DJ Icy Ice is an artist and entrepreneur who has amassed a resume that spans over two decades of performing on the world’s biggest stages and gracing the airwaves on several of LA’s top radio stations. He has also been featured as a speaker at a TEDx event.
Icy Ice is an original member of the world renowned DJ group The World Famous Beat Junkies. He has also been the exclusive DJ for celebrity events such as: Manny Pacquiao fight after parties, Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, the Grammy Awards, the Emmys, and numerous other high profile events.
We had him grace the turntables to create an exclusive Ultra Chill End of Summer mix for Tivoli Audio. We also spoke to him about his DJ career and how DJs have remixed their industry during the pandemic.
What inspired you to become a DJ?
I've always had a love for music and several experiences helped shaped me and inspired me to become a DJ. From an early age, I was musically inclined and played a variety of instruments such as the violin, saxophone, and piano.
My dad also inspired me, he would often play records in our living room and blast his music so loud that half of the neighborhood could hear it; those are memories that stuck with me. I was also intrigued by records — their album covers, the smell of vinyl when you pulled it out of the sleeve, cleaning off the vinyl record before playing it — the whole experience of playing a record.
But the first time I saw a DJ play live, especially when I saw Joe Cooley of the KDAY Mixmasters (the first DJ group on the radio airwaves here in Los Angeles) play at my middle school dance, I knew I wanted to become a DJ!
What have been your most memorable moments as a DJ?
A lot of first time experiences have been very memorable, but to name a few: first time playing at a house party, first time traveling internationally to DJ, my first time playing on the radio and opening up for Rage Against the Machine’s reunion show in front of an audience of 65,000 people. I have a lot of great memories.
What have been the biggest challenges on the road to building your career?
I’ve experienced a lot of challenges in my career. In the beginning I had to overcome my shyness to hustle for gigs. Over the years, I’ve also dealt with challenges like racism, discrimination, and now there's the pandemic. With all venues closed, we’ve had to reinvent how we reach our audience and we’ve done that by playing on digital platforms.
How has the pandemic changed the DJ industry?
With the global pandemic, all music venues and clubs have closed all over the world, forcing DJs to change what we’re doing. We were able to adapt and change by DJing completely over live-streaming platforms such as Twitch. I've already done several digital music festivals, played digital corporate events, and parties. I think DJs help bring comfort, uplift, heal, and make people feel better through these live-stream sets.
I also went back to my roots of making mixtapes. I started pumping out Digital Mixtape. Before the pandemic the last mixtape I recorded was back in 2013. However, in the first 3 months of the pandemic, I recorded and put out 20 plus mixtapes!
Lastly, I've been asked to be a guest on quite a few podcasts & TV shows (digitally from home). It’s been amazing to be able to share my thoughts about how the DJ community has been able to adapt and change during these times.
You had mentioned that you as well as other DJs are spinning on Twitch, why are DJs utilizing this platform?
When the Pandemic hit, DJs flocked to live-streaming on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram immediately. Unfortunately, due to the music industry’s strict rules against using copyrighted music, DJs could have their audio muted or even cut off in the middle of their sets. This became very frustrating for DJs who were just trying to express themselves and be there for their communities.
However, we discovered that on Twitch, (a platform for people to watch their favorite gamers play video games), gamers were able to play games with copyrighted music. So, DJs tried streaming on Twitch and have been successful since.
What qualities about Tivoli Audio products stand out when you are listening to music? How does our product enhance your listening experience?
First off, I appreciate the rich history behind Tivoli Audio. Secondly, the design and sound quality makes Tivoli Audio products stand out above the rest.
I have the Model One Digital and I love it. It gives out full range sound due to the BASS, which definitely enhances my listening experience sonically. I also like the design; it’s encased in a wood cabinet, not plastic like a lot of speakers out on the market. I feel like the wood design pays homage to vintage speakers, it definitely looks cool and sounds great.
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