Hey DJ! Friday Q&A: DJ Cali
DJ Cali loves Oakland. You can tell from reading our Q&A with the guy below, or you can tell from the name of the party he works most: The People Oakland. It's a unique event that mixes music (Cali spins tracks with heavy Latin and African flavor), art, good cooking, and, of course, plenty of dancing. He has three different events (and one KALX show) coming up in the next couple weeks, and to get a sense of the man behind the decks, check out our DJ Q&A with Cali below. -- Jennifer Maerz
Club night: The People jumps off every 4th Saturday at the Oasis, 135 12th Street, Oakland CA, 9PM -3AM
Style(s) of music you spin: Well let's see, it's got to have soul. But anything jazzy with a Latin flavor or African rhythm with beautiful vocals, that's my style. But let's be a little more specific. I play soul, house, nujazz, Latin, broken beat, Afrobeat, Brazilian flavors, jazz, jazz dance, hip-hop. Anything that makes you want to move. I like to call it good music......
Name of a track you can't get out of your head: I've had this Talib Kweli track in my head for months. It's called "In the Mood" ft. Kanye West and Roy Ayers. I'm not a big Kanye fan but he knocks it out of the park with his verse. He straight killed it.
Favorite DJ experience: I've had so many lately. I've had the opportunity to play with the likes of Ian Friday, Ron Trent , Simbad, King Britt and DJ Spinna. It's an honor to share the decks with DJs I truly admire. I'd say overall, DJing at the People Party has got to be my favorite experience. They just seem to get better every month. The crowd is so beautiful and the energy is crazy. I'm so grateful to be able to play for three to five hundred amazingly open people every single month. We've worked so hard to create a party that WE would want to go to and feel truly blessed that the Bay Area has shown us so much love. It's a dream come true, literally.
Worst DJ experience: I don't really consider them bad experiences, more like learning experiences. I think that's what DJing is about: being able to adapt to the situation. Technical difficulties are the worst. Dead air is a DJ's worst nightmare. Sometimes I need to call upon my inner MacGyver.
Worst request: I can't remember what event it was, but I was playing a Fela Kuti track (for those who don't know, he is like the African James Brown). You can kinda tell when somebody is about to make a request, and this person had the nerve to say, "Can you play something funky?" I was blown away.
Most treasured vinyl score: That's hard, I treasure all my vinyl. But just the other day I found The Police 12" promo "When The World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around"
Musical mantra: Sorry, no requests.
You perspective on what's hot in the local club scene right now: Honestly? The People Party, very 4th Saturday at the Oasis! There is no way to describe the vibe that that drives this party. World class DJs, live performances by musicians and artists, local chefs showcasing all kinds of multi-ethnic foods, vendors, dancers, friends, and family. Myself, Cecil, Be Brown and heylove* couldn't be more pleased to present the People every month. We've found a way to combine our passionate love for music, art, food, dance and the most amazing people in our community. Basically, it's what's up.
Question we didn't ask you but you often ask yourself: What song could possible mix into this?
Next time we can see you spin: Saturday, September 20th, KALX Radio 90.7 FM, 3:30PM
Sunday September 28th, Super Soul Sundays with David Harness @ Temple SF
October 3rd 5Five Party@ Temple SF with Alix Alvarez and Mr. V from NYC