When the Coronavirus shut us down, clubs and festivals ceased, and everyone was essentially forced inside with no definitive end in sight, DJ Times wondered: How is our tribe coping? How are DJs getting by?
So, we sent out our “Coronavirus Questionnaire” to DJ/producers from all musical genres to find out. During this period, DJ Times will continue presenting the questionnaire responses from talented music-makers from all over the world. Here’s our latest entry, this time from the West Coast, the Los Angeles-based trap talent Don Krez (aka Crez Caballero).
During lockdown and this ongoing pandemic time, what have you been doing to produce music-related income?
This year I took some time off to perfect my touring agency, DKAFAGENCY. Besides DJing, I do a lot of behind-the-scenes work. I like finding the new big thing. I polish them up and send them on the road. I booked all the tours independently and made sure that every upcoming artist understood the independent side and the industry side, the difference between both of them, and when the time’s right, to sign, if it’s needed. As an artist nowadays, if you’ve got that business mentality, everything can be done on your own. On my downtime, I also do property rentals now that I’ve learned a lot about that during COVID…
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period?
During the period of lockdown, I made a decision to go out on my own as a DJ and release music. I want to be a solo DJ, not just someone’s DJ – and I’ve always loved EDM, but the trap side of it. I’ve worked on an EP that will be coming out, but this year I’m also releasing singles until then. My most recent single is “Bernie Sanders.”
In the studio, what’s your set-up? I’m a very simple guy when it comes to creating music. I just need my laptop, Ableton Live and some speakers. I’ve always got Serum and Waves. I also love being around creators, as well, so we feed off each other. I’m in the process of building my own studio and I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting some vintage hardware. I don’t know what, yet, but the time will come soon.
What’s your creation process in the studio? My creation process in the studio is, basically, go through the sounds first, see what sounds good, what can be layered on top of each other, and start choosing the 808s. I’m very all over the place when it comes to creating, but it gets the job done.
Your DJ set-up? For shows or festivals, my typical set-up is three Pioneer CDJs and a Pioneer DJM-750 mixer. Plug up my USBs, and I’m ready to go.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? Just keep the negativity away and allow the positivity to enter. Also, how great it is to start on a brand-new journey as a solo DJ with a great team behind me! There is no stopping the momentum.
Have you done anything online recently? Have you seen any DJ video streams that impressed you? I sorta don’t like doing any of that “watching from the outside-in.” I know what impresses me and doesn’t. Doing that changes my train of thought; but recently, online, I have been re-branding, getting more active and just start putting out more content and start teaching on my feed on how to become a successful independent artist.
Any theme tunes recommended for the moment? Yes! Everyone has to hear this anthem: Don Krez, “We Won’t.” It’s my favorite tune.
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? During these times, staying sane and positive might sound hard, and it is at the beginning – but once you figure out that there are all types of things out there to learn, become a businessman, understand the industry more, stay focused on that.
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.
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