1. Thanks for stopping by “Po Politickin”. To start things off, can you tell the listeners a little bit about yourself?
Born in Boston now I live in New york, I am a remixer, and International Special Guest DJ
2. Okay, I know I might be a little slow but can you break your name down for me?
DJ Excel ‘The Mixmaster’ now people call me “International XL” because I travel around the world to dj. hahaha
3. I read that in 1990 you hosted a Hiphop show called “Another Def Jam” with DJ Audi on 90.3 FM WZBC Boston College Radio for two years, interviewing many of hip-hop greats such as Queen Latifah, Krs One, A Tribe Called Quest, MC Lyte, Kurtis Blow, Public Enemy, Nice & Smooth, DJ Premier, Guru, and Jeru Da Damaja. Can you tell me more about that experience? Who was your favorite guest?
It was the best thing I ever done because I was around all these artists before they were superstars. It was my first break into the music industry which subsequently lead me to move to New York.
Queen Latifah was my favorite guest. She was performing at the school and before her performance I inteviewed her. They locked us in a room all by ourselves. No security! She was so down to earth and elegant. Very respectful. I had the biggest crush on her for years.
4. What 3 tips would you give me as a radio host?
1. Ask the artist questions that they wouldn’t expect. Dig deepr 2. Do Not be disrespectful or ask personal questions. 3. Remember they are people just like me and you. I try to connect and relate to them in some way.
5. Can you talk about the transition you made from radio hosting to DJing?
I was a rapper at the time (name RCA) and I didn’t want to be gratuitous and play my own records; like hey “this is me” so I came up with this name “DJ Excel” after I started putting out remix records the name stuck and people would ask me to dj because they heard me on the radio and liked my mixes. Years later I would buy dj equipment and I became a dj.
6. In 1996, you left Boston to pursue a career in the music industry as a Producer/Remixer in NYC. I read that at the time you were frustrated and wanted to be taken seriously. Could you describe how you were feeling during that period in your life?
There was a guy in Boston who got a record deal with Universal records and I was envious. I wanted that success. Also, a couple of producers I was recording with had gotten there music in a movie soundtrack and we all went to New York for the premier. I was so envious. Happy for them, but I wanted the success. I felt living in Boston, no one in New York would take me serious. I felt that I had a better opportunity for success if people could see me, and feel me personally. I had done everything I felt I could in Boston and was very very popular in that region. I needed to grow. So I decided to move.
7. I heard that your mentor is the legendary DJ Red Alert could you talk about your relationship with him?
This dude would play my records on his radio show, back to back Hot 97 FM. I was selling them on vinyl. Every time he played my mixes, my records would sell out. That dude made me famous. He was one of first dj’s to play my stuff. He always encouraged me to keep bringing him the hot stuff. We are friends till this day.
8. What are your views on mixtape dj’s?
I love them to death. I grew up listening to Mr Cee, DJ Enuff, Doo Wop, etc. They were very vital to the growth of hiphop, now with the internet it’s not as effective as a promotional tool.
9. Besides music, what are your other interest?
I love travelling and reading. I also like to watch mindless television shows to take a break from the music. I am working on videography and developing a TV show as we speak.
10. What advice would you give to aspiring dj’s?
Find someone that’s good and learn from them. Develop your craft, study hard and excel! (pun intended)
11. Once again, thanks for stopping by “Po Politickin”. Any last words for the readers?
Check me out at www.myspace.com/djexcelmixmaster thanks and God bless!