You’re well-known for catching on to artists very early in their careers- Lorde, Kendrick, and Beibs, specifically- in your opinion, are we poised for another breakout artist of that caliber soon? If so, who?
It’s tough when you’re talking about some of those people that are the top artists in the world right now. It didn’t happen overnight; I remember when I first met Kendrick almost 10 years ago. He was a teenager and he was freestyling, and I was like, “Wow, he can really rap. Let’s see if he can ever make a real record though, that’s gonna be the challenge for him.” And obviously he developed that. Because now, just when I thought the idea of the album was dead, he’s coming out with something that’s basically a movie. You play it front to back, it’s one of the most incredible albums I’ve ever heard. And that’s jut from him working and grinding. He always had the talent and the skill, but he really applied himself towards putting together true projects and now he’s mastered them. He’s doing that better than anybody else.
But in terms of new artists out there –you were talking about Minnesota- the kids in The Stand4rd, Spooky Black, my boy Allan Kingdom who is now on Kanye’s record, big fan of them. There’s just so much good stuff out there right now in music, across all scenes and all these different subgenres. So it’s tough to say who’s gonna be next, but I just like enjoying and seeing all the different things that are going on.
Let’s talk a little bit about your new venture, Dash Radio. I’m a new user, I logged on today and loaded up the Sinatra channel stat. How are you choosing the channels and finding hosts for Dash shows?
It’s kind of a combination of everything. We’ve put together an incredible team so we have our people that run all the different genres, and they’re just experts in the field. They’re themselves some of the biggest DJ’s and most respected figures in the industry, and instead of just trying to appeal to a certain fanbase that likes certain styles of music, we’ve partnered with some of the biggest brands, publications, and even artists to some extent, to create this platform that we really feel is the future of broadcast radio. Something that we feel no one else is doing. Our real core mission is to make radio good again, and provide it in a way that consumers like it –which is digital, free, without traditional commercials, and which is powered by the biggest DJ’s, talent, and curators in the world. It’s something where everybody wins, where our partners and DJ’s get the freedom to curate and create whatever they want to do, the listeners get the best listening experience from the best talent and curators in the world, and the labels/artists/managers win because the ultimate discovery platform is radio and we’re giving them an opportunity without all the BS, payola, and dealing with the regular weird stuff that goes on in radio. And obviously, when everybody else wins, it makes us win at the end.
Not many people may know this but you’re from Minnesota, along with Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, who came on recently as one of the early investors into Dash Radio. Did the two of you know each other from that time in your life or was it a coincidence that came up in later dealings?
I mean, I’m a HUGE Vikings fan so that’s one obvious play, but we ran into each other because I’m very close friends with his brother and we’d done some other things together. It all just kind of came full circle. And it was convenient, being that I’m the biggest Vikings fan in the world.
And will you still have time for a radio show on Dash since you’re focusing heavily on SKEE TV for Fuse?
Yep, we have my stuff on there and I do my mixes every day. I don’t think I could ever walk away from radio, it’s my foundation, what I’ve been doing since I was 16. I love it and it’s been great.
Speaking of the show on Fuse, What else can we expect from SKEE TV? Are there any other confirmed guests that you can talk about now?
We have some crazy stuff coming up. We’re always running around, and a lot of things happen last second with what we’re doing. There might be a new record or a new album that somebody wants to premiere. With MGK, he’s coming out with new music right away and we’re gonna be the first place where he’s really talking about it and performing. So we’re obviously really excited about that, but a lot of these things you can’t plan out.
But we already have shot stuff with everybody from Alesso, who’s gonna be on tonight, to Marina & The Diamonds, Common… so much cool stuff already in the pipeline. Plus, so many new things that are going to pop up over time. I mean, that’s what we do –just run around on the cutting edge of culture.
What does the future look like for DJ Skee and making music? More records with The Game? Or another hot emcee you have yet to discover?
I don’t have any more plans to sign or anything; I like being in the position that I’m in as a DJ. I feel like a lot of others try to do too much. I’ve had tons of opportunities to put out albums and different projects, and if I ever did something like that it would have to be so different and so right. I don’t feel like that’s what my brand is about; I want to be the guy that’s behind the scenes and stay within my lane, which is building the biggest radio and television platforms in the world. That’s a big enough challenge for me, and I have enough work cut out for this. Look, you never know what the future holds, but I don’t have anything like that in the plans. But you will always see fun creative stuff, like our Skeetox band and our mixtapes. We’ll dabble in it in different ways, but it won’t be in the traditional way in which other people operate.