Episode 5

full
Published on:

1st Sep 2021

DJ Nu-Mark: Two Turntables and a Drum Machine

“The sense of wonderment is what keeps me alive in this business.” — @DJNUMARK [0:12:25]

DJ Nu-Mark has carved out an amazing niche for himself in the LA music scene and beyond, from his groundbreaking work with the world-famous group Jurassic 5, to his recent work in television and film, to creating popular sample packs, and his viral video series Zodiac Tracks, the journey has been surprising, fun-filled, and successful. This success stands as a great argument for what is possible with a solid work ethic, good ears, and people skills! 

In today's conversation, we get to hear about the life that DJ Nu-Mark has built for himself and his constant dedication to wonderment and excitement. He talks about how putting all his eggs in the music basket was the thing that worked for him, and spills the beans on how to keep an audience engaged and maintain relevancy. 

From the earliest days, DJing at house parties in the '80s, to hearing beats by an unknown Kanye West, Nu-Mark has seen a lot of things come and go. He talks about the drumming that laid a foundation for his musical sensibilities, and how he applied these to the new technologies afforded to DJs, cutting and scratching his way to record deals. Our guest has continued to have adventures and explore new horizons, and his open-hearted attitude is an inspiration to anyone wanting to express themselves!

Key Points From This DJ Nu-mark Episode:

•  Nu-Mark's early memories of music growing up; Persian records, classic rock 'n roll, and discovering rap.

•  Starting a record collection and the most meaningful early purchases that Nu-Mark made.

•  Drum machines and turntables; the blueprint for a future that Nu-Mark carved out.

•  How Nu-Mark went about building his scratching skills on the turntables and mixer. 

•  Bringing lessons from drumming and the school band into turntable performances.

•  Rocking house parties and how this naturally led to working with MCs and meeting Jurassic 5.

•  The beat-making process; drums machines, samplers, and the different combinations of gear that Nu-Mark used.

•  Memories of the Good Life Cafe, and the important relationships that were formed during that time.

•  The combination of amazing rhythms, humor, and dedication; the ingredients that made Jurassic 5.

•  Getting the music heard, starting an indie label, and finding distribution for the first EP.

•  Touring and moving into the UK market before gaining proper recognition back home.

•  The time it takes to find your inner voice and make the art that you really believe in.

•  Legal sides of the music business and how Nu-Mark and J5 found a great lawyer!

•  Collaborating and sharing writing credits while learning and building.

•  Nu-Mark's path to making music specifically for the film and TV industry.

•  How to go about getting music placed in film and video games.

•  The preparation and performance of Nu-Mark's Zodiac Track series.

•  Branding, merchandising, and social media; Nu-Mark's relaxed approach to this part of his work.

•  Nu-Mark's favorite producers through the ages, who inspires him, and who he still wants to work with.

 

“I bought a drum machine before i bought turntables.” — @DJNUMARK [0:10:20
“My organization skills became paramount at a very early age.” — @DJNUMARK [0:23:58]
“I learned about finesse, I learned about the psychology of DJing.” — @DJNUMARK [0:24:28]

  

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

DJ Nu-Mark

Jurassic 5

Cut Chemist

Zodiac Tracks

Zodiac Killah

The Good Life Cafe

Bodega Sync

Quincy Jones

Dr. Dre

J Dilla

Timbaland

De La Soul

Pharaohe Monch

Jay Z

DanUbe Productions

“If you are musically inclined, you should really take advantage of writing your own shit, and spending time and collaborating with other people that can write melodies and harmonies that you can't.” — @DJNUMARK [1:02:08]
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About the Podcast

The Conduit
The Conduit gives you the unvarnished truth about music biz!
The Conduit is a podcast featuring candid conversations between professional musicians and music biz veterans who give you the unvarnished truth about being an artist in the music business today. Hosted by L.A. musician, producer, DJ and writer Dan Ubick aka Constantine “Connie” Price, The Conduit is real talk, no posturing. Learn from top music veterans as they talk honestly about their struggles and experiences and share with you their wisdom and knowledge. The Conduit is a co-production between Crewest Studio and DanUbe Productions, The Conduit will inspire, educate, entertain and empower up-and-comers pursuing their musical dreams. Follow today!

About your host

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Dan Ubick

Producer/Composer/Multi-Instrumentalist Dan Ubick grew up with music- his father Richard played jazz bass, his mom listened to the Beatles and classical music while designing jewelry while Dan's older brother and sisters listened to Bowie, Traffic, Yes, Genesis, T. Rex and Zeppelin.

However, it was Dan's little sister who turned him onto rap music in the late 80's through to the early 90's; Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, ATCQ, B.D.P. and Big Daddy Kane created endless possibilities. Soul, jazz, rock, country, funk and reggae all melded together perfectly.

Later on Dan's friend Miles Tackett asked him to play guitar in the Breakestra which he did for six years traveling to Europe, Canada, the States and Japan backing everyone from Jurassic 5, Black Eyed Peas and Dilated Peoples to Quannum, Wu-Tang and Freestyle Fellowship. Dan got to play on Breakestra's Live Mix Part 2.

Dan absorbed all kinds of music - from Little Feat to Lalo Schifrin, Fela Kuti to Cymande, Jorge Ben to The Band and The Mighty Diamonds to the Roots Radics. As his record collection grew so did his interest in making records of his own in an attempt to add something new and different to this incredible legacy that he grew up on.

Motivated, Dan built his own Lion's Den studio piece by piece, mic by mic and reel to reel, began to practice other instruments more and collaborated with Blood Of Abraham and Will.I.Am, then Madlib and Macy Gray. Dan started writing and putting out his own material, first as Connie Price and the Keystones (Now Again Records & Ubiquity), then with The Lions (first on Ubiquity, now on Stones Throw) while concurrently producing for television, film, gaming and advertising.

As a studio and live musician Dan has played guitar behind Lily Allen, Joey Altruda's Crucial Riddims, Mulatu Astatke, the Beat Junkies (DJ Babu, JRocc & Rhettmatic), the Beatnuts, Big Daddy Kane, John Bingham, Biz Markie, Aloe Blacc, Black Eyed Peas, Black Shakespeare, Blood Of Abraham, Blue States, Eddie Bo, Brand Nubian, Breakestra feat. James Gadson, Brother J (X Clan), Busta Rhymes, Colbie Caillat with The Transcenders, Novena Carmel, Common, Hollie Cook, Craig G, De La Soul, Dilated Peoples, Chris Dowd, Eamon, EPMD, Kelly Finnigan, DJ Format, Ghostface Killah, Macy Gray, DJ Greyboy, Leroy Sibbles & Barry Llewellyn (the Heptones), Durand Jones, Sharon Jones, Lonnie Jordan (War), Jungle Fire, Jurassic 5, Kurtis Blow, Talib Kweli, Lady Of Rage, Barrington Levy, The Lions, The Mad Geezers, Madlib's Sound Directions, Masta Ace, Method Man, M.O.P., Keyboard Money Mark, The Monophonics, Kendra Morris, Mos Def, Jeremy Sole's Musaics, Myron & E, Night Owls, DJ Numark, Ohmega Watts, Orgone, Percee P, The Pharcyde, Rakim, Rapsody, Redman, The Rhythm Roots All Stars, Sixto "Searching For Sugar Man" Rodriguez, Sa-Ra, Sandy Gold, Noelle Scaggs, Slick Rick, Snoop Lion, Ta'raach, Too $hort, Jade Vincent, Wildchild, Wu Tang Clan and many more.