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Donald Glaude — An Interview with a House Music Legend

One of the greatest House Music DJs I’ve ever seen.  This is how I would describe Donald Glaude:  He’s an innovator stylistically, a master on the 1s and 2s in all facets from mixing to scratching, and the most energetic DJ I’ve seen perform.  The way Donald has built his rep interacting with the crowd, pumping us up with his words to “shake our asses” or “make some f&*kin’ noise” is something I simply haven’t seen from any other.  He is one of a kind, and guaranteed to pack the dance floor.

The below interview was conducted on May 8, 2014.  I hope you find it to be interesting and enlightening!

DF: Standard Opening Question, here. How many years have you been a DJ and how long have you been producing music?

DG: Wow. (laughs) I’ve been Deejaying for a long time. Producing music not as long.

DF: I remember from my days going to raves in the Bay Area, that you hailed from Seattle. You were there for a long time. I know that you live in San Diego now. How long you were based in Seattle and what prompted the move to San Diego?

DG: I was based in Seattle from the beginning of me playing. I would say a good 10 years, plus. Then I got married and we moved to Newport Beach and then we got divorced. Then I met someone else and we moved to Carlsbad. Then we broke up and now I’m about to move to Encinitas.

DF: I checked out a couple of your “This is Me” mixes, cramming for the test with Volume 12 just in the last couple of hours. These are great sets that fully give me the “Donald Glaude vibe” that we have all come to know and love over the years. Your interaction with the crowd is the stuff of legend, as most DJs get behind the decks and play a set, you actually perform. Has this been something you’ve done from Day 1 as a DJ or was there any particular inspiration to creating this unique performance style?

DG: From Day 1 I got this because I played in bands. So, you perform in bands, and you take that attitude into deejaying.

DF: I know you just played the Tribal Funk 20 Year Anniversary in San Francisco a few months ago for our mutual friend, Flash. I can remember going to Richmond Civic Auditorium for the first parties back in the day! Your set from the anniversary party was fantastic. You definitely played a funkier set than the last couple of times I’ve seen you play and your style has seemed to evolve into a more bangin’ Electro House style. First, am I correct in my assessment? 

DG: Definitely. But right now what I’m doing is Donald Glaude Presents: LNS, which is Late Night Science and I’m producing some stuff under that name, Late Night Science. It’s gonna be up on Beatport. And that’s all a little more bit back to my roots for Techno/Funky/Disco House.  So look out for that.  I’m producing under that name and doing more funkier stuff.

DF: Was it fun to go play a funkier set for a bunch of old school San Francisco House Heads?

DG: Oh god, of course it was! Playing a little more of it lately, so it’s been cool. It’s been fun.

DF: Let’s turn back the clock a bit and think back to the old parties at Home Base in Oakland, across from the Oakland Coliseum. I remember several parties where you were paired up with my good friend Joey Mazzola. The two of you played off of each other like no other duo I’ve ever seen play a 2×4.

For those who don’t know, a 2×4 is 2 DJs on 4 decks. You can really do magic with 2x4s because of the potential for up to 4 tracks being mixed simultaneously! That said, I also acknowledge that it’s incredibly difficult to do a 2×4. You don’t only have to worry about your own beat matching and mixing style, but that of your partner – playing complimentary tracks to one another and staying in sync. I’ve thrown parties in the past and asked DJs to 2×4, some for the first time together, and they literally has practice sessions to work on their set prior to their performance.

Getting back to you and Joey, the two of you would play off each other, showing off your mixing skills and how long you could hang, then one or the other would start scratching like a mad man. Both of you are so great at both! I’d like to leave this question open-ended and let you tell the story of how the experience of a 2×4 is.

DG: (Laughs hard) It can be freakin’ pretty hectic! Or it can work out brilliantly, you know? Luckily, for people like Joey and especially for me, you know, (DJ) Dan and a few others, it works quite well. Joey and I never practiced, I don’t think. And Dan and I rarely practiced. Maybe we practiced once or twice, but it was mainly to go over the songs we were gonna play, and what not. Basically, I think when you got it, you got it. You figure it out. With those guys, it was pretty second nature.

DF: For sure, especially when the masters like yourselves get together. It almost becomes like a band performance. You look each other in the eye. You play off each other. Whomever’s running master or slave has to make sure that they’re picking tracks that are relevant to the other tracks being played.

DG: Right. And you gotta know your place and you gotta know your time. And sometimes, it’s your turn to shine, sometimes it’s the other person’s. 

DF: For people that have never heard it, when you get 3 or 4 records beat-matched at the same time, the transformation of music is something that you just don’t get off a regular set.

DG: No, it’s a whole different experience, I agree. And there was a time period where there was a lot of that going on. Now, there’s like none of that going on, so I think that people would kind of freak out. I know there’s two people behind the mixer deejaying or whatever, but they’re not 2x4ing. They’re not creating a whole new thing.

DF: They’re tag teaming.

Yeah, they’re tag teaming. They’re not playing 4 decks at the same time or trying to do this or do that together. That’s not happening. I think people would freak out to see that again.

DF: I’d like to leave the rest of the interview open for discussion. Tell me about some of your new tracks, upcoming gigs, and whatever else you’re excited about in your life right now!

DG: Real quick, I’ll do the plug. I have an EP coming out here, late May or early June. That’s coming out under my name, Donald Glaude.

Then I have some things coming out under LNS, which is Late Night Science. Or you’ll see Donald Glaude Presents: Late Night Science. They’ll be funkier house tracks, slower BPM, 122, 123, 124.

So look out for all that, and tour dates on Facebook and Twitter and what not. And keep coming to SoundCloud and let me know if you like what I’m doing or not and let’s do this! It’s summertime!

Above links are for Donald Glaude’s pages.  For more on Late Night Science, check them out on Facebook.

 Click here to learn more about Donald Glaude and for bookings and tour dates.

Below are two mixes and one of Donald’s latest tracks.  Enjoy!

The most recent of Donald’s “This is Me” series of mixes, Volume 12 offers up some great tracks and an uptempo Electro House Mix that you can’t help but get up and dance to.

Download for free Here!

This is Donald’s set from the Tribal Funk 20-Year Anniversary in San Francisco, CA. It’s a Funky House Set that will have your ass shaking from start to finish. Reminds me very much of old-school DG.

Download for free here!

Tomahawk is a collaborative piece of original production work put out by Donald Glaude and Savagez.   Great track!  Builds up to a great breakdown at 2:00, then gets you revved up again!  This is a 3-minute sample, but the track is actually 5:37 long.

Click here to purchase for only $1.49 on BeatPort.

I took these pics and video during Donald’s set at Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa on December 28, 2013.  Even though the venue was about 20% full, all of us were on the dancefloor!!!



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