A discussion of well-rounded DJ’s on the rise would not be complete without the inclusion of Cali-based turntablist DJ R-Tistic. Born Ronald Turner II, the 2014 winner of the McDonald’s Flavor Battle DJ Competition flexed his music muscle as a producer with The Game, Glasses Malone and Murs before sliding on his DJ crown in 2007, going on to work with BJ The Chicago Kid, Ty Dolla Sign, David Banner, Casey Veggies, Eric Bellinger, We Are Toonz, 2nd II None, and Leon Mobley, as well as with the Lil Wayne Band. He is a contributor to the DJCity.com “Trends” Monthly Charts, and is also the Music Director for homegrownradio.net. Additionally, he has taught “Introduction to DJing” Classes at the GRAMMY Museum, located in L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles.
DJ R-Tistic has a style that is rarely seen by modern DJ’s. His style incorporates the technical mastery that turntablists and legendary Hip Hop DJ’s are known for, which he infuses with the commercial and Regional club sounds that are prevalent throughout the Country. He enjoys to spin what he calls “Expanded Open Format” in which he digs in the crates to display different styles of Hip Hop, Pop, Soul, House, Rock, and Upbeat R&B that normally aren’t played within the same set. He is known for his trademark transitions, in which he keeps the crowd on edge as they anticipate what song will come next.
When did you know you wanted to pursue a career as a DJ?
I started producing back in 4th grade, yet I never had a true desire to DJ until my later years in college at Florida A&M. It was a natural progression that happened from creating playlists at house parties, and realizing that there was a lot of great music that wasn’t being played by the DJs in my town. I knew it would be a huge gamble to invest all of my internship money on equipment, but I was willing to give it a shot. I saw it as something I would enjoy doing as a “side hustle,” but it morphed into something much more fulfilling.
Which artists are on your bucket list to work with?
I would love to work with DJ Quik, Janelle Monae, Kendrick Lamar, and Patrice Rushen. Due to the fact that I used to be a producer, I would enjoy being able to create a stage show with any of them where I am able to guide them in musical direction.
What was your last travel destination?
My last travel destination was Ghana, which was a completely mindblowing experience. Initially, I went there just because I was offered an opportunity to DJ, but it turned into so much more. We had a long layover in Morocco, so I was able to experience that country as well. Musically, I loved the high energy that Ghana and most of West Africa are known for, and I thought it was hilarious that they partied until 6AM, even on Sunday nights.
Which stamp is missing in your passport?
I have several stamps missing, but I would like to visit South Africa for sure, along with London and Nigeria. I’m intrigued by the overall culture and history of South Africa, and know they have a dynamic music scene as well. I definitely need to experience it in person.
What was your inspiration for your Prince-dedicated “Purple Mix” on Soundcloud?
One thing that most folks don’t know is that I created the “Purple Mix” back in 2013, which was three years before he died. I was always a Prince fan, and I created a mix for him before I even created one for Michael Jackson. I have mixes for most of my favorite artists, and I knew I had to make one for him. I named it the “Purple Mix” just to disguise the fact that it was a Prince mix; if you named anything “Prince Mix” back then, he would send out his Paisley Park Elves to have it removed from the Internet (I’m halfway joking, maybe). Even with the disguised name, his elves still found it and had it removed from my SoundCloud.
The morning that he died, I realized that I still had it, and felt it was worth the gamble of uploading it at that time…so literally ten minutes after the world found out he passed, I had what appeared to be a brand new Prince mix ready to go. Some people freaked out, since most of them had no idea I created one in 2013. When I first uploaded it, it only received about 3,000 total plays, and only 120 plays the first day. The day that he died and I uploaded it, it received 16,000 plays within 15 hours. The response was so huge, the City of Los Angeles reached out to me to be the official DJ of his Memorial Tribute, which was held downtown at City Hall.
Tags:FAMU, Los Angeles, music, playlist, Prince, travel playlist thursday