Bio: The son of a jazz musician and artist in Chicago, Vagabond Superstar [VS] was immersed in music from an early age, and started his own musical journey in grade school playing trumpet for the school band. Over the years VS would learn about traditional forms of music such as classical and jazz, as well as Hip-Hop and Chicago house music, but it was in junior high school when DJing caught his attention. Crediting his initial draw to the art of DJing to hearing DJ Scratch (EPMD) cut up the break on the group’s single “So Whatcha Sayin” during music class, he admits that once he heard that break he knew that he wanted to be a DJ.
VS took his first DJ gig in high school at a basement party and hasn’t looked back since. He graduated from basement parties in high school to clubs in college, and it wouldn’t be long before VS started doing bigger shows and opening for R&B and Hip Hop acts like Wu-Tang (NYC), Def Jam’s “The Show” tour, Afrika Bambaataa, and soon after sharing stages with house music heavyweights like Mark Farina, Giom, Lisa Shaw, and more.
Known for his out of the box style of play and music selection, VS has a knack for keeping his ﬁnger on the pulse of dancers and fans alike all while staying one step ahead of the curve. It’s also his ﬂair for keeping party goers (and peers) on their toes musically that earned him the loving label of being “a dj’s dj”.
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Where are you based? Seattle, WA
Why do you play music?
Because I would lose my friggin’ mind if I didn’t. I’m one of those DJs that loves everything about DJing. It still mystifies me after doing it for 20 years, and it still serves as a source of therapy and inspiration for me.
2) What do you see as your role in the music world going into the future?
I’m going to restore people’s faith in global DJs. People have developed this preset in their minds now that big named DJs are only money hungry douches that don’t really care about the artistry of DJing. I’m going to let them know that we’re still here, alive and well.
3) Favorite label or artist from the past year?
A couple of artists that I’ve liked this year have been Detroit Swindle & Justin Jay. Swindle has been getting a lot of attention with their throwback style of production and Justin has been showing a lot of versatility in his production lately. Everything that they’ve put out this year has been pure heat.
4) What are you looking forward to most this year?
DEMF to be honest. More people are finding their way to the underground and if what’s been offered this year is any indication, DEMF will be the place to be in 2014.
5) What’s the difference between Vagabond Superstar and DJ Dev-j?
As far as DJs go there’s no difference, but that’s also where the similarities end. Dev-j is just an abbreviation of my name, which is fine, but I wanted to bring more to the table than just a guy that played music at clubs. I’ve always believed that every person has the ability to be a star if they wanted it enough, and I wanted to find a way to represent that for them and I knew that just being Dev-j wouldn’t be enough. I wanted something that could be universal, faceless and that people could get behind and believe in no matter what it was applied to…so I came up with Vagabond Superstar. It’s more than a name. It’s a concept and mantra that starts with me but has the capacity to continue with anyone and grow beyond music and DJing. Dev-j will always be a part of who I am but will always be limited. Vagabond Superstar is limitless.
1) Jacob Bech – Continue
2) Souldynamic ft Adeola Shyllon – Revival (Souldynamic Main Mix)
3) Jako Diaz – Dubai
4) Yousef & Charli Taft – I See (Crooked Si Man)
5) Fred Everything – Street Luv (Original Mix)
6) Detroit Swindle – Unfinished Business
7) Reelsoul ft Alix Alvarez – BOM (R2) (Main Mix)
8) UnoMas (MIA) – Living For The Funk (D-Formation Remix)
9) MDR – Everybody
10) Detroit Swindle – Under The Spell
11) Quell – Army Of Lover (Miles Maeda Mix)
12) Huxley – Feel What You Want