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Alpine, Calif.West Coast Weekender is all set for next week. Running May 2-6 at Viejas Casino & Resort just outside San Diego, the annual festival/conference will deliver a sharp schedule of DJ-industry seminars, a diverse lineup of exhibitors (which includes BPM Supreme and Roland) and a music lineup that should have electronic-music fans plenty fired up.

As usual, DJ Times will be there, contributing to seminars like “Art & House Music: As We Know It,” which will feature Doc Martin, Osunlade, Gene Farris and Mr. V.

In the run-up to WCW ’19, we’ll be spotlighting some of the event’s performing DJ/producers. So, in preparation for his set on May 3, we caught up with respected Chicago DJ/producer Gene Farris, who’ll be sharing the bill with Doc Martin, J. Phlip and Oscar P.

Which DJ/producer most influenced you?

Lil Louis was my biggest influence growing up and is still my idol. He was way ahead of his time. The music he made was groundbreaking and, even if it was released today, would be No. 1 on all charts. He was and still is the man.

What do you make of the fact that DJ culture finally became the dominant musical movement in America?

For me, I think it’s great! [laughs] It’s a good thing that people have a genre of music they go listen to, and not have to worry about violence. Electronic music is the best and I’m glad the rest of the country is starting to take notice. No matter what kind of electronic music you like, overall, it’s a good thing happening.

What’s your DJ platform?

My set-up includes a Pioneer DJM-900NXS2 mixer, three Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2 media players, and a Pioneer DJS-1000 sampler for my acappellas. Why? Because I’m sponsored! [laughs] Seriously, though, it’s because I honestly think it’s the best equipment to use for me. I can fully express my DJ personality with these pieces.

And your studio set-up?

Logic Pro is my DAW. I’ve been using it for almost 20 years, before they were brought by Apple. So it’s second nature for me now – I love it. Some people think it’s too hard to use, but as the saying goes, “if it was easy, everyone would do it.”

What advice would you give to up-and-coming DJ/producers?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, stay humble, keep creating and writing. Don’t get disappointed or down on yourself. Just keep creating.

You’ve got a pretty busy release schedule. What’s the next big project for you?

Let’s see, I recently released “Aphrodisiac” on Idris Elba’s label 7Wallace Music with my boy GAWP, which is getting amazing reviews. Also, just did a collaboration with Tim Baresko [“Fly With Me”] on Dirtybird. Then, I have a song on Oliver Dollar’s album, which is on Classic Music – Derrick Carter’s imprint. Did “Galaxie” with Green Velvet that was in the Top 10. I have records with Max Chapman, Will Clarke, Solardo, Technasia, and Wheats coming this year. Also, I just went into the studio with the great Mark Knight.

What should people expect from your performance at WCW?

A fun, energetic banger. I can’t wait to play again – West Coast Weekender is one of my favorite festivals in California.

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