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DJ interview


interview by Jennifer Warner

You gotta love success stories that start like this... at the Miami music conference, Justin's brother handed the legendary Ben Watt (you know, half of Everything But the Girl and the founder of the Buzzin Fly label) Justin's production demo CD. Ben signed the opening track, "The Sad Piano," as soon as he got back to London... soon to be followed by its 'glorious' release as a single with its smash hit and licensing bonanza with its Charles Webster remix, Justin Martin was well on his way. Did I mention Justin was 23 at the time?

Check out our exclusive interview with Justin's very, very funny answers, just as he typed them....

JW: As I sit here on my couch typing these questions, I wonder where you’ll be and what you were just doing before you started answering them?

Justin Martin: Well... nothing too exciting actually. spent the day unsuccessfully trying to fix my broken computer.... oh and i built a spaceship that goes the speed of light.

What’s the best part about doing an email (instead of phone or in person) interview?

well, i can sit here and do the interview in my underwear.

And the downside?

you don't get to see me in my underwear.

Are you a two finger hunt and peck, full hand fingers on all the right keys, or have your publicist/manager do it as you dictate type of typist?

i typ]e fasxt and$ error free myselp. :)

Your production career got a jump start thanks to your brother’s Ben Watt handoff, were there other people that really helped you get started?

Yes, there were lots of people who helped me get started. i have always had a really strong group of supportive friends and peers here in SF. My parents have always been very supportive as has my brother, Christian. Barclay Crenshaw (Claude VonStroke from dirtybird) and Worthy (my roomie, also on dirtybird) put a lot of time and effort into really pushing me in the right direction as well. honestly, there are many many ingredients to that have contributed to the success i have found so far and i consider myself to be very lucky.

What if any other kinds of tricks or things do you do that help you in your career?

I smile and laugh a lot.... especially at myself. I try not to take life too seriously.... it's all about having fun.

What first attracted you to making music in the first place?

Music was my pedophile.... it stalked and seduced me from a very young age. i don't joke when i say i started playing the pots and pans at the age of 2.... just ask my parents. they raised my brother and I in a very musical household. my dad would blast everything from beatles to pink floyd to beethoven on the living room stereo from the time i was born. our house would shake on sunday mornings. my parents forced piano lesson down our throats starting at the age of 4 or 5.... i started playing saxophone in the third grade and quickly fell in love with jazz. but yeah... i pretty much find it all very attractive... i am happy to say that music is my life.

How did you learn about production and DJing?

i didn't start producing electronic music until after i moved to san francisco... but i have been djing as a hobby probably since i was 15 or 16. My brother took me to a rave and i fell in love with night life. Early drum and bass and dee-lite (lol), all contributed heavily to me wanting to be a dj.

When and why did you move from Connecticut to San Francisco?

I actually went to school in NYC for a few years after high school first before moving to SF in 2000 to transfer colleges (and follow a girl).

What’s kept you there?

San Francisco has an amazing music scene and i very supportive of its djs. It is a beautiful city with beautiful people...... I love my friends here!

How would you describe your upcoming mix CD – imagine you’re trying to describe the kind of music it is to either someone really young or old (i.e. not using genre names).

To someone young: it's like candy- taste it! To someone old: its like viagra- try it! haaha..... i don't know.

Where did you get the tracks you used on this mix?

All over- promos, beatport, and friends.... It's all music that has really inspired me over the last few months and it really reflects the music i play in a typical live set.

How long did it take you from start to finished mix?

It was about a two week process.... i knew the track i really wanted on it, but i had to write a few personal letters to convince the labels to let me license them. There was only one "hot" track that we couldn't get licensed. I'm not going to tell you what it was but lets just say in the end it was a blessing its not on there because by the time this mix comes out everyone will be well sick of it. :)

What kind of hardware and software setup did you use to record it?

I used ableton live.

Where did you get the title from?

Ben took one listen to the mix when i was done and suggested Chaos Restored.... It fits the mix and my current position in life so i okayed it.

What are some things you do for fun outside of music?

What else is there?!? Ok....I love hanging out with my friends, skateboarding (not very good anymore though), and long walks off short piers.

Anything else you'd like to say?

Um.... yes.

And that's how he ended it, but if you'd like to know more, definitely visit his websites, and of course his music!!

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