DJ Robb-O

How did you get started? Tell us your story!

I am from Bay Shore, Long Island in NY. I started spinning records in JR High School around 1978 and I've always taken DJing seriously because I love all types of music. After high school, I served 5 years in the military and during that time DJed wherever I was stationed (Hong Kong, Hawaii, Philippines and Vancouver). During the time, I was away from the Long Island hip-hop scene and it started growing (i.e. EPMD, Rakim and Public Enemy). I was discharged in '89 and returned back to NY and worked my way up until I was DJing around the NY tri-state area. The next step after Djing is producing. I produced my first record in 1995 on an indie label called BLUNTED. The song was called "WHO INDA HOUSE" and it was on light rotation on New York's Hot 97 and the video was on medium rotation on BET. I've been producing music ever since. Currently I deejay and host a syndicated mixshow. It's called "DEEP HOUSE WITH A KISS OF SOUL." It airs every Thursday 6pm PST at Dash Radio on the Fantom channel. It's great because I get to feature deep house tracks and music from my label, "GROOVY." I also just got on board to produce music for a talk show. It is still in development.

What is your experience in the music industry? Do you have any formal training or schooling? If not, are you self-taught and how did you learn your craft? What is your learning style? What are your favorite educational resources (ex. college, Youtube, etc.)?

I don't have any formal training as I am completely self-taught. My learning style is hands-on and then I refer back to the manual. Sometimes I read the manual first but for the most part I dive into the equipment.

What makes you decide to play a particular record during one of your sets? Is there a criteria other than pure subjectivity, for selecting what to play at a gig?

The energy of the song and the quality of the recording. Then I consider the obvious: popularity, the groove and the vocals.

Who are your biggest influences growing up and why? Who do you like to listen to now and why? Who’s on your playlist right now?

My playlist is large and varies from Steely Dan to Miles Davis. My biggest influence is Grandmaster Flash.

What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve encountered or faced in this industry? What are currently your main challenges as a DJ? What is it about DJing, compared to, say, producing your own music, that makes it interesting for you?

One of the biggest obstacles has been myself. After that, it has always been shady and crooked people. I don't have any major challenges at the present time because I've learned to respect "music." It used to be a love hate relationship but now it's all love because I can create and I have a platform that allows me to be me. Producing my own music is just as important as DJing. It is a balancing act.

How would you describe your sound and style?

It terms of deejaying my style is genre-based because I am an open format DJ. I do understand that style and genre is a requirement to define the current day DJ so to answer that question I would say I spin Deep House with a Kiss of Soul. What are some of your goals this year?

Have my music recognized among my peers (i.e. Grammy, Emmy, Cannes) and a mix show on Sirius XM as well as more streams and sales.

Who are the top 3 artists, producers, engineers, videographers, or others you would want to work with that you haven’t worked with yet?

Crackazat, Jazzy Jeff, Easy Mo Bee, Atjazz, Dj Haus, Kaytranada, Session Victim

What is your creative process like?

I work better at night! I think of music all the time so the process is really about getting what's in my head to the hardrive. I mainly use my Maschine MK3 to do that.