Music is Culture

Skratch Bastid laying down some beats for the crowd at St. Lawrence College Orientation 2012

Skratch Bastid laying down some beats for the crowd at St. Lawrence College Orientation 2012

The first week of school is always crazy. I feel like it’s been a year since summer and school just started. Thanks to our Student Association and Morgan Davis along with a team of committed students who worked crazy hours to bring us a phenomenal orientation week! Included was a comedy night and music night featuring Canadian artists and some home-grown talent. Toronto native Tre Mission, grime hip hop artist. Originating in London England, Gime is a mix of garage, raga, jungle, hip hop, with hard-hitting lyrics. Tre Mission Opened the show along with a current St. Lawrence College student.

The headliner is a world toured DJ who has gained acclaim through hard work and unique approach to his view on music. Skratch Bastid aka, Paul Murphy has spent the last decade honing his craft in DJ Battles, and pumping new life into the scenes of Canada’s hottest clubs. His shows are not just addictive medley of music twisted into danceable beats but a buffet for your audio and visual senses.

CT: How did you start out?

Skratch: I was a young kid really into hip hop music and would collect CD’s and tapes and would make mix tapes with them. Then friends and I found records, I didn’t know they existed when I first started.  We started scratching them. I started practising scratching. My mom convinced me to enter a completion. The next year I won that competition. From competitions I started playing clubs and learning tricks. My show is a variety of tricks, scratching and mixing.

CT: what are your influences?

Skratch: I am a music lover and music junkie for life. I have a lot of influenced as far as DJing and hip hop  goes. DJ Jazzie Jeff, DJ craz, DJ Cash Money, Mix Master Mike. A lot of old school dudes. It’s inspiring that DJ Jazzie Jeff still plays Vages after 15 years.  My music influences stretch to all types of music from the rock greats like Hendricks to the funk greats. You don’t have enough tape on the recorder for me to finish this answer.

CT: What’s your favourite country you have traveled to so far?

Skratch: I have been lucky enough to travel to 27 countries so far and I can’t say that I have a distinct favourite because I think that countries are kinda like food, in the sense that if you go to one too much it may not stay your favourite. Every now and then it’s good to switch it up. Different countries have different cultures and food comes from culture. I love Canada and connect with Canadian people which is great because its home! Traveling to Korea in February and then Vietnam was a crazy cultural experience for me. The one thing I will say is it’s fun to read the crowd and figure out which songs have they connected with.

CT: How is the creative process for you?

Skratch: I have been DJing for 15 years and video DJing is new to me but over the years. I have learned what works. You take the moments that you have connected with the crowd- I have this emotional attachment to great mixes- which helps form the set. I find ways to incorporate new music into my set.

Some DJ‘s believe that you are defined by the tracks you play, I believe that to a certain degree, but for me there is something to be said for the presentation.

CT: What is your favourite thing about touring?

Skratch: The food. My rider is pretty healthy including blueberries, humus, but when I travel like to find the best foods. When I was in Japan I went to the fish markets and had fresh sushi straight off the dock, when I was in Vietnam I ate a fried dove. I feel that music is culture and being from a multicultural family (my mom is from Trinidad) so growing up in a multicultural family influenced my thirst and want to experience different things.

You can currently find Skratch Bastid on tour and playing some home shows and supporting fellow Artists during Canadian Music Week. Check him out on Twitter (@SkratchBastid) and find his Facebook page which has over 240 people talking about this innovative music mixer!

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