BRISBANE’S OWN DJ SHEEP HAS CARRIED HIS DEDICATION TO HIP HOP WORLDWIDE FOR OVER TEN YEARS STRONG, AND IS NOW WIDELY RECOGNISED BOTH LOCALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY FOR HIS SOLO SETS AND AS ONE OF THE TERNTABLE JEDIZ.
DJ SHEEP interviewed @ 16:30 AEST – Thursday 21st May, 2009
For Street Press Australia & Rip2Shredz Press
Words by RIP NICHOLSON
Well travelled Brisbane DJ Sheep has trekked his trade globally, dropping knowledge on the art of DJing and scratching its place among the four elements of hip hop – and how the international community feeds into his live shows with the extra cheese tandem with J-Zone and world famous Terntable Jediz.
A three-time Australian State DMC DJ champion, Sheep is an early riser in the River city soundscape, with cred points for involving his city in the new sub-culture brewing underground. He developed Brisbane’s sole hip hop sound machine, running a monthly hip hop night at Platform with events like B-Boy Kingdom showcasing all the four elements of hip hop while billing lists of Australia’s premier artists and the finest beat jacking DJs of the land including Plus One, Icy Ice, Lazy Grey, Len One, Ken Oath and Writers Anon. He also helped promote trans-Tasman tours of international turntablists DJ Q-Bert and DJ Disk of The Invisibl Skratch Piklz and DJ Craze and A-Trak of The Allies. Attracting high-riding disc jockeys, Sheep formed the Terntable Jediz with friend Fanatik, who now resides in Miami working alongside beatsmiths for Lil Wayne.
During 2006-07 Sheep held down hip hop to the fullest as a resident DJ at the Ministry Of Sound in Taipei, rocking New Year’s Eve spots rotating catalogues of classic funk and 90’s hip-hop in a franchise synonymous with more hardcore BPM genres. Yet Sheep kept true to his art.
“In Asia, the Ministry of Sound is the main music and house music is the side room. In London, the main room is in the hard house and the pop music would be the side room.” he muses. “The main reason I decided to do it is for the opportunity to learn a new form of DJing and that was one of the most important things for me, as a DJ, to have this experience. Getting into these clubs where you’ve got 6,000 people on any given night. I apply the principles that I’ve had, playing the music that I give shit about.”
DJ Sheep started the first global website dedicated to DJing in 1995. Such foresight gave him a powerful outlet to network like-minded artisans.
“It was the first website about scratching. You had battle reports, tutorials. To this day many DJs tell me that they learnt how to scratch off from that tutorial.” he boasts in a modest manner. I eventually sold the website to Dan The Automator from Gorillaz.”
DJ Sheep does what he has always done, drops advice for the next aspiring DJ who has grandeur dreams of snake-charming hyped club floors. To harness that control comes with experience and an arsenal of weapons, with the right choice of records.
“We call them weapons (records used for beats) – a good DJ is going to know exactly song to pick up the crowd.. You can be a DJ these days so easy. You go on YouTube, pick up MP3s off the iTunes shop, step in the club and you’re a DJ. It’s all fine and dandy. But, to me, if you haven’t got a record collection and knowledge of music, then you shouldn’t DJ. Master your craft and I’ll be the first one to be there and give you the handshake.”
A world-renowned beatsmith who appreciates the true study of hip hop, culturally and from an engineering standpoint DJ Sheep has rocked world stages on a holy quest that seems innate – though every beat junkie follows the immortal words from the Zulu Chief. “Like Afrika Bambaataa’s ‘Looking For the Perfect Beat’ I am still constantly on that search for the perfect beat. I’m currently playing a lot of Latin jazz, a lot of disco. Another thing to put in my arsenal. I travel the ends of the earth to find the perfect record.”