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Ask a DJ: DJ Serafin

Philippines-born DJ Serafin is the remix master you know and love. Check out what he had to say.

Every musician has a world inside them that's worth exploring. They have imaginations unlike any other, and view music as the highest form of communication there is. As an electronica fan, I've always admired DJs of all walks of life. 

DJ Serafin is currently one of the top 10 remixers of all time, and is famous for throwing down at the club. His remixes featured major names like Britney Spears, Jordin Sparks, and Livvi Frank—and got him a highly esteemed contract with Jive Records.

I got introduced to DJ Serafin online though Tera Patrick, and he volunteered to be my first interview in this series. Here's what one of LA's hottest DJs had to say...

Ossiana Tepfenhart: Every artist seems to have their own description of their music. How would you describe what you do?

DJ Serafin: I'm a DJ first, then a producer. So my genre is what I feel at that moment. I don’t like to categorize and limit myself on a certain sound. 

Who did you draw inspiration from? Who were your favorite artists when you first got into electronica?

To be honest Frank Sinatra! Jazz was one of my influencing artist. That’s when I got really into music. I tried to incorporate that to my sound.

In electronica, I’d say Mark Farina. Mushroom Jazz was one of my favorite albums. LTJ Bukem is one of them. Love me some jungle/DNB! 

Were you always an electronica guy, or did you have a prior music genre that stole your heart?

Jazz, funk and breaks were my love at first, then came house music. 

Let's talk equipment. What do you use for your music production and remixes?

I started on Reason back in the day and by 2005 picked up Ableton. I’m hooked on Ableton Live ever since.  

Do you have an idea of what you want to do with a song when you choose to remix it, or is it more of a "spur of the moment" thing?

It depends. I can hear the song and then automatically know what to do before I get the session. Sometimes it’s hard to get inspired when you’ve never heard the song before and you have a deadline for a remix. 

So, I know a certain someone is a huge fan of yours—adult film star Tera Patrick! Tell me, do you ever get other celebrities telling you that your music rules?

All the time! LOL, just kidding. I’ve been asked to do DJ parties from certain artist/celebrities which I cannot name. From that, I’ve done and am still doing movie soundtracks and production shows with it. 

What was your most challenging song to mix? Why?

My "This Is America" remix. I'll say is the most challenging one yet. It's not just because of the lyrics and intentions of the original track, but having to crossover to a different genre was a challenge. 

I wanted to make sure it didn’t lose the original feel of it and at the same time making it funky and club ready. 

Tell me about your favorite experiences on tour. Is there anything that really stands out?

Meeting new people. You gotta be a people person to be on different cities every-time. Learning new cultures. And the challenge to rock a different crowd every time. 

Just wanted to say I loved your remix of Childish Gambino's "This Is America." Was this your favorite track to work with recently?

Yes. I really enjoyed making it! That one was challenging and I learned new tricks while doing it. 

Who's your celebrity crush?

Mmmmm...I forgot her name. 

Do you have any artists you'd really love to collaborate with in the future? Feel free to shout them out.

Oh yes. Would love to work with Diplo. Adele. Kanye and Ellie Goulding. Love her voice. 

How did you learn to mix? Do you have any advice for new artists

Mix as in DJing or producing?

I was a self-taught producer. My advice is to find your sound. And be original. Stop copying the trend. 

When you're not DJing and mixing up amazing tracks, what do you enjoy doing for fun?

I love my RC cars and working on my race cars. I do auto cross with my mini. Gotta keep yourself busy. 

Do you have any special causes close to your heart? Tell me about them.

My kids for sure. They are everything to me. 

Quick! Tell me your favorite movie, book, and food.

RAD, Days of Thunder, and anything Asian fusion delicacy. 

Do you love DJ Serafin?

Check out his website, and his Freakonomix account!

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