DJ’ing Chose Me: jstar Exclusive Q&A

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Check out the interview with jstar exclusively on Rude Boy Lifestyle Magazine.

RBL: What is the meaning of your name? How did you get it and what is the significance?
jstar: I’ll be honest – my stage name is something I randomly came up with when I first started out DJ’ing and the manager at a local bar I was playing at called me and asked for a stage name to put on a flyer. I probably gave it about 6 seconds of thought. My first name starts with a J though.

Can you tell us about the music scene in Toronto? How is it like? How is the DJ-culture?
The music scene in Toronto is thriving. I’m discovering new up and comers almost daily and it’s straight raw talent. It’s not just hip hop and r&b, it’s every genre. I don’t even like using that word genre anymore. Today, if there isn’t something experimental to your sound you’re not going to get far. DJ culture in the city is like anywhere else, over-saturated. That’s both good and bad.

What are some of your favorite clothing brands out right now?
I’m not a huge brand guy, but outside of big name brands I’m currently rocking a lot of local brands (which there is a ton of in Toronto) like Peace Collective, Thank You Toronto, and of course my good buddy’s line NOZO Toronto. You should check them out, they do crazy weird shit. I’d call it experimental almost.

Who are your top five favorite DJs/Producers out right now?
My least favorite question. In no particular order: 40, J-Louis, ZHU, Kaytranada, Ta-Ku, PND, JC Retlaw, Fedmate, Metro, Boi-1da, Disclosure, mura masa, etc. Oh was that more than five?

What are some of your focuses outside of music? What interests you and takes up your time outside of DJing and producing?
Photography, throwing and hosting events with my collective/team, and creating in general.

What separates you from the next DJ in the business?
I didn’t wake up one day and decide to become a DJ because I thought it was cool or I saw it in a movie or in the media/mainstream. I’ve been passionate about music since day 1. Playing music for people at parties because I loved it which naturally and organically led me into picking up DJ’ing because it just made sense. I didn’t choose DJ’ing, DJ’ing chose me.

What advice can you give to the other younger artists that are just starting out?
It’s simple. Consume as much knowledge about your craft as possible, work on your craft every day, network with everybody because you absolutely cannot make it on your own, and don’t settle for less.

What are your thoughts of signing to a major label or distributor? What is your relationship with Mic Tee? JC Retlaw? Diemens?
Like any important decision, taking the time to thoroughly analyze the deal is crucial. The money is key obviously, but maintaining creative control to some extent is just as important. I went to school with Mic Tee and had collaborated with him a few times in the past. Then I started officially DJ’ing for Diemens and met the whole crew including JC, and kind of integrated into the collective and now we do dope shit together.

What do you think the future of the music industry is?
The lines between genres will continue to blur as artists are willing to try weird and cool new shit because of the internet and accessibility allowing them to find a market for whatever it is they are creating. And the mainstream will begin to catch on which we’re already starting to see with guys like Diplo and Skrillex fucking the game up (in a good way).

What’s next for jstar?
I want to continue to explore other avenues of artistry more deeply such as production and photography. I’ll always DJ though.

Where can we find you and connect with you? Social media links?
I’m not a big social media guy (relatively speaking) and my management tells me all the time to get on all the current stuff like Snapchat, etc. I just stick to the basics. I took my website down recently to do a complete overhaul and should be back up in the next month.

Soundcloud: jstarsounds
Instagram: jstarsview

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