Last week we posted DJ Ideal's Andre Benjamin Is mixtape here on Crossfade, and the internet has responded to its release with overall praise.
Perfectly crafted and executed, the mixtape has seemingly made all the Andre 3000 and Outkast fans realize how much they really miss that constant flow of Andre 3000 verses and songs we used to get years ago. Dozens upon dozens of websites posted and featured the mixtape and enjoyed its extensive track listing.
Since Ideal has been a name that's always come up whenever speaking of Miami's top mixtape DJs, we thought it was only right to get a little update on what he's been up to and what else he has in the works. New Times caught up with DJ Ideal yesterday and even though It was Labor Day, Ideal was in full work mode.
New Times: I've seen you do a few club dates here and there, but overall, what have you been up to?
DJ Ideal: I've been a resident with the Opium Group since 2007, and they have had me in rotation with all of their venues on a weekly basis. It's been been a blessing to work with the strongest nightlife company in Miami. Apart from that, I'm currently attending the Miami-Dade Jazz program, working on my musicianship. I'm also setting the foundation for my indie label (PanArt Recordings) along with DJ Artime, and focusing on artist development and production.
What inspired the new 'Andre Benjamin Is' mixtape, and why did you guys choose now to release it?
Honestly, I'm just a fan, and a conversation with Kawan "KP" Prather really sparked it. So me and Hometeam (Reese and Maneuvers) decided to put it together. No peculiar reason as to the timing of the release. I'm just impressed by the quick response the internet has taken to it, though.
How do you think you've grown as a DJ from your "Da Bottom" days to now, where it seems you've taken a whole new approach to the music, the mixtapes, and DJ side of things?
I want to say I used to use music as a hustle and now I look at it as an art. That's the easiest way I can sum up the change. Its become more about the quality of the music now. I'm only working on projects I believe in. Its just a mental growth...a lot can change in five years.
What have you or are you trying to accomplish as a DJ nowadays?
Discovering and exposing new artists is still a priority for me.
Which mixtape have you gotten the most attention from?
My whole series impacted so many markets, and the timing was excellent [for all of them]. I really can't single it down to one particular mixtape. But they mainly all did well on a national and international level.
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Any future projects that we should look out for from you?
I'm going to be working with Don Cannon and GhostWridah on GhostWridah's new Release American Alien. Yelawolf is also working on a new project that I'm going to a part of, as well as a new Miami artist named Steven A. Clark on his release Stripes. J Nics and I will also collaborate on a project later this year.
To keep up with DJ Ideal and all of his upcoming mixtapes and the venues he'll be DJing at, follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/@Adomrod