The Mikey V 'NuNu' Interview and DJ Mix Exclusive
LA based DJ and producer Mikey Velazquez aka Mikey V is a staple on the Californian underground house scene. He set up The Hawt Movement in 2006 as an outlet for productions and parties with friends, guests and like minded soles with similar tastes such as Justin Long, Johnny Fiasco, Inland Knights and Derrick Carter amongst others, and Mikey’s star is very much on the rise in 2013.
After releases on Phil Weeks’ Robsoul Recordings, Guesthouse Music and his own Hawt Music were supported by the likes of Mark Farina, Natural Rhythm, Miguel Migs, DJ Heather and Joshua to name but a few, a collection of new tracks pricked the ears of Derrick Carter who immediately set about picking them up for release. The NuNu EP features just three of this collection of tracks set to be released through Classic over the forthcoming months; electronic funk with a West Coast essence.
Here is an Exclusive Interview & DJ Mix which Mikey V provided for us to celebrate the release.
Interview supplied by Simon Dawson at Defected
Hi Mikey, how ya doing?I’m doing fantastically well, thanks!
For those of us not familiar with you..please introduce yourself?
Hi, my name is Mikey Velazquez and I’m addicted to house music.
Who or what was your introduction to house music?
My very first introduction was going to “The Arena”, an all age’s club in LA and rockin out to hard house and the likes of Richard Humpty Vission, DJ Irene & Bad Boy Bill. It was mostly just soaking everything in and tripping out on the crazy sound systems and way people danced. I loved the high energy in their sets and that naturally lead to lots and lots of raving in the rich Southern California scene in the mid-late 90’s. On the regular I got to see DJ Dan, Donald Glaude, and then of course DJ Sneak, Doc Martin & Derrick who absolutely flipped my world and drew me in another direction musically.
Who were your first house music inspirations either as DJs or producers?
Derrick Carter, Doc Martin, Mark Farina, Sneak, Green Velvet, Masters At Work…
What came to you first DJing or producing?
I started out collecting records for awhile before finally taking a crack at DJing. I always wanted make music in general but was a very shy kid growing up. I’d write songs and on guitar but never had the courage to play or sing in front of anyone. It’s always been a scary thing to me, exposing your emotions and your voice to people. It’s so personal. That’s why production is so great because you can write and record alone and then DJ the finished product. In 2007 I started working with Gelly who was my partner and engineer with Easily Influenced, who I learned some basics from. It wasn’t until years later that I finally took off the promoter hat, dove into production on my own and started to develop a sound I was happy with. Extreme as it may sound, I didn’t wanna die with this music inside me, and that’s essentially what lit the fire.
Tell us about Hawt Music. Can you give us a little insight into what & who that is?
HAWT is a brand that was collectively launched in 2006, it stands for “Having A Wonderful Time” which is what house music is all about. Fun! We had lots of it, building a grassroots following in LA that branched out to a DJ collective with representation in LA, San Francisco & San Diego. The main idea all along was to do a label, make music and throw events among other things, but the parties really took off and we ran with it for several years before burning out. There’s only so many parties you can stomach before you need a break, especially at the rate we were going. It was difficult for me to step back, but good thing is the party will always be there if we want, so whenever the time is right we’ll pop back up again.
Who have been your favourite guests at the Hawt parties?
DJ Mes was our resident for years and he came down to play pretty often. He played the sound that we loved, which was bumpy, jackin, party-time underground house. Inland Knights were really good, one of our most memorable parties for sure. Justin Long always threw down and put on a great show. Johnny Fiasco, 1200 Warriors, The Littlemen, and of course Derrick. The Sound Republic rocked at one of our Jackfrost parties. We also collaborated on a 2 level boat party at the WMC in 2008 that was absolutely bonkers with Sneak, Farina, Diz, Heather, Wally Callerio, Mes, etc.
How did the hook up with Classic come about?
About a year ago I started feeling more comfortable with my sound and sent my best music at the time to a few labels, with not a single bite. I realized that the tracks weren’t quite ready just yet, so I took a couple and dialed them in better. Then on a whim one day, I sent a couple to DC and shortly thereafter saw that he’d downloaded the link. Just the fact he did made me so freakin happy, that added fuel to the fire and made me work harder until he finally liked one.
Tell us about the new EP? What is the / a Nunu?
“The NuNu” represents a hope I guess, a wanting of more out of things that’s applicable to anything really. Life, music, relationships, etc. A feeling like, this can’t be it right? There’s gotta be more out there than this right? An old Seasons record by 2nd Shift featuring DJ Heather called “Somethin Else” has always resonated with me, and I felt the same feeling at the time.
What’s next for Mikey? What else have you in the pipeline?
I got some other things coming on Classic, other than that just writing alot of material and building a catalog I’ll either release myself or shop.