Alummmmni Interview: Ažurely (AŽY)

Ažurely is one of our master class graduates, bringing DJing, Production, and Synthesis in her weapons cache and straight crushing up clubs in and around Boston:

5 years from now, you’ve achieved your dream! What does that day look like?

I’d probably wake up early and do something good for myself like workout, meditate, clean, eat well… Despite the lifestyle this kind of career often comes with, I’m actually super healthy and keen on self-care… Next, I’d check in on my socials, update Instagram, connect with my manager, friends, check industry news. I’m a big proponent on working smarter and not harder… always leaving room to preserve my energy so that could include being social, hanging out with other producers… things that help me feel connected but keep me in the right motivated mindset.

Then, I’d hit my studio and work on music, whether that means working on my own solo stuff, collabs, or warming up my voice and singing.

Being a vocalist as well, I know that like any muscle you gotta use it to keep it in shape.

I’ve been focusing on music primarily but I do a lot of modeling as well. In five years I hope to still be doing that too, having my own fashion line, collaborating with other clothing brands, designing clothes, picking out pieces, shopping, doing a shoot or two. I’d end the day with a show or preparing to travel and go on tour to support my latest releases.

You emphasize A/V in your performance. Can you tell us more about that?

Up until this point, I’ve been wearing a lot of different hats and handling all my own branding. I’ve always been design-oriented. A lot of the vision I have for Azurely is based upon images, colors, visuals, etc. that make me feel a certain way. It drives me and I actually have a lot fun with it.

Aesthetic is everything and is part of the reason why i enjoy creating content so much. I designed the OG Azurely logo but that’s not the one that I’m using now. The current version was made by Salvador Charlie Design and my animated visuals were done by Jason Wildes with NightRide Visuals.

Who inspires your own original music?

I take inspiration from a lot of different places. I don’t know if there is one specific person that I look to honestly, more like several. Sound wise, if I had to throw some names around probably guys like Malaa, Julius Jetson, Taiki Nulight… and then there are labels n’ such like Confession, NightBass, Ghetto Ghetto, Pinnacle Collective, Gold Digger and maybe even some DirtyBird that I vibe with.

I want people to associate my brand not just with my music but how my look and style makes them feel. Azurely is a feeling, and a mindset, it always has been. My next step is to take all these ideas and learn how I can put my own sound and stamp on what’s been carved out already. I’m still discovering myself musically.

What was the most valuable thing you learned at the school?

Put in work. Put in the hours. There’s a lot of amazing resources available at MMMMAVEN but

There’s only so much people can do for you before the responsibility of your progress rests on your own shoulders.

Isn’t she great? … Tour our studios. Hit me up polina@mmmmaven.com. Meanwhile, stay up on Ažurely on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud, and YouTube!

Student Profile: James Walker AKA Cakewalk

It’s time for another student profile! We checked in with our former student, James Walker, to hear about his DJ career since graduating from Mmmmaven.

James AKA Cakewalk got his start DJing at Franklin Pierce University after teaching himself how to DJ using Youtube and online tutorials. He wanted to learn more about the craft, so he began searching for DJ schools in Boston. His search led him to Mmmmaven, where he began taking classes in 2012. Early on, James started exploring different genres and Mmmmaven helped him pull from these influences to find his own sound.

One thing that has stuck with me from Mmmmaven is “imitate, imitate, innovate”. In other words don’t be afraid to “sound” like or take things you really like from artists that you really love. Eventually you’ll find your own sound but still be able to show your influences in your music or sets.

Cakewalk is currently a resident DJ at the monthly parties, BINARY at Wonder Bar and Flight 617 at Good Life. He loves playing at BINARY parties because they are always packed with fun and energetic people. Flight 617 parties also appeal to him because of the diversity and high-energy feel that they have.

Cakewalk has accomplished some amazing things since leaving Mmmmaven, including opening for Purple Disco Machine at a BINARY party, playing at Boston summer party, Dancing at the Charles, and doing a set at Habitat Living Sound in Calgary.

James describes the type of music he plays as New Disco/ House. He likes to play any funky, feel-good music that will get people dancing.

When asked who his biggest DJ idols are, he cited Soul Clap and no regular play.

Listen to a mix by Cakewalk below:

 

As far as DJing goes, James considers it a part-time job for now. He works full-time as a Kindergarten Teacher’s Aide in Brookline during the week. Even though this job doesn’t primarily deal with DJing, he is able to network with people by inviting them to his shows and has even been able connect with other musicians through work.

James still maintains his DJ career by doing his monthly resident gigs and shows on the weekends as well. Luckily, James has summers off from his full-time job so he is able to focus on DJ gigs during this time. He definitely keeps busy DJing even though he considers it a part-time job.

 

Here’s some advice James had for aspiring DJs:

Work your hardest, but be patient too. That was definitely the toughest part for me, but just keep at it.

 

Catch Cakewalk at our new free event this coming Saturday (3/25) at Hojoko in Boston. Come in for one of their signature dishes, a designer cocktail, and some house music tunes.

3/25/17

FREE

Posted by: Tori Leche

Student Profile: Jose, Juliana, and Mike

We had a check in this week from Jose this week! It is such a cool thing when old students check in with us and let us know how they are doing!
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“I just wanted to send you a brief note about the lastest developments of our group of Mmmmaven alumni from the DJ 101+102 classes. After our graduation in June 2015, Juliana Chalsen (Jayana), Mike David (MFD) and myself (Brian Drey) have kept tightly in touch and worked our ways to the Boston musical scene.

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Juliana has kept working on her classical music teaching, while at the same time DJing and maintaining a monthly podcast of mixes called Miles per Hour. Mike on his end has made strong ties with several DJ collectives from the Boston and Providence areas, and has played in several underground events all over the interstate area.

And for myself, as a still in school student, have managed to make a solid reputation in on-campus college and grad parties, as well as individual gigs at the Liberty Hotel, Berlin clubs and most recently Burning Man.

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But above all, I wanted to let you know that we have been working together a lot as well as a DJ group, as a result of the friendship we started at Mmmmaven. This has resulted in the establishment of Flight617, a monthly night at Good Life, with the help and reference of Damien, which next January will celebrate its first anniversary. The three of us have consistently played as residents at these nights, covering for a guest DJ every week. The latest iteration of this night is here

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And on top of that, we are very happy to have achieved as well one of our DJ dreams: playing together at the House of Blues Boston! It was in the framework of a Harvard Halloween Party, and let me tell you… it was a blast, we had the time of our lives!

All of this to say that Mmmmaven has meant a lot for us, that we wouldn’t have reached these goals without the mentorship of the school, and that we hope you help many more students achieve higher musical goals, the way we are starting to do

 

Cheers!

JL

Want to know more about the DJ Program at MMMMAVEN? Drop us a line below and get a free introductory DJ lesson.

Intro To DJing w/ DJ Rugged One

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In this Friday’s workshop you learn the foundations of DJing w/ Serato:

— How to create crates
— Moving the tracks to the decks
— Looping
— Que points
— Linking iTunes music to Serato
— Basic Mixing

We will discuss the difference between Vinyl vs. Digital vs. Controller. You also will use Serato to learn tempo and pitch, and basic mixing tips for beat-matching.

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DJ Rugged One has been in the game for many years and has firmly established a name for himself as a professional deejay and producer. Spinning at numerous bars, lounges & clubs, he effortlessly creates a vibe that keeps the dance floor packed and continues to be recognized for his style and grace. His passion for music naturally led him into the realm of music production, where he actively takes on remix projects and creates brand new material with a plethora of skilled artists.

Rugged One earned his stripes during his years as a competitive DJ, placing as a finalist in many battles, never failing to intimidate and turn heads!

He continues to be sought after and commissioned to create mix CDs for respected organizations in the hip hop realm (including Undergroundhiphop.com, Brick Records and others) all while juggling his own independent releases.

RSVP HERE:

Receiving notable praise in a vast array of publications & websites, Rugged has evolved over the years to become the “total package,” a DJ who can satisfy the purest of hip-hop heads, the wildest of college club-goers and everything in between – taking you on a musical trip in the process.

He enjoys what he does and is a true entertainer. DJ Rugged One…the man, the myth, the DJ… go on, go on and GET DOWN!