(New Exclusive Interview) DJ John Blaze Talks About The 3rd Annual Arizona Hip Hop Festival
1. John Blaze, you are Arizona’s number 1 DJ. How did you earn that title and what do you feel separates you from the other DJ’s in Arizona?
Not exactly sure but my intention was to be the DJ AZ hadn’t really seen yet. Theres so many incredible DJs in AZ but I set out to be different by wanting to get into the mixtape scene, which actually never really existed, which is why I set out to make a mark in that lane. I wanted to work with local artists, break local records, create exposure for the talent thru all means.
2. John Blaze, you are a big part of putting together that Arizona Hip Hop festival. How did this event start?
The festival began based off growth of Respect The Underground. The amount of artists in AZ proved that 1 show a month was just not enough. Artists of all walks of life reside within AZ hip hop and they needed a platform to be seen and heard. The festival just happen to be what the growth turned into. Lets do a local show thats larger than life. Maybe then they will pay attention.
3. John Blaze, you guys have a very interesting concept and layout for this event that is happening on Nov. 19th, 2016. what is the concept behind this event and what do you feel it will do for the state of Arizona?
This event is huge in every aspect. The amount of artists, stages and people involved prove that. An event of this magnitude is undoubtedly going to receive a large amount of attention. The marketing along grabs your attention. People from everywhere are reacting in a way they never have before. People are surprised to see a local event of this caliber is even possible much less something with so much to offer. Many people doubt us every year, but far more support us and help us build into something greater every year. Ultimately the festival legitimized the AZ music scene and lets the world know we are here and ready to play.
4. John Blaze, does this event have any national artist on the bill and if not why?
Yes we do. There are multiple artists from AZ or have ties to AZ that tour throughout the states and internationally. AZ is home to many nationally signed and recognized artists. For example AZ’s Vee Tha Rula is signed to Kid Ink’s label Alumni, J Slugg & Angelo Nano are signed to Master P’s No Limit Forever label. Futuristic, Sincerely Collins, Mega Ran tour regularly and have been critically acclaimed for their work success in music. This years festival features other nationally recognized artists Whitney Peyton, Twisted Insane, Cryptic Wisdom, Bag of Tricks Cat, Terrorist Angel Babies, Bouji & more.
5. John Blaze, what is the process of putting together an event like this and what does it take to make this event successful?
I don’t think that can be put in words to be honest. I wish there was a blueprint or guide to go by for something like this. I mean we have experience is throwing shows and events but you’re talking major major preparation down to the smallest detail, all for one day. Months of preparation, and many headaches of course but Its all worth it when you see it come together, especially when you know its something that’s been missing in a state like AZ.
6. John Blaze, what artist are you excited to see and who do you feel stole the show at the last two Arizona Hip Hop Festival’s?
The last 2 years were very exciting. We were proud to headline AZ legend MC Magic in year one who performed all his AZ classics. Year 2 we were proud to headline Sincerely Collins who played an incredible set. Other artists who definitely showed out were Trap House & The Black Family, David James, J.Rob The Chief and many more. This year Im excited to see a lot of new fresh faces. Bouji is one who I think is going to impress a lot of people.
7. John Blaze, what makes this 3rd annual Arizona Hip Hop Festival different from the past two that you guys have had?
Growth. In the first 2 years we saw over 4k people throughout the day. Now in year 3 we have added twice the number of artists, stages, vendors. We have added an open mic stage, graffiti contest, food trucks & more. A turntablism demo booth w/ Red Bull 3style Champion DJ Akshen. BeatStreet Producer Expo. An A&R Label Rep panel w/ Big Heff (Def Jam), Rel Carter (Roc Nation), and J Tweezy (No Limit Forever). We expect a huge turnout.Not to mention City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has officially declared Nov. 19th as Hip Hop Day, a government recognized holiday!
8. John Blaze, where do you see this event going in the next 5 years and where do you see your brand and career in the next 5 years?
I see the festival going in to heights never imagined. I think the music industry has drastically changed and because of that I think the way we find new artists and new music has also changed. I see this AZ Hip Hop Festival hitting the road and venturing into similar markets who don’t have the exposure to the industry. Denver, Albuquerque, Salt Lake, who knows???As far as myself, I see venturing into even further into the music industry. Maybe an executive role of some sort will come my way one day, until then I’ll be staying busy as a DJ, Radio Host, Radio PD with a hand in Artist Management, Artist Promo & more. #Heavyduty