You are coming up on the 10 year anniversary of broadcasting, initially as Burst Radio and now as 313.fm. When looking back, what are the most memorable interviews, moments, and/or mixes?
My favorite moments have to be during the Burst Radio days at the warehouse. We were much crazier during those years. Take a look at some of the old photo archives on our Facebook page and you’ll see. My favorite mix on the station so far would probably have to be Brian Borsa’s mix he did way back in like episode fifty-one. It was beyond funky.
What is your purpose/mission for producing the station?
The original purpose/mission for the station I believe was more a way to promote the audio company, as well as continue a few radio projects some of the past members of the team did previously. The reason I keep it going now is to promote all the great, and diverse music talent we have in the city.
I just learned that you are fluent in sign language. What inspired you to learn to sign?
Honestly, it was something that I signed up for the first class as a “blow off” class to fulfill credit requirements for insurance. …Then it became my major. Hahaha. I definitely enjoyed learning it, and to this day, still, use it in my nine to five.
With the lack of more broadcasts of electronic music in Detroit, how do you think localized broadcasts like yours can fill the gap and thrive?
Well, I’m excited that we have a few people joining the station, as well as a few broadcasts that went off the air for a while and are now back on. The goal is always 24/7 broadcasts around the clock. Who knows what the future will hold?
What impact do you strive to have on the electronic music community in Detroit?
It makes me happiest when I see people I’ve had on my show getting more bookings because of it. I’ve even paired a few guests together on the show, who have never previously met, that have become good friends and now play shows together regularly. I’m shocked as well at the number of artists who tell me I was their first gig in Detroit, their first radio gig, or their first gig period, and now I see their names all over Detroit, the US, and even on International billings.
What are your plans for 313.fm broadcasts during the Movement Festival this year?
I always try to cram as many of my friends coming in from overseas on the broadcasts as possible during the two weeks surrounding Memorial Day Weekend. So if you’re in the area, stop by Urban Bean to catch some DJs you probably won’t be able to catch until next year or later.
When and how did you start DJing?
The obsession with electronic music all started with a radio show on 89X called X2K around 99 / 2000. I was only fourteen at the time but tried to stay up until two AM each Saturday to listen to the full broadcast. A few years later I bought my first turntables, records, and mixer. I got a Friday evening residency at a little coffee shop in Royal Oak and then one year later at a club in Hamtramck called THC.
You have multiple DJ styles. How do you pick what you play? What is the mental process?
Usually, I’ll just ask the venue, promoter, etc. what they want. If they prefer a certain style I’ll usually grab a stack of those records, and then pick a few records out from other styles, that work with that genre, to deviate from it for a short while if I want to. When I play only 45s, I just pack about four hundred of them with me so I got all grounds covered and from there it’s more just what I’m feeling, what the crowd is feeling, or if I’m feeling adventurous and want the throw the crowd for a loop.
How did you get into Internet Radio?
My first experience with Internet Radio was a broadcast I did on a 56k modem over ShoutCast that maybe two of my friends listened to. From there I caught word of a station starting up called SubOut Radio. I emailed the creator and started a weekly on Wednesdays from 7pm – 10pm. The station ended broadcasting shortly before Burst Radio went on the air. Once we decided to add satellite shows to the line up on Burst Radio I decided why not keep my Wednesday schedule and start a show on the station. That was the start of Planet Funk.
How and when did Urban Bean become the “home” for your show?
I have Asher Perkins to thank for that one. In the beginning, I did the broadcasts from home, all the way out in Oxford, Michigan. When I had Asher booked to play the show he mentioned a “cool little coffee shop that the owner was always looking for DJs to play in the spot.” So I agreed we could do it from there that week. After the broadcast ended I spoke with the owner, Josh, about continuing the broadcasts from Urban Bean Co. He liked the idea, and we’ve been there ever since, now going on five and a half years.
How do you pick people to perform on your show?
There are a few different ways. I’ve been recommended artists from others. Sometimes when I’m out at an event and someone really catches my attention, I’ll approach them. I’ve also had artists, labels, and representatives of artists contact the 313.fm Instagram and Facebook pages as well as email us.
Are there podcasts by other DJs Producers around the world that you like/look to for inspiration?
I really enjoy the weekly, “The Mix with Bam”, Thursday broadcast on WHFR. He’s been on air for fifteen years now and was my first experience playing on the radio. I’ve learned a great deal about broadcasting from watching and hanging out with him. Another great one I always enjoy is the weekly Sunday broadcast, The Bassment on Underground313.com I also really enjoy a broadcast by my friend, DJ Fasmwa on Bondi Beach Radio, in Australia, called Prescription Radio. It’s not electronic music, it’s all Soca, Dancehall, and Reggae, but I listen to it almost weekly while doing paperwork from my regular job.
What is the future of the show?
Hopefully, it will continue to promote all the talented artists we have in the city and beyond. I’m very excited for the upcoming 313th episode of the Planet Funk show in July.