DJ Nu-Mark, member of lauded group Jurassic 5, chops it up with Quantic aka Will Holland, a trail blazing artist whose live band incarnations (see Quantic Soul Orchestra) and collaborations (wow inducing Alice Russell) have blown minds internationally. Currently, Quantic is on the road with his Ondatropica project with Colombian musician, Mario Galeano. DJ NU-MARK is releasing the Broken Sunlight 10” series over the course of 2012. The series will be consolidated into a full-length album later this year with a docu-style accompanying DVD. The pair also collaborate on an upcoming single for Broken Sunlight series, “Tropicalifornia.”
These two musical forces of nature share their thoughts on evolving with new musical formats, traveling with toys, gear they can’t live without and the power of listening.
QUANTIC’S QUESTIONS FOR DJ NUMARK
Quantic: Nu, if all the electronics companies and major labels want to to sell us today is USB sticks and MP3s, why and how are vinyl records still relevant? Can you see vinyl ever climbing back to its former glory? How does digital co-exist with Vinyl for you as a DJ?
DJ NUMARK: I think the average record collector / music collector truly enjoys the experience of a tangible piece of artwork. That said, I hear that now records sales have dropped significantly and will continue to do so along with CDs. I’ve heard different statistics, but I know that with my new 10″ color vinyl series (Broken Sunlight) it has helped stir more buzz and appreciation. Personally I don’t see how vinyl will make it back to its former glory simply due to the ease of access the MP3 creates….still, “can’t roll a blunt on an mp3″ though.
Digital co-exist with vinyl in my sets simply as a switch over media for the next DJ to spin. It’s sad to say, but I either get hired to rock with the MP3s and toys, or a straight 7″/45 set.
Quantic: You now have been in the music industry for many years, through all its twists and turns. Having entered it when it was in a very different state, how would you describe the journey? Maybe give some advice to someone who starting out today.
DJ NUMARK: Today’s music industry doesn’t even resemble what it was when I got in it with J5. Hats off to the young artist of today that have to build hype strictly on hits, YouTube and blog hype. In the early ’90s, an indie promo 12″ was a great way to stir music lovers attention. Today, a visual component along with your song is a must! Also today, the artist must have a look to them that coincides with their sound. I don’t know….. would Janice Joplin get signed today?? That’s not a diss, just a simple straight question. I think the best motto an artist can have is bend or you’ll break in these trying times. This industry is unforgiving yet very rewarding and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to still play live and record on my terms.
Quantic: How would you describe the Broken Sunlight series? What was the inspiration for this series and how is this different to your past work as a producer?
DJ NUMARK: The series was planned similar to a DJ set where I can change up the singles at any time according to people’s response. I’m releasing six 10″ color vinyl records with a visual component (video, DVD commercial, etc…) for each single. At the end of the series cycle I’ll release the entire album with a DVD of my life on the road and in the studio creating the album. The record is different from past projects because it’s my first solo attempt, there’s an underlined theme of forging ahead through tough times. I worked with MCs and singers and there’s a splash of a few different music genres incorporated. I don’t really spin just all hip-hop at shows anymore, so my music production reflects that in this album.
Quantic: You are known for your skill, originality and showmanship on the turntables, but you are also a obsessive record collector and music selector. How do they two things co-exist? Are they part of the same interest or do these interests often conflict?
DJ NUMARK: No, I think they all co-exist. I dig heavily, then I harvest the crops and break them down into music that then becomes my own. I’ve never been a record collector that collects simply because a record is sought after. There are tons of records that bore me to death but a lot of my peers break their backs trying to capture them. The music has to speak to me first before I start chopping, spinning or vacuuming to the music.
Quantic: You’ve toured more than anyone I know with your toys DJ show. Where was the show best received? Did you ever despair with carrying around such a complicated setup and rig?
DJ NUMARK: These damn toys are gonna be the end of me….crazy. Well, I haven’t played the toy set much in the states, but I will very heavily with the promo behind Broken Sunlight. I’d say that New Zealand gave me the best response so far. I captured that on the upcoming DVD as well.
It took longer for me to build and perfect my toy road case then it did for me to come up with the toy set. Traveling with the toys is a pain in the ass. TSA has taken my toys out of the case and re-inserted them in ways leading to toys breaking. The overweight fees are also not so fun. We use to be able to travel with a case that weighed 70 pounds, now it’s 50 pounds. So while all the homies are smiling with their laptops at the airport, I’m that dude going to another line paying extra fees. But hey, the kids love it and it’s working for me!
Go to the next page to read DJ NUMARK’s questions for Quantic.