Sound Select: Yobi Yobz
Written by Greg Harris
Digging through the electric sounds that each DJ has to offer on our Sound Select with the likes of DJ Nolita, Cre8shun, and now we have another person to add to this special class that are classified masters of the wheels and steel. Picking through the pines of the Southside Houston, the hand-picked curated songs in Yobi Yobz makes him a unique asset to the city’s soundscape.
We recently had a chance to talk to the homegrown product expressing his interests and influences, the curation of his sound, the feels of being a DJ, his ear for music and more. It’s an in-depth that’s fully explaining the mindset of Yobi Yobz.
Check out the interview below
•How’s Your Modern Life?
Music is the center point of my life. Usually I'm at work listening to music, at home spinning music or actually DJing an event. I'm always looking for away to set the bar higher. Whether it be putting tapes together or just getting the newest up to date music. I love breaking records. So I stay finding new stuff to spin
•Where are you from and how has your upbringing there shaped the way you are now?
I'm from the southeastern side of Houston Tx. I was blessed to grow up in a house with both of my parents. I was always taught that I can do anything I put my mind to especially thru Christ that strengthens me. So with that being said I was always at church every Sunday. So I always knew if I believed that I couldn't fail I know I'm dope I just want others to experience that with me. I am always humble throughout all the blessings that come my way because it can be taken from me at any time.
I come from a family of hustlers it's always a way to make extra money out here you just need to provide a service that people want. That's one of the biggest things I learned growing up. My pops always had his hand in something. So watching that for so many years that's all I know how to do. The spirit of an entrepreneur runs through my veins. I have a large diverse musical background from being influenced by grandparents, my pops, my moms and just the stuff I found on my own. I've learned to love anything that sounds good regardless of the genre.
•What inspired you to start DJing rather than picking up any other art form of music?
That's really a funny story because I'm not just a DJ and I had an identity crisis a while ago because I just didn't want to be placed in one box. I'm a producer and an artist as well but as I grew I learned. I realized that everything will come to fruition in time but that's one of the reasons I don't go by DJ anything, it's Just Yobi Yobz. My pops was a DJ but I didn't know that until I started taking an interest in DJing.
Both of my parents never forced anything on their kids we just found what we liked and they supported it. I ended up getting grounded in the 7th grade and couldn't go to this party that I wanted to. My childhood friend's dad was a DJ and my moms made me go with him to care his equipment. Little did she know that he was DJing the party I wanted to go to. Throughout the party, I just sat there and watched him DJ and he ended up having to go to the restroom. While he was gone he told me to just play some music until he got back and it took off from there. I was hooked I loved to see people have fun and enjoy the music that I was playing. My love only grew for music from there on.
•How would your explain your style when it comes to the way you DJ?
I'm naturally a performer, so I'm always looking for a way to get the crowd into it. So if it's a way for me to hop on something to get my audiences attention and get that energy from them I'm going to do it. I love to feel the energy from the crowd. I love to bring the fun to my sets as well. We all have real life we have to deal with, when I have your attention I want you to just have fun, dance,vibe out whatever you wanna do.
No one is too cool to have fun trust me. I would say I'm more of a mix master. Just because I've been collecting music seriously since 2006, so I have so much music that I can blend together and I know how to do that well. I like to keep the flow of the music wavy. Think of how hard it would be to swim against the current in water rather than swim with it. That's how I look at it's a lot easier on the ears too.
•What are some of the important things to consider when it comes to your curating your playlist?
Knowing your crowd, I can't stress that enough. That would have to be the most important thing I could say for anyone trying to be a DJ. Especially for me when I've had the opportunity to go on tour in different cities. Each place has their own musical styles, culture and just artist in general that they vibe with you can never go wrong with the hometown heroes.
Another thing for me is to stay current with the music, that's being put out as well. I've been in the clubs and more than a few times, I'm questioning the DJs playlist selection. The old music is cool but it's not what the people are listening to anymore. I feel like they want to hear the stuff that they listen to when they are getting ready to go out on the way to the club to. Not what they were listening to 4 and 5 years ago. There is too much music out nowadays for them not to be more current with the music selection. I never want someone to tell me I can't keep up with what's current and popping; because honestly, that's what they wanna hear.
"I'm naturally a performer, so I'm always looking for a way to get the crowd into it. So if it's a way for me to hop on something to get my audiences attention and get that energy from them I'm going to do it. I love to feel the energy from the crowd. I love to bring the fun to my sets as well. We all have real life we have to deal with, when I have your attention I want you to just have fun, dance,vibe out whatever you wanna do. "
•Being a DJ you don’t just put things together in a playlist, it’s the matter of having a ear as well. What song do you remember listening to for the first time and it gave you that unique feeling?
Atomic Dog-George Clinton
Just the production on that record is amazing, timeless song.
Aside from that song, who are some other artists influence your taste in music?
All these artist have inspired me as well as some of my new favorite artists today without these people music wouldn't be where it is.
•If someone had to dig in your crates, what five albums would be a part of your holy grail in your music collection?
Oh my goodness, do you know how many albums I have?! (Close too 1,100)
Haha that's such a hard decision but if I had to pick it would be in no order
50 Cent- The Massacre
Wiz Khalifa- Kush and OJ
The Clipse- Hell hath no fury
Common- Finding forever
Kanye West - late registration
The Dream - Love vs. Money
•How do you plan to cultivate people with your delivery when it comes to your curation of DJing?
I always want my sets to flow well. I never want to mess that up I think I can speak for myself and other DJs as to why we don't take requests all the time because 9/10 you'll request a song that doesn't mix well at all. You'll have people like me in the audience talking about how "you(or talking about me) can't mix" or "why did they just throw that song in there it doesn't go". I haven't even begun to put my full potential of how I really want to interact with the people. Once I get to bigger venues and my budget gets larger, it will go to the next level.
As for now I just keep the energy super high. A lot of people are too cool to have fun and that's not cool with me everyone has their issues in life and when you come to a function I'm DJing. My job is to make you lose yourself and forget the bullshit and just have a good time. Positive energy is contagious. If I can make you forget just for a lil while about real life issues I've done my job. I just love to see people have a good time.
•What are some of your goals for the rest of this year?
Just to keep applying the pressure I've dropped 5 mixes this year. Well, 6 with the exclusive I'm giving you guys and plenty more in the process. Just trying to get couple residencies at clubs/bars. So I can take it to that next level. Working on getting endorsements, I really want a champagne endorsement. Also just being able to keep working with my homies from the city to make Houston great. I really wanna bring the city back and I feel like we are on the right path we just have to stay linked and support each other.