DJ Rascal is one of Miami’s fast rising DJs. Having started out every young, Rascal has definitely seen his share of success, more so than most DJs doing it. Joonbug caught up with Rascal to discuss a few things and to see what’s up with his upcoming EP. Some excerpts:
DJ Rascal is not your average DJ. The Miami-based artist started on the music scene at the ripe age of 15, performing in some of the city’s hottest venues, including LIV, Mynt, and Arkadia. He spent his early career spinning with some of the greats – Steve Aoki, Martin Solveig, and Miike Snow. Starting off in a school jazz band, playing piano and bass guitar, he quickly learned that his passion lay in DJing and quickly started booking gigs at clubs at a young age. Now at the age of 23, Rascal has announced that he will be releasing his first EP. Joonbug chats with the young superstar about his upcoming EP, his craziest moments in the club, and what he likes to do when he’s not spinning.
What can we expect on your new album and what was the inspiration behind it?
I’ve been working on it for quite some time now. I decided to work on it because my entire life I’ve been involved in music, from being in a school band, then graduating to a jazz band in school, and then exploring with DJing once I got into high school; and now that’s all I’ve been doing. Having the opportunity to open up and close for such big DJs in Miami, I would just sit behind them once I finished with my set and watch them play their own original music and the reaction they got – I thought, man, I could do this. The music is good, it’s crazy, but it’s nothing that I can’t do. I know how to play instruments, so I decided to go home at the time and I started practicing again and brushing up on my music notes and how to work with melodies. I’ve created over 35 songs and out of those I’ve chosen a good 5-7 songs that I’m finalizing now. I am really, really hard on myself. I compare it to the best of what’s out right now and if it’s not as good or better, I start over or delete it. In order to be one of the best, you have to compare yourself to the best. I bring people to my studio and show them what I’m working on and listen to their feedback. But so far, with the 5-7 songs I’ve chosen, everyone has given really positive feedback.
What do you like about the scene in Miami?
I love everything about the Miami scene. It’s different from everything, even other parts of Florida. It’s totally different because I grew up in bottle service clubs in Miami and I’ve been successful because I cater to the crowds, but at the same time, I don’t lose my edge. I play what they want to hear but I play what I think is good and what I want to hear. So it’s not very repetitive – I am always testing new music and sometimes people give me the craziest faces, like “what the f is this kid playing?” but that’s my job as a DJ – to put out new music. I get that reaction and sometimes I get the best reaction, when songs that people hate turn into songs people love and then a month later, that song is on the radio. It’s just that risk that a DJ is supposed to take. I’m happy to say that I’ve stuck to it and played music that no one has heard yet.
Would you ever consider leaving Miami?
Yea, I leave Miami once every week. [laughs]
Permanently, I mean?
I’m not sure, because my studio is out here in Miami. I travel a lot and work a lot and there’s so much more out there. Who knows? I take everything day by day. If there’s a huge opportunity for me out there one day and I feel that it’s right, then I might jump on it. Maybe I’ll move to Thailand and live in a jungle!
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