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How DJs & Artists Chose Their Names #5


Here we are with a new all Canadian edition of How DJs & Artists Chose Their Names. This time, we decided to celebrate some of Canada’s awesome and diverse talent. We truly are blessed up here in the Great White North! Not only do we have an amazing array of genre representation, but the names of these artists don’t disappoint when it comes to originality. Whether they chose names because they were a bad ass graf artist; they make up outer space rap lyrics; or long ago rave times, the stories that spawned the names are pretty awesome.

This is the fifth installment of this ongoing series. Be sure to check our previous ones!



(Vancouver, British Columbia)

“I was in a band initially and wanted to start there. I wrote a song about a fictitious character that had ironically good and bad luck. Longwalkshortdock was the name I decided to give that character. Some of the lyrics were about unbelievable shit that happened. I got a gig and I didn’t have a name, so I decided to temporarily use Longwalkshortdock.”

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(Toronto, Ontario)

“I started playing music when I was very young in the mid 80’s.  Back then I couldn’t think of a name I liked so I used my initials; MDS.  At the time I was part of a crew called the Soul Syndicate. At the end of high school I auditioned for a job with a sound crew called Non Chalant. They played everything from Hip Hop, RnB, Reggae, and House in clubs such as; Spectrum, Copa, Empire, Jaguar, Empress Lifestyles. My audition went well and the owner of the Sound whose name was Darryl Dark thought it would be fitting to call me ‘Mark Swift’ as he thought I had quick mixing skills. I still didn’t like that name!  In 1990 I started to become involved with Toronto’s emerging rave scene. I changed my name to DJ Marcus which stuck with me for about 10 years. I still wasn’t happy with the name as I thought it was really plain compared to some of the names in the scene at the time; Jumping Jack Frost, Grooverider etc. At the time I was producing music with a partner ‘Dave Whalen’ under the name ‘Visionary’.  Around 99 or 2000 we had MC Navigator (U.K) in the studio. He was voicing a dubplate for us and asked us to give him names of people we wanted to big up. As he was bigging me up on the dub we yelled out ‘Visionary’.  He then continued to say ‘Big up Marcus Visionary. Marcus Visionary this and Marcus Visionary that. When he got off the mic we told him that it was just Marcus and we were Visionary. His reply was from now on you need to call yourself  ‘Marcus Visionary’. I finally found a name that I was happy with and I’ve stuck with it ever since!  So big up Navigator for his visionary thinking!”



(Calgary, Alberta)

“I made a list of 100 names. Popped a couple of brews and went through the names cutting out the ones we didn’t like until I hit Defunk, and I knew it was just right.”



(Calgary, Alberta)

“My college roommate started the name. Whenever someone reads my last name for the first time, they pronounce it “Curry” instead of “Corey.” My roommate and I are also partial to Indian food so she started calling me Koury Vindaloo around school and the house. It’s stuck with me ever since.”

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(Calgary, Alberta)

“My friend Ty gave it to me when we were just lil’ ravers back in 99, and it stuck ever since. I should also mention my name is Sara, so it’s fitting!”



(Vancouver, British Columbia)

I guess I’m kind of incriminating myself here, but “Cure” was my graffiti name I was using at the time around 98 or so. I had entered a DJ competition, it was my first gig and I didn’t have a name. Cure it is.”



(Vancouver, British Columbia)

“Me (NOG) and Mr. Mercy got together in 2011 and started experimenting writing bass music with guitar in it. We wanted to choose a name that would tie into to the combination of natural and electronic sounds that was the basis of our music. We had a massive brainstorm list for band names. Most of these were completely ridiculous. I had randomly written a rap verse about being in space. One of the lines was something about “moon flips”. From that we came up with Moontricks.”



(Montreal, Quebec)

“I was going by something originally that wasn’t quite suited to my personality […] it never felt quite right. While at Shambhala Music Festival several years back, a special place to me I might add, my friend Jacob started calling me Jams as a nickname to my real name Jamie. It caught on in no time. By the end of the festival our whole crew was calling me Jams. On the drive home I had an epiphany about it and I remember looking over to one of my best friend’s and saying “I think I have  a new Dj name.” He replied “I think you do too… Jams.”  I had the honour of having my name given to me by my friends and that’s a pretty awesome gift I will cherish always. ”



(Calgary, Alberta / Toronto, Ontario)

“Prior to ever being Gravity I had always been called Superdave (and for a brief time Superglue). I had wanted to shed those names for a while and find a moniker that had as much substance as I was trying to convey through the art of MC’ing. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when the name came to me. I had just gone through the most serious breakup of my life and I was in a state of turmoil. I was walking along listening to instrumentals and thinking up lyrics. One of the rhymes in my head was a very emotional piece about gravity. I stopped dead in my tracks while crossing the Tenth Street Bridge in Calgary and really thought about what gravity meant. Sure, it’s a force of nature that confines us to the ground. It’s a force the human race has wished and dreamed of defying since the dawn of time. But, it’s beyond that! I thought about how it impacts us on a relationship level. How it affects who we become friends with and who we gravitate to the most. I had talked frequently with people about how we all gravitate towards the things we need, love or towards certain people for unexplainable reasons, and for me rhyming was something I could never dream of getting away from. The idea of all of that was just too powerful to dismiss. And like gravity’s initial introduction to the universe. Bam! MC Gravity.

It has been a very rooting name. It holds me down the same way I try to hold it down for a crowd when performing. It’s such a strong name. It’s inspired me to work harder and be better. If you’re named after of one of the four fundamental interactions of nature you had better be a force of nature yourself.”

If you have a favourite DJ or Artist you would like featured on our next How DJs & Artists Choose Their Names then leave us a comment below! Or, if you are an DJ or Artist please contact us with your story.

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