If you ask DJ Sincere about his newfound position as the X Squad DJs East Coast President, he’ll hearken back to Blahzay Blahzay with an emphatic, “WHEN THE EAST IS IN THE HOUSE!!! Oh my God!!!” Sincere already has been a major player in the New York City underground hip hop scene, with his Drty Bsmnt Radio broadcast and multimedia services. The Queens native has been DJing for more than 15 years in some of New York City’s most popular venues and is a diligent supporter of the unsigned community, often volunteering to judge and sponsor many of the more reputable showcases for those up-and-coming. He has recently join forces with Milwaukee born female MC Mz Nay as manager and consultant, pushing her debut album Mz Nay, released in September 2010 and available on www.amazon.com. N.A.B. caught up with DJ Sincere to discuss the underground scene, his involvement in Mz Nay’s debut project and his new position with the X Squad DJs.
N.A.B.: What is X Squad DJs? Where did the organization originate? Is it important for DJs to join a coalition like X Squad and what are some of the advantages?
DJ SINCERE: The X squad DJs is a crew like no other. It is based in Atlanta, GA it is headed by Damillionz, he is the CEO. We have DJs from various markets all over the country. Many do mixtapes and have online, satellite and broadcast radio shows. There are also models, magazine publishers, artists and various industry and media people associated with the X Squad DJs. I think it’s very important for DJs to have coalitions and to be affiliated and familiar with one another, as you can always work alone but there is much more strength and opportunities with a team. The advantages of being a part of a good DJ coalition are increased visibility and opportunities outside of your own market for yourself as a DJ and also for any artist that you may be associated with. We have graphic designers, website builders, major website owners, magazine writers and more that as a part of X Squad DJs.
N.A.B.: Where can we listen to the Drty Bsmnt Radio broadcast? How long have you been broadcasting with Drty Bsmnt Radio and who are your co hosts?
DJ SINCERE: The Drty Bsmnt Radio show broadcasts at various time and days on proflowradio.com, thebestdamnradio.com, mmnetworks.ning.com and olgurban.com. (Please check site for days and times). You can also check out our podcast at flavamixtaperadiousualsuspects.podomatic.com. We have been doing online radio since about 2004. I started doing it with my long time DJ partner Justrue Nelson on a now defunct station. In 2007 Justrue left to pursue other avenues and I later brought in my long time protégé King who introduced me to his cousin Franky Buzzard.
N.A.B.: You volunteer to judge loads of showcases. You also play a key role as a repetitive sponsor at The Elegant Hoodness Musical Program. You seem to be relentless about helping to expose the undiscovered to the masses. Why do you choose to be an advocate of discovering new talent as opposed to promoting and advocating popular music? And why have you decided to sponsor E.H.M.P for as long as you have?
DJ SINCERE: The DJ in his or her proper role is not just someone who plays the current musical trends. The DJ is responsible for discovering and breaking new talent and music and introducing it to the masses. Unfortunately in the current climate many mainstream DJs are unable to do this, as the must “stick to the script”. Even those who play in clubs and do mixtapes often only want to play only the top hits, they are scared to play a hot new track that has not already been accepted. The DJ in his or her proper role is supposed to push the envelope with its audience not to allow it to recede and contract. I became involved with EHMP a few years ago after connecting online and
coming to an event. I liked the vibe and enjoyed myself, after seeing the talent and organization that night and later learning more I decided to begin to sponsor the EHMP because of the role that they play on the underground music scene in New York City in helping artists further their careers.
N.A.B.: Drty Bsmnt offers a variety of multi media services. What can your company do to help an artist on the come up?
DJ SINCERE: We have various situations for artists that are trying to increase their buzz. We produce and promote the different Drty Bsmnt and the Takeover mixtape series. These mixtapes are not just “online only”. We post them to datpiff, thatcrack, extra but we also physically press and distribute our cds nationwide. As founder and CEO of Drty Bsmnt Multimedia and the current X Squad Djs East Coast President I have many relationships with DJs, magazine writers, website owners and more that can help assist in breaking an artist. In this business it really is all about the relationships. We also do artist interviews and podcast promotions, email campaign to more than 50,000 recipients, bio and EPK creation, career consultation, Twitter, Facebook, and Reverbnation promotion and much more.
N.A.B.: You have recently signed on as a consultant and manager for a female MC from Wisconsin named Mz Nay. Tell me how that affiliation came into play? And why did you choose to work with a female MC as opposed to the dozens of male MCs you encounter in your daily life?
DJ SINCERE: I became aware of Mz Nay in the spring of 2010 after receiving heavy promotion from another X Squad DJ, DJ New York City Ken. Not long after she was made the X Squad DJs artist of the month, I went to her page on xsquaddjs.ning.com to check out her music and was immediately blown away. I decided to place her on a mixtape I had in the works at the time called Boss Chicks and the rest is history. I have a long and successful history with female artists and business owners that go back many years. I have found that females really take the time to learn their craft or business and will spend the time and money it takes to get it off the ground. Overall I have found that the ladies are just as talented but are harder workers and grinders than a lot of the dudes.
N.A.B.: How can artists submit music to you radio show or one of your mixtape series?
DJ SINCERE: Send music to firstname.lastname@example.org. Airplay is always free but promotion does cost. There is also a fee for mixtape slots.
N.A.B.: What advice can you give to the up coming artists that will help them create a larger buzz?
DJ SINCERE: Believe in yourself. Be willing to work hard learning all aspects of the business and you must be willing to invest in yourself. If you are not willing to spend money on yourself in pursuit of a career that you say that you want, why should anyone else risk their money on you? There are basic things that each artist needs in order to be taken seriously, among them are bios, press kits and photos. Go to the open mics in your area, get involved with the underground scene and network with other artists and people involved in the music industry. Do some collaborations and cross promote with others. Most importantly, you must build relationships with the people that can assist you.
N.A.B.: You’re from Queens NY. Has growing up in Queens influenced the kind of hip hop you listen too?
DJ SINCERE: Not so much Queens as New York as a whole. I mean, I like a wide range of music but under it all I like my hip hop with hard beats with real MC skills. Cats that are lyrical with a hot flow, tight production and a DJ that can really mix and scratch.
N.A.B.: Is New York City hip hop in danger?
DJ SINCERE: It could be doing a lot better. Unfortunately that is a lack of cooperation and a lot of infighting amongst a lot of New York artists. There is a lot of “Hollywood” type nonsense where people think they are “stars” and better than others. Artists from other areas that have established themselves as a name and a brand still seem to be more accessible than the artist that are on the come up. They seem more willing to feature on an up and coming artist’s track. Of course fees are involved but it can be done at times for a not too unreasonable price. I don’t see that as much with well known or mainstream New York artists.
N.A.B.: Do you have any last words or shout outs?
SINCERE: First of all, thanks for having me. Big shout out to Mz Nay, Iking Productions, the whole X Squad DJ, X Squad East, Drty Bsmnt and N.A.N./N.A.B. families. If you can put together a good team to assist you that’s great, if not don’t be afraid to go get it alone until you can put the other pieces in place. Also, you will come across many people promising many things. Always ask yourself, if they haven’t done it for themselves, can they really do it for you?
Interview by A.D. The General. A.D. runs the Elegant Hoodness Musical Program mentioned above. The next installment of their monthly showcase series is January 19. For more information, visit eleganthoodness.ning.com.