State your stage name and profession for the record.
My stage name is Truthlive and I do a handful of things professionally, but for this interview it’s probably most relevant I’m a DJ.
How long have you been DJing? Do you remember your first DJ gig?
I first started as a self taught DJ when I turned 13. I took a long hiatus from DJ’ing to fully immerse myself in creating and releasing original music. I’ve come full circle as my current primary focus is once again DJ’ing. I’ve mos def come a long way considering my first gig was during my Freshman year in High School for a birthday party.
What’s your favorite DJ era in the Bay Area and why?
My favorite era in the Bay Area DJ scene is now. I think it’s an incredibly exciting time when tremendously creative and talented people are constantly given new tools and technological improvements to open up the possibilities and push the boundaries of what it means to “DJ.” Social media allows creatives to easily share their ideas and contributions. It feels very communal and cooperative, with a healthy sense of collaborative competition. It’s like people keep building on top of each other’s most recent breakthroughs to improve the baseline standards of the craft. The overall talent pool in the Bay is unrivaled in my opinion, in terms of both technical skills and diversity of taste. I’m frequently blown away by the things people come up with and share.
You’re on stage in front of all your heroes and you gotta rock a 10 minute set to prove your worthiness. What songs do you choose?
Wow. Fuck. 10 minutes on stage in front of my heroes to prove my worthiness, what do I play? It would depend on the nature of the event, so I can’t really say what songs considering I’m not a genre or sub-scene specific DJ. But I do know I’d go for some of the unexpected, semi-forgotten, underplayed feel good gems. Not too abstract or self indulgent, but the real shit that moves the casual crowd as well as the people emotionally invested in the music. My gut says James Brown, Depeche Mode, Outkast, Kendrick, Wuki, Little Dragon, Dilla, SpydaTek, Tom Budin, Prince, and a Baysik Moombah edit are clamoring to be blended together from left field.
Rebel Pop Radio has has become a bit of an institution here in the Bay. Talk about the history and influence y’all have had and what it means to be a part of such an important outlet in the Bay Area DJ scene.
That’s quite a compliment to call our radio show (Rebel Pop Radio) an institution. It’s sincerely an honor to be able to curate, produce, and ultimately invite such amazing people to contribute to the show. We air on Saturday nights on WiLD 94.9 locally and iHeartRadio globally.
We, my partner Cutso and I, have been at it for over 2+ years now. It’s been semi-surreal to go from my original pitch to a very controlled and corporate entity, to being so well received today. The concept is to embody DJ culture, club culture, break new music, and refresh classics. Which really means cover all ground, hopefully in an interesting, fun way. Vibe, not genre. It’s truly a HELLA open format interpretation of guiding Top 40/Pop familiarity along with lots of remixes and curveballs outside of the safe zone. The weekly guests and resident DJ’s we’ve had are so dynamic, it really makes the show unique week-to-week, yet easily digestible at the same time. It’s a privilege our bosses at the radio station allow us to step outside the general confines of traditional programming, as long as we hold it down with good selections/mixes. It’s been incredible how well it’s gone thus far and how it opens doors at major venues to provide similarly dynamic programming co-branded under the Rebel Pop banner.
To me, community is everything. Rebel Pop allows a space and forum to commercially appreciate and better expose the range of talents and music for Bay DJ culture, and DJ culture at large, on a mega iconic platform. Let the brightly talented lights of others shine. It’s a blessing to do it.
“To me, community is everything. Rebel Pop allows a space and forum to commercially appreciate and better expose the range of talents and music for Bay DJ culture, and DJ culture at large, on a mega iconic platform. Let the brightly talented lights of others shine. It’s a blessing to do it.”
Favorite burrito joint?
Shit, I know it’s cliche and often alcohol induced, but I love El Faralito burritos. There’s so many good choices, probably “better” places for the snob types or long time true SF born and raised in the city natives, but I’m partial to El Faralito… for burritos specifically.
Curry or Kobe?
Ha! Trolling me. Steph or Kobe? Of course Steph! I mean, Kobe’s career was amazing. He’s easily one of the most talented players of all-time with an unrivaled will power and determination. He’s probably the second best Two Guard/Shooting Guard of all-time. But where most saw 60 points in his farewell game, I saw 50 shot attempts!! Who in the fuck does that?! Even in that context. Disgusting and shameful to the game in my opinion. The guy liked scoring, more than winning, otherwise he probably gets 7, 8, 9 rings, not 5. And I’m not knocking the 5– huge achievement, but I really feel Kobe actually underachieved in terms of potential and legacy by being such a selfish decision maker and bad teammate. He’s the greatest ball hog of all-time, in the ultimate team sport. Fuckery.
Steph on the other hand, is the consummate “team first” guy and without question is the greatest shooter, ever. Catch and shoot, self created off the dribble, range, around the basket, mid-range floaters, free throws, both hands, after contact, etc. He’s unreal. And it’s all technique and self made development. He’s not bigger, stronger, faster, born physically superior like most of the other greats. That shit is work and living inspiration. And Dubs up, Beat LA, off top, automatic, duh.
What’s one of your favorite places to go unplug and unwind on the West Coast?
I don’t do it often enough, but I love to go to Bodega Head to unwind. It recharges me. I like it windy, sorta overcast, and less populated. It’s beautiful. I’m also a semi high maintenance fancy hotel staycation room service and do nothing type. I love hotels. Sleep, eat, lay around, fuck (hopefully), watch movies, shut off the outside world for a bit.
What’s a current favorite album you’re listening to that you think you’ll still be listening to 10 years from now and why?
Again, maybe cliche, but hella real– DAMN. I’m 1,000% certain I’ll still be listening in 10 years. I initially lightweight hated on Kendrick when Section 80 dropped. I like bold opinions, but don’t do for blog buzz from internet critics or sensationalized hyperbole. Once I truly took it all in though?! Game over. He’s the truth. DAMN is such important art to me. To be able to mass appeal in the moment, but not dick ride a sound, still take risks, and be authentic to yourself while making relevant insightful commentary, is special. He’s on the GOAT trajectory in my opinion. It’s like NWA, Outkast, Nas, Eminem, Public Enemy, Freestyle Fellowship/CA underground shit, and lots of Southern bass/boom got blended up in a mixer of creation. Dude is the voice of the generation. Dare I call him the 21st century Pac with much better technical skills? Yep. I’m sayin it.
Drop some shout outs and where folks can find you on social media.
Yo, you can find me @truthlive universally across social platforms and @rebelpopradio as well.