BROOKLYN, NYC DISC JOCKEY
Gyvis Santos aka DJ Gyvis sat down with Validated Magazine to talk dj'ing, hip-hop culture, Digiwaxx and amongst other things his influences and experiences pertaining to music. With 25 years of experience Dj Gyvis has done everything from dj'ing clubs nationally and abroad to coordinating events to judging showcases. Whether it's managing marketing and promotions for unsigned artists and independent record labels or the role of A&R for exclusive mixtapes for Kid Capri, DJ Self, Jazzy Joyce, DJ Fat Fingaz and others it's all for the love hip hop.
VALIDATED: Where are you from and what's the story behind your dj name?
DJ GYVIS: Im from Brooklyn, New York. Gyvis is my name, so i just decided to run with it.
VALIDATED: Growing up, what kind of music was played in your household and how has it influenced your ear for music?
DJ GYVIS: My brothers use to dj before me actually, so they always use to play hiphop. I would say it influenced me in the present because hiphop is at a different angle at this time. It made me appreciate real music and rap.
VALIDATED: Which dj's influenced your style of dj'ing? What, if anything did you borrow from them?
DJ GYVIS: Ummm... Kid Capri, Dj Scratch and Sting International. I learned from them that dj'ing is more than a scratch or just playing the hot record. Its a lot of judging the crowd and making all the songs sound like one record regardless of genre or the year of the song.
VALIDATED: What's your earliest memory of hip-hop, the culture?
DJ GYVIS: Once again, it all came from my crib; break dancing. My oldest brother was a graffiti head so I use to go with him while he was tagging things up. I would also go with him to record stores to buy new tracks. So at that time my ears were open to Whodini, Run DMC, Kurtis Blow, EPMD and of course KRS-One!
VALIDATED: How do you gauge a hit record; by club play, radio play, streams, crowd reaction, etc?
DJ GYVIS: I would say crowd reaction. Being there while you're breaking the record says a lot. You can't get a reaction from streams or radio... only to a degree of course.
VALIDATED: What was the first piece of dj equipment you purchased... first record purchased?
DJ GYVIS: Geez, the first record I copped was "Scenario" by Tribe Called Quest for a cool 5 bucks. Lol I used my brothers old equipment so i was ok.
VALIDATED: Describe your first dj'ing gig.
DJ GYVIS: The first dj gig I did was at a house party with just half a crate of records. Lol It definitely was a learning curve. Song selection was the hump I had to get over.
VALIDATED: After doing a bit of research, I see that you play a big role within Digiwaxx Media, explain your position.
DJ GYVIS: Well I handle artist and dj relations. Usually labels and independent artist send there music to us to take a listen before the release date. That's where Digiwaxx comes into play. With a database of over 55,000 dj's around the world people take our critisizm into consideration.
VALIDATED: How do you feel dj'ing has changed most due to technology? Is there a lack of skill with "push button" dj's verses the "crates era" dj's? If so, what's lacking?
DJ GYVIS: Absolutely! The change in the dj world is a great thing. Serato is the best thing ever! But I must say it makes the dj's lazy at times because no work is needed. Its pretty easy to spot the push and play dj's, all u have to do is listen!
VALIDATED: Who's the better dj, the "crates era" dj or the "push button" dj? Why?
DJ GYVIS: I don't think either is better; if you rock the crowd, you rock the crowd! The "crate" dj's usually have a better selection though.
VALIDATED: Please explain the dj's role in hip hop culture and the importance of that role.
DJ GYVIS: THE DJ's ROLL IS TO BREAK RECORDS!!! Also hold down the artist in showcases, thats important. That also took a crazy turn, dj's want to have a star status out here now which is cool but still focus on the artist.
VALIDATED: What has been your biggest moment as dj?
DJ GYVIS: Traveling the world by doing what I love. Also a dj set I did for Lil' Kim. That was interesting. lol
VALIDATED: If you could pick 3 artists that you would love to dj for, past or present, living or not, who would they be and why?
DJ GYVIS: Jay- Z, Snoop Dogg and Naughty By Nature because I've seen them turn crowds of thousands upside down!
VALIDATED: Where can the reader support you and your movement online and social media?
DJ GYVIS: Holla at me on Twitter and Instagram at @digiwaxxgee and also check out our Digiwaxx Website at Digiwaxx.com