Hey DJ! Friday Q&A: WaltDigz
WaltDigz has to be one of the busiest local DJs around. On Wednesday nights he's spinning at Lil Baobab. If it's Thursday, check him out at Mojito's. Looking to dance on the last Friday of the month? Hit Il Pirata, and every other Sunday he's behind the decks at Jelly's. Dude gets around. Not only does he travel club wise, the music he spins crosses continents. In addition to playing the best in reggaeton, dancehall, neo-soul, and the like, WaltDigz is a big proponent of Timba -- Cuban salsa that drives crowds good 'n' crazy at his La Tropi-Cal parties.
Name: DJ WaltDigz
Style(s) of music you spin: Timba (Cuban salsa), reggaeton, reggae dancehall, neo-soul, R&B, disco & hip-hop.
How you got your start: I've been collecting hip-hop records since 1982 and made a few mixed tapes & CDs (Soul Avant-Garde vol. 1-4). In 1999 I was turned on to contemporary Cuban salsa, or Timba as it is called, and I became obsessed with the music. I was disheartened with Timba's underrepresentation at the salsa clubs so I made it my mission to expose modern Cuban music to the Bay...thus La Tropi-Cal party at Il Pirata was born six years ago.
In December you practically have a gig every night of the week. How do you keep all your DJ gigs unique? I work with various DJs, clubs, and promoters who want different things musically, so each gig is already unique in that I'm not always playing the same genre of music. I might be hired at Cafe Cocomo to play commercial style salsa, then I can DJ at Il Pirata and play underground Timba music. Thursday nights at Mojito's I play hip-hop, reggae, dancehall & reggaeton. If I'm DJing with Bayonics (SF Hip Hop Funk band) i'll play neo soul, R&B and hip-hop. I enjoy being flexible.
What are the main things you keep in mind when DJing as an opener for a live act verus DJing in a club? I just always try to play the best music I can regardless if I'm opening up for a band or djing solo
More importantly, what's your secret for staying out late all those nights in a row? Rockstar
What's your favorite place to DJ and why? I would have to say Il Pirata for La Tropi-Cal party because the people that go there are fans of the music (Timba) and dance. There is so much positive energy and good vibes.
Name of a track you can't get out of your head: "Un poquito al reves" by Pupy y los que son son
What's something interesting happening in the world of Latin music these days? In the last few years a number of top vocalists from Cuba have defected to the U.S. -- particularly to Miami Fl. -- such as Manolin, Carlos Manuel, Danny Lozada and most recently Isaac Delgado. This may help Cuban Timba gain some momentum in the United States.
Favorite DJ experience:The 6th Year Anniversary party of La Tropi-Cal at IL Pirata. It was crazy packed and off the hook....singing and dancing!
Worst request: Son by Four - "A puro dolor" (Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful song but it just doesn't fit my format at IL Pirata)
Most treasured vinyl score: Be Bop Rock by the Beat Boys on Sugarscoop records 1983
Musical mantra: Try to break new music
What other music-related projects are you currently working on? I'm curruntly working on a Neo Soul mix: Soul Avant-Garde Vol. 5 that should be out in January 2009. I'm also working on a project with soul vocalist Jillian Alana and producer B. Bravo which should be comming out early next year.
Next time we can see you spin: Lil Baobab every Wednesday, Mojito's every Thursday, Il Pirata the last Friday of every month, & Jelly's pier 50 on alternating Sundays.