Some may say that the glory days of epic DJ battles are over. Charlotte musician and producer, Dae Lee, says they’ve just started.
When he heard about Charlotte SHOUT! and its focus on music, Lee decided the time had come to revive a time-honored tradition of DJs fighting it out to see whose skills reigned supreme in the club scene. He shared this idea with Charlotte Center City Partners as a way to celebrate Charlotte’s 250th anniversary and … with a little help from friends at Music Everywhere CLT, Party Rocker and CLT Loft Sessions … CLT DJ Battle was born.
The DJ showdown will administer an adrenaline shot to the heart of Charlotte when it takes the SHOUT! stage at Trade and Tryon Streets at 5pm on Saturday, May 11. We asked Lee what we can expect when the final four DJs throw down Uptown.
Q: Help us get ready. What can we expect at the DJ Battle?
The audience will see four of Charlotte’s best and most diverse DJs stylistically. We believe this will not only showcase the thriving DJ culture we have in Charlotte, but also bring various cultural circles together to support their favorite DJ.
Q: What inspired you to organize it?
As a producer and Hip-Hop artist I’m familiar with rap, producer and DJ battles. They are great at rallying talent for healthy competition as well as music fans to see who’s who in the community. I believe more healthy, make-each-other-better competition within the Charlotte music scene will only help push things to the next level.
There are events in the city like USB Roulette at Tip Top Market, Player Made and Knocturnal at Snug Harbor that celebrate Hip-Hop and DJ culture. My hope is that with the CLT DJ Battle being done on a prominent stage, we can create some healthy competition while directing attention and support to events like these consistently happening in the community.
Q: What is Charlotte’s DJ culture like?
Charlotte DJs are protective and close-knit when it comes to their craft and community. Each corridor is known for a particular style and sound and that’s how it should be, but the people of Charlotte don’t necessarily travel outside of their neighborhoods for entertainment. This leads to a lot of great Charlotte DJs playing gigs catering to crowds outside of their niche genre. Simply because most venues won’t allow the DJs to read and play to the crowd. Many venues handicap the art, by telling DJs how and what to play.
There are places in Charlotte that diversify very well like the bars on Montford Drive and the 6th/7th Streets alley. Party-goers can choose to lounge and swing to jazz tunes or party upstairs at The Imperial, dance and socialize to house music at QC Social, or sing along to pop and Top 40 favorites at Lucky’s.
All in all, Charlotte has a lot of talent when it comes to DJs, you just have to leave your bubble to hunt to find them. Or, venues have to be courageous enough to loosen up and trust that the DJs know how to work the crowd.
Q: Tell us a little something about each of the four finalists.
DJ Fannie Mae
Originally from North Carolina, Fannie Mae spent her life writing songs, spinning records and being an advocate for the arts. Her eclectic music blends funk, gospel, Hip-Hop, soul, afrobeats and more.
Another Charlotte native, can be heard on WQNC 92.7 The Block in Charlotte and WMXR Vibe 92.7 in Miami. He’s been blessing nightclubs and stages from Miami to Los Angeles with a style of blends that show off his musical knowledge.
A heavy hitter in the dance music scene, is making creative waves both stateside and across the country. She brings a unique house music style and original work that’s not bound by any one genre.
Hailing from New York, will bring some northern flair to this southern mix. Dubbed “The Mixed Genre DJ”—he’s known to rock any crowd with Latin, hip-hop, house, EDM, reggae, trap and more.
After this year’s event is a success and trust is established, we will have online entries for any DJ in the NC & SC area. This year we hand-picked participants that are known and respected in Charlotte to represent the DJ community.
Q: What do you think will be the deciding factor in who wins the Battle?
The ability to engage the audience will probably be the deciding factor in who wins the battle. The judges will be judging based on creativity and song selection, but most importantly, performance/audience engagement. You got to rock the crowd!
GIVEAWAY! The only thing better than Disco … is free Disco. **
Get ready for the DJ Battle by landing free tickets to Thursday’s 8pm “Headphone Disco” event at SHOUT! For a chance to win, go to the post below and comment with the hashtag #CharlotteIsCreative by 2pm THURSDAY.
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Who has the best dance moves in your crew? ??What about when you’re dancing to different songs? You can join us at the Headphone Disco ? and bring your best dance moves. Date: Thursday, May 9th Location: Romare Bearden Tent ? Time: 8 – 12 pm Tickets: $5 – $10 At Headphone Disco, YOU get to choose which DJ’s music you like best as they battle it out for the crowd’s attention. ?? This surreal spectactle removes the sound system and arms party-goers with a set of wireless headphones ? while three separate DJs broadcast to them over three FM channels. Half the crowd might be bouncing to EDM, ?? while the other jams out to hip hop. Is it silent? No chance! ?? Whether thousands of voices are singing in unison to a classic party track or they’re cheering wildly when their DJ drops another massive tune, the atmosphere at Headphone Disco’s “Three Deejay Supershow” is always electric.
** No purchase is necessary to enter for a chance to win these tickets.
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