If there is one person in Philly who I could spill music tea all day with, it would be resident Tavern on Camac DJ and music connoisseur, Jimmy DePre. I’m happy to say that since the launch of Philly Mixtape, Jimmy and I have become gabbin’ music galpals, so I couldn’t wait to dust off the good Lennox tea cups and get to sippin’ with him. Dive into our “Philly Mixtape Music Tea” below.
PM-Hey Jimmy, thanks so much for having this little music chat with me. I know you and I can go on for hours, so I’ll keep it short and sassy. To start off, tell me how you got started in the biz.
JD-I got started professionally when I was 15 working with Jerry Blavat. My musical curiosity and career interest for radio led me to him, initially to sit in and watch him do his thing. That one time turned into once a week and before I knew it I was learning the technical side of radio. One afternoon, his intern didn’t make it into the office and I stopped by after school. He needed a commercial cut, edited and produced by 5pm and no one was around to do it. Knowing basically nothing about computer audio programs, let alone how to use them, I went in blindly and by trial and error got it done. Soon, I was redoing everything the intern had done to sharpen my skills. A few months later, he asked me if I was interested in learning how to spin. I was again thrown to the lions. He took me to a gig, introduced me to his DJ who in turn briefly showed me how the decks worked and where the music was at and disappeared for a smoke/bathroom break. Here I was in front of about 1,000 people at this huge convention and it was either figure it out or not. Over the next 6 years with him, I honed my skills at first for slip-cueing and then beat mixing. I was constantly on the hunt for dance music, both old and new. I quit when I was 21 and a month later ,started a brief Thursday night residency at 12th Air Command. After that, things just kept going and going and here we are today.
PM-What’s the first song you think you ever heard in your life?
JD-It’s hard for me to remember the first song I ever heard, but I do know that the first song I ever heard on the radio was “A Wonderful Dream” by The Majors from 1962. The DJ playing it on the radio, Hy Lit, ended up being my inspiration for chasing that career path at the beginning.
PM-How about the first song you ever spun?
JD-Similar to the last question and given how I spun the first time, I have no memory of the first song I ever spun, but I’d be willing to bet it was a Motown record.
PM-Shout out for me one album that you can’t live without.
JD-While this may sound completely random, “What’s The Story Morning Glory” by Oasis is the first one that comes to mind. I have a lot of great memories attached to that album and it stands out because it’s so unlike everything else I play at home.
PM-Definitely one of the best albums from the 90’s, for sure. Speaking of the good ol 90’s, a lot of dance music right now has been kissed with that sexy 90’s deep house groove, what is one old school dance track that you spin all the time?
JD-I still include Livin’ Joy’s “Dreamer” often in sets and it still gets a great response. Janice Robinson’s vocals are killer and that organ in the hook is everything.
PM-Okay, so if you had to pick one Madonna song to listen to for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
JD-“Borderline” wins hands down for me. I remember loving it as a kid when I first heard it, and it sounds as fresh to me when I hear it now. It’s one solid groove and she gives a great performance.
PM-So, I’m sure by now that you’ve heard that both Janet and Missy are both coming out with new records soon. The other day, I asked fellow DJ Chris Urban the same question and he’s looking most forward to Missy’s album. How about you?
JD-Well if what Timbaland has to say is true, I can’t wait to see what Missy is going lay on us. It’s been almost equally as long since either have had an album out so we’re due for Janet too, but I’m really anxious to hear the “game-changer” that Missy has finished and ready to go. When something is described as “it sounds today, but the future” then I’m all ears and waiting.
For more music from Mr. DePre, go right here and be sure to check your life every Friday and Saturday night right here to see hear him turn it the fuck out.