Music and mixes [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) DEEJAY and turntablist DJ Fuzz shows Izwan Ismail his tech-savvy side.
The normally tranquil area of Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur turns into a happening hip hop community gathering as thousands of youths throng the place for the Raising The Bar (RTB) Festival 2013.
The 12-hour non-stop hip hop music festival, which starts from noon, gathers close to 50 hip hop groups, mostly locals for live performances, hip hop talks/workshops, community collaborations and exhibits.
There are three stages, one of which is for deejays' showcase.
There is a sample board, a mixer and turntables are spread out on a long table alongside either a Mac or a notebook computer.
When it is star deejay DJ Fuzz's turn, he goes straight to spinning and flipping switches on his turntable, with his eyes focused on his Mac Book Pro screen.
Ocassionally, he will place his Audio-Technica "gold" headphones to his ear to listen closely to the rhythm before he merges it with the music.
Meanwhile, his other hand "scratches" the digital turntable, producing typical hip hop music.
THE EARLY DAYS
For KL-born DJ Fuzz, whose real name is Farzwa De Attaher Emir, his love for music started early in life. He had picked up some skills playing the piano. The former Victoria Institution lad was a bagpiper for the school brassband.
It was around that time when he took to hip hop music, being a big fan of Herbie Hancock and the sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
"Everytime I watched a hip hop performance, I was amazed with the turntabler and how he added creative beats to the music," says Fuzz, the eldest of four siblings.
While doing his first degree in Universiti Tenaga Nasional in the late 1990s, he studied under DJ Face, learning the ins and outs about turntable techniques, scratching and mixing music. In his final year, he was already deejaying at clubs.
He also turned to YouTube for more tips.
After graduating, he worked for a while in an accounting firm, but decided that deejaying was what he really wanted. His popularity as a deejay soared with local hip-hop outfit Teh Tarik Crew, which he formed with Mizz Nina and Altimet.
In the early days, his portfolio includes wins in the Vestax Extravaganza and Pioneer Digital DJ championships, where he is the only Malaysian DJ to have won the Pioneer Digital DJ championships three years in a row.
Since then, he has held down residencies in almost all the major clubs in KL, including Zouk, Maison, Laundry and Republic. He's also a member of the Stylustiks turntablist crew with DJ Uno of Pop Shuvit and DJ Cza of Ahli Fiqir.
TECH AND DEEJAYING
Being the tech-geek, Fuzz finds it exciting to be able to create new music and beats from tech devices.
"Tech has become a central part of my deejaying career and as an album producer. These days, I use a lot of hi-tech devices like turntables, CD players, mixers, MiDi players, headphones, computers and software," says Fuzz.
"In a way, it makes the job easier, but the learning curve is high as you need to really master the tech tools and apply them accordingly," he says.
For example, Fuzz uses his headphones and his computer to know the speed of songs before mixing them, so that one song connects to the other seamlessly.
He also uses two turntables, one mixer, notebook, midi controller and an audio interface and soundcard when he performs at clubs.
Fuzz also uses a Mac, a keyboard and a music mixing software called Serato, a turntable, MiDi player and CD player. "New devices and software for deejaying will keep coming, and as a deejay, I'm always on the learning curve to keep myself updated," he says.
The Beat Kitchen studio at Solaris Mont Kiara is not only used for recording and mixing music, but also a place for those who want to be a deejay.
"I started offering deejay classes in 2005. Initially, I did it from my living room. Later, I rented music studio rooms around Kuala Lumpur," he says.
As one of the teachers at the studio, his areas of expertise include turntable skills and scratching.
"The response has been pretty good, especially among college students and young working adults," he says, citing some of his more notable ex-students as Daphne Iking, Hunny Madu from FlyFM and Mizz Nina.
He also runs a show on Radio Era called Dansa Era every Saturday and Sunday night. Previously, he had conducted Hitz FM's Club Hits. He also found time to write a book titled The Way of the DJ.
Currently, Fuzz is working on a new album with a new batch of hip hop artistesfor an album called The Cypher.
Despite his hectic schedule, Fuzz always look forward to his deejay stints.
"I enjoy nothing more than mixing sweet music with tech," he says.
You can follow DJ Fuzz at these links:
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