with DJ Compose spinning
1121 Nu‘uanu Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96817
DJ & RB3Style Hawaii Champion 2012-2013
Riana: What made you decide to bring out “Can’t Noc The Hustle vol.2?”
DJ Compose: I just never got around to it, honestly…I recently listened to it and thought it was kinda dope, especially hearing some of the artists that wasn’t as well known then as they are now.
What is the “Can’t Noc The Hustle” series? Where did the inspiration draw from?
Clearly it’s a play on one of my favorite artist and songs of all time…”Can’t Knock The Hustle” from Jay-Z. It’s been like my anthem forever. And our whole attitude with the NocBoys was to keep hustling because nothing was ever handed to us…haha that’s kinda deep.
Anyways, the CNTH series is just dope music. Doesn’t necessarily mean the most popular music or trends. Just how I envision a mix you can listen to years later (like this one.)
Why did you choose these particular tracks?
My dude Ges (KnowXOne), who was working at fitted at the time, is a huge hip-hop blog head…he basically gave me a ton of music I wasn’t even on and told me to mess with it. It was a combo of what I was feeling back in 2008 and his forward-thinking influence.
What were your listeners’ reactions to this mix when you released it back in 2008?
This was the tail end of the whole “mixtape” era. I actually printed up a bunch to try to slang at all the stores (those days are lonnnnng gone!) but it was dope…I did get a really good response.
Will you be doing another series like this again in the future?
CNTH. 4 is definitely on my to-do list, for sure! I just gotta get that right vibe together.
Photo by Trades Hawaii
You’ll see them playing Connect Four, one of the most classic games out there, while answering questions about their new mix, “2WORK.” C&A will be celebrating the release of this mix as well as giving out 2WORK hard copies to attendees tomorrow Oct. 18 at Addiction Nightclub.
Special thanks to Eric of Noteworthy for letting us use his shop as our playing grounds. Game on!
Daniel: Who are you at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel?
Kapena Mokuahi: I am the general manager for The Deck Waikiki, which is the bar located on the 3rd floor of the Queen Kapiolani Hotel. Basically, my responsibilities are to make sure the bar operates smoothly on a day-to-day basis and ensure that the patrons enjoy there time at The Deck.
What makes the The Deck Waikiki a sick spot for the Bacardi Pool Party to rage?
I feel The Deck Waikiki is the ideal spot for the Bacardi Pool Party for a few different reasons: 1) for our location in Waikiki and I feel like it’s far enough out of the heart of Waikiki to make it a little easier to get to; 2) the good amount of parking (Honolulu Zoo, down Kapahulu Ave, down Kalakaua Ave, and at The Queen Kapiolani Hotel); and 3) for the pool deck itself. The size of the deck allows a good amount of people to have fun on a pretty secluded pool deck with the best view of Diamond Head in Waikiki.
Diamond Head is such cool backdrop for people’s Instagram pics with the #bacardipoolparty hashtag. Why was the Labor Day pool party cancelled at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel?
Fair enough. Where do you think is the best place to hangout during the Bacardi Pool Party?
I think the best place to hangout during the Bacardi Pool Party is definitely in the pool because there’s no better way to beat the heat than in a pool.
When do you suggest Bacardi Pool Party patrons show up to the Queen Kapiolani Hotel on Sunday, Sept. 8?
I think people should get there as soon as they can so they can enjoy the entire day with us.
Hawaii’s own DJ Compose placed 3rd in the West Regional of the Red Bull Thre3style in a controversial decision, many credible DJ’s and music industry players alike had DJ Compose as the winner, but the judges saw it differently.
I remember anxiously finding the link to the live stream of his set and thinking, “He killed that.” Unlike his other competitors, DJ Compose had the audience (and random females dancing on stage) eating out of his hand, or turntables in this case. When it was announced that he placed 3rd, Twitter was in an uproar.
We all want to see DJ Compose in the finals. Don’t just vote for one of Hawaii’s best DJ’s but vote for the right DJ to represent our city and our state in the national final.
Voting is open until March 15th, let’s get Hawaii in the Red Bull Thre3Style National Final in LA.
Here are the goods, keep in mind that you can vote as many times as you want:
Listen to Compose’s set at the RB3Style West Regional in Seattle and tell me that’s not first place material.
On Friday, Ginza Nightclub played host to the Red Bull Thre3Style sub-qualifier when it returned to Hawaii for the second year. Five local DJs played to a crowd of 700 people in hopes of taking the title of Hawaii’s best party rocker. Competing DJs included Kowai Kowai, Sssolution, DJ Packo, Mike D and defending champion DJ Compose. Compose, member of Hawaii based Nocturnal Sound Krew, was the heavy favorite going into the night and lived up to the expectation. Throwing down a set packed with the right balance of skills, creativity and showmanship, he took the title for the second consecutive year with a unanimous decision from the judges. Local producer and Mike D took second place with Sssolution, also of Nocturnal Sound Krew, taking third.
When Compose took to the decks, it was obvious within the first two minutes that he knew how to work the crowd. Through the duration of his 15-minute set, the entire audience was engaged, throwing their hands up, filling in lyrics and dancing as if it was a pre-choreographed flash mob. It even took Flash, the host for the evening, a full minute to quiet down the crowd to announce the next DJ when he finished his set. When asked how it felt to take the title for the second year, Compose laughed and said, “Momma I made it!” Then in a more serious tone added, “The support was amazing and I can’t thank everyone enough.”
Compose will now advance to the West Coast Regional Qualifier, which will be held in Seattle on February 25. There he will compete against the winners of five additional sub-qualifiers taking place on the West Coast in Las Vegas, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. After that, the top five winners from the Regional Qualifiers (Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, Miami and Philadelphia) travel to Los Angeles on April 5 for the U.S. National Finals. In 2012, Compose narrowly missed the opportunity to compete at the U.S. National Finals when he placed first runner-up at the West Coast Regional Qualifier in Los Angeles.
Red Bull Thre3Style is an innovative concept that gives highly skilled DJs a global platform to showcase their skills, battle and gain notoriety by rockin’ the dance floor. Unlike other DJ battles that are based on solely technical aspects, Red Bull Thre3style has a creative and original format that seeks to find the DJ that has best perfected the true art of rockin’ the party. Competing DJs are given 15 minutes and the challenge to play three different genres of music while keeping the crowd rockin’ on the dance floor. A panel of music industry judges will select the winners based on track selection, creativity, mixing skills, stage presence and crowd reaction. Whoever is named best on the decks gets bragging rights, a prize purse and advances to the next step on the road to the world finals. Event schedule, updates and music from past competitions can be found at http://www.RedBullUSA.com/3Style
Riana: Where exactly were you when found out that you were competing in the Redbull Thre3style? How were you invited?
DJ Compose: I was called in by the Red Bull boys to the office. They let me know threestyle was coming up…and I had an opportunity to defend my title.
What was going through your mind when you accepted the invitation? Were you already thinking of the set you were going to play?
I was very hesitant, honestly. It takes a lot of time, energy, and motivation to do this. I really needed a few days to decide if I really was gonna commit to doing this again, because I’m not one of these “happy to be here” type of dudes. I’m here to win. It’s never been about the money with me… It’s all about the challenge. And although a part of me feels like “why?”, I decided “why not.” So… here we are.
Where does your inspiration for your music pull from? How would you define your style or sound?
Music is my life, literally. It’s my passion and my job, which is so amazing to me. I’m blessed. That being said, I do not take that fact lightly. I am constantly inspired by everyone and everything around me to push myself and stay ahead of the curve.
What do you think of your fellow competitors?
Why do you think you should win the Red Bull Thre3style Qualifier? If you won, how would you rep Hawaii in the West Regional final?
I came pretty darn close taking out one of the major cities last year (placed 2nd in Los Angeles), so I know what it takes. My approach is still the same as its always been since Nocturnal Sound started… preparation and execution is the key. I put a lot of time and effort preparing this set… Now it’s time to have some fun.
#RB3STYLE will be held tomorrow at Ginza Nightclub, doors open at 9PM, show starts at 10PM. First come, first serve! Entrance to event is subject to capacity. For more event details visit here.
This holiday season, as a gift to friends and family, DJ Compose and DJ Anit put together this mix called, “The Present.” After WORK! fans were excited to hear the duo’s next project. Released to the public last night at Addiction, The Present had folks dancing to this feel-good groovy mix.
Feel free to pick up a hardcopy of The Present at Nameless, Noteworthy and Fresh Café.
I got to sit down with DJ Compose and ask him about the mix. Enjoy!
Riana: After WORK! I don’t think anyone knew what was coming their way. When did you guys decide to do The Present? Was it immediately after you finished pushing out WORK?
DJ Compose: Me and Tina have a million ideas and projects going on… This mix was basically just something we wanted to do for everyone that has supported us this year. Our Christmas gift to y’all.
The Present is completely different in sound in contrast to WORK! What inspired you to do this mix? Did the sound just come about while mixing or was it more of an idea that you both came up with together?
We made a conscious effort to stray away from that sound because we wanted to show our versatility. we love all types of music. If you were fortunate to listen to one of Tina’s sets or caught one of mine, we go thru many types of of genres. That was mainly the inspiration: to Catch people off-guard.
I know that when you created the playlist for WORK! you both created track listings individually. Was your song selection process different this time?
Pretty much the same… We talk consistently about music (if we aren’t teasing each other about something). Work! Was a lot more aggressive… While the Present is much more groovy.
I think for me, the track that really stuck out was the refix you did of Star Slinger’s remix of Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe.” What sparked the idea to use Lady Gaga’s vocals in it? Will we be hearing more of your refixes in the future?
Growing up, listening to mixes from DJs… I would study and pick apart everything. I’ve learned it’s the subtle things that make the difference. That was just a little flavor added to the pot. And to answer the last part… Yes. Most definitely.
Please tell me you’ll be doing more mixes. If you do, any hint to what the next mix will sound like? If not, what’s in the future for C&A?
Keep everyone guessing… Haha.
You know when you wake up in the morning still drunk and exclaim, “Last night at the Addiction was so crazy!”? Well yeah, you can blame it a little on the alcohol, but let’s just say resident DJs Compose and Anit have a great deal to do with that. And now, with the support of that very nightclub, they’ve just released their debut, collabo mix entitled, “Work!,” so you can get turnt up wherever you go.
In today’s age of social media and instantaneous online-sharing abilities, mixes that are uploaded on the Internet tend to be live DJ sets that are recorded at one click of a button. It’s not too often that you’ll find DJs who go into the studio and carefully record track by track.
“It’s a little different because it’s a hard copy, which nowadays is not so common anymore, so we wanted to approach it a little differently,” says Compose. “Usually, to what people may or may not know, normally we just press record, which is cool too—it’s a different feel, it’s more organic that way. But this way was well-thought out, and everything was meticulously picked at.”
Throughout the interview, Compose and Anit would sometimes finish each other’s sentences, leading one to believe that DJing together would be no different. Together they would go into their sound engineer’s studio, DJ Mike D., and figure out what song would work in the right position.
“We actually [individually] created a list first and then we joined it together on my lap top and then went on from there,” says Anit. “That’s how we came with a common sound, but we actually had a lot of the same stuff we wanted.” Compose chimed in, “What was crazy was that [the mix] wasn’t done separately, we had input on each…” “Yeah, every transition we worked together,” Anit said, finishing Compose’s sentence.
This most likely has to do with the fact that they’ve been working together for the past two or three years—they’ve acquired an ear for each other’s likes and dislikes in music. They are very enthusiastic and supportive of each other’s disc-jockeying prowess and have a mutual understanding of what does and doesn’t Work! (pun intended).
“What’s really cool, I’m just speaking for myself, I’m lucky to have a DJ that I work with that I can still learn from,” praises Compose. “I always learn from everyone I work with, but especially her—I think we push each other and not in a malicious way.” “Which is rare because usually your partner will just be like, ‘Hey, what’s up,’ but we check up on each other—it’s a good relationship, he’s like my brother,” adds Anit.
But the process of creating “Work!” couldn’t be all smiles and positive attitudes, right? Much like with any creation, whatever the medium, there has to be some hardships. The biggest difficulty for the super duo? Wanting to add more songs to the mix. So much for hardships, huh?
“It’s kind of funny. We were working on it for about a month,” says Compose. “Literally to the last second we added a song at the very, very end, which was really cool.” Tyler Dickinson, the Addiction Nightclub GM, would second that. “It was to the point where literally, I sent it to get produced and they’d be like, ‘Wait, wait!’” he laughs. “I told the graphics guy doing the back [of hard copy holder], don’t kill me ‘cause they kept changing it. I was like, ‘Is this it? Is this it?’ Probably happened like five times.”
Despite their “hardship” creating this project, DJs Compose and Anit’s eclectic, aggressive 37-tracked mix is fire, no questions asked. Some have already obtained the hardcopy, most are waiting for the link to drop. Wait no more. Let it be known though—YEAH, there will be a “Work! 2.”