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In an industry where many try but few actually make it, New York-born and Jersey-raised Dj SpinKing has established his place in the game and has earned a well-deserved spot at the top. At just 22 years old (he's celebrating his 23rd birthday this week), the NYC native has accomplished more than the majority of his elders, and he's made it very clear that he's just getting started. In between spinning at the hottest clubs in NYC every night, guest DJing on shows such as the Angie Martinez Show on Power 105, and working on his new album, Spinking is making sure that every moment counts and every move he makes is a big one. We caught up with SpinKing right before he left to grace the stage with his good friends Jeremih and 2Milly on the PowerHouse NYC stage at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (check out his Instagram @DjSpinking to watch him on the Power 105 stage), and we discussed everything from the importance of his relationships within the industry, to his new deal with 50 Cent and Effen Vodka, and what to expect (including who to expect) on his upcoming album. Check out our conversation with DJ SpinKing below, and become familiar with why we're calling him the Youngest Player in the game.
HHWAP: I've mentioned to you before that I’ve been hearing your name for what seems like years now, and it’s crazy to me that you’re only 22, turning 23. You’ve been in the game for a minute now; You’ve been DJing every club, you've done the big shows like BET's 106 and Park and MTV2's UnCommon Sense with Charlamagne, and you’ve been co-signed by every huge artist, so tell me a little bit about how it all started.
SK: It all started when i was 15 or 16; my oldest brother use to DJ local house parties and I would see all the equipment around and wanted to learn how to use it. One day he came home and he started teaching me how to use the equipment, and I started playing around with it. From there I started my own online radio show; we started at 10 views, then went to 15, then went to 60, and that started blowing up. Then from the little money I had saved up from my birthdays, I would go get a hall and throw parties, and it started getting so big that I had to start renting out ballrooms. I started making some noise and getting noticed, then I started working on Hip House, which was my first mixtape. From there I worked with Red Cafe, Maino, Lil Twist, and a lot of other upcoming artists. That’s when I started taking my music career more seriously, and me and my brother Vinylz took it more seriously. We released “Body Operator”, with French [Montana] and Jeremih, and I got signed off that. I did four to five tours at that time and did my own solo tour in London, and I went from DJing one club a month to doing one or two clubs a night.
HHWAP: Would you say "Body Operator" was what really started it all for you?
SK: Yea for sure; between 106 and Park and “Body Operator”, that's what gave me life. And at that time, the sound was ahead of it’s time. Like people found it weird to hear French Montana on a house record back then. But at the same time I don’t forget that I’m young, and there’s still a long way to go and we’re just working everyday to get there.
HHWAP: And it seems like you have a great relationship with French, among others of course, and you get a lot of support from OG’s in the game like Drama. Tell me about your relationship with French and how at such a young age you’ve earned respect from some of the biggest names in the game.
SK: With French, I was DJing Rick Ross’ Self made album release party, and French just came up to me and said what’s up, so that's how we met. I was playing his songs for a minute and it was just super genuine. In this industry there can be a lot of fake relationships, but for me I just always make sure everything is real and my relationships are always real. The people I have real friendships with are people like French, [ASAP] Rocky and Ferg, 50 Cent, Jim Jones, and a few more.
HHWAP: A lot of these people you rock with, you’ve been rocking with before they had the kind of success they have now. So you've supported them from the start and built that relationship from the ground up.
SK: Yea like the first people I was ever cool with was Tyga, French, and Meek. Those three off the rip I was cool with, and we just been working with each other ever since.
HHWAP: Let’s talk a little bit about what I feel was the hottest track of the summer two summers in a row, and of course that's “Adult Swim”, because you killed that track. That’s the record. Tell me how that came about with Tyga, Jeremih, Velous, and ASAP Ferg, I heard you had that record for something like two years.
SK: With Adult Swim, I had Tyga’s verse for about two, two and a half years or something. Then me, Velous and Vinylz went back and redid the beat. Originally I had Kid Ink on there, but I’m saving him for something else, so you’ll see him on the new album. But what happened was that we had the track, then one night I was in the club, and I sent Jeremih the song to take a listen. Honestly, within an hour while I was at the club, Jeremih sent the song back to me with his verse on it. That’s what happened with “Body Operator” too, I had that one for a while. A lot of these songs take time, you just gotta wait for the right timing. For example with Bobby Shmurda, I heard that track first at Club Lust, then when it started popping everywhere else it was like, we were listening to this track for months already. Same thing with my boys Fetty and Monty, their tracks were popping in Jersey for a while before everyone else caught on. It’s all about timing.
HHWAP: And Tyga directed the video for Adult Swim?
SK: Yea, so for that we flew out to Malibu. It was me, Velous, Tyga, and Jeremih. Ferg wasn’t able to catch his flight, but that’s still family, we were in the studio last night working on my album.
HHWAP: When “Adult Swim” dropped, that must’ve been surreal for you. “Body Operator” kind of started it all, but “Adult Swim” took you to another level.
SK: Yea, I feel as if sometimes the single can be bigger than the artist, and that was the situation with “Body Operator”, but with “Adult Swim” it was different and I had built myself up. It’s all about the art and the relationships. Then when I dropped my mixtape The Connect, that took it to another level as well. Now I’m about to drop my new single with three dope artists that you’ve never heard on the same track together, “League of Your Own”. It's not Hip-Hop and it's not House, it's a world song.
HHWAP: Tell me about your relationship with Vinylz, because he’s killing the producer game right now, but that’s been your boy for a minute and your main producer.
SK: Yea, like we came up together and we just work well together. The only producers I work with are Vinylz, Boi-1da, and Velous. Vinylz is out in L.A. right now working with Rihanna and Travi$ Scott on her new album. My brothers out here own Club Lust and Club Love nightclubs in New York. So we’re all just working and growing and taking over together.
HHWAP: Did Vinylz produce the majority of the tracks off of The Connect?
SK: I actually gave the opportunity to a lot of up and coming producers to send me some production and do their thing on it. But Ferg produced his record on there, and I had Maino on there, ASAP Rocky, Red Cafe, and a few more.
HHWAP: One of your singles on The Connect was was “Clothes Off” with Jim Jones and Rich The Kid. Another one was “Cash Rules” with Chinx and Cokeboy Zack.
SK: That, honestly, was my favourite song off of the entire mixtape.
HHWAP: It was mine as well. Can you tell me a little bit about what it was like working with Chinx and shooting the video with him?
SK: Honestly, like there are days where I go to shoot a video and it feels like work, but that day just felt like a regular day, like it was just natural. Like we were going out to eat and cameras were rolling or something. Chinx was one of the most down to earth guys in this industry. He was always there for every birthday, every event, he never missed anything. That was my brother, he was always there for me and I was there for him, and we were just making music. We have more music as well too that was never released, so you’ll definitely be seeing that on the new album. I always make sure I do a set for him when I’m DJing at a club.
HHWAP: Tell me a little bit about your relationship with 50.
SK: I was actually just talking to him earlier about my birthday next week. With 50, it just happened naturally. I was up at the This is 50 headquarters, and he just happened to be there and was like “let me holler at you real quick”. 50’s a real guy, that's family, and every time I call he’s there and always supporting.
HHWAP: And you signed a deal with Effen Vodka?
SK: Yea, so I’m a brand ambassador for Effen Vodka. So you’ll always see me with Effen in my hand, and when I’m DJing at the club, 50 takes care of that and makes sure we have it around us.
HHWAP: Along with the Effen deal, you have a lot of big things going on. You have your single “League of Your Own” on the way, and the album as well. Do you have a name for it yet?
SK: No not yet, I’m just gonna let that happen naturally. Right now we’re just in the studio working on the album everyday, so I’m just gonna let the name come to me. We have the next three records, they’re ready to go. We got production from Vinylz, Velous, and Boi-1da. Vinylz has his new album on the way, 2 Milly got the new project on the way. So we’re really working. People know my relationships with every artist, so they know what to expect from the album and the kind of artists to expect. It's gonna be big. ♠
Check out the video below for Dj SpinKing's hit single "Adult Swim" featuring Tyga, Jeremih and Velous, and stay tuned for the new single "League of You Own", which SpinKing anticipates "should be coming out in December".