Feezy has been a scene staple for over 15 years, grounded by his nearly decade-long residency at Candleroom. Feezy's wealth of music knowledge stretches from the deeper roots of dance music to more mainstream fare. Where most DJs typically pick a side and stick to it, Feezy has been able to ride the fine line between pop music and the underground in his sets. For this week's mixtape Q&A, Feezy explains how he got into deejaying and what has inspired his longevity.
Dallas Observer: How did you get started deejaying?
Feezy: I was going to clubs long before I started. In college, I played random house parties because I was the one with most music and equipment. After putting things together and playing a few lounge gigs in Austin in late '99, I started playing in Dallas after moving back from college. Slip Inn in January 2000 was my first solo residency.
How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
This mix was made with Ableton. Some people feel this is cheating or you should do it live, but honestly I’m more efficient time- and creative-wise with this method (although I have live mixes up on Soundcloud). Of course, I always mix live every week and have for 16 years, with vinyl, CD and currently DVS. ... This track selection follows my general mix style in that, I generally try to put really new tunes that fit my current and then a few from the past that represent a similar sound, but maybe 10, 20, 30 years older.
What do you like about working with Ableton?
I have time to think about exactly what I want to do and how to do it. If you mix live and mess up, then it's starting over from scratch. If I decide I need a different track in a few days, or the sound quality is not up to par, then I have to start from scratch. This process could go on for weeks or months. Honestly, most of my mixes are from an inspirational, tastemaker standpoint, rather than trying to get to the top 10 hip-hop or Beatport pop EDM tracks. So they need to happen in a 24- or 48-hour time period to maintain the focus and inspiration.
What is your relationship with Dallas DJ culture?
I’m kind of a middle-of-the-road guy, in that I see various sides from underground spots to bottle service clubs. Many people see this Dallas DJ culture as a one genre/style/venue thing, but really there is so much more to the area. Minority DJs that DJ at minority clubs — the black, Asian, Latino, Indian, et cetera club and bar scene — get zero coverage from the majority of large-circulation Dallas media publications. It's really disappointing that things have to be so one sided when it comes to local coverage.
Are you involved with production?
Yes, to the extent that I make my own music and have a pretty good understanding of most hardware. ... My first sampler was a Roland JS-30 in '96, but I haven’t really taken production really seriously except for the last five years. Hopefully I'll be able to release some tunes in the future, but it's not a priority.
What drives you as a DJ? Are there certain themes you gravitate toward in your sets?
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I play such a broad variety of styles and venues, there are no set themes for most gigs like a producer DJ might have when pushing a style or their own music. Being a pop resident DJ is very demanding — especially if you have the biggest night of the week, regardless if it's Wednesday, Thursday or Saturday — from the owners and management to the patrons. If I didn’t love what I did, I couldn’t do it.
What gigs do you have coming up?
Candleroom Wednesday night is my main gig. Been doing that for nine and a half years and it's one of, if not the longest, Wednesday night residencies (or any day of the week) ever in Dallas. We’re full every week and it's been a nice run. I also do Barcadia on Saturdays, which is a great gig and I actually still get to play rock with some other classic hip-hop, funk and dance classics.
1. DJ Tennis - I Can Tell
2. Prins Thomas - G
3. Pale Blue - Tougher
4. Loco Dice/Pulshar - You Shine
5. The Pilotwings - Congo Libre
6. Nutrition - Samba
7. Nomad - (I Wanna Give You) Devotion
8. The Black Madonna - Venus Requiem
9. Fernando - Ride On
10. Fantastic Man - Rhythm Algorithm
11. Mr. Ho & Heap - Veils of the Beloved