“I think this was one interview I wish I had done personally. It is not often you get to meet someone, in the business, who does not practice self-indulgence. DJ Beestroh has a rare personal quality people should take note of, and I understand why he has gotten where he is, thus far!” -Patrick Kelly
First off, why the name DJ Beestroh and how did you decide on the name?
I got the name Beestroh as a childhood Joke! My entire family has called me “Big Boy” since I was a baby, which eventually got shortened to Bee as I got older. To make a long story short, there was a local DJ who called himself Vee-Stro. He was a heroin addict who would be nodding off with a cigarette in his mouth, while he was DeeJaying and me and my friends would laugh and joke saying, “look at Ed-Stroh, or Frank Stroh,” or whatever. For some reason, when we said Beestroh, I thought it was dope, and I stayed with that name.
To work in radio, you got to have a passion for music. What sparked your passion?
I am from a musical family. My uncle played the drums, my aunt is a singer, my grandmother sang in church, and my dad was in his little band. Music has been around me all my life, especially in my early years in NYC with my Mom and stepdad, who’s also a musician. I played saxophone, flute, and drums on the street corners of New York City with him often.
What are five songs you love playing when you get the chance just to be you and do your thing?
Man, when I get the opportunity to go back to a 90’s set, I am in heaven. I love playing Pac, Big, Black Moon, KRS-One, Outkast; the list is infinite. I love 90’sHip Hop!
Do you feel it is important for an artist as well as a DJ to be diverse in their talent?
Yes, because there are many elements to Hip Hop besides deejaying or rapping. I think an ear for good music or clean production is paramount. It is also good being in a state-of-mind where you can tell something is good and knowing other people will agree.
Dance music has risen from the dead, as far as the mainstream is concerned, and is now a huge transition into hip-hop. You have game changing, re-inventors such as LMFAO, who have taken an already popularized trend of the past and re-commercialized it into a huge money-making sound. How do you feel about this trend?
I love it! It brings a tremendous amount of energy to the party and not only that; I was a huge fan of House music and techno growing up. Up-tempo records allow DJ’s to scratch again and really get creative with the mixes. What goes around comes around, and I am not surprised at all.
There are many Grammy-winning and other major artists out there who cannot sell music anymore. From your perspective, what do you feel they need to do to begin selling again?
Things have changed; the Internet provides instant gratification, so there is no waiting for an album to drop before you hear the records. Also, the quality of music has changed as well so if I already know your two singles out are the hottest records on your album, chances are I am not going to be compelled to purchase the whole thing. My advice is for an artist to keep that cardio up and get that show money! Lol!
What do you listen for when an up-and-coming artist present you with their CD to get spins, in the club or otherwise?
I really pay attention to their grind, and how serious they are first then I see if the music is bubbling anywhere. Nine times out of 10 the DJ may break the artist and get some credit, but the artist usually had somewhat of a buzz and movement before a DJ will take that leap.
In music, entertainment, and fashion, “image is everything.” Also, part of one’s image is branding. What advice can you give to a new artist who has good music, but lacks the packaging – branding?
Take the time to develop yourself as a complete package! I have been disappointed many times by artist I like musically, but they have horrible stage performances and showmanship! I think artist development has died, and it is very easy to see who is practicing and who is not!
There are many DJ’s out there who are ambidextrous and then there are some who do not do so well scratching with both hands. How good is your scratching game?
I am a right handed scratcher, LMAO! I will not even front, either you will see me with two turntables on the right-hand side, me reaching over to the left turntable with my right hand, or me using instant doubles on Serato. I Never could scratch with my left hand!
What does it mean to be Radio-One Atlanta’s “Franchise Player?”
First off, I am very thankful to be thought of as such. Also, going into it further, I believe that it means being very well-rounded in many areas of radio. Being guided and surrounded by legends leads to great advantages. Having had these opportunities, they have enhanced my production, on-air personality, video editing, audio editing, deejaying, imagery, script-writing, reading abilities, and most importantly; doing them all at a professional level. Not to mention it is a great tool for job security!
What is your inspiration to wake up every day and hustle in the industry the way that you do?
My daughter is my everything! She has to have whatever I never had. I grew up in the system (welfare), and I never want her to experience any of that; plus I am kind of enjoying it myself, lol! You gotta wake up and hustle like you are broke; never get too comfortable because there are a lot of people out there who are ten times richer and work 20 times harder!
With all that you have done, and all that you have going on now, what is next for you?
Next up for me is more traveling and definitely acting. I enjoy being in front of the camera and that is my next project to tackle. I have some pretty decent offers on the table, so wish me luck! Like Diddy once told me, “If you put ya blinders on like them horses in Central Park, all you can see is what is in front of you! Stay focused!”
Follow DJ Beestroh on Twitter: @beestroh
Interview By: Patrick Kelly
Source: DJ Beestroh
Contributors: August Mapp and Miko Hope
Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2012 USL Magazine