Most of us never had any say in what people call us. We have to go through life with whatever someone else decided was a good name for us. DJs on the other hand have a chance to extend their persona into their name. Who wouldn’t love to have the chance to choose what millions of adoring fans are going to call you? But with great power comes great responsibility. When they chooses their stage name it’s like choosing a band name: creativity is key! Whether it is an old nickname; or its origins are from an awesome story from your past; or just something you think is rad, it is a great insight into the person. So, if you’re as curious as we are about why DJs choose the name they do, enjoy this new ongoing series from us here at AYNiB.
Make sure to check out our follow up posts!How DJs Chose Their Names #1 How DJs Chose Their Names #2 How DJs Chose Their Names #3 How DJs Chose Their Names #4 How DJs and Artists Chose Their Names #5 How DJs and Artists Chose Their Names #6 – 403DNB Edition
KID KOALA – “My mother used to buy this sugary Koala juice drink when I was a kid. If you came over to the house you were always offered it as a beverage. My friends in high school started calling me ‘Koala Kid’ because there were empty bottles of Koala drink all over my basement studio.”
DJ NU-MARK – “I started DJing in a crew called Bum Rush Productions in 1988 and we started doing parties. I figured I needed a name. My name is Mark and my partner Monty and I were at a gig and he said, “it’s probably underneath your nose” and there it was: a Numark mixer.”
THE GASLAMP KILLER – “I cleared every dance floor in the San Diego area for years. I had shit thrown at me and all the pretty girls and guys in fancy clothes were talking shit at me. When I moved to LA, everybody loved it. My friends back from here said that I was killing the Gaslamp. Literally, killing everyone’s good time. I was like “yeah, I guess I was.” After a couple of years in LA, I was like you know what, I think I’m going to use that for my name. Back then, I hadn’t even gotten any steam going. I still had the opportunity to change my name, so I decided to make The Gaslamp Killer my name.”
BEARDYMAN – “Beardyman, it’s not my real name, but it’s sexier than my real one so I changed it by deedpole. My real name is Nufral Demara. My parents are both adopted. I started beatboxing when I was 3 and was consistently told to stop it, until one day someone gave me a microphone and the resulting noise catapulted me into superstardom where you find me today, a rotting hulk of a man poisoned by fame and riddled with a deep and all-pervading paranoia.”
DJ SHADOW – “I started out as DJ 24 Karat. My Man Stan, the 8th wonder, a graffiti artist friend of mine were looking at this Marley record and a the Herbie Love bug record in late ‘89. I noticed how all these producers were stepping out and wanting to be in video and stars in their own right. I had been having trouble dealing with that as a person who saw himself as a DJ and future producer. It was originally shadow, or The Shadow. It stemmed from the concept of being heard, rather than seen. DJ Qbert’s crew was originally called the Shadow DJ’s during the early 90’s, so there was some confusion in the beginning. So a mutual friend of ours, Marcus Clemens decided to end the confusion and told Qbert’s crew to be the Shadow DJ’s and I be DJ Shadow”
Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVxxiGKxyPk (DJ Revolution Interview)
OPIUO – “Oh-pee-oh. So many people ask this little question, and the word actually has no meaning whatsoever.”
THE GLITCH MOB – Boreta: “That’s a good question. It was kind of just something that one of us said. A friend of ours just actually said it. We needed a name because we actually started playing shows before we actually had a name. We got booked for a festival and the guy who was booking us said you guys need a name. Because we were kind of using our individual names and so a friend of ours just kind of said it and we said that rolls off the tongue nicely and yeah so it just kind of stuck.”
DATSIK – “Well, at heart I’m just a big nerd who loves his video games. I used to play a lot of Halo, and it [Datsik] used to be my Xbox gamer tag. I started making music, and I really didn’t have a name until I made a few tracks already. I figured I would end up changing it from Datsik eventually, but everyone kind of convinced me otherwise so I just rolled with it!”
RJD2 – He claims his name originates from another friend who referenced him as “rjd2” in his raps, and the name stuck.
PEANUT BUTTER WOLF – One of the first facts that an avid PBW fan learns is that his rather unconventional name comes from a boogie monster that haunted an ex-girlfriend’s little brother. His government handle, Chris Manak, is slightly odd too. “It’s a made-up Americanized Polish name,” he explains. “Prince Paul – was touring with him a few years back, somehow my real name came up and he goes, ‘That’s a dope name man, you should make that your DJ name! Forget about Peanut Butter Wolf, I’m talking about DJ Chris Manak!”
FOREIGN BEGGARS – “I remember I was listening to Kyza, (former Terra Firma member) he mentioned the word “Foreign Beggars” on a track, we were about to put a record out and didn’t really have the name for the band. There were a lot of issues surrounding foreigners and immigration at the time, add to the fact that we’re from all over the place, speak different languages and just a mixed up bunch of people. It was slightly controversial so we thought, “Why not? We can make this work”
If you have a favorite DJ you would like featured on our next How DJs Choose Their Names then leave us a comment below!