DJ Jazzy Jeff Knows How to Read the Room

He tells us what it takes to be the best DJ.

By
listen
DJ Jazzy Jeff Knows How to Read the Room
MIC/LINE
8,766 Hypes 11 Comments

MIC/LINE is HYPEBEAST Radio’s music-centric show that looks to deliver in-depth conversations with your favorite artists, digging into their origin stories and asking the questions you want answered. For this week’s episode, we sit down with hip-hop legend, DJ Jazzy Jeff.

A record producer, DJ, actor and comedian, the Philadelphia native has had a long history in music. Whether it was appearing in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air or his Grammy nominated hits, Jazz remains today as a pillar in the world of djing. 

Born Jeffrey Allen Townes, he knew at 10-years-old he wanted to become a DJ after attending a summertime block party. Rather than dancing, he became fascinated with the DJ after “watching how happy he made people.” After pursuing his own career as a DJ, he linked up with Will Smith by chance after running into him at a house party. The two’s instant chemistry would later lead to the iconic duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince and later Jeff’s role as the comical Jazz in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

After a number of gold and platinum-selling albums later with singles like “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and “Summertime” the duo parted ways and Jeff went on to be a prominent R&B, soul and neo soul record producer. He created his own production company called A Touch of Jazz, working with artists like Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, the Roots and more. With decades of experience under his belt, the expert musician tells us the importance of the tone that music sets. He reminds us that his expertise in djing comes from his ability to read the room.

“I don’t think it’s just how deep your crates are. I think it’s playing the right thing at the right time. It comes from studying the energy in the room. Sometimes you start playing, and you realize from the first record on you got ‘em.”

Having experienced the transition of physical to digital records, Jeff informs us how technology nowadays has changed the landscape of music. He no longer has to carry suitcases filled with records and instead has access to thousands of songs at the tips of his fingers. His collaboration with McCormick indicates such change. Called the Sumr Hits 5000, the machine allows for six-burner grill with a built-in turntable. An avid barbecuer, he grills four-times a week and tells us that “music is just important as the food.”

Keep up with everything HYPEBEAST Radio and subscribe to MIC/LINE on Apple PodcastsSoundcloudSpotifyStitcherOvercast or wherever else you enjoy your podcasts. Feel free to reach out to our host, Manny, on Twitter at @ECM_LP and follow HYPEBEAST Music for more original content and music news.

Read Full Article
Host
EMMANUEL MADUAKOLAM/HYPEBEAST
Photographer
Nayquan Shuler/HYPEBEAST
Producer
Christina Hong/HYPEBEAST

Join Our Discussions on Discord

The HYPEBEAST Discord Server is a community where conversations on cultural topics can be taken further.

637 Users Online

What to Listen to Next

Business of HYPE with jeffstaple: Special Finance Q&A Episode

Business of HYPE with jeffstaple: Special Finance Q&A Episode

We sort through our mailbox and answer your finance questions with a successful financial advisor.

Listen
6,350 Hypes 5 Comments

The HYPE Report: JAY-Z Partners With the NFL, High-Fashion's Latest T-shirt Controversy and More

The HYPE Report: JAY-Z Partners With the NFL, High-Fashion's Latest T-shirt Controversy and More

Our Editors sit down and analyze the most important news from the past 7 days.

Listen
4,566 Hypes 1 Comments

Joe Kay Believes Soulection Is a Way of Life

Joe Kay Believes Soulection Is a Way of Life

The co-founder, head of A&R and radio host details how he used a $20 mixing program to turn Soulection into a global phenomenon.

Listen
8,512 Hypes 7 Comments


Introducing Our Newest Podcast Series: The HYPE Report

Introducing Our Newest Podcast Series: The HYPE Report

On this weekly show, HYPEBEAST editors sit down and analyze the most important news from the past 7 days.

Listen
7,004 Hypes 2 Comments

Trippie Redd Believes in Speaking Things Into Existence

Trippie Redd Believes in Speaking Things Into Existence

The multi-genre artist discusses his creative process, rock music, anime and much more.

Listen
9,188 Hypes 4 Comments

jeffstaple Thanks Listeners for Five Seasons of Business of HYPE

jeffstaple Thanks Listeners for Five Seasons of Business of HYPE

As we prep for Season 6, we wanted to thank our listeners and team, as well as bring to attention our other podcast series.

Listen
3,456 Hypes 4 Comments

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Help us serve you better

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads, where we can share contents from the latest fashion, to those culturally relevant. In adding HYPEBEAST to your ad blocker's whitelist, ads on our sites will show while you continue to browse.