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DJ Krush - Grips Like A Vice

Author: Scott Henderson
Monday, 19 May 2008
3D's Scott Henderson takes a walk down memory lane with DJ Krush, the hip hop legend who's bringing his revered turntablism back to Sydney.

When was the last time you played in Australia and what sets the Australian hip hop scene apart that makes you enjoy playing here-
Last time I played in Australia was during the tour in support of my self-remix album, Stepping Stones, released in late 2006.  I visited five cities, and enjoyed the enthusiastic welcome everywhere I went.  I had a good time playing here!

It's well known that your inspiration for starting out in hip hop came from the film Wild Style - what was it about the film that captured your imagination at that time in your life-
Oh, everything!  Everything was such a great impact - from scratching the vinyl by touching it with the hand, to spinning round and round on the floor, and to spraying graffiti on the wall.  I tried out everything - dance, graffiti and rap - after I saw Wild Style!

What was it like when you first got to meet the godfathers of the hip hop world, artists like Grandmaster Flash, that you'd first encountered through Wild Style-
I remember that when I met Grandmaster Flash for the first time, my excitement was beyond words! It was such a moving experience for me.

Who, or what, were your major influences when you first starting DJing and cutting tracks back in the 80s and early 90s-
Let's see-  I was influenced by so many artists of so many genres, not only hip hop.  Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix-  As for DJs, like I said, Grandmaster Flash was definitely a big influence.

As one of the pioneers of hip hop in Japan, how difficult was it to find musical recognition in those early days and what kind of obstacles did you encounter-
At first, no one paid attention to me at all when I brought my demos to record labels.  So ever since then, I have thought that I had to target the world when I delivered my music; otherwise I would never be recognized in Japan.

You've said before that when you were young, it was a choice between a life in gangs or a life in music. Can you imagine what your life would have been like if you hadn't become a music producer and DJ-

At this moment in time, I can't imagine.  But I'm sure I would have definitely not lived an ordinary life.

In what ways has Japanese hip hop and DJing evolved since you released your first album, Krush, back in 1994-
Back then hip hop had just entered the Japanese market.  So local artists were more into trying to recreate the authentic hip hop as much as possible.

Which collaborations have you enjoyed and learned the most from-
I don't prioritise anyone, but as a DJ the collaboration with DJ Shadow was very impressive.

Outside of Japan, where have you enjoyed performing the most and how different have you found hip hop audiences around the world-
Let's see-  Every place has its own spice, so it's difficult to choose, but I found South Africa and Eastern Europe were very interesting, in a sense that people are taking on music pure-heartedly.

What can we expect from a DJ Krush set today-
Don't make a big deal; open your heart and enjoy the set in your own way!

WHO: DJ Krush
WHAT: Plays Oxford Art Factory
WHEN: Saturday 24 May