An Interview with DJ Burn One
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - It’s like I said to a friend of mine, “It doesn’t matter if five people show up or five thousand, if you go to a show with the guys from Valley Boy, they are going to have you amped up. They will bring the energy. And once again they delivered. While Mr. 423 and DJ Muddy Waters were bringing it along with new and old faces alike, I truly believe that DJ Burn One brought something extra to the table on the night of the Birthday Bash Show for Alex Alijo, Tara Ashley, Nina Ross, Biggups and Mr. 423 at the old Club Fathom.
From working with Eminem’s newest signee, YelaWolf, to artists like Starlito and Gucci Mane, DJ Burn One has built a name for himself. The 25-year-old producer from Atlanta was on stage well before the show started, and he was already working his magic. From the energy that DJ Burn One put into the room, before the crowd showed up, one was able to see instantaneously how this young man was able to accomplish as much as he has, and how much more there is to come.
MBL: What brings you to Chattanooga?
DJ Burn One: Working with Steve and the guys from Valley Boy. They brought me up here to work a couple of shows. They said they were working on a concert series. So I’m up here, helping out, checking out the scene and looking into different types of venues.
MBL: What venues have you looked at?
DJ Burn One: Right now just the one we did at Club Fathom. We are supposed to be hosting the YelaWolf show there, as well as a few others. The Nicki Minaj show is supposed to be at the auditorium so that will be interesting.
MBL: Growing up who were your influences?
DJ Burn One: People like DJ Jelly, a lot of local musicians, people that put out mix tapes. That was what I listened to growing up, exclusively mix tapes. That’s how I got my start. A friend of mine got a computer program and I’d start by taking little beats and mixing them with acapellas and do little mix tapes. It was a good introduction to find your footing and see where you work.
MBL: Have you always known you wanted to be in the music industry?
DJ Burn One: I wanted to be the President one time. I thought I had a legitimate shot at it, too. I remember telling my mom, “I’m going to be the President one day.” She would just go along with it. I started getting into music around 15 and then at 16 got a job at a Mom ‘n’ Pop store and started selling my mix tapes there. I really like this, where I am now, just growing and becoming a producer, finding artists and talent and helping to sign them up. This is definitely where I want to be.
MBL: On that same note, you are so accomplished at the age of 25. You seem very knowledgeable not just in the music industry, but in business in general, have you had any professional schooling? College, etc.?
DJ Burn One: I did a year in college and my major was history. I wanted to be a history teacher, but I found out that I don’t like reading about different places in the world, that I want to actually go see the world. I want to travel and see the pyramids and the Amazon. I remember just sitting in class and realizing that this is not what I wanted to do and that it wasn’t going to help me with what I wanted to do, so I just got up and left. Two weeks later Bubba Sparks called me up and asked if I wanted to tour with him. That was that.
MBL: “Bobby Cox” and “Live” were awesome. What can we expect to hear from you next?
DJ Burn One: Thank you. More stuff like that. Expect something different. I don’t like doing the same thing and I don’t like repeating myself. I like textures, mixing and matching to find the right thing. It’s like being a cook and trying to find the right blend of ingredients. “Five Points” is what I’m working on next.
MBL: In a previous interview, you said that you were working on having your face put up front more. What results have you seen from this movement?
DJ Burn One: You know a lot of people have the artists’ faces on the cover and then you’ll see the DJ behind them, I’d like to have my face on the back of the cover, just so people will know who I am without taking away from the artists themselves, because that’s what it’s really about. But it’s definitely still a work in progress.
MBL: Any more upcoming tours with other artists?
DJ Burn One: Jackie Chain from Huntsville, AL. He’s supposed to be going on the road with Rick Ross for about 16 – 17 dates and he talked about bringing me on those, too. I love traveling. Everywhere is different. You can drive 30 minutes to the next city and it will be completely different than where you just came from.
MBL: Have you been able to travel internationally?
DJ Burn One: I got to go to Germany with Bone Crusher two years ago.
MBL: Of the people you’ve worked with, who was the person you were most excited to meet and collaborate with?
DJ Burn One: YelaWolf. He’s a really good guy. He’s so talented and when he’s on – he’s on. He has that killer instinct of “I want to be better than everyone else.”
MBL: What messages to you want to give to the youth and followers of your footsteps?
DJ Burn One: Learn an instrument. If you want to do anything with music learn an instrument! Learn everything, not just how to tinker and put down a few beats. Take time and dedicate yourself to the craft. Listen to the people who are giving you advice, the simplest thing can make such a difference.