Establishing himself as one of the fast rising stars on the east coast scene, American DJ and producer Space Monk-E has become one of the most in demand DJs and producers in North America, thanks to his ‘booty movin’ productions and highly energetic DJ sets.With a release catalogue featuring hits such as ‘Static’, ‘Burn’, ‘E Everybody’, ‘Snake Charmer’ and ‘The Come Up’, it’s no wonder many A-List stars have been taking notice of his work.
Despite spending vast amounts of time in the studio churning out the scene’s next big hit, Space Monk-E can also be found behind the decks at some of North America’s most prestigious venues including, Limelight, Tunnel and Original EXIT. We caught up with the multitalented artist to talk about his life behind the decks.
Hi Space Monk-E, thanks for taking the time to talk to us about your DJing career. How did you fall in love with DJing? What’s up? Thanks so much for having me! I fell in love with DJing at one of the first “raves” I ever went to…I was 15yrs old…it was absolutely insane. Basically I saw the control and power the DJ had over the crowd and I guess I knew at that moment what I was destined to do.
When did you start in the DJing business?
I started DJIng professionally in 1998…after practicing for about 2yrs in my bedroom…I wanted to make sure I was polished and ready before I let anyone hear me…
Who were the first DJs that really caught your attention?
Some of the first DJs that I looked up to were Bad Boy Bill, Simply Jeff, Carlos, Icey, I mean, the list is endless!
What kind of sounds do you relate to the most when behind the decks?
I relate to hard bass lines, 808 kicks, and an off beat bass (think hard Melbourne, electro etc.) that pretty much makes u bounce uncontrollably…
How would you describe your sets? Littttttfammmmm…lol
What are the fundamental roles of a DJ in your opinion? The role of a DJ is simple in 3 parts…
1. tell a story through the music
2. keep the crowd happy!
3. Make sure you entertain. At the end of the day the people want to see a show so don’t stand there like a hump… make them want to see you again. If they’re shaking their asses and smiling you’re spot on…
Do you see any changes between the old-school and modern DJing business?
Certainly, it’s like night and day…old-school djing actually took skill. There was soul to it. We needed to use our ears to match beats and make sure so many different elements were working together… Now a days you throw a bucket on your head, spend some $ on PR and you’re a headliner.
What kind of thinking process do you go through when coming up with a set for a particular gig?
I hardly plan out sets when I perform. My main guidance is feeding off of the energy of the crowd. I guess you could say that the audience plans my sets then in a sense…
What makes a great set in your opinion?
A great set is one that tells a story…you actually feel yourself going on a journey with the music…to have the ability to do that is rare these days…
What’s your DJing setup like at the moment?
Right now I have 2 XDJ-1000 decks, 2 x CDJ-1000 mk3 *old school* decks and a DJM-700 mixer. Very simple home setup to practice and try new things…
Is there anything you plan to add to your setup in the near future?
Not at the moment…probably a new mixer, but it’s a little unnecessary right now
Can you tell us about one of your most memorable moments as a DJ?
One of my best and memorable moments was playing at this event in Ottawa Canada. It was the first time I performed there and as I looked up I saw the sea of people all bouncing like a wave to the tracks I was dropping…the feeling from that is indescribable…
Where can we catch up with you behind the decks this year?
Every other Friday, I host a bi-weekly called “spectrum fridays” at The “rave” Cave in Brooklyn, NY. Check out facebook.com/smoothvillainrecords for updates. In mid July I start traveling and you’ll be able to see me in FL, OH, CA and LV… Check spacemonke.com and join the mailing list to be included for all the upcoming details.
Which kind of venues do you prefer to DJ in?
Big, small, outdoors, it doesn’t matter…as long as there’s a crowd and they’ve polished up their dancing shoes and are ready for a good time…
What tips can you give to up-and-coming DJs out there who want to make it in this industry?
The tips I can give anyone are to remain humble, remain teachable, and most of all, practice. Stay up on new music and keep your head out of your ass so you don’t become some asshole with a reputation for being a diva…no body likes to work with jerk offs. So be yourself … unless you’re an asshole.