DJ Aaries is the latest artist on Danielle's hit list. Read on to find out what he had to say about his crew, the 150 deep Hood Hard Movement, his TV show, his deal with Rocawear and his collaboration with No Limit's Fiend amongst other things.
Give us some background info on your hugely successful career so far?
DJ Aaries: I’m DJ Aaries aka The Hulk aka Mr Hood Hard and I am the founder of the Hood Hard Movement. This movement consists of 150 DJs (Hood Hard Hitmakers) it also consists of artists, promoters, etc… I started this movement to help indie artists get heard. I have been on BET's Rap City numerous times already; I also have my own TV show that airs in seven states. I am the guy getting known for helping indie artists get heard.
How did the link to Rocawear come about? It was a competition right?
DJ Aaries: I was giving out a DVD that told what I did to get to where I am. I gave out thousands of copies all over the South. It gave pointers and answered questions people may have had. One day a pop up on the computer caught my attention, I uploaded it and that was that. Since it was a Rocawear popup I figured just having people see it would be a great look. Later on I get an email saying I won and it was a competition. I won by over 40,000! They flew me to NY and the rest was history! See my winning video at www.iwillnotlose.org.
As a child did you want to be a DJ or was it something that came to you later in your life?
DJ Aaries: Being a DJ came later on in life (college years). I was always into music. I was around when Hip Hop started. I remember Fat Joe came out, I remember Nice & Smooth driving up and down Fordham Road, I remember Run DMC @ the Garden… I'm just trying to have had made a difference like those guys did.
Tell us about Hood Hard TV? It broadcasts in over seven states right?
DJ Aaries: Hood Hard TV is a show where indie and major artists can come get seen and heard… We also tell what we did to get to where we are… We had artists like Jay Rush, Lyfe Jennings, Alfamega, Mac Bre Z, Konkrete, OX from Belly, Don Vito, (just to name a few) call DNYCE to find out more info about the show or how to get on stage… 404 645 9143 DNYCE.
You did not win an award at the SEAs, how does it feel to only be nominated?
DJ Aaries: It felt VERY good because it was only about five of us in the South nominated for #1 DJ in the South. (Bigga Rankin, Drama, B Lord, Jelly, OG Ron C) I’m just glad to have been added to the roster… but next year…
When did you launch the Hood Hard Mix-tape series?
DJ Aaries: I started it in 2006. The first few mixtapes I did under the series were VERY successful! (Dat Boy Tragic, Willie Joe, Mason Dixie, Konkrete etc…) They can be downloaded for FREE on www.myspace.com/djaaries.
What other projects do you have planned for 2008?
DJ Aaries: I have quite a few things planned besides runnin' like a wild animal doing this Rocawear stuff, I am putting together the Hood Hard Tour, Fiends' second mixtape, Tex James' mixtape, working closely with Tight 2 Def Records and Collipark Music (just to name a few).
What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a DJ?
DJ Aaries: Blend first, scratch later… lol.
There are many top class DJ’s out there today, what do you think sets you apart from them in terms of success?
DJ Aaries: I think I just have my own agenda and I’m not worrying too much what anyone else is doing. I am also doing everything that I am doing for me and I do it because it is self fulfilling for me… Any artists trying to get heard hit me up at www.myspace.com/djaaries or www.hoodhardhitmakers.com.
You work with a lot of artists in the South, what was it like working with No Limit’s Fiend?
DJ Aaries: We are very cool not just business cool, he’s real 100% with me and I am 100% with him. Most of the time we be talking 'bout other stuff not even music… But sometimes its crazy cause I would never have thought we would ever be cool a few years ago when No Limit was jumping real hard…
When do you ever find time to just kick back and relax?
DJ Aaries: I’m always on the phone or doing walk throughs in clubs, but in my down time I relax either on the plane or on the road… (I love to travel…) But believe it or not, when I am doing a Crunk event I am very relaxed and I would choose that first.
What are your vices in life? Everyone has something they have a weakness for so come on what’s yours? (laughs)
DJ Aaries: I Love electronics. I might probably spend my last $500 on an electronic device… lol.
DJ Aaries: My Hood Hard fam, all the DJ crews, Tex James, Fiend, Hardy Boyz, Lil Jab, Lil 1, Tam Tam, Rocawear and errybody else who is supporting the movement…
Interview for British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.