Alpine, Calif. – California, here we come.
West Coast Weekender kicks off Thursday and runs until Monday, May 6 at Viejas Casino & Resort just outside San Diego. As always, DJ Times will be there, participating in the show’s full complement of events. The annual festival/conference will offer a tight schedule of DJ-industry seminars, a select group of exhibitors (including BPM Supreme and Roland) and a deep music lineup that will rock the resort day and night.
Participating WCW talent includes: Mr. V and Julius TMT on May 2; Doc Martin, Gene Farris, J.Phlip and Oscar P on May 3; Claptone, Carl Craig, Lee Foss, Purple Disco Machine and Miguel Migs on May 4; and Mark Farina (Mushroom Jazz), Osunlade & po-lar-i-ty, Rich Medina, and The Pharcyde on May 5.
Along with local DJ/producer Chris Manik, DJ Times will co-moderate the May 4 seminar, “Art & House Music: As We Know It,” which will feature Doc Martin, Osunlade, Gene Farris and Mr. V. We recently caught up with closing-party DJs/veteran producers Osunlade and Rich Medina in the run-up to West Coast Weekender.
What DJ or producer most influenced you and why?
Osunlade: Moodymann – he created a signature sound which is very important for my approach in music.
Rich Medina: Larry Levan. He is the benchmark for any and all clubs that are dedicated to the vision of their resident DJ. He utilized his platform at the Paradise Garage to set the bar for accomplishment as a DJ and studio producer that we all follow – whether we recognize it or not.
What do you make of the idea that DJ culture has become the dominant musical movement in America?
Rich Medina: The impact of DJ culture on the world is not new. As a working-class DJ for 80-percent of my life, I’ve been blessed to be aware of this fact long before the internet said it was so. I take no shots in saying that. To me, it’s a stone-cold fact. The world is catching up to the fact that everyone needs music and tribal experiences to be whole.
What’s your DAW?
Rich Medina: Ableton Live because it’s the widest and whitest canvas to paint on musically, in my experience.
Osunlade: Logic because it’s human and I use it as a tape machine, as opposed to a tool that creates for me.
What advice would you give to up-and-coming DJ/producers?
Osunlade: Be original. Create a sound palette that is your staple sound and grow from there… but be original!
Rich Medina: Treat everyone like they’re the most important person in the room. Practice, practice, practice. And never forget that there’s always someone out there with more God-given talent, more resources, and a better work ethic than yours.
What’s the next big project for you?
Osunlade: po-lar-I-ty and my next album Ache’.
Rich Medina: New single “Power” with Alma Horton. New single “The Sickness” with Osunlade. Upcoming and untitled EP with Dego. AfroPunk 2019. The Roots Picnic 2019 with The Originals. Suncebeat 2019. Summer Dance Forever 2019.
My second full semester teaching Hip Hop 101 at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. My fourth semester teaching “Spirituals, Integration and Social Justice” at The Barnes Foundation.
What should people expect from your performance at WCW?
Rich Medina: Expect me to be enjoying the environment and attempting to add on to the sonic vocabulary of the event in a way that will hopefully be difficult to forget for all the right reasons.
Osunlade: To dance.
West Coast Weekender will run May 2-6 at Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, Calif. For the latest, please visit www.westcoastweekender.net.