DJ Slurk

Story

Hey, I'm DJ Slurk (BMI), AKA Michael James. I'm from Minnesota and I make music. I wear many hats: beatmaker, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, composer, sometimes vocalist. My passion for making music started around age 12 when I picked up a guitar my late dad had bought for himself (he was a hobbyist in his youth and wanted to pick it back up) and sat in the garage, guitar on my lap, learning how to clumsily pluck out the three notes of a well-known Rolling Stones riff with my thumbs. It sounded (in hindsight) terrible, but it made me realize how much I enjoyed being able to control sounds. After that, I took over that guitar, but my dad was happy to see me learning and enjoying something productive and self-expressive. Growing up, my father would be a consistent source of support and guidance until his death from cancer in 2013. To date, my proudest musical accomplishment was being able to record and self-produce a cover song for him (which he had been asking to hear from me for years) in time to put it on his iPod and bring a tear to his eye on the last Father's Day before his passing. (The song was Barry McGuire's 'Eve of Destruction', for those curious.) Music production came as a natural progression -- I was writing music, the next logical step was to begin recording it. Not long after I picked up my first guitar as a kid, I stumbled upon my first copy of Fruity Loops. I've always had a knack for learning things in a hands-on way, so I immediately set about making some beats for the kids I went to school with. There were daily cyphers and battles happening at lunch time, and a lot of talented kids -- some of whom would go on to be quality DJs, musicians, and vocalists in their own right. Daily interaction, cooperation, and sometimes competition with all these other talented and creative kids made me want to improve. Over the years, I would learn how to play properly by gaining some experience rehearsing and performing with a number of local bands (currently: Sonitus Novis) -- meanwhile learning my way around the eclectic music scene in my native city of Duluth, MN (host to a few noteworthy events I've had the privilege of playing; such as the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival, Rock and Roll Kamikaze, and the Ides of March Bacchanalia Festival.. That eclectic nature allowed me to maintain an open mind and take influence from many genres ranging from punk rock to dubstep to classical music , and craft a blend of sounds that I find interesting. Hopefully you will, too.

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What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music is both fun and cathartic to me. In good times, it's a way to get some of that extra energy out in a constructive way; while in bad times it's a means to escape -- to distract myself from whatever's bringing me down.

What is your music dream?

I want to make a living by waking up in the morning and making music all day.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

I'd provide clean water, a quality education, and a fat blunt for every person on the planet.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

I don't know if I can pick just one, but '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' by the Rolling Stones was the first song I ever learned how to play on the guitar.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

I grew up on punk rock and '90s rap. Stuff like Screeching Weasel and NoFX, but also stuff like NWA and Wu-Tang Clan. Those influences have always stuck with me as a baseline. As a teenager I got into electronic music, and then world music -- I try to seek out a little bit of everything, and it's hard for me to choose a single favorite.

What do you think of Drooble?

So far, so good. I'm intrigued by the platform and the features it offers. I'm not very experienced here yet, but I like what I see.