We caught up with the scratch master and LA DJ/producer, MAKJ, to talk about his new track, career highlights, fashion and what’s in store for the New Year.
Who’s your biggest musical influence at the moment?
I’m always looking forward to hearing Post Malone’s new stuff. His “rockstar” record, which my friend Tank actually produced, is a monster. Other than that, I find myself keeping it classic by listening to my hometown’s Classic Rock radio station.
Name three artists you had on your playlist growing up?
Savage Garden, Talking Heads, Traveling Wilburys.
If you could collaborate with one other artist in the world, past or present, who would it be?
No question, Tupac.
When did you first realise you could make a career in music?
Hands down when I got booked for my first club ever. It wasn’t a huge sum of money but it was enough to make me say, “Wow, I could really get used to this.”
Where and when was your first ever set?
Way before any club event or festival circuit, my first ever set was my best friend’s sister’s wedding when I was 14. I was paid $150 which of course to me, because I was a teenager, looked like $1,000,000.
You’ve just realeased your new single ‘Too Far Gone’ ft Matthew Santos. How did the collaboration come about?
About a year ago, my management put us in contact and the rest was kind of history from there. He’s such a good person to work with. Doing everything from engineering his own vocal to calling me at 3AM asking if the vocals need to be re written. He’s a true hustler.
How happy are you with the finished track?
I love the track, but I’m like a proud dad when it comes to my tracks, I’ll never call my kids ugly.
Have you played it live yet? If so, how was the crowd’s reaction?
I play a MAKJ VIP club edit when I’m doing my live sets. The song wasn’t intended for the “clubs.” I’ve been making club music my whole career – it’s time for me to evolve and grow.
Apart from your own. What song have you got on repeat at the moment?
Portugal. The Man – “Feel It Still”, on repeat.
What’s your guilty pleasure track? One that nobody knows you love.
A$AP Ferg – Plain Jane
Where, who and when is the most memorable venue and set you’ve ever seen?
I’d have to say Coachella 2014. The was the first time my parents ever got to see what I actually did for a living. I’ll never forget their faces when the first drop came.
What’s been your career highlight so far and your 2017 highlight?
Every day is a highlight, honestly, no matter the year. Getting to play music for a living, definitely isn’t something I complain about.
Drink of choice on a night out?
Mojito with extra lime.
Favourite film or TV series?
First off, this is the best interview question ever. Now to answer your question, my for favorite TV series I’d have to say Sopranos and for favorite movie, I just watched “Snatch” again, so that’s been on my mind. “D’ya like dags?”
Can you tell us an interesting fact about you?
I’m extremely allergic to any kind of melon. One time in Croatia I actually had to get medevac’d because I unknowingly ingested a piece of watermelon.
Describe your style/fashion…
That’s always changing for me. If I had to describe my fashion style, or at least where I see it going, I’d say it’s a mesh between Brad Pitt in Fight Club and GEazy today. I like to say I’m a bit of a casual dresser but being from a small town in Cali, really pushes me to always go back to my roots wearing Dr Martin boots, Levis, and a graphic tee. It’s never a bad day if that’s my outfit.
Who’s your biggest style & fashion inspiration?
Rick Owens. His body type, the slender, tall look is exactly like mine. So getting clothes to fit has always been a struggle. He’s always my go to for proportionate ideas.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to make a career in music?
F*&k what people think, DO YOU. Most important, find good friends who are willing to give you harsh criticism but also will make you laugh.
If I wasn’t a DJ I’d be…
An architect. I went to college for architecture so I probably wouldn’t have dropped out of school if the whole music thing didn’t start taking off – but the music career worked out for me.
So Christmas, are you an organised shopper or last minute gift buyer?
Well it’s [Tuesday, November 21st] and my shopping is already done. Organized to say the least.
How do you spend Christmas Day?
Getting fat and drunk. But no really, eating a nice meal with my family and enjoying some drinks while we’re at it.
What’s going to be your New Year’s resolution?
I’ve been doing more and more charity work. So as a resolution, I definitely want to try and keep that good deed going. The California Innocence Project “CIP,” is the charity of choice for me. So if I can work with one or two more charities next year I’ll be stoked.
Listen to Far Too Gone below and add it to your Spotify playlist here.