Think of you're dream party: turnt up to the max, drinks flowing at the free bar, possibly catching a whine from Rihanna (let me dream please) and what's the one thing that makes or breaks the night? The music. So we can all agree that a LIT DJ is essential to a good night out. We caught up with one that is consistently bringing the vibes and tunes (might need a wheel up) and that's Producer/DJ Jamo Beatz - usually found in east London or warming up the crowd for House of Pharaohs and let me say he has many stories and antidotes from his time as a DJ already.
JamaI is the real deal when it comes to really loving music as a craft. He says it probably started when he learnt to read music playing the clarinet in primary school and has since gone on to learn how to play the guitar, drums, bass and piano. Playing with bands and supporting artists meant that when he decided to become a DJ (he taught himself!) he already knew plenty of creatives and musicians. Jamal reminisces on his first gig, "my friend was having a new year’s party and needed a DJ, so I just brought down my speakers and laptop to set up, from there the love for DJing just comes from making people happy". Jamal got his passion for music from his childhood and family life, "I would listen to my grandad’s old records a lot" So now at age 20 what inspires him? "A lot of stuff is in my mind right now. But I’d say at the moment it’s a Brazilian Trap style music called Balie funk. There’s an artist called Sango I listen to a lot and I always try to incorporate him in my sets because I know that type of music isn’t often played out in London. So if I channel that from South America to London it can bring a different vibe because I know that at the moment there’s a lot of grime, that’s dominant right now. But I like something a little different."
Jamo Beatz main passion is actually producing and he's pretty dope at that too, crossing this over with DJing at times; "making music is all about rhythm to me, - if a song has a good beat and it merges together with a good melody then that’s a good track''. Jamo learnt a lot about producing just by listening to the good and bad techniques of other producers, his favourite are "Sango and Pharrell" at the moment. As we sat and spoke about the then and now, Jamal felt that the difference between this generation compared to before is in the way we are so open to various kinds of music - "I can use reggae or blues rock for fusions in my songs". People are currently using a lot of samples from the 90s (and why wouldn't they, the era brought us a lot of treasures) and we have so much choice with online platforms and yes, we all know the internet is the dopest and largest music library available at our fingers tips, but "It’s also about taking it back, like finding vinyl’s, because the sound quality is so much better." and it's this nit picky type of attention to detail we love to see in musicians and admire in Jamal. When Jamo is producing he likes to mix genre’s as mentioned, making something people won’t expect, although he's been told people usually "recognise [his] sound from the drums, but that’s just natural, because I like making beats". Being a producer and DJ all at once means he can utilise the two different platforms, sometimes playing his own tracks at events just to "show people I am a producer as well and see the response". Although when Djing he tries to please the crowd and make sure they are having a good time mostly, he tends to play more "mainstream tracks, influenced by Trap and Hip-Hop" to bring us that party we never want to leave, trust me.
As well as DJing for events Jamo also DJs for artists and is the official DJ for London based clique, The House of Pharaohs who are taking the industry for a trip, their name is pretty much on every flyer for a popping event. "It’s a collective, they're all friends, there’s artists, musicians, photographers, models. But they're more specialised in music […] each individual has their own following, so there’s a lot of people, especially young people at the shows.’" And to be honest they seem pretty crazy from his stories of mosh pits, crowd surfacing and one time it even got so mad an audience member on stage managed to pull out the cords, abruptly ending the show.
His favourite DJing experience?
"Probably Djing at Coco in Camden, opening for Raekwon from the Wu Tan Clang. My friend called my like the night before saying she needs a DJ. Then she told me who it was and I was just like I’m definitely doing that. I was so mesmerised to see the audience and show from a different angel. I am usually on the other side seeing the artist on the stage but this time I was on the centre stage. It was just a different experience".
With all these diverse experiences I was interested to know, what have you learnt this past year about the music industry?
"I have learnt not to be too open to everything and anything, if it’s a good opportunity take it. But if you’re not getting paid or getting any links from it than its better to be more reserved."
So what else can we expect from you in the future, if everything goes according to plan?
"Maybe getting signed, but I am not sure if I wanna limit myself to working with certain artists [..] I think that in 2 years time I will like to have my own record label and I want to sign upcoming artists I know. I am helping a few artists to develop in the industry at the moment But yeah I also wanna tour and travel, so a bit of everything."
Where can readers catch you next?
Jamo Beats will be DJing and I AM NEXT event in the Richmix on 13/08/16 and with the House of Pharaohs at the Old Blue Last in Shoreditch on 14/08/16. After that if you’re lucky enough to have a holiday planned you can catch him in Jamaica, where he will be DJing for the sports carnival in late August along with some cool up and coming artists.