Moodymann on DJing: “I’m not there to give you what you want – but you might hear something that you need”
“If you’re looking for the hottest DJ to work the crowd, I’m most definitely the wrong person to call, but I will share my environment… I’m coming to bring Detroit to your stage.”
Image: Getty / River Callaway
House, disco and soul musician and DJ Kevin Dixon Jr. – AKA Moodymann – has spoken about his apathetic approach to DJing, highlighting that he doesn’t play what event-goers “want”, but “something [they] need”.
In a new interview with Resident Advisor, the Mahogani Music and KDJ Records label boss and Detroit legend says that while he might not always pander to the dancefloor in his global DJ sets, he does provide an essential, perhaps educational flavour of Detroit.
“If you’re looking for the hottest DJ to work the crowd, I’m most definitely the wrong person to call, but I will share my environment,” he tells writer Nyshka Chandran. “I’m coming to bring Detroit to your stage. Whatever I play, I’m probably at home or somewhere else listening to it. I’m not there to give you what you want. But you might hear something that you need.”
Moodymann doesn’t always represent underground Detroit music in his DJ sets, however. In 2017, he was criticised for dropping the strange combination of Kings Of Leon’s Sex On Fire and The Beatles’ Come Together at UK festival Field Day. The reason is still a mystery, although this could be a rare example of the Detroit DJ ‘playing to the crowd’ in his own tongue-in-cheek way.
He goes on to humbly add that he’s “blessed that people still ask him to DJ”. “Think about it,” he says, “of all the talent that’s out there, and you callin’ this motherfucker?”
While the interview mainly focuses on Dixon Jr.’s role in growing and nurturing Detroit’s music scene (he won the Spirit of Detroit award in 2016), organising now legendary roller discos and his entrepreneurial endeavours, Moodymann does briefly touch upon his role as a producer in the interview.
“When I’m recording, you know, we gettin’ down, it’s like having sex,” he says on jamming with and re-sampling a live band. On planning his studio sessions, he never sets out time to make music, saying that it comes naturally. “I don’t really plan to make music, it just starts happening and later, I figure out what to do with it,” he says.
Not familiar with Moodymann? Discover his music on Bandcamp.
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