We had the good fortune of connecting with AJ Robosa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi AJ, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Honestly, it just happened. As corny as it sounds, DJ’n found me. Music has always been a big part of my life and I’m super thankful to be able to express myself through it. There’s just something about being in front of a crowd having the time of their lives and it’s because of what records you’re playing, the order you play them in, how you transition from one to the other, etc. I know most of the time the crowd isn’t even thinking about any of that but that’s the finesse in it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
DJ’n/Turntablism is my way to express myself. I have always been inspired by battle DJs, so my focus is heavily in scratching and beat juggling. There’s not a lot of DJs in my generation that really do that, but I’ve noticed that it’s starting to pick up and I love to see it. I’m most excited for the future of live music because we’ve been out of work for more than a year due to the pandemic and I can just only imagine how wild events are going to be. My journey to where I am today has been a long one but I feel like it’ll still be a while until I consider myself a “professional” at what I do — I ain’t no rookie though. What keeps me going is seeing all these other talented DJs online that are better than me because eventually one day I know I can be better than them. The art of DJ’n is always evolving, with new equipment, new music and new concepts for parties coming out, it takes a special kind of person to keep adapting while being good at it. Being in the game for about 5 years, I had to just push through all the adversity. I’ve learned so much from the good and bad of this life but my biggest takeaway is to always be hungry, never thirsty. My mentor Cwitch really made sure to plant that seed in my head because it’s true, it’s okay to want to work for your keep but don’t be so desperate that you get out of character because that leads to no progress. How are you supposed to improve in a craft when you’re focused on all the wrong things? I’m so ready to get back out because I know the world could use some healing from live music.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s so many spots we would hit up but my perfect day would start off getting a breakfast burrito from Taqueria Imperial, right next to the Barrel Taco Shop. Daygo is so diverse that it would all just depend on what we felt like eating. If we had a craving for Asian food, we would hit up National City or Convoy. There’s Mexican food everywhere at any given time so that craving can be taken care of whenever. The breweries are usually where it’s at too! North Park has a lot of them and sometimes we would end our night either at Bluefoot, U31 or, El Camino if one of us was DJ’n. I say, if you’re visiting for a day, hit the 805 and go explore the surrounding areas where the 15, 8, 5 and 94 take you. Theres something for everyone here, you just have to find it.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
So many people deserve recognition in helping me get me to where I am but this all wouldn’t have started if the homie Eric (@ofcourseric) didn’t show me how to do some mixing on this old controller he had. It really just sparked and I ran with it. Shoutout my girlfriend Angie for holding me down and believing in me throughout this whole journey. My family, all my blood relations that show up and show out at my gigs when they can, I appreciate every single of one yall because without yall, there is no party for me to rock! Huge shoutout DJ Cwitch (@cwitch) for taking me under his wing early in my DJ career, he really steered me in the right direction as far as keeping my heart in the art and the importance of having a solid foundation. Shoutout Alpha Psi Rho, AphiG and Delta Sigma Psi for always booking me for their events early in my career. Also, If I would have never met the homies @Kevmighty and @Lesteezy, I would’ve never met any of my Crowd Collective Fam who booked me for some of my first 21+ gigs. Which leads me to shouting out my Hickies and Dryhumps fam who held down El Camino, El Dorado and Bluefoot, shoutout Julz (@julzdelapena) , Josh (@J_time), Jason (@jason_huggins) thank yall for booking me and believing in me so much. Also shoutout to my Bay Area fam Joaq (_joaqa) , Fran (@franboogie) and Shaina (@shainaarenee), yall welcomed me into the bay with such open arms and booked me when you could’ve booked anyone else. I know I’m forgetting a lot of people but there really is just too many people to name. Finally, Shoutout my section, Southeast San Diego, I wouldn’t be who I am without where I’m from.
Lee Hernandez Luciano Parades