The renowned Hip-Hop/Funk/ Soul & Reggae turntablist DJ Buzzword has steadily earned his reputation across Shropshire for his indisputable excellence in music production. Originally from Bridgnorth, Shropshire he abandoned his guitar for a love with Hip-Hop and never looked back. Soon becoming fascinated with sampling his vast collection of records, and has supported the likes of the internationally respected Deadly Hunta, Hip-Hop icons The Four Owls and The Furious 5 to name but a few.
His Hip-Hop & Ambient instrumentals have particularly gained considerable attention throughout the UK, and his music has been featured on various UK television documentaries. Having received airplay on BBC Radio, he professionally custom scratches to produce something unique in every track to perfection.
After a week of trying to organise a conversation with the hectic individual he managed to find a spare hour to chat to me and answer some personal questions, the first of which being: how did you discover your love of music, and why DJing?
“I always liked music when I was younger and when I lived in Germany my mum bought me a tape of kids singing songs. There was a rap one on there that I kept listening to so I think that sowed the seeds for the love of hip hop…. When we moved back to the UK my first teacher always did loads of singing and guitar playing with us and I loved it. I think it was after that I wanted to do something musical.”
“I love DJing because I like to see what the people in the crowd are doing and work with it. Cutting between two tracks and seeing the reaction when it goes down well is great.”
The next question burning my lips was when from finding this passion did he make the decision to make turn-tabling his profession?
“Well at the end of school I did a year of sixth form and didn’t enjoy it and couldn’t really be that arsed with education anymore. I ended up going to college after that to do something musical and that’s when I’d decided.”
“I did a year of performance music and then music technology… but I always tell people: I learned more messing about in my bedroom than at college.”
Eventually, he clearly made the transition from messing around in the homemade booth as most do to making the leap to the live gigs. Does he remember his first gig well?
“First gig… I’m not sure but I think it was in the back room at a party at a country club. I learned a lesson there as a guy came in and asked me what breaks I had. I didn’t know what the hell he was going on about..”
‘Breaks y’know, real hip hop! You don’t even know what hip hop is!‘
“He was talking about old school breakbeats which are the foundation of hip hop but at the time I didn’t really have a clue. That was a long time ago and I have a lot of breaks in my collection now.”
“It’s great to play an original track that’s been sample for people who haven’t heard it, or realised it was a sample.”
I could definitely relate to this, as I’ve always believed that it makes the tracks all that more original to hear and thus makes the music all that more unique… And DJ Buzzword has certainly made big impressions with his slick beat-making since emerging, highlights including:
“… Supporting The Furious 5 with Ez at the Buttermarket and that was a big one for me. Big Chill Festival before it was bought out and all the Beat Juices we’ve done to be honest. I’ve had some great artists to play alongside or spin for.”
Don’t get it twisted though, this guy is capable of much more then spinning records. He offer’s more then being the DJ in his spare time:
“Well I’ve done DJ’ing and music production workshops for a few years now. It’s something that’s paid well and made me realise that I could earn money in different ways from music from early on.”
“I do one to one DJ tuition too for people taking things more seriously, but I will always be the first one to tell them practice and collecting good music is the main thing.”
“I think I can offer a lot to vocalists who want to do something from their talents, especially mc’s, as I can help them to create something that they couldn’t do without the right equipment or knowledge of recording. Most of my beats are made for a vocalist so to know how to get a good recording and creating that sound is essential.”
“It’s great to work together with people in the studio as it’s always good to have different ideas and things to contribute from a different perspective.”
From my experience this guy has always busied himself with his music production. Since his experimental EP release a few months previously, I was wondering whether he was working on anything new to soon emerge?
“I’ve got some instrumental stuff in the pipeline that I’m going to put up for free download, and I do do a lot of stuff in the moment so to speak. If an mc comes over to record I’ll often play snippets and starts. Then if there’s any favourites I’ll finish them off as they wish.”
“I find it a lot easier to finish up a track for someone else than myself as they can tell me what they want and I try to tailor it to what they’re saying. I never know what the end product should sound like really, so in a way it’s easier to have the restrictions than not.”
For the remainder of the year, have you got many more gigs booked for the people to catch you perform at?
“Beat Juice is over so no more of them, but I’m spinning all night at the Castle Vaults this coming Saturday from about 9pm. We’ve also got Deadly Hunta coming back in December to Shrewsbury and I’ll be supporting him. Got some gigs in the pipeline for Spotlight in Digbeth, Birmingham too.”
My final question was perhaps the most personal, but I always have to ask… What ideally is your goal in the music industry, what do you ultimately want from it all?
“I think it’s nice to be recognised for what you do by the people who appreciate it, but I don’t desire to be ‘famous’… and really that means a lot more than money. But we all need to get paid, as love and appreciation doesn’t pay the rent unfortunately. “
“I don’t want to be rich, just to have enough to have the freedom to do what makes me happy. Sometimes I do editing and mixing for people and don’t particularly enjoy the music, but I still enjoy trying to create the sound they want, so getting paid for that is definitely better than 9-5 office dreg.”
If you’re a budding up-and-coming mc who feels the time is finally up to record your vocals, if you want to learn from an expert turn-tabling talents and skills, if you’ve heard DJ Buzzword‘s music and want to catch him perform live, like his Facebook page on the link below, follow his Soundcloud on the link given or get in contact with him at: contact – firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your planned project/proposal.