WTP: How did DJ CFLO get his start?
CFLO: I started back in 2000 running sound for the dances at my high school. At the same time, I was experimenting with making mashups with instrumental and acapella tracks on my mac at home, and discovering hip hop with super hot tracks like Snoop’s “Bitch Please”, “Still Dre”, “Warren G’s I Want It All”, and “Ludacris’ Welcome to Atlanta” all hitting the radio at once. This was before youtube and all that, so all I had to influence me was the local radio station in Oregon broadcasting The Bakaboyz Hip Hop Mastermix, and I heard what they were doing and tried to make my mix sound like them.
WTP: How would you describe your style of DJ’ing? What can we expect from a CFLO set?
CFLO: I mix what they call “west coast style” with heavy blends and lots of quick mixes. I started DJing professionally in California around 2007, and like I mentioned I had always been putting out mashup/remixes as a hobby. So when I really started working in the clubs and throwing events, I honed my mix by trying to make each transition like it’s own little 30 second mashup between each song.
I play super open format, so that means I’ll play Diana Ross & Rick Ross, or sometimes EDM right next to some Motown. It sounds kind of ridiculous on paper, but I make sure to do it in a deliberate way that makes sense and doesn’t sound haphazard. People really respond to it, and a lot of the time I feel like they’re left thinking “wtf, why did that just work? how did that just work?”
WTP: Who are your influences? Who do you look up to in this DJ game?
CFLO: I was initially inspired by The Bakaboyz with their nationally syndicated weekly radio show The Hip Hop Mastermix. That’s where I was first really exposed to turntablism, juggling, and just overall dope DJing. Obviously once I started taking things seriously I was exposed to DJ AM, who is the truest legend out there. I think my favorite dude for awhile has been Diplo, because he’s always pushing forward, working with tons of different genres, and has a good sense of humor. I love catching his live shows, his shit never gets stale.
WTP: Where can we catch a DJ CFLO set on any given night?
CFLO: I play mostly in the Lower East Side. I’m a resident at Beauty & Essex, Goldbar, 205, Los Feliz, Stanton Social, & I’m the music director at The Late Late which is a newer super fun basement joint. I have a weekly brunch in Harlem I do on Sundays at BTH. My calendar is always posted on my website djcflo.com so come out whenever!
WTP: How long you been spinning in NYC?
CFLO: I first played out here a little over 4 years ago, but my set has changed a lot since then. I moved here in May of 2012 and it probably took me about a year to really get situated and start getting gigs in the scene. I got a ways left to go with a few more things in my sights, so watch out for the next few moves, I’m coming for you.
Check this space for future guest mixes from some of the best DJ’s NY has to offer.