Interview: DJ Prime
On being an independent artist, future projects, and...WrestleMania?

Courtesy of djprime.net
Gather round, music lovers, because it's Prime Time! NJ's own DJ Prime currently hosts a radio show with over 14 million listeners.  He is also the New York Giants home game DJ, sponsored by Monster Energy Drink, and most recently has signed with Radikal Records! Joonbug sat down with Prime to hear his views about being an independent artist, future projects, and...WrestleMania?


Your last record was So Fly, released via Bomb Squad Records in Australia. The single got some serious radio support all over the US. How does it feel to be an independent artist getting big number spins, comparable to other big name artists?
 
It was awesome! I mean, it was a major challenge, so very few non major label artists even make it to radio, let alone actually getting more spins than established artists with label backing. I definitely gained a ton of respect from my peers in radio for sure, and learned how powerful the major label machine is on the other side of the fence vs me being the DJ, being promoted records to play.

What’s been the biggest challenge about being an independent artist, and how does being a DJ on one of the most popular radio stations in New York help?

Being independent has its ups and downs of course. The ups is that the delays and paper pushing is a lot more minimal. Records can come out faster, and have a better line of communication with the label, like, I have a great relationship with Radikal Records. We have a game plan for releases, I handle my part and they handle their part. I am a proactive artist, meaning I promote my music and stay in the loop with all phases. So, having a clear line of communication is critical to my happiness and success with a record. The downside is that we don't have money to waste or at our disposal to promote a record. We have to do it the old fashioned way, and be creative, which takes time and building relationships also. But honestly...if I was signed to major, I probably would be pretty mad at the amount of money they are wasting on stuff that doesn't work, like mailing out CDs, or doing testing on records to see what people think of it. A hit is a hit, it will grow if it's good!

Being on the radio in NYC gave me the insight to know how I can fit my little song in with all these huge records. I heard a quote...it's like, "trying to find a parking space at the mall at Christmas time, you can give up and go home, or you can just keep circling, and hope that someone leaves when you're coming back around and slide in." Honestly, that's the best example. I have been blessed to be able to work on the radio for seven years now in NYC and on 40+ stations on a syndicated show called Weekend Throwdown With Jagger, that has given me so many connections, and exposed me to many different fans and music peers.

You just released Big Room Bass, off Radikal Records today. How did you get hooked up with them?

I was getting promos from Radikal Records, and one of the records was by Bombs Away from Australia who my first single, So Fly, was signed to, and inquired how they were affiliated with Central Station Records. Upon chatting, I sent over a few new records of mine and we kept in contact and the rest is history! Now we have a compilation album in the works as well as a handful of more singles: Start a F#cking Riot, Let's Get Wasted, Tutti, and few more...can't give away all my secrets!

Big Room Bass sounds more suitable for the clubs, different than what you spin on the radio, is this is a new style that you’re looking to get recognized for as a producer/artist?

That question is a great one and a tough one! I have been DJing in the club for 16 years, on the radio for seven years, producing and making edits/mashups for five years...I almost went to a new DJ name, being what I play in the clubs is nothing like what I play on the radio. It's a struggle, I am so known for being a open format/top 40 DJ, that coming out with hard hitting original EDM records catches some people off guard. There is a few of us making the transition. I know my dude DJ Vice as well as DJ Scene and even my buddies Disco Fries battled the same thing...But one thing I will say is this: you put myself, or Vice, or Scene, out at EDC or any major festival there is no way in hell we are gonna play the same music as everyone else or play a pre-mixed set, that's for damn sure, because we are DJs first and foremost and I know for myself I will never forget my roots...to looking out at that crowd and adjusting to what I think I will make the crowd loose its shit.

We’ve heard that you’re a huge professional wrestling fan. Who’s your favorite wrestler? 

Yea [laughs] I love me some good old fashioned wresting! It's hysterical to me and I guess its like Real Housewives for women, they love the drama and the suspense. I have been a fan since like...1984, been to a few WrestleManias, and I think I would have to say that Ultimate Warrior was my favorite. Guy couldn't wrestle for anything and was horrible on the microphone, but man, when he came running down the ramp to the ring to his entrance music the place went bonkers! That was one of my favorite moments as a wresting fan: being at MSG seeing him for the first time live, I was probably 12 or 13...it was epic to say the least!

You’ve collaborated with the likes of Oh Snap!! and have an official remix with Melanie C & Matt Cardle. Is there anyone in particular that you’d like to check off your bucket list?

Oh Snap!! is one of my favorite artists, he is a brilliant dude and so talented. He has helped me a ton over the years, I can't thank him enough. I have passed on more remix's than I have accepted, honestly not because I am stuck up, I just really have to like the record and really want to remix it. The Mel C and Matt Cardle record was such a great pop song that I was able to make it a safe pop dance remix that could crossover. Funny, I think I actually want to do a song with my label boss, Jurgen. Guy is so detail oriented and has an amazing vision. I mean, what would sporting events be without "Get Ready for This" or Zombie Nation? I want to make that next sporting event record and have people chanting it for the next 50 years!

Any plans for touring in the near future?

More like stop touring! [Laughs] I still maintain a super busy schedule 2-3 nights a week. I would like to travel internationally more, and see some new really cool places. But I would love to travel around and do more festivals and concert events, I love that vibe! You get to chill with more fans and meet all the other DJs you support and even get to collaborate with them as well...that would be rad!