DC9er Mixtape, Vol. 23: DJ WISHFM

Wade Randolph Hampton, aka DJ WISHFM, is seasoned at his craft. The DJ/booker/promoter and now, band manager, has been spinning for 25 years at this point. Never one to slow down, Hampton books for The W's rooftop club, Ghostbar, serves as that club's resident DJ, and manages popular local acts including Hoyotoyo, Smooth Criminal and Ishi.

When it comes to DJ WISHFM's personal DJ style, he's one who enjoys to "push the boundaries of context," and he describes his personal style as "angst-filled heartbreakers on a bed of funky beats."

In order to share a taste of that style, Hampton submitted his "Dirty Little Secret" mix for DC9 readers to help get themselves properly prepared for the weekend.

Make sure to check out bout his mix and Q&A after the jump.

For how long have you been DJing?  
25 years.

How did you get your start?
Watching and listening to Rick Squillante at the Starck. Eventually, Scott Marder let me play at The Connection behind the Fry Street parking lot in Denton.

What was your first gig like?
Pretty awesome. I played for only 30 people at The Connection--a tiny little checkerboard dance floor, walls covered in magazine photos of the Rolling Stones. And you were required to play one of their songs about every three records in between Paul Hardcastle's or Dead or Alive's. Somehow it still worked. Classic.  

Who/what are some of your biggest influences musical or otherwise?
Radiohead, New Order, Grace Jones, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson and Roni Size. I also look up to Bruce Lee and Hunter S. Thompson.

Which DJ's do you follow? Do you have a favorite?
Derrick Carter, DJ Craze, Mark Farina, DJ AM and Sasha have taught me the most after playing with them so much. So, being realistic, I've probably followed them more than anyone else. Craze will probably going down as the greatest to ever play, and I'm proud to say that Adam Goldstein and I both list him as our favorites. Forever.

What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to?
Mid-tempo, Latin jazz, breaks and downtempo for me. For everyone else, I like to play edgy indie influenced dance music.

How do you decide what songs you're going to play?
I study my audience both before the gig and after I arrive. I always listen closely to the DJ playing before me, watch the crowd's reaction to those records, and pick one of my planned attacks.

How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
For a big gig at a massive festival or whatever, I'll practice the set all week long. For a Saturday night in the city or anything with a specific agenda, I'll spend a few hours on the day of the show. And then there are weekly parties where I still just turn to my digital crates in Serato and let the magic fly freestyle.

What are your main objectives when it comes to playing music? (Are you looking to entertain the crowd, educate them, or something different altogether?)
I like to lay it on thick so they can learn when it's appropriate, but I don't force it if the crowd isn't right. I like to push the boundaries of context though, showing lesser relationships between genres of music using creative mixing. Anyone who knows me, knows I lean on the element of surprise. That and rarer records than the rest.

What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?
Don't come expecting the same thing. I play it all depending on the party. You can expect to see me opening to LMFAO, Black Eyed Peas, Steve Aoki, etc., at Ghostbar--basically any big shows there. I also play the Sundance Film Festival every year, and in Aspen during ski season. And then there are the glitzy charity fundraiser and private parties in Highland Park. Never a dull moment.

What kind of equipment do you use?
Pioneer DJM800 or Rane TTM-57 with Pioneer CDJ-1000s running Serato

Requests. Love em or hate em?
Don't mind, as long as I have it and it makes sense in the set I'm playing and it's not Lady Gaga. I am not a jukebox.

If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, whom would you play with and where would it be?
That's a good one, since I've already played Hollywood Bowl with Radiohead, with Timothy Leary at his funeral, with Paul Oakenfold at the Olympics, with DJ AM in Hollywood, with Tiesto in Miami, in Chicago with Massive Attack, and even with Run DMC in Orlando--we'd be here all day if I listed all. Let's just say my bucket list is short at this point and I'm very pleased to say that.  

What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?
My range--I've played all styles and produced music for almost every major label in almost every genre over the years. Diversity is my secret weapon.

When/where will you be playing next?
With Lil' Jon at Ghostbar later this month.

What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2010?
I'll be on top of the world with my three favorite local bands, all of which I'm currently managing: Hoyotoho, Ishi and Smooth Criminal.

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Catherine Downes
Contact: Catherine Downes

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