We caught up with 3 times individual DMC Champ + 2 times Team DMC Champ DJ Craze at an exclusive masterclass hosted by DJWarehouse in Sydney. In this intimate workshop, Craze entertained the audience with his freestyle scratching skills and spoke frankly about his musical history. He started competing just a year after he first started scratching, saying he always knew he wanted to battle rather then play as a club DJ. He quickly developed his skills, and thanks to a lot of practicing and lonely nights in the bedroom, has had an illustrious career.
Now 34, Craze has been scratching since 15 years old, and in that time has seen the popularity of the scratch culture rise and fall. He argues that battle scratching has become too tricky and isn’t feeling new scratch artists, saying:
“We were taking records that people knew, and flipping them and making them something new and fresh… We wouldn’t try to go over people’s heads. Like if I was practicing with A-track and he would do some shit, and it was way too crazy I’d be like, ‘yo slow down.’ You gotta like fucking show skills but you have to make them understand what you’re doing. And I think nowadays it’s way too technical…it just goes over people’s heads. Like there’s a way to keep it real technical and real musical.”
Furthermore, Craze described DJ culture as being dead, saying he’s seen a major decline in upcoming DJs as they turn to record producing to find work. Despite there still being an audience for DJs, he believes the most important factor today is to present it in the ‘right way’. Accordingly for Craze, it’s all about the whole package: scratching, crowd control and body tricks saying, “That’s how you get the crowd involved, that’s what people want to see”.
Filmed, Edited and Produced by Daniel Taylor.