DJ Realize bio:
DJ Realize is a 21 year old hip-hop producer from Amsterdam. He works with an Akai MPC2000XL and vinyl, representing Da Shogunz & Da Shogun Beatcats.
Surround a little Dutch boy growing up in the 90’s with 60’s, 70’s & 80’s music, he is probably not to be interested. Inaccessible and commercial music were the grounds to look for something genuine and innovative. This is where hip-hop took its grounds in the young artist who later became DJ Realize; a 21 year old hip-hop producer.
His father, living in America first introduced Realize to hip-hop. Soon after his friends in Amsterdam taught him about underground and old school hip-hop, like Black Moon and Das Efx, it immediately caught his attention. Like every high school student he was by then discovering himself and trying to express. Rapping gave him the chance to communicate in English and contribute to something he felt was meaningful. His interest rapidly grew and new elements of the hip-hop culture made its way into Realize’s life. By now he was involved in the art of graffiti and software beat making. Where as graffiti was only temporary and software beat making did not inspire him enough, he was craving to discover his expertise.
Sampling suddenly struck him when he first heard the beat a friend of his made with reason 4 software. He started to notice that his favorite producers, like Pete Rock and Madlib, talked about digging vinyl records and sampling them. Already interested in sampling he was bound to find an old vinyl record his uncle left behind one day. And so he did. Intrigued by the warm crisp sound of vinyl records, he was entirely devoted to his new developed craft; sampling vinyl. He was even more motivated by his friends acknowledging his obvious talent.
Using samples of jazz, funk among many others originating from the 60’s & 70’s he was subconsciously making an homage to the very roots of the musical knowledge that made him the inspired artist he is today. Meanwhile listening to artists like DJ Premier and Damu the Fudgemunk who went down the same road as he did.
On a quest to find his own style, he at some point felt that he needed an Akai MPC. Software did not give him the limitation he needed to be truly creative, where as he got lost in the endless possibilities of software beatmaking. Passionate as he had become, he saved up all the money he could spare and bought an MPC 2000XL. He instantly noticed the sound was way better, the workspace was nice, small, and it felt more real, like an instrument because he was actually using his hands to manipulate the sound.
Real music was in the making when he met Truffel who was living right around the corner, teaching each other about MPC and turntable techniques they grew to be budding artists waiting to be discovered.
This is where Da Shogunz came in, Truffel introduced Realize to them and they noticed they all had the same interests and goals, a strong collective was formed, making warm, jazzy, old school hip-hop.
Since then DJ Realize collaborated with Corown Da Sensei, working on his upcoming album.
All came together, the past and present, the samples became a beat.
How did you get your name?
-“I was soulsearching a long time to find out what would suit me best, at first I would just use my original name (Rex), wich sounds like an artistic name by itself, but it has already been used in many ways by others.. I figured I should choose a word that’s easy to remember, so it sticks in your mind, is easy to pronounce, and might be dope to rhyme to, I realized it didn’t have to be that complicated, so Realize it was”
Who is your favorite hip hop artist & why?
- “Wow that’s a difficult one, I would definitely have to say productionwize Pete Rock, but also Black Moon (Da Beatminerz & Buckshot), Smif-N-Wessun, the Artifacts (Buckwild) and most definitely Damu the Fudgemunk & Y Society. Because they have a unique and timeless sound that I can keep listening to and still stay amazed..”
What is your favorite album of all time & why?
-“Also not easy.. I would say Mecca & The Soul Brother, but Between A Rock & A Hard Place and Dah Shinin also make my top 10, the beats are crazy dope & original, the samples & drums they used and the atmosphere’s they create are indescribable.. they keep you wanting to hear more without getting old.”
What makes a classic LP in your opinion?
- "The production, has to be really dope, not to many effects, just raw sound with ill beats & rhymes (of course..). Each track should make you wanna keep listening, without skipping through the album for the dope parts. The beats should a warm & unique sound, even without the vocals."
Why is diggin' for & using vinyl important to you?
- "Because it confines a producer to listen very carefully to what he has, you invested in it, wich makes you wanna get the most out of it. The analog sound is very genuine, and a lot of vinyl records have never been digitalized, so the chance that you have something unique is a lot bigger. It gives your beat that oldschool sound, and teaches you a history lesson at the same time, by making you pay attention to the artist, record label, genre, the instruments and year it was recorded. Vinyl records can be a lot more addicting then CD's, because they make you feel like what you bought has a lot more value than something you could just download.."