Inspired By A Dream, 2012 DMC Bay Area Regional Battle Winner DJ Sol Rising Returns Triumphantly to DJ Battling

Posted by Billyjam, May 30, 2012 06:34pm | Post a Comment
DJ Sol Rising, the winner of last month's Bay Area Regional DMC DJ Battle - the first Bay Area DMC battle to be held locally in six years, may have thought his battling days were long over: his last battle been eight long years ago. Back in both 2003 and 2004 the DJ, formerly known as Skwint, made it as far as the DMC US Finals, placing 2nd in the US Supremacy in 2003, Vinyl Kombat US Finals in 2004, and winning Scribble Jam in 2002. In fact the DJ had absolutely no desire nor any intention of ever returning to the DJ battlefield; at least was not until fellow Bay Area turntablist. Snayk Eyez invited him, in March of this year just a few weeks before the April 7th DMC Bay Area Regional battle, to showcase at Skratchpad - the monthly scratch party that Snayk Eyez is a part of along with founders Deeandroid and Celskiiii and others.

"I was really hesitant as I hadn’t practiced routines in years. But I guess it planted the seed," he said of DJ set he did at Skratchpad just weeks before the DJ battle that most entrants practice for all year long beforehand just to enter and do their short well-studied routines.

But still the Oakland based Sol Rising, who was born in Canada and grew up in the MidWest before relocating to the Bay some years ago, said he had absolutely no intention of entering the DMC battle this year. But then he changed his mind because of a dream - literally. "A week before the battle I had this crazy vivid dream about battling at the Bay Area regional. The next morning I woke up earlier than usual and just started messing around on the turntables before work. The whole day at work I couldn’t wait to get home and practice. In the evening I created two scratch routines and then came up with a beat juggle a few days later. So I came up with three usable routines in less than a week which would have taken me several months if not a whole year in the past," he said of the winning routines that qualified him to travel to the DMC US Finals in New York in August to represent the Bay Area. "Everything was super accelerated. I honestly can’t say that competition is the path I’m on but I feel the universe guided me to compete for a reason that has yet to be revealed." After this intriguing sharing I felt compelled to follow up and interview Sol Rising further for the Amoeblog on his career as DJ and his take on the Bay Area DMC battle that he won (second place was DJ Cocheze from SF and third was Primo from Santa Rosa) in which in the first round he did a two-minute routine and, in the final round, he did a six minute routine.

Amoeblog: Can you name some of the elements that went into your winning six minute routine and some of the techniques you applied (ones that you think persuaded the judges in picking you)?

DJ Sol Rising: My routine was a balance of technicality, showmanship and musicality. Turntablism is the art of using the turntable as a musical instrument. One of my biggest influences in the realm of musicality is Kico from my crew the Platter Pirates. He always had the most musical routines and his transitions flowed like a mixtape. I think we get so caught up in techniques and technicality that sometimes we forget we are making music. Shortkut [one of the DMC judges along with myself] told me after the competition that what set my routine apart was it had that head-nodding element the judges were looking for so I guess that is w
what gave me the edge.

Amoeblog: Have you already started practicing for the August DMC US Finals in NYC and how
will you prepare for that both technique wise and mentally?

DJ Sol Rising: I was so inspired that I was back at it the next day. Mentally I’ll prepare myself through meditation, setting goals and just trusting that everything will be in divine order and that I have no control over the results. All I can control are my actions and preparation. As far as technique I would like to learn some new scratches and get everything tighter. I also want to get to the point where I feel comfortable with the routine. I was pretty uncomfortable battling at the Bay Area regional and had no idea whether I could hit my set clean.

Amoeblog: What did you think of the level of the competitors in the Bay Area DMC Regional?

DJ Sol Rising: I thought the level of competition was very high. Streak came back and did a really entertaining set. Cocheze was super clean with great stage presence and will definitely be making a US final in the future. Primo also has a lot of potential to make some noise and has really dope cuts. DMC is really blessed to have Christie [Z Pabon] keeping the art-form alive in the US. I’ve never seen someone so passionate about an event and she has really breathed new life into the scene. People are getting excited about battling again so there is still hope!

Amoeblog: Yes it is thanks to her that the DMC is back in the Bay Area. It's a good thing right?

DJ Sol Rising: Having DMC back in the Bay was amazing and much needed. To not have a regional here makes absolutely no sense as this is a mecca for turntablism and scratching. It was a great success and had the most competitors out of every regional thus far with so many legendary DJs in the house. It was also a very well run event and I want to give thanks to Christie and Charles [Angeles]. They both have a passion for the art-form and it really showed. It was a great way to bring the community together as well.

Amoeblog: I am curious as to when & why you changed your DJ name?

DJ Sol Rising: I changed my name a few years ago because Skwint was a high school joke that my friends came up with. I wanted something that represents where I’m going with my music especially in the production realm. Sol Rising really fit for me.

Amoeblog: Okay, cool, Anything to add?
DJ Sol Rising: I am grateful to have the opportunity to represent the bay area at the US Finals. It is a total honor especially with the immense talent out here. Just want to thank everyone for making this event happen Christie, Charles etc. Want to shout out everyone who competed for having the courage to be in front of an audience and be judged. The whole Skratchpad crew, Mista B, Snayk Eyez etc. All of the legendary judges and you Billy for the interview.

For more all the up to date information on the US DMC regionals and
the US Finals in August visit the US DMC's Facebook page.

Relevant Tags

Turntablism (44), Dmc Usa (5), Spintronix (2), Sol Rising (2), Dmc Us Finals 2012 (1), Christie Z (5), Christie Z Pabon (30), Charles Angeles (4), Snayk Eyez (5), Dmc (55), Dj Battle (15), San Francisco (388)