Can you name your top seven tracks of all time? DJs can – but the tracks, intriguingly, aren’t always what you might expect from hearing their professional setlists.
Péricles Martins, better known as DJ Boss in Drama, won 2010’s Brazilian MTV prize for electronic music, but considers himself a pop music producer, and his influences, from hip hop to funk, are as diverse a set of faves as you’d expect from an electronic DJ worth his mix tapes. With a new single, video and album on the way, the 24-year-old musician and former resident at Cartel Club took some time out to give us his very own magnificent seven tracks.
Michael Jackson – ‘PYT (Pretty Young Thing)’
I loved listening to the whole album (Thriller) as a kid, but I used to stick with the big hits. Slowly, the B-side grew on me, and now I consider ‘PYT’ to be my personal favourite. It’s thought to be one of Michael Jackson’s more forgettable tracks, but to me, it’s the complete opposite.
Prince – ‘Little Red Corvette’
This takes me back to a time when I loved music but had no idea how it was made. I remember listening to it and wondering, ‘How is this possible? How is it done?’, especially with Prince’s work, since some of his albums were produced 100 per cent by him. But after you learn how to create music, you start listening to it in a different way. It kind of takes away the magic.
Will Smith – ‘Gettin' Jiggy With It’
I love hip hop and rap. This particular song is just so innocent; its about dancing, being silly and just having a good time at the club. Will Smith is the only rapper who really knows how to pull that off. I think Will.I.Am tries to imitate that with his ‘feelin’, but he ends up just being tacky. Will Smith is just cool without trying.
NERD – ‘Rockstar’
Pharrell’s a genius. I love everything he does, whether it’s with his band or alone. ‘Rockstar’ is my favourite song that mixes rap with rock. I had heard it
before with Aerosmith and Run DMC’s ‘Walk This Way’. It’s really hard to hear both styles at the same time and not wreck the whole thing, like many bands do. These are amazing.
Jay-Z – ‘Excuse Me Miss’
Of course, it’s produced by Pharrell and it turns out to be my favourite Jay-Z track. I like this one and ‘Change Clothes’ – also featuring Pharrell – because they’re both quite simple, but well produced. When their videos were released, I still taped them on VHS, so I guess it also has a bit of an emotional effect on me.
Ghost Town DJs – ‘My Boo’
The band’s name is perfect, right? It really is a ghost project, since they only made one song. I remember first hearing this on the radio around 1997, 1998. There was no other song like it! ‘My Boo’ introduced me to freestyle R&B and made me research Miami Bass, which I use in my music from time to time.
Fancy – ‘You Never Know’
I consider this band one of the coolest and most underrated of all time. The lead singer is this funny figure with giant hair. It took me a year to realise it was a guy who sang! He’s a tenor with an unbelievably shrill voice. When I had a dual musical project called Gomma Fou, I tried to imitate his voice but it was impossible.