Miss CJ knows what it means to hustle and grind. The producer, DJ and promoter is a unifying force for the bass-heavy music scene in DFW and a founding member of the Basshead Society, which throws the annual Evarland Music and Arts Festival, a weekend of music, dancing and camping on a ranch two hours north of Dallas. For this week's mixtape, CJ put together a banging mix of breaks — her genre of choice.
Dallas Observer: How did you get started deejaying? How long have you been in the DJ game?
Miss CJ: Ever since I was 5 years old, I have been into electronica music. My mom signed me up for tap, jazz, ballet, singing lessons and piano. My love for music and dance is what got me into deejaying.
When I turned 18 years old, my best friend had a brand-new set of 1200 Technics that had never been used. I worked right up the street from his house and would come by on my lunch breaks and after work. I practiced almost daily until I could mix flawlessly.
One day my friend came home, and I played a short mix for him and he was stoked. He couldn’t believe I had taught myself how to mix. After that we worked on A&M’s college radio station KEOS 89.1 FM together. We started our own live mix show and had guest DJs from all over come out and play.
Rob Vaughn was one of those DJs. He was actually deejaying the very first rave I ever went to there in the Brazos Valley. I got my first DJ gig at the only dance club in Bryan-College Station called Club Ozone. They gave me a job as a door girl and also as their Wednesday night DJ.
I took a night that was dead and made it busier than their Friday nights. I introduced them to house and break beats. This was a top 40 and hip-hop club. I moved back to DFW to try and get into the dance scene here. I reached out to Jeff K and DJ Red Eye. I met them at the Art Bar in Dallas, and not only did they listen to my mix, but they played one of my very first production tracks. It all took off from there.
I give all my thanks to Jeff K, Rob Vaughan, Kelly Reverb, DJ Merritt, Phooka, Raydar, Shaolin, Mundo, Sno White, Willie Trimmer, Matt Jones, Danny V, Moxie, Michael Todd, Edwin Watson, Brooke Humphries, Red Eye, Neil Connell, Chris Jungle, and so many others for giving me a shot when no one else would.
How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
I am a huge breaks fan and I love those funky broken beats. I wanted to put something together that had a little old school nostalgia feel for my break fans. I wanted this mix to take them back to when breaks ruled the streets and maybe even bust out some cardboard and start dancing.
What drew you into breaks?
I have always loved hip-hop, electronica and those broken beats. I was a breaker back in the day. If breaks was playing in the clubs, I was drawn to it.
DJ Raydar was deejaying at a place called The Wall back in the day. It was all break beats. He took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. He even helped me work on my very first mix with DJ Shaolin.
Back then the breaks were ruling the Dallas scene. I even introduced Willie Trimmer to the Dallas scene when he moved here straight out of college. I worked with him playing breaks all over town and helped him start the 12 Inch Pimps. He will forever be my brother for life.
How did Basshead Society get started?
Basshead Society was a concept that Chris Jungle and I came up with over four years. It was to help bring our EDM community together and all for the love of bass music. Whether you’re into house, breaks, drum and bass — it didn’t matter. We wanted to throw big shows that were affordable and gave that bedroom DJ/producer a chance to play in front of a large crowd.
We throw shows for the people by the people. Nothing flashy, just people who love music and art. We wanted our events to be a place to help others network, share music, and learn the tricks of the trade and production tips. We started a monthly get together called Vinyl Therapy; it was to keep the art of vinyl alive. This started out a small group in my house that eventually made it to the park and then the clubs.
What is the story behind Evarland, and how did you get involved?
Chris Jungle started Evarland over eight years ago. It started out as a group of guys who loved music and art. It went from a small group of 30 to 40 people to over 400 people.
I started assisting him over five years ago. We went from having only one stage to three stages of music, fire spinners, local artists painting live, hoopers and more.
We just recently started incorporating live bands and hip-hop acts to the lineup. We don’t want to limit ourselves to just dance; there is so much great music in Dallas. Evarland is a place we can all come together, listen to some beats, camp out for a couple of days and just experience fellowship.
Where do you like to dig for tracks?
Digging for tracks used to be so much simpler. I used to get my beats from Oak Lawn Records. I literally would just call them to say that I was coming, and they had a stack of the hottest beats around [waiting for me].
After that it was dancerecords.com and Beatport. Now, I buy straight from the label. I am a huge believer in supporting the labels you love. Keep them alive and bringing more music to the masses.
What non-dance music has been catching your ears lately?
Ishi is a local favorite of mine. I also like the Broods, Cage the Elephant, Stone Roses, the Bravery, Sunny Day Real Estate, Snow Patrol, Bloc Party, Elliphant and more.
Is there a track that you always come back to as a DJ?
That is the best question. Yes, "Stars" by Dubstar. That was my very first record ever, and I still have it.
What gigs do you have coming up?
Currently, we have Evarland, a three-day, two-night camping music festival starting June 30 through July 2. There will be food trucks, three stages of music, EDM, live bands, local hip-hop artists, an artist alley and more. We also are headlining at AnimeFest at the Sheraton [in Dallas from] Aug. 17-20. We are also getting booked for another music festival in Louisiana. Details will be published soon on our webpage at bassheadsociety.com.
"Gimme The Breaks" – A.Skillz & Krafty Kuts featuring Kurtis Blow
"Linguistic Funk" – The Breakbeat Junkie
"Must Bee the Music (the breakbeat got lost in the freestyle mix)" – King Bee
"What I Need (DJP's Boombox Remix)" – The Breakbeat Junkie
"The Phantom (Remix)" – Renegade Soundwave
"Just Give the DJ a Break" – Dynamix II featuring Breezy Beat MC
"Papua New Guinea" – Future Sound of London
"Stakker Humanoid" – Humanoid
"Senses" – Destroyer
"Jam On It (Claude Vonstroke & Galen Disco Kryptonite Breakbeat Remix)" – Newcleus
"Spice (Saul Kane Version)" – Converted by Fusion
"Rich Ah Getting Richer" – Rebel MC featuring Little T
"Is This Real" – Rhythm Section
"Cut the Music" – 2 Fat Buddhas
"Bad Funk (Dem 2´s Breakbeat Mix)" – Antonio
"Funky Heroes (Krafty Kuts Zulu Funk Remix)" – Afrika Bambaataa
"Bass Is a Drug" – Laidback
"Murderous Style (Whip Mix)" – Rhythm Junior
"Let The Good Times Roll (Breakbeat Mix)" – Layo & Bushwacka
"Dooms Night (Stanton Warriors Remix)" – Azzido Da Bass
"She's Not In" – Chicken Lips
"Rocker" – Alter Ego
"Coma Cat (Stanton Warriors Re Bump)" – Tensnake
"Beware of the Bassline" – Bug Kann & The Plastic Jam
"Feelin' Kinda Strange" – Drumattic Twins
"Everybody Needs a 303 (Plump DJs Remix)" – Fatboy Slim
"Suga Daddio" – Cut & Run
"Prozac Nation (Krafty Kuts Remix)" – Influenza
"Ground Cru" – Cut & Run
"Outta Space (Booty Space Mix)" – Cut & Run