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size?sessions x The Gaff

size?sessions x The Gaff



The Gaff is a lifelong DJ with tight skills & cuts, a lengthy list of accomplishments, tonnes of dope records, heart & class. One foot in the future, and one foot in the past. The Gaff's purpose is in elevating Hip Hop, Dance, Club and Electronic Sounds to a level easily combined with Funk, Soul & Jazz. The result is amazing live performances & instrumental productions, giving a story of music which ebbs and flows. The Gaff has rocked parties and clubs worldwide: either by all vinyl 45 sets, or destroying it with tight scratching, live drumming on the sampler, and turntable kung fu. A teacher of the essential, peers and fans alike are often caught overlooking The Gaff's shoulder to see just what it is he’s up to. We sat down with 'The DJ's, DJ', The Gaff,  for a round of 10 questions...

Please introduce yourself, tell us what you do and what’s your shoe size?

Ehh Yo!!! I go by The Gaff, record collection DJ & Producer who loves to cut it up with skills from Hip Hop culture, and the curiosity of a cat for all natural soulful & funky.

 

Can you tell us what it was like growing up and how that influenced your musical style?

I Grew up in Victoria, British Columbia in the 80’s and was a teenager in the 90’s… I grew up skateboarding with a soundtrack in my Walkman & a backpack full of cassette tapes. In the early 90’s, I loved Punk & Rap…around 1994, I started listening to the Krispy Biscuit radio show with Kilo C & the Incredible Ease outta Vancouver and when I heard how Kilo cut up doubles and scratched, it translated to having fun with records & playing with rhythms.
I practiced: skateboarding, freestyling, graffiti, b-boying, and eventually, my love of records & scratching took over! 

 

Now that you call Saskatoon home, tell us what sets Saskatoon apart from other Canadian cities? What makes it unique?

Well, Saskatoon is where I moved with a young family! My daughter’s mom was from here, and I got landlocked in young dad mode! I’m almost finished this part of the journey here, as my youngest is about to graduate high school. Then I’ll be moving onto another adventure down South! When I moved to Saskatoon in the early 2000’s, I began promoting hip hop shows and bringing my favorite artists here for over a decade….it’s a small arts & culture city located in the middle of the prairies right in between Calgary & Edmonton on the left, Winnipeg on the right, and Regina below….many artists travelled through and there was always an opportunity to promote more shows!





 

It’s quite obvious from your wall(s) of records, that you’re no stranger to collecting. Outside of vinyl, do you collect anything else? Sneakers?  Hockey Cards? Vintage gear?

Ha! We’ll, I’m an avid philosopher and have spent many decades in the healing arts & internal martial arts… I practice Kung fu, Tai Ch’i, am an acupuncturist & tonic herbalist (with my own elixir bar downtown) —- I collect all kinds of teas & herbs to cultivate life force & extend youthfulness & vitality. One might say I live a double life! Ha.

 

As a DJ, the past couple years have been a challenge for those used to playing out at live events. Now that there’s some light at the end of the tunnel, what are you looking forward to the most?

This summer was CRAZY for being back to it with festivals across the country, it was non-stop! I loved travelling, And reconnecting with my musical homies from across the globe in real life. Of course, collecting records from the record stores in other cities is always a passion.

 

You’ve had the honor of being known as ‘The DJ’s, DJ’ by several of your fellow peers. Which, in our opinion, is one of the highest forms of respect one can receive, as a DJ. What does that title mean to you, and what do you think goes into being the DJ’s, DJ?

You know, it is a huge honor, and really what it means is: a homie who’s paid their dues with skills and passion, depth of knowledge of various forms of musicality & technical prowess, both in terms of “DJ” skills and production know how, how to translate that into tracks or remixes that other DJ’s want to play and inspire other DJ’s to play creatively.

 




 

Top five live shows you’ve seen or been a part of?

Man! Hmmmm, wow…

  1. One of my favs was Ramsey Lewis concert playing Sun Goddess front to back, he just passed RIP…
  2. I just saw Wu Tang Clan & Nas last week in Toronto, and I tell you, Nas held it down!!!!
  3. I love De La Soul, I’d seen them before, but bringing them with Jazzfest and rocking the after party with the homie Maseo & Ali Shaheed Muhammad from Tribe Called Quest was a highlight.
  4. First time seeing Jurassic 5!! Oh man, what a show! I’m always inspired by Nu-mark (great friend) and Cut Chemist & I later toured with Chali 2na…I grew up with Freestyle Fellowship as my favs from LA, so J5 on the scene was top notch
  5. Bob Dylan - it was the first concert I ever saw, my dad took me, so for that alone, it makes the list!

You’ve been asked to DJ a 45 min set, but only allowed to use three LP records. What selections do you bring to the tables?

Holy smokes, I’d have to pick one of the Ultimate Beats & Breaks records, the Future Primitive 3LP record, and maybe hmmm, maybe the Soul Sides 4LP record cuz you get DJ Shadow tracks, Latyrx & Blackalicious cuts…that’d make a pretty good 45 minute party for sure.

 


For those that don’t know, Saskatoon has their own ‘Berry’, appropriately named the ‘Saskatoon Berry’. For those that may or may not have had the pleasure of enjoying them in a pie, syrup, or dessert. Please describe to the best of your abilities…LOL.

“Saskatoon” is the indigenous word for “berry by the river” it’s a special berry like a blueberry but more like Açai.

 

Last but not least, what are your ‘go to’ pair of sneakers, and what do you like about them?

I mean, for kicks I have a whole collection of Clark’s Wallabees but they aren’t exactly sneakers!  I’ve been loving white leather low cut converse Jack Purcell’s lately.




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