It was semi-finals week at SMIRNOFF’s Master Of The Mix and the top four competed for one of three spots in the finals. The challenge for DJ Incrediboi, DJ Chris Karns, DJ Jayceeoh and DJ Loczi hinged on their ability to remix Grammy winning, UK hitmaker Estelle’s track, “Do My Thing”. With only three hours in the studio to work out an original blend, they dealt with the tangible pressure, added their flavor to her song and hoped it would be enough heat to earn them a taste of the MOTM finals and a shot at the title.
I caught up with DJ Incrediboi for a few minutes before last night’s episode aired and he graciously gave insight on his creative process saying, “The hunger for new feel good music is my key to keeping things fresh.” Continuing, “I’m always looking for the original samples of songs or a banging remix that no DJ will have from an up and coming producer.” As for his thoughts on how the MOTM sharpened his skillset he said it was all about the people, “I feel being around great DJs is the best way to keep your skills up, steel sharpens steel right?”
When it came down to the challenge itself, the composed Bronx DJ wavered early saying, “I don’t think this challenge is anything to be too confident about.” And then admitted, “I’m a little nervous.” In the studio, his strategy was to utilize key components of the song and strategically emphasize those elements, “I played with the drums and bass and built around that.” He explained, “I want to keep the bass, the horns and the drums.” Adding, “I want it to sound like something I would play, something that comes from me.”
When Estelle surprised the remaining four with a visit to their studio sessions, she made it clear that she was looking for originality. “I hate when you give people a remix and it sounds like they put a plain remix over a vocal. It’s pointless, I could do that.” When it came down to it they all succeeded in producing unique remixes that were worthy of her attention. It would depend on their delivery and performance in the live club setting.
Before Incrediboi took the Master Of The Mix booth Chris Karns exposed the usually steady DJ as well as his own faltering confidence saying, “Incrediboi seems to be pretty stressed out right now. If he thinks he’s going to go up there and fail and mess up, I kind of hope he does.” But instead, New York’s own took the stage and impressed, garnering feedback from Estelle like, “I love the way you did that!” And Ben, who admitted, “Yo I was surprised!” Adding, “But it’s no surprise why you’ve made it this far. You are amazing!” Further proof was evidenced when Kid Capri stood up and was caught on film dancing during Incerdiboi’s performance. He then said, “I don’t know what you was nervous about. You did a great job!”
The nerves came down to Incrediboi’s musicality and his respect for the construction and art of music itself. He revealed, “It’s her work of art. You don’t want to damage her work of art.” And Chris reneged a bit admitting after watching his remix performance that he felt the pressure, “I feel like this could be my last trip behind the MOTM turntables.” Instead, it was Loczi’s record that was scratched when he made what he called a “fatal mistake” and didn’t touch the turntables to incorporate some of his remixing into the live performance.
Jayceeoh took the win with Chris Karns close on his heels. Incrediboi’s consistency, turntable skills and passionate approach earned him the third spot in the top three. He responded by saying, “I’ve been the underdog the whole time so to win this would mean everything.” Concluding, “I guess it’s um, what they say, if you do what you love as your job, it’s not really your job anymore. That alone is the biggest reward, that I can do what I love and make a career out of it and feed my family. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Listen to and download the full version of Incrediboi’s remix of Estelle’s “Do My Thing” here. And tune into VH1 next Monday to find out DJ Incrediboi earns the title of SMIRNOFF’s Master Of The Mix.