Switching up things in Texas

Switching up things in Texas

By Sienna Miller

 

 

 

DJ Mr. Switch is making his presence known all around the state of Texas and it’s to the tune of success! His specialization include Hip Hop, Rap, some R&B music as well as the creation of Graphics in many forms. DJ Switch originally began making beats around the age of 15. Moving quickly, he received {{more}} opportunities to promote both local and distant artists all around the state of Texas. Switch says that he has a gift for creativity and loves doing anything that displays that talent. He’s designed websites and other advertising tools for local businesses. The site that he created to help promote this side of his business can be found at www.realimagegraphics.com. He designs everything from posters, CD covers, flyers, logos to a variety of other promotional forms of media. In addition to making beats, he also designs, wraps and presses CD covers for talented artists who are looking for an avenue of promotion. “The main thing I do is…get artists that I know personally together with other local artists. I give them a way of putting out their material professionally where it will actually attract people to pay attention to it and listen.” says Switch. He has helped to push/promote many talented artists in the state of Texas. “I’ll do media stuff for a group that is already established. For example, Jaimike who is originally from Abilene may call me up. And if he does, I’ll know that he mainly wants to pay for art work or possibly get some of his music chopped and screwed.” Since artists like Jaimike are already established in most all areas of promotion Switch meets them where they are. He explains that he also runs into individuals who have a lot of talent and are just not sure what to do with it. He will help aspiring artists of that nature to create a total package that is sure to get the customers and any agent’s attention. When it comes to genres on a personal level Switch says “I listen to a lot of Jazz…a lot of older artists.” He mentions that he likes to listen to Etta James and even on occasion rock music. Talent has no barrier for him. I asked Switch about his inspiration. Whereas lot of people are good at things, and they tend not to stick with it, Switch has an inspiration that comes from inside. He shared with me that he refuses to fail. With that in mind, it is something that will always be with him. “I think I have this drive, just overdrive to be someone …to actually make some kind of an impact. I love creativity and I love making something from scratch.” says Switch. When you see or even hear some of Switches work, there is no doubt about the fact that he’s passionate about it! Most recently DJ Switch got a chance to design the CD cover for rapper Z-Ro. The name of the album is OMEGA symbolizing the last album with KMJ Records. Since Z-Ro had some tracks left with KMJ Records out of Houston, his last and final album was released on January 27, 2007. One of the biggest accomplishments that went along with this creation is that the album cover that Switch has designed is featured in the XXL Magazine. If you look closely, you’ll see where the add gives him credit for designing the CD cover! Z-Ro’s contract has recently switched to Rap A Lot Records. Eugene Brooks from KMJ Records says this about Switch “He’s trustworthy!” He mentions that after a CD has been finished, you have to trust someone with the artwork, because that is what will make people pick it up. “He’s gonna make Abilene proud. He’s gonna make it. Watch out for him!The main website that Switch has for purchasing music is one that he designed himself. It promotes his business Chop City. The name comes from the style of DJ-ing that he does to music that has already been recorded. You can manipulate music samples and their volume. The site has all of the CD covers that he has ever designed from the very beginning up until now. He has designed albums for artists such as S.A.I.Y.A.N.’s “Son of Blood” and all three of First Class’s albums, including the most recent “Get it Done” which hit the shelves early January . The list goes on and on. On the Chop City website, there is a guest book as well for visitors to give shout outs. In addition to ordering on the web, DJ Switch also has a hotline that people can call . The number serves as the DJ Switch Hotline or Customer Service Line. It is voice automated and you can complete several tasks by calling it. “You can call and leave a message, hear the latest releases, get ring tones for some of the featured songs and so much more.” says Switch. The second web site he has concerning music is found at My Space www.myspace.com/djmrswitchonline. This is his personal website. Switch has helped to both produce and promote many local artists. Even though he has worked with professional music artists he wants for people to know that he really focuses on helping the local and Texas artists become recognized. He has also DJ-ed many mix tapes featuring various different artists all from the state of Texas. Just a few of his mix tapes that he has produced are City of Lean Vols. I and II and Abilene Representers Vols. I and II. Abilene Representers has all artists who are either from Abilene, or have lived here at some point in time. Artist S.A.I.Y.A.N who was featured in the June edition of the Tribune is one of the many artists on the tape. Switch has produced all 13 volumes of the Texas Certified Mix Tapes. He began putting out Texas Certified Vol. I, a little over 6 years ago and his clientele as well as his artists have grown in number. Switch mentions that 50% of the business he receives comes from him applying the style of DJ-ing that he does, to it. He “chops” and “screws” music that has already been recorded. Switch mentions that he uses a DJ cross-fader in order to switch back from one side to the other. I asked him to explain this style and he said the following:Chopping-is when you repeat certain phrases in the song. Two songs play at the same speed.Screwing-It’s slowed down to the point of hearing every single word that the artist is saying. This technique was named after DJ Screw.These two concepts are where Switch came up with the name Chop City.com. “That’s really what Switch is known for…mix tapes are going to be slowed down and chopped.” He says about himself.Looking towards the future, Switch focuses on the goals he has set for himself.In the future Switch would like to see both his Production and Distribution Points, expand. Switch has certainly made a name for himself he has his most recent CD’s being sold in at least eight cities in the state of Texas. These cities are Abilene, Killeen, Odessa, Waco, San Angelo, Wichita Falls, Amarillo, Austin, Lubbock and several others as well. Having such a strong work ethic as he does, he distributes them on his own. Switch has got a keen sense of networking. I was able to talk to some of the stores that are presently carrying his music and CD’s. They had nothing but positive things to say about Switch concerning his character and level of professionalism. Beginning here, Abilene’s Hastings books, music and video store carries the work of DJ Switch and his featured artists. Tamara who heads the Music department and has for the last three years, spoke highly of DJ Switch and his music. Switch has been coming there for at least three years and displaying his work. When asked what Tamara’s thoughts were concerning Switches art work on the CD covers she shares this, “I think they look very professional, more so than many others.” She adds, “He’s really nice to work with!” Tamara shares with me that Hastings is presently holding 10 different works by DJ Switch. Another connection Switch has made in the state of Texas is in San Angelo. His music and the CD’s of others as well are displayed in the store called Throwed Music. Switch has been coming there for over two years now. I spoke to one of the store reps by the name of Axsel. He mentions that he has seen a lot of change in the artwork Switch does for CD covers. Axsel works with DJ Rapid Ric and the What it Dew Family in Austin Texas. He says that at Throwed Music they are presently carrying 5 different CD’s from Switch. “He’s a very good guy to work with and if I don’t have it one day, then I’ll have it the next day.” Axsel tells that Switch has come a very long way. Originally, Switch would have 2-3 tapes and Axsel would only see him every once in a while. Now Axsel says they quickly sell 30 to 40 of Switches different mix tapes!The sounds of success don’t stop there either. Switch has also set up shop in Killeen Texas working with the store Real 2 Reel. Manager Chariese Rider says that Switch has been coming there for more than a year now. “He’s in a category of his own when it comes to his DJ-ing skills!” Rider says that you can tell a difference in his music when it is played over the airwaves. She notes that since it is not digitally produced on a computer, it really stands out from the other DJ’s who bring their music in. When asked to describe him in a few words, Rider says, “He’s dependable, reliable, professional and an all around good guy.” Rider, makes mention that the latest CD from First Class is doing very well out in Killeen. Headed farther west of Abilene, we got some raving reviews from a store in Odessa Texas called Urban Lifestyles. Another location that Switch has been coming to for over a year now. When asked whether Switch is presntly working with any artists in Odessa, Worcester says ” Not here, not right now…There’s nobody really from here being represented by anybody big like him.” Even though DJ Switch is not presently working with any local artists from this city, store manager Mike Worcester says he anticipates this to change soon. Worcester adds, “It’s going to happen pretty quick, because we just opened a new recording studio here.” Worcester mentions that he and others will then send artists work, from that studio to people like Switch so they can get heard! The opportunities are endless here. Concerning the five CD’s that his store is holding from DJ Switch, “They are sold out right now.” Says Worcester. They are waiting on some more. This seems to be a common response to Switches style of music being played in the store. According to Worcester, “People come in and hear the music and they pick it right up.”