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DJ Wordy

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About the Video

The Creators Project: How did you become a DJ?

DJ Wordy: When I was 12, I used to play classical guitar with my uncle. One day, I was walking through a music store when I was 15, and I saw a video of The National DJ Competition. I brought it home and watched. I was really excited by what I saw, because the music and skills those DJs had were really wild. It made me so excited that I knew right then I wanted to try it, so I decided I wanted to be a DJ. Soon after, I sold all of my guitars in order to buy a mixer and vinyl.

How would you define the style of your music?

I love music, and I listen to all kinds of music from different countries and incorporate it into my own music. When I was playing classical guitar, I still listened to rock music. My style is pretty eclectic.

Do you make mixtapes?

I do. Actually I’ve been doing mixtapes for a while, but I’m not sure how familiar people outside of China are with my work.

Let's talk about how you became so popular in China.

In the beginning I just DJed because I was into music. But then, in 2003, I placed third in China's national DJing competition, and people started asking me if I wanted to get paid for DJing. It was a good opportunity for me -- not only to expose people to my music, but also make some money. Then, I had a chance to participate in a competition in London. After that, I was invited to go to play some clubs in Germany. That was my first time DJing in a foreign country. Now I go to Europe once a year to DJ. I love it.

Your music is always changing. Is that intentional?

I think change is inevitable. All of the top DJs in the world change their music style all the time, because they want to improve their skills and follow the evolution of music. Music changes with history, and it's more interesting to change along with it. China used to be pretty conservative, but right now it’s getting more progressive because of the internet, and people like DJs can absorb more and more information from the entire world.

Which of your projects are you most excited about at the moment?

Right now we have a group called “HotPot Music.” My partner is Chinese-American, from L.A. We do live performances together once a month. Sometimes we invite DJs from other countries and they come and play music with us. It's really fun.

How does new technology effect your music?

When music became digital, DJs like me changed their way of making music. I used to buy lots of records, but now I use a computer to play my music. I used to carry like tens pounds of records to gigs, and now I just bring a hard drive.

What do you think the future holds for you?

I hope I can still DJ, expose more people to good DJing, and inspire them. I want to show Chinese young people how amazing music can be.

What do you think about the DJ scene in China?

I think it’s pretty quality, especially in Beijing. You can see the music industry changing little by little every day. I think it's because Beijing is still developing, and people absorb those experiences from other countries and collage what they've learned back into their own art. If you came back to Beijing next year, you'd be surprised how different it was from this time you visited.

What about the state of music as a whole in China? I would say that in this stage, musicians are focusing on imitating music from Western countries. It’s not about right or wrong. Our artists actually have enough skills, but what they need to do is make some kind of a break in their minds so that they can start creating their own music, which is unique to them as Chinese musicians. I think we're getting close.

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At a glance

Beijing's king of beats.

Alias: Wang Liang
Location: Beijing, China
Profession: DJ
Website: DJWordy.com
Notables: One More Day (2012), WordySoulspeak (2011); won the Chinese DMC Championships in 2005-2007 as well as representing China at the World DMC Championships, hosts HOTPOT parties with DJ SoulSpeak
DJ Wordy uses: 2 Technics 1210 Turntables, Pioneer 800 Mixer, Rane TTM57 Mixer, Serato Scratch Live, Maschine by Native Instruments, Logic 8, Abelton Live 8