By: Staff –
To celebrate the release of DJ Killa-Jewel’s debut EP (out now), the acclaimed turntablist curated a brand new exclusive Spotify playlist that features songs that have inspired her throughout her career, which you can stream below.
A 24-year veteran of the underground hip-hop scene and turntablist community, DJ Killa-Jewel has rocked the decks around the world at some of the most prestigious clubs, concerts and festivals to date. Combining dreamy, bass-heavy, electronic hip-hop beats with classic, old-school hip-hop-style scratching, DJ Killa-Jewel marries two different worlds; one for the hardcore turntablist fans who enjoy a range of different scratch techniques, and the other for those whose ears are more attune to the time signature and electronically-synthesized sounds of modern-day trap music. She has propelled to the top of her class by fusing hip-hop with the theatre milieu, composing “turntable music” live for theatrical productions.
DJ Shadow – “Midnight in a Perfect World”
I used to hit up as many record stores as I could while on tour, digging for dusties in search of the next gem to go onto what would be my first release, Saudade. On one of those days in Sacramento, I strolled into Rare Records, suddenly realizing that was where the famous cover for Endtroducing was taken. To say I had a visceral response was an understatement, especially when the kind owner let me spend some time in the basement; the graveyard where all records go to die (or to be reborn!). DJ Shadow was one of the first Hip-Hop producers that captured me with his hard-hitting drum loops, triggered samples and Trip-Hoppy style cuts. I honestly don’t know what kind of producer I would be today if it wasn’t for him.
DJ Vadim – “The Next Shit”
This was one of the first Hip-Hop LPs I ever owned (USSR Repertoire/The Theory of Verticality), I just loved the chill vibe of this track, and really connected with the way he utilizes echo on the vocal samples to give a trippy flavour to the song. It really influenced how I treat a lot of my sounds when I produce and scratch today. I look at this entire record as a complete work of art. Really appreciated how experimental Vadim got with it.
Portishead – “Roads”
This song was my depression anthem. It perfectly described the depths of my emotions as I navigated my first serious relationships during a tumultuous time in my life. I shed many tears to this song. Beth Gibbons’ voice is haunting. In the end, I’m happy to report all is well now, and that Dummy is still one of my most favourite records of all time!
Radiohead – “Idioteque”
The time between 2000-2008 was a major period of self-discovery for me, both personal and artistic. The entire Kid A album really marked the time in my life when touring the world with an incredible cast and crew of people, living out of hotel rooms and absorbing the different sights, tastes, sounds and cultures gave me new insights and perspectives that would shape the music I make today. Idioteque is my travel song.
The Wiseguys – “Sweet Baby Truth”
This was the first song I could rap all the lyrics to while coasting down the highway and feel pretty confident with my flow as a non-rapper. I think I just really identified with the girl they’re talking about in the song, like I was THAT girl. Add in those funky guitar licks and cool, laid-back tempo to this day makes this one of my top feel-good songs to go back and vibe to.
Souls of Mischief – “93 Til’ Infinity”
This is how I chilled from 93’ till. Technically I only discovered Hip-Hop in 1997-1998. And this is the song that opened that door for me. I even have a rare blue vinyl pressing of the album that I think was given to me by my friend DJ Dez (former DJ for Slum Village) years ago! Total classic that will forever mark the 90’s era of Hip-Hop for me.
Tricky – “Aftermath”
This track starts off with a super slowed down sample of Marvin Gaye’s cover of the Isley Brother’s song “That’s the Way Love Is”. I used to go back and play the entire intro over and over again when I was first figuring out how to even approach creating a Hip-Hop beat. First a cool and catchy loop as the main sample, then a vocal layer, then drums and guitar, then flute… so simple yet so effective. Most importantly, it just made me feel something, which when I’m in creation mode, is the most important thing of all.
Air – “Modular Mix”
At this point you’re probably thinking I did a lot of drugs back in the day. It’s true there were some, but to be honest and excuse my total corniness, music has always been my drug of choice. When I need to just chill out this EP is the perfect medicine. It is also one of my favourite vinyl record covers of all time. You just have to get your hands on one to see what I mean.
London Funk Allstars – “Flesh Eating Disco Zombies Versus the Bionic Hookers from Mars”
Any song with a title like that has a definite place on my list. Huge fan of this entire record. “Butterfingers” was my most favourite track off this LP but unfortunately is nowhere to be found on the DSPs (only on the vinyl version). Still, love the banging breakbeat style drums, funky horn loops and stereo-panned underwater sounds on this tune that always gets my head nodding.
DJ Shadow – “Organ Donor (Extended Overhaul)”
DJ Shadow gets two spots on my playlist because he is the producer who I believe has had the most influence on me (when I’m on stage I secretly pretend that I am the female DJ Shadow). His connection to the records that he samples and the stories they tell is something I know well. I’ve created scratch performances to “Organ Donor” that never fail to rock the crowd, and when I see what he does on stage both audio and visually today, I am just totally inspired both as a producer and a performer.