Interview with DJ Z-REX


Q:What is your preferred genre of music to create? What is your preferred genre of music when not creating music? 

A: My preferred genre of music to create is definitely Hip-Hop hands down. When I’m not creating music, I still listen to Hip-Hop, but I tend to listen to more R&B now because that’s my girlfriends’ choice of genre.

Q: When did you know music was going to be a factor in your life? 

A: I knew music was going to be a huge factor in my life when I was introduced to piano at a very young age. My mother was an organist at Abyssinian Baptist Church, in Harlem, NY. My oldest brother was a huge Hip-Hop fan and whenever I hung out with him, we always listened to Kanye, Tribe, and Jay-Z. I also used to listen to Hot 97 religiously which got me into DJing.

Q:When working on a beat how and when do you know when it is complete and ready for vocal parts?

A: This is a tough question lol. Knowing when my beats are finished is hard to say. It takes me about 20-30 minutes to get the fundamentals down. Once that’s done, it takes another hour or so to actually mix the beat and put every instrument in its place. There is always something that can be changed with my beats but I tend to leave them where they are after the 20-30 minutes. If I continue to work on the beat, I lose track of what I was trying to accomplish.

Q: What producer do you look up to? Why?

A: J. Dilla. Hands down. He really was my first influence when I started making beats back in 2010-2011. The way he cascaded his drums and the way he chopped samples really made me look up to him. He had a certain swing and had his own way of adding soul to his beats.

Q: Are you working on a new project? If so do you know when you will release it?

A: Honestly, I’m still looking for artists to build with in terms of projects. Right now, I’m more focused on releasing my existing production on my soundcloud, @zrexmusic. I realize that if I start making music for other artists and not myself, I lose the core value in my work.

Q: What is one long term goal that you have set with your career?

A: One long term goal of mine is to, honestly, be a big radio DJ and record producer. I want to really become someone that younger kids look up to. I also want to make people happy through music and as a DJ and producer, I’m able to accomplish that.

Q: If you could work with anybody who would you work with and why? 

A: Honestly, Kendrick Lamar, because he gives off the vibe of a musical genius. The way that he’s able to really formulate albums that tell stories is amazing. Not to mention, his ear for beats is incredible. I don’t think I have heard a Kendrick song that I’ve never liked.

Q: What do you specifically enjoy about A.L.I.E.N Entertainment?

A: I really enjoy the ability to have full control over your own work. I also enjoy how A.L.I.E.N feels like a family. Even though I am in NY and a little far, the overwhelming support of A.L.I.E.N has really been awesome.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? 

A: In my free time I’m usually playing Xbox or making beats. I spend a lot of time mixing for other artists as well. The bulk of my time is also spent constantly updating my music library for when I DJ events.

Q: What is one thing you would want the public to know about yourself?

A: I tend to stick to myself a lot. I spend a lot of time working and studying music. I’m down to debate that Kendrick Lamar is the G.O.A.T.

InterviewHannah Osborne