Next Up, “The Natural” a.k.a. DJ Dainjazone
“HANG THE DJ” - #14
I met DJ Dainjazone (full governmental Joseph Hampel) within the last year or so and he very quickly became like a little brother of sorts. He’s charming, talented, professional, and is teased quite often by his guy friends about his looks. He could pass for a runway model in a heartbeat…
..and the best part about it is instead of shying away from his looks he skillfully uses it to his advantage playing it up without any sign of ego.
So “young Joseph” as I’ve nicknamed him went from rising college baseball star…
(Poly High Los Angeles circa 2000 …85 - 89 mph average)
(New Mexico State University circa 2005)
…to rising DJ star in just 5 years. Not only does he have two residencies in big rooms in Las Vegas but he is currently on tour with/and is a part of the “Party Rock” crew (LMAFO for those of you who live under a rock). Not too bad for 5 years in the game…and this is not a fly by night situation, unlike a handful of others in his position he has done his homework and is not afraid to get his hands dirty. I’m sure the disciplinary work ethics of college and especially baseball are responsible for his DJ work ethic,…and the fact that he doesn’t drink (by choice) is a huge plus for him given that aspect of the DJ lifestyle can take those of us who indulge off our game at times…some more often than not.
For the ladies reading; I believe he’s single, since that seems to be a popular question and although he looks like he could be mixed with many things, he’s actually full Sicilian…
(my dego lil’ brother and I at XS Las Vegas)
He is a “Natural” in every sense of the word. Girls & boys it is my pleasure to introduce you to DJ Dainjazone.
How did you start?
I started spinning in New Mexico where I went to college (NMSU). The party scene was terrible compared to the house party scene I grew up in, so I took matters into my own hands by buying a cd mixer by Numark. I eventually got over the cd mixer and invested in wax, turntables, etc. My baseball scholarship paid for my Rane-56 mixer.
What was your first gig and when? Were their any memorable moments that night good or bad?
My first gig was a Halloween party at a baseball player’s house. It was the biggest party of the year. The costumes were incredible. My playlist consisted of Immortal Technique, Rakim, Jedi Mind Tricks, and Wu-Tang just to name a few. I had a friend make me 2 cds with commercial hip-hop tracks just in case I needed to throw biscuits to top 40 heads.
How long have you been djing?
I’ve been DJing since ’06.
What genre are you “known” for?
It’s kind of weird. When the MikiDz Show was relevant…
I was known for playing indie, disco, electro and hip-hop. Ever since the show got cancelled by Ustream (Soulja Boy complained we were taking his thousands of live viewers), I became known for my club sets.
What do you/would you love to play you don’t get booked for or that you’re not known for?
I would love to play more disco and indie records.
Whats a couple of your new favorite artists/songs in the genre(s) your known for?
Kanye and Jay-Z - Niggas In Paris
“ “ – Who Gon Stop Me
Sean Harris - Harris In Paris (Produced by DJ Dash)
Foster The People - Pumped Up Kids (Skeet Skeet Remix)
Redfoo - One Day
Whats a couple of your favorite artists/songs in the genres YOU ARE NOT know for?
My new fans don’t know me for playing The Weeknd, Mykill, Danny Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Tim Shelton aka TES, and producer Doc McKinney.
If you weren’t djing what would you be doing?
I’d still be pursuing a professional baseball career.
What is your hobby or interest when you’re not djing that people don’t know about?
Other than working out and picking on Sean Harris, I really don’t have any hobbies. If I’m not out DJing I’m creating a new podcast, making edits, studying up on the latest, listening to mixtapes, downloading new music, etc.
Whats in your dj bag (aside needles, headphones, vinyl, and slipmats)
Condoms (The Team will tell you “I don’t know why he has them. He doesn’t use’em”), eReader, mixtapes to pass out, gum, and deodorant.
How do you deal with requests? (if you have any pictures of napkin requests pls shoot me one)
I tell them, “Yea I’ll play it” and they’ll go away. If they come back I’ll say, “ahh man, sorry. I thought I had it.” Sometimes I’ll flat out tell them, “No” because the ignorance of their request is fathomless.
What are your top three re-occuring request situations? (i.e. “can you play something I can dance to”?)
“Can you play that song again? I was in the restroom when you were playing it.”
“It’s my birthday. Play such and such”. I actually asked a couple requesters for their I.D. to prove their date of birth. I learned that move from DJ Spryte.
“Do you know that one song that goes…… It’s my favorite song right now.”
Why do you think people think the dj booth is also a coatcheck?
Those that think it’s a coat check have probably been leaving their coat in the DJ booth since their house party days. Thus, giving them a sense of entitlement to check it in or they think they know something other people in the club don’t; and that’s checking in their coat with the DJ because he has room for stuff under the DJ table.
Who’s the “character” in the club that annoys you the most? i.e. club promoter, birthday girl, makin’ it rain dude, Jamie Foxx on the mic doin his “stump the dj” bit, etc.
Promoters. You booked me to be me. You didn’t book me to be what you think I should be. If that were the case then you would have booked someone you can attach strings to. You did your research and felt I was fit to represent your club with talent and good times. In DJ we trust. Much more to this, but to stay on topic: promoters.
Your story about people asking you to play “hip hop”…when you’re playing hip hop?
I don’t have a specific story but it seems like the older generation-which is more or less bitter since the art form of hip-hop has been pimped- doesn’t consider what’s hot in the south to be “hip-hop”. Definitely something complicated that my shorten edits don’t give me time to entertain with a rebuttal.
Worst gig you ever had?
Nothing in particular stands out, but collectively: the bar gigs in Las Cruces, New Mexico were pretty bad.
I would play 20 minutes of top 40-which I didn’t mind- then the other DJ would play 20 minutes of country. We’d rotate all night. If I were an alcohol consumer, this would have been the perfect time in my career to consume with the best of them.
(side note:…this picture below was one of the first that came up when googling images for Las Cruces New Mexico…I couldn’t resist I had to throw this in)
Weirdest moment djing?
Typically when I play “Aint No Fun” in L.A. people go crazy and sing to the classic. I played it at a USC party and I got no roaring or singing from the crowd. In fact, it was as if they never heard the song before and the way they danced to it was like I was playing a filler just to kill time.
Best moment djing?
DJing at Rain inside The Palms in front of a sold out crowd last New Years Eve.
Worst moment djing?
This first house party I did in L.A. was with a friend. We were supposed to rotate every hour. It was my turn to spin and we approached the pinnacle of the night. I was about 15 minutes into my set. If I recall; I was playing “Be Faithful” and my friend said, “Oh! Wait! Let me play this track that goes dope with that song!” He had this awesome transition from “Be Faithful” to something that couldn’t wait till the next party. After he stunned the crowd with his enthralling blend, I didn’t see the tables again. He continued to spin; cops eventually broke up the party; he got the glory from the kids who threw the party-probably b/c of his game changing blend- and I felt like a jackass b/c I got bumped, pulled, whatever you want to call it, from the party I asked my friend to help me spin. I got over it. He’ll remain nameless.
Your favorite cities to play in (if you travel)?
Las Vegas and San Diego.
What’s your dream gig?
Performing in front of thousands of people who actually came out to see me.
Tips - biggest and smallest or any short story about getting tipped?
I’ve been “offered” $1 to play a song… Then I was tipped $100 to play “Teach Me How To Dougie”. You aint messing with my Dougie.
The Good, Bad & the Ugly of the current club format/scene right now? (pertaining to whatever scene your in, i.e. big room, underground, lounge, cool kid whatever)
The good is creativity. There are so many genres to tap into that our creativity can be limitless.
The bad is DJs who have too much pride to play current club friendly tracks and/or who don’t take the time to hone their sets.
The ugly is word play. Word play is the new mashup. I completely understand if you have a word play situation where the energy of the 2 tracks work, they’re in key, NOBODY else is doing this life changing trick, the crowd will get it and all the stars are lined up for this to go down like it’s never gone down before. Outside of that: this is the worst thing one can do in their sets simply b/c it is over done.
Another ugly situation is getting acquainted with a new DJ and the topic of discussion-created by you- is putting down other DJs. In fact: creating and feeding a convo that puts anything down is unnecessary. If you can’t think of anything else to break the ice or maintain a simple convo with, then we won’t have much to talk about in the future b/c the exposure in you lack of integrity and creativity just told me who you are. I’m coo on getting acquainted with those people.
Least favorite thing the dj opening before you or going on after you does?
I really don’t care what the opening DJs play. God will sort them out. If anything it’s a reflection on the promoter who hired the opener playing heaters.
I don’t care what the DJ after me does. I’ve checked out. Flex all you want.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I know how to cross-stitch. Been a while though. Haven’t seriously sewed up anything gangster since the pillow I made for my mom as a 5th grade project.
Who are some of your favorite DJ’s that you think people should know about who people might not know about on a mainstream level (name the DJ and what city they’re in)
Whats on your ryder?
Turntables, 800 Pioneer, water and a bottle for my friends if they’re in town.
Whats your poison? (drink of choice in the booth)
Drinking? Poison? I smash on a ginger ale mixer like it was the fountain of youth.
What will you be/or want to be doing 5 years from now?
Traveling around the world, producing, modeling, possibly acting, become a member of Oprah’s Book Club… The same stuff everyone else wants.
Where are your residencies?
What are your upcoming spot dates if you travel
Kentucky, Indianapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, and Australia.
Here is Joseph and his two road dogs…
Part of “The Team”…Aspiring artist Sean Harris (L), Dainjazone, & DJ Rell (Los Angeles) I took this one night not too long ago at XS when we were all hanging out with Dave Fogg, the “Teams” honorary “Dad”/”Coach”…the boys were in full effect and the outfits were coordinated…I had to take the shot below they looked like a young gentelmans fashion ad…
Truthfully…I wish all young men on the come up were like these boys…they are 100% quality. Hats off to them because they are setting a perfect example of professionalism, sense of humor in regards to themselves, sense of fashion, and respect. So I will leave you with that emo ending…(its the trooff though).
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD DAINJAZONE’S MIXES @:
But here is one of my favorite mixes by Dainjazone…he obviously has the Party Rock/Club Mix thing down but when I heard this mix I had a whole new appreciation for him do yourself a favor and download this podcast its fantastic…
YOU CAN CATCH HIM ELSEWHERE: