- Top 100
March 10, 2012
Our fourth edition of Canadian Beats: The Next Generation takes us back to cow town, where we catch up with drum & bass DJ Samantha. If you or a friend should be featured in this column, contact at me – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Samantha Makeiff
Current City: Calgary, AB
Style: Hard & heavy! Most of the time you’ll hear me spinning drum and bass, but sometimes you can catch me with glitch and electro.
Hi, my name is Distinct and I’m addicted to DRUM AND BASS IN YO FACE!
Describe your first experience with electronic music.
To be honest, electronic music hasn’t been a part of my life for too long.I had my first experience with it when I picked up a job at the local roller rink when I has just turned 16. A lot of the DJs there, though a lot of it was top 40, were also big fans of house and techno tracks, and, as I came more often it grew to be a much bigger part of my life.
What or who was the inspiration behind your career choice?
When I got the job at the roller rink I expressed interest in becoming a DJ after about a year. After a little while of wanting to learn and not being able to teach myself, a DJ there named Adam actually reached out to me and taught me how to do it out of the kindness of his heart. After he taught me the basics he actually put me in front of the mixer, set up another song for me, told me the next mix (my first mix ever!) was mine and sat at the back of the booth and waited for me to mix live. I remember being extremely nervous that I was going to mess up, and almost angry that he wouldn’t help me with it, but now that I look back on it, it was the best way to teach me how. Afterwards I was excited that it had worked and more than ready to take on the next one. That exhilaration is something I still feel every time I get behind the decks!
What is the first track that got your heart pumping?
Honestly, I would have to say one of the first tracks I remember getting me amped up would be Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk!
When did you get in the scene?
The first time I decided to take my mixing out of the roller rink was February or March of last year. So I guess I started to get into it then with the help of a couple friends of mine from the roller rink!
What was your first piece of equipment?
My first turntables were Stanton T.80s that some guy sold me off of Kijiji as a package deal. Unfortunately he sold me tables that didn’t work!
Who gave you your first gig?
I had been spinning at a local bar named Quincy’s a couple times, but my friend Josh set me up for my first ‘real’ gig with tickets and everything. Probably had about 50 people, and it was at Radiopark on a Wednesday. I ended up spinning some mainstream tunes with electro because that was whatI was most comfortable with at the time.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I definitely see myself in the production stage of my career. Hopefully, by that time I’ll spinning alongside other producers I find both influential and inspiring!
What can people look most forward to when you spin?
An energetic performance from someone who really loves their tunes. I work hard to make my mixes as good as I possibly can and I love to play for other people!
How have you grown the most since you first started out?
My music style has definitely changed since I started – I went through a series of different genres, trying to figure out exactly where I fit – and after a mainstream start I had two other DJs influence me to try electro.That lead me to explore that for a little bit, and, eventually lead me to give drum and bass a try. I’ve definitely matured as well – I’ve learned to take good news with the bad and reminded myself that being a good DJ doesn’t come without effort.
Who is the artist you would like to work with most and why?
Drumsound and Bassline Smith! They got the right amount of heavy and melody in their tracks and a signature sound I’m in love with. I think they would be able to teach me huge amounts about production quality and style!
Playing in some of the best clubs in Europe with some of the names that I currently look up to!
One word to describe your style?
What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’ track?
We Can Have It All, the Sigma remix, by Danny Byrd. I go absolutely NUTS every time this track is dropped – it’s the first drum and bass track I’ve ever loved!
What’s your favourite gig thus far?
Hard question… each gig has its own great parts! One of my favourite gigs that I’ve spun recently though was when I was invited to spin with one of our Canadian Drum and Bass legends, Freaky Flow. He was a super nice guy and put on a phenomenal show! His turntablism was amazing!
What was the first vinyl or track you purchased?
I was actually given my first few pieces of vinyl, and my favourite out of the group was ‘Show Me Love’ by Steve Angello and Laidback Luke. I have purchased tons of music, but the first track that I purchased specifically for my first real gig was ‘Sick Slaughterhouse’, the Lucky Date remix, by Filthy Rehab and MikeWave!
What’s the biggest challenge to you when it comes to making it as a DJ?
Patience. I am a ‘go-getter’, I don’t like to wait for everything to happen and fall into place, and in many aspects this is a positive – but sometimes you need to remember that things don’t happen overnight!
What’s your favourite part of the industry?
All the people I get to meet. There’s so many people who have been part of the industry for a lot longer than I have and it’s really awesome to learn and experience things with these people. Everyone I have ever met has had something to teach me in this profession.
What do you parents think of you becoming a DJ?
They seemed a little wary at first of the idea, but they have definitely warmed up to it. My father bought a ticket and came to my very first gig in order to see me succeed. My mother loves to hear about new opportunities that come up and lets me know that she is proud of what I do.
When did you know this is what you wanted to do with your life?
I learned the basics of DJing via BPMStudio, a program that we used with a very basic controller. Within weeks of me just learning the basics I had my friend Adam teach me Scratch Live. The day I started using Serato was the day I decided that this was something I was more than just interested in pursuing as a career.
What’s your description of a DJ?
A DJ who shows other people music in a much more interactive way. Important is their skill in beat counting and mixing, but even more so is someone who loves what they do. This is what being a DJ should be a way to express yourself through another medium. It’s fantastic that peopleappreciate it as much as people like myself love to do it.
Here’s the mix:
As always, if you know of a Canadian DJ or producer under 20, we want to hear from them! email@example.com