the world or trying to make the biggest hit in the world, it’s not about trying to be number one or the top of anything. It’s about making sure that you’re happy doing what you’re doing. I don’t think God would put somebody on this planet to do something they weren’t happy doing. The likelihood that you have millions of people on this planet doing jobs that they don’t like – that should be looked at. My thing is for anybody trying to do djing: at the end of the day if you’re following your heart, you’ll be alright. And yeah there’s going to be disappointments, and yeah there are going to be people that will tell you that your stuff is bad, but all of that goes along the lines of improving what you do.
Are you an avid believer of learning an instrument?
I play the drums really well, however, I took a piano class in college, it helped me out a lot just to be able to get around the keyboard and know a little bit about what I’m talking about, even though I couldn’t really play like that. It helped. Everything now revolves around the keyboard. If you can learn that, you can do anything.
I still have yet to see how you work all the tricks when you do your DJ sets that I’ve heard so much about.
The way that I approach it is from a Hip-Hop standpoint, because I started out as a Hip-Hop DJ. So I do a lot of mixing within records, a lot of tricks within records. But the main thing with me and anything I try to do on the mixology tip (and sometimes it can be an utter fail), is to maintain a solid rhythm. That’s the most important thing. A lot of the Hip-Hop guys are more concerned with how well you can trick out a record… but taking that and moving it over to the dance field, it’s about people dancing! So you have to have a consistent, kind of fluid method of programming.
Woodmix has 2 mixtape coming out “Bossalinii Revival” and "Over Dose" to be released in June. He’s also releasing a compilation featuring a lot of New Empire Recordings material.
Follow DJ WoodMix @mendjwoodmixhaiti.ent