Working alongside one of the industry’s most buzzed about names, Big Sean, is DJ Mo Beatz, the 27-year-old Heavy Hitters DJ responsible for keeping the crowd and energy rocking while touring around the world with Big Sean. A product of Detroit, Mo Beatz has been DJ-ing since 16, shortly after receiving turntables as a Christmas gift from his Mother in high school.
DJ Mo Beatz has been busy travelling and seeing the world from Japan, Ghana, Australia, Dubai and more, all through following his passion for music and love for the art of DJing, so here’s more about the man that’s not-so-behind the scenes and what’s next for the rising star DJ.
Of course, we all wanted to know what its like working with Big Sean and how that relationship started.
“Its been some years, really before everything was popping off. Back when Finally Famous was throwing parties in Detroit; I would DJ all of the parties and I would play Sean’s stuff on the radio because I used to DJ on the radio (WJLB) back in Detroit. So then everything built from there. He said, “when all of this stuff takes off, I want you to be my DJ”. This was far before any shows or anything like that… The relationship is cool, its like I’m on tour touring with the homie; its super chill, super relaxed.”
However, with the growing industry of social media, personal branding and more opportunities for exposure, the potential for career growth for DJs have exploded beyond a DJ booth at the back of a concert stage.
“The industry has evolved a lot. Back in the day, artists would have DJ that would be in the background. Now DJs are putting out records and getting record deals. I was overseas in Lebanon and saw Armin VanBuuren, who brought a crowd of 10,000 fans just to see him spin. It was crazy! However, I’ve already started getting into production. A friend of mine, BP of the Olympicks have teamed up and doing like a group thing, where we are producing a bunch of records…we have about 10 records on deck and are getting the ground work ready for the brand. I’ve realized that you can take things so much further on production. I’ve learned I can have different situations going on where I can DJ for the radio, DJ for Sean and still work on a record and build on the production side to take things to another level.”
Being able to travel and see the world, getting major passport stamps while working is a dream most 20-somethings have while working in a cubicle, or stuck at a day job. Yet, being only 27, Mo Beatz (who was nominated for the Tour DJ of the Year at the 2012 Global Spin Awards) is really just getting started.
“Honestly, there’s a lot of other DJs who are young that are doing pretty dope things. There’s a mixture of older guys whose been doing it for a minute and young guys on the come up who are getting it in too. The older guys recognize what is going on now and they are trying to learn. I’ve had older DJs hit me up and ask me, “Hey, how do you do this”, because times have changed and things are not the way they used to be. Things are good all around. There’s no adversity at all.”
Keeping a humble spirit and a tenacious desire to keep learning and growing, Mo Beatz does however have his own favorites when it comes to the DJ craft.
“Some of my favorite DJs are DJ A Track (Kanye West‘s DJ); DJ Q-Bert, when it comes to DJ-ing and scratching, he’s the dude; one of the coldest on the turntables I’ve come across in years. Going back to Detroit, one of the DJs I look to is DJ Don Q. He’s at WJLB and is one of the guys I came up under when I first started DJing. He’s shown me a lot from certain scratches and just from listening to him on the radio. He set a standard for me on how things should sound. You get influenced by what you hear on the regular, If I were from a different city and was used to not hearing things that weren’t as good, my standards wouldn’t be as high. Just from being around certain guys like DJ Don Q.”
What’s next in 2014 for Mo Beatz?
“I’m working on a mixtape right now where I’m having Big Sean’s album “Hall of Fame” remixed. I’m working with Cardo (Wiz Khalifa), DJ Spinz, Dun Deal, Key Wane, BP and a couple different producers to come on to remix the album and put it out as a mixtape. I’m also involved in a group project with BP and we’re putting out a couple songs next month and getting into some live performances.”