LMFAO DJ shares insight into journey, life of international DJ
Grammy nominated LMFAO’s Joseph Hampel, more commonly known as DJ Dainjazone, has impacted music across the globe, spanning over 6 continents with performances. He has been featured on “Good Morning America” and “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” Shortly after returning from Australia yesterday, Hampel took time out of his day to talk with the Lariat about his music, fashion and touring experiences.
Q: I’ve read that you have a background in baseball. How did you go from baseball player to DJ?
A: The baseball team was about to throw a big Halloween party and we all like this specific kind of music which was like underground hip hop and old school hip hop. So that’s what we wanted to hear at the party, so we decided to buy a CD mixer for the party and I DJed the party and it started out as a hobby. I started taking it more seriously when I realized I could get good with it. I was trying to either go on with the route of DJ-ing or baseball once I graduated and I stuck with DJ-ing.
Q: Out of curiosity, what kind of music did you listen to as a kid?
A: I listened to everything because I have three older brothers who all listen to different genres. One listens to rock and heavy metal, one listens to alternative and the other one listens to hip hop. My parents listen to oldies when we would get in the car, so I was schooled by a number of musical background and genres so I got to take in a lot.
Q: How did you get connected with LMFAO?
A: I was introduced to the manager through some mutual friends and we hit it off right after we met in Miami and he put me in the crew and I slowly built myself with the crew. LMFAO took a liking to me, so I started once the opportunity came up to DJ on the tours.
Q: So far, what has been your favorite venue?
A: I think our homecoming at the Staple Center in Los Angeles was by far the coolest because we’re all from L.A. and there were so many friends and family in the crowd that I didn’t even know were there. It was just so cool with all the hard work that the guys have put in to do what they love really came into fruition that evening. The place was packed. That has probably been the highlight so far. We did play in the arena the day after Miami Heat won last year. We played in their arena and that crowd was electrified for obvious reasons.
Q: Who has been your favorite artist to perform with?
A: I really enjoyed the energy of Busta Rhymes. We did a show with him and he just has a powerful voice. It’s captivating and it literally just grabs your attention. Even when he is just talking normal he grabs your attention. It sounds like he is kicking a rhyme but it’s just him talking normal.
Q: Describe your style as a DJ. Are you more traditional or would you consider yourself a forerunner in the music industry?
A: I try and use multiple styles. I don’t like to stick to just one style. When you stick to one style you become predictable and not as creative, so I try and tie in multiple styles from what DJ’s have done in the past and what I think is going to be the next thing. I love being creative. I love art. Anytime you get a chance to express yourself in a creative fashion, it’s art. I try and be unique with whatever I do.
Q: Is DJ-ing the career you plan to have for the rest of your life?
A: I love it so much that I could see myself doing it for another 15 years, but there will be bigger things in my life. I don’t know what yet, but usually when you start out in music you start out doing one thing and it always leads to something bigger. I could see myself doing commercials or modeling.
Q: If someone were to go through your closet, what would they find?
A: All kinds of weird stuff. They probably wouldn’t know what to do with it. You can figure out what to do with a button-down shirt, but if they were pull out like a ninja top or something that has a zipper not going up the middle but up the side, people probably wouldn’t know what to do or how to put it all together. People might be confused because it’s not just your typical shirt and pants.
Q: As far as touring goes, do you have any fun stories?
A: You know this is such a random group that there is never a dull moment. If I were to take you on the road with me for one show, you would be amazed and have so much fun with what we do before after and during. Especially after when we let loose, you will have so much fun and I would say, ‘This is what we do everyday,’ and you wouldn’t believe me and be like, “No you don’t. You’re just in the moment.” But no, this is what we do every night, show or no show.
Q: Has gaining recognition as a DJ changed your lifestyle?
A: It’s changed my life in a way that I might see things differently, but I’m more responsible because of all the success that has happened in the last year. It’s definitely changed me for the good. I’ve learned more about myself because of the challenges that I’ve faced. You know, I’m not an irresponsible person. I don’t drink or smoke or do any drugs. I’m not the guy to take a girl back to my room in every city we go to. I might not hook up with a girl during a whole tour. That’s just not my thing. I’ve definitely learned more about myself and what I want.