Due to some (fairly manageable) jetlag, I woke up very early this morning to the news that my single "Everything" (featuring the incredibly talented Vince Harder) had just been added to the BBC Radio 1 playlist! If you've been following this blog you will know very well by now that we've been steadily gaining interest, love and airplay for the single in the UK since late last year. My goal since March was to get on the Radio 1 playlist, and here we f**kin are!! Next move is of course to move up the list and continue to grow and advance etc etc... and we shall get to that.
This news comes as the perfect accompaniment to what was a considerably successful jaunt to the UK. To fill you in, about two weeks ago me and my trusty partner in all thing's 'Dirty' (Dirty Records and Management that is) Mr. Callum August took to the skies and winged our way across seas to my ancestral country of origin. Our mission was two-fold, to meet with the great team who have been enlisted to work our single and to meet with other interested parties as to their potential involvement in my international career. It's fair to say I have every confidence in our UK team and today's news further reinforces that faith. Go team! I'm also very glad to have made the many new acquaintances we did in the past week.
I've been gearing myself up for a move to the UK for quite some time now and this past week (and todays incredible news!) has definitely increased the urgency of those plans. It's time to pack my bags. I'm looking forward to using this current momentum to spread my music far and wide. The door has been opened and I'm stepping in. Hi folks, nice to meet you!
Just a quick note to let you know how excited I am about our progress on UK radio waves this week. The P-Money single "Everything" ft. Vince Harder received it's first playlist spin on Jo Whiley's show on BBC Radio 1 last night (load the player and skip to the 56min mark) and went straight on to playlist today at 1Xtra (the UK's leading Black Music station).  Not to mention the man Trevor Nelson gave it a spin on July 4th on BBC 1 also!
This is real big stuff for us. Infact I'm curious to know how many New Zealand acts have attained this kind of airplay in the UK? Not in a spiteful way at all. Please fill me in oh wise watchers of the web... Off the top of my head I know OMC smashed it back in the day and I'd make a guess that Fat Freddy's Drop got decent spot plays on specialist shows. But as for playlist on a UK station? We might be breaking new ground here. Awesome news either way! Onwards and upwards!!
The 2009 NZ DMC Champs are taking place on 08/08/09 at Zen Bar in Auckland. That means you have just over 4 weeks to design your 6 minute masterpiece and take that title.
Those that know me well will recognize my expertise in this area. There isn't a year that goes by where fans don't encourage me to enter again. I gotta be honest and say that competing in DJ Battles is simply not on my radar at present. But I do see it as a highly significant (dare i say 'necessary'?) part of any Hip-Hop DJ's apprenticeship. The Battle is where you earn your respect, establish your profile and most importantly, hone your craft. I encourage any aspiring DJ to challenge themselves and ENTER. The rewards from this unique experience are immeasurable.
So with this blog, instead of showing off what I can do on a pair of turntables, I thought I would share with you the method which I used to prepare, compose and rehearse my battle winning sets during my competitive years. Thus...
Prepare, Compose and Rehearse. Approaching your practice sessions with solid structure is key. This is how I break it down:
1. PREPARATION (Practice) - Any time you are practicing is preparation for the next battle. Putting your self through drills, repeating the same scratch or beat juggle pattern over and over until you have it locked, is very important. You should be doing this ALL the time (not just near battle time). Jamming and fine tuning the things you know plus pushing yourself to master new techniques is essential during practice. I would easily commit 4-6 hours a day practicing. Not on any one routine necessarily, but just honing my instrument.
2. COMPOSITION - I would begin the process of composing my battle routines as soon as the competition date had been announced (if not before!). I'd make the proper enquiries regarding the battle format (ie. how long are the sets, how many do I need to prepare so that I am equipped for every round etc..) and then the creative process would begin. Because you have been practicing you should already have an arsenal of cuts, scratches and tricks that you can apply to any record. So now is the time to have fun selecting what records sound good and discovering which tracks have the elements you need to create a dope, entertaining and impressive routine. Depending on how far away the battle was I might spend months on composing a whole bunch of routines. But in the case of NZ DMC 2009, YOU have 4 weeks to create and perform a 6 minute routine, so I would give you a strict 2 weeks to compose all the pieces you need, because you are going to need the remaining 2 weeks for...
3. REHEARSAL - This is the MOST important and oft overlooked part of preparing for a successful battle performance. Too often DJ's approach the stage with routines only composed the night before and proceed to forget parts, lose their cool and/or blame technical problems for the simple fact they were not well rehearsed and therefore fucked their routine up. By now if you have spent 2 weeks composing then you should have settled on a final 6 minute routine. So what I advise you to do is line up all the records for your routine, in order, in a big stack next to the turntables. Then grab a stop watch, set it to countdown 6 minutes, and go through your routine. Once. Without stopping. If you make a mistake keep going, you are on the clock! Now review your performance. How many mistakes did you make? What parts didn't work? Address all the issues. And run through it again. And again, and again. Until its running smoothly. It might take days to get it smooth, but you have two weeks so stop stressing and go over it again.
Now once you are able to get through the whole set smoothly with NO mistakes you can smile, give yourself a brief pat on the back and then continue to rehearse the same routine over and over and over again. Until your hands hurt, until your back hurts, until your head hurts, until you know the thing forwards, backwards and are borderline losing your mind from repeating this damn process. Then grab a glass of water and do it again. During this 2 weeks if you find yourself at home sitting on the couch watching shortland street, get up off your ass and do your routine again. And when you're reading my blog and twitter and bullshitting online, slap yourself and GO REHEARSE!!! If you follow these steps then by battle time you will have your set committed to memory so well that of the million things that can (and quite possibly will) go wrong on the night your set will not be one of them! Even if the needle skips, you will know how to get back on track so quickly that no-one will notice but you. Trust me. I know.
I strongly advise you to stick to this plan and spend the next 2 weeks composing routines using the techniques you ALREADY KNOW and can DO WELL. Don't create routines beyond your current ability. If there is an amazing trick that you only get right once every 20 times, leave it out and put that on the list of things to practice in advance of the NEXT battle.
Use the skills you have NOW to compose routines you can pull of cleanly.
Make a dope fun set that sounds good to you and to OTHERS.
Rehearse your set and enter that battle with the calmness and confidence that only comes from being on top of your shit.
Your goal is to perform flawlessly the material you have prepared.
Best of luck!
P-MONEY 3rd Place 2001 DMC WORLD DJ CHAMPIONSHIPS 2001 NZ DMC CHAMP 1999-2000-2001 NZ ITF DJ BATTLE CHAMP
We made our first appearance in UK charts this week. Debuting at number 10 on the Cool Cuts Chart*. Frikkin MEAN! Shout out to the crew at 3 Beat.
*The Cool Cuts Chart is the UK’s leading tastemaker dance chart compiled from reactions from tastemaker DJs and the Cool Cuts panel, now in it’s 21st year. The Cool Cuts is exclusively published in MUSIC WEEK, the UK’s leading music industry trade publication.