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  • Writer's picturerhymefestla

"A Conversation with DJ NU-MARK"

Updated: Apr 5

What inspired you to start DJing ?

I was learning to program sequences on a Roland 606 in 7th grade. I brought the drum machine to my band class where I was the drummer. My best friend Chris who played bass in the class noticed me programming the 606 and said that his uncle is a DJ that goes back and forth to NY to buy records and happens to live with him. Once I heard his uncle double up on two copies of the same record, I found my new love. I bought two technic belt drive servo’s and practiced everyday as I listened intensely to Mix Master Ice, Howie Tee, Cash Money, Jazzy Jeff, Jam Master Jay and DJ Aladdin.

How did you transition to music production?

I went back to production since DJing came after learning how to program on the Roland 606. I took programming seriously after I heard more Hip Hop records on KDAY. 606, 707, Linn Drum and finally a SP 12 w/ 2.5 seconds of sampling time helped get me started. Early demos were terrible and it was a wonderful time for my growth. 

Can you share a key moments from your journey in the music industry?

Learning how to take requests out of the 7 crates packed for a house party in the mid to late 80’s was a consistent powerful sequence of moments. This taught me how to plan and think on my feet while gauging the house party dance floor.

As a founding member of Jurassic 5, how do you reflect on the group's impact on hip-hop ?

I feel like we impacted several genres and not just Hip Hop. The deep sampling Cut and I did affected the instrumental break beat scene as well as beat digging awareness.  Songs like my cover of Canto de Osanha permeated into the Brazilian market. The group’s relentless tour schedule and endless festivals put our band on stages with the likes of Jane’s Addiction to OutKast.

What are some of your fondest memories from your time with the group?

Joking in the studio especially when we couldn’t figure out a phrase, topic, hook or ending to a vocal part. Somehow talkin shit brought a lot of laughter and eased the recording process.

what advice would you give to aspiring producers?

Listen to Rick Rubin and old Bowie clips and their advise for artists!

how your passion for food and cooking intersects with your love for music?

Cooking is always enhanced by a solid soundtrack. When I’m making Persian food and listening to the mix from my new book AMU NU, it sets the stage. I actually crave the dish more as it stews.

If you could work with anyone dead or Alive who would it be ?

Jael, Pharoahe Monch, Paul Mond

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals for the future?

I’m considering going back in the lab to create Run For Cover 2 but I’m wiped out after releasing my first book, AMU NU. Might dig back into realestate for a few months, rebuild my studio and start choppin up ideas at that point.

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Apr 04

Dope cant wait to catch a set you you at the show

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