INTERVIEW AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY CARLOS DETRES
DJ Hektik is a New Orleans based DJ and turntablist who has worked with many notable people throughout the city, as you'll read below. Before I started working as a photographer, I was a DJ in New York City. We exchanged war stories from our experiences in this field but I lacked the credibility he has garnered throughout his many years as a renown DJ.
There's no question that DJ Hektik is dedicated to his craft. He works hard at his regularly released mixtapes where he features local artists as well as more nationally renown acts. I got the chance to experience one of his sets live at his studio. The result is below.
How many years have you been djing?
I've been djaying a long time dude, between about 15-16 yrs. My beginnings were small time of course but thats about the time i got my first set of turntables. Even though they weren't the Tech 1200's I wanted, it was symbolic enough to know that this is the direction to travel.
Do you remember your very first gig as a turntablist? What was it like?
Like i said that was a while back but i still remember doe, it was a regular party. People were just hangin out, I brought over my turntables, plus the few records i had, and I was so nervous, don't remember everything in detail, but I do remember everybody rockin' out with me havin' fun!
Who have you DJ’ed for?
A lot of people know me from traveling as the road DJ for Former Cash Money Records & platinum artist B.G. I have also worked with artists, such as LL Cool J, Robin Thicke, Hot Boy Turk, Future, Snoop Dogg, Drake, Nas, Kevin Gates, Dee-1, Pharell, Manny Fresh, KLC, Black Eye Peas, Anthony Hamilton, so many more.
What’s one of your favorite stories from a performance?
Out of the many, I'm gonna say goin' out to New York for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. So much anticipation leading up to the performance. The night before I didn't get any sleep. Mind you this is my first time in New York, and I'm out there grindin' like its something I do on the regular. I get with some radio guys I know and we head over to power 105.1 (home of the Breakfast club)v where I landed some major connections. The host of the show shoutin' me out on the air, showin' all kinda love, it was dope.
After, on my way back to the hotel, I seen a group of people walking down Time Square which later turned out to be a protest stemming from the Ferguson case, so I just started walkin' with 'em. We went all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was one Hek of an experience, bro. Needless to say I eventually made it back, and was ready to put on with the Babydoll ladies the next day and tear The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade down ya heard me.
How does New Orleans inspire your sets?
It's The Pain of N.O. that inspires my sets. They got a lot of people in the city who are suffering from financial instability, losing friends and family to the streets and the system, it's crazy. Ironically in my city music is therapeutic. So when people gather they wanna hear something that's gonna help 'em get thru that pain. Knowing that I provide a service that does just that, gives me an inspiration to keep spinnin'.
Can you discuss some of the work and thought that goes into your mixtapes?
I normally don't but for you homie i gotchu ha haa! nah I'm jus joking... Its a very tedious process but the short of it is I get a list of songs somewhere within the top 200 range of brand new songs and i knock it down to about 30-34 cuts till i get the vibe that fits within the tape and from there i mix it up and serve it!
What upcoming projects do you want to mention?
Well I got a ton of em out right now including my mixtape series "Inspired By The Streets", "Dabbin & Grindin", "Trappin Out The Boot", "New Orleans Legends", "Uptown Veterans" plus all the indie projects aside from that
A couple projects I'm lookin' forward to releasing this year is this one I got with Mac called "Best of Mac" and this joint with BG called "BG to an OG 2". Both Mac & BG are on the tape, and give a lil insight to their situation.
If people are interested in any of the mentioned projects I strongly suggest 'em to go to www.DjHektik.com and indulge!
I got mixtapes for days Haaa!