What is your name?
DJ Femmy Rekson
Tell us a bit about yourself/background
I was born and raised in New York, specifically Harlem, Manhattan and moved to the Bronx by High School then went to college in Virginia. Got my undergrad degree in Mechanical Engineering and I’m currently finishing up my master’s degree. I loved playing Super Mario, Trading Pokémon cards, watching dragon ball-z and football with the guys in my neighborhood. I was part of the philharmonic orchestra at my middle/high school, I played the bass guitar, drums, and keyboard at my church as well as rap. This is important because I do not shy from what I’m passionate about. My Dad was a DJ back in the day and would take my cousins and I to adult parties where we covered videography and photography while he was handling the music. The switch kicked in when I took over and started Djing the younger events (proms, birthdays, cookouts). I also DJ at church events and family gatherings.
When did you start doing this (art/music/production/design etc)?
I started Djing around 2007 at the age of 14. Two years later, I started rapping, singing and producing beats in high school.
How was the reaction/feedback from those around you (family/friends)?
During that time my friends and I listened to rappers like Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, J. Cole and a Tribe called Quest. We created a group called “4th Quarter” and we would have rap battles at lunch.
My Family found out that I rapped when I performed at youth conventions and church programs under the name “Christ Child”.
My Dad was a DJ back in the day, so he wasn’t surprised that I wanted to DJ as well. My parents still wanted me to go to school and get my degree, so I can have something to fall back on.
What inspires your art?
Not to sound cliché, but everything inspires my art. Constantly taking the E train to Jamaica Ave in Queens inspired me to create the mix “XVI: En route/ Homecoming” which was a blend of songs representing each borough in New York then using recordings of the train conductor announcing different stops as transitions for those songs. If you are from New York, or have been on its crowded trains, you have either witnessed someone or you yourself selling candy for a basketball team. Around that time an up-and-coming comedian by the name of “Young Prince” was doing skits on social media focusing on topics such as types of DJs in the club, how Jamaican men pickup women, celebrity roasting and more. One skit that caught my attention was the locked-on subject on what people say when they are selling candy on the train, which I used as the intro of my mix.
My Mix “23 Jordan Year” was my birthday compilation of live sessions that I blended to show how two bands from different parts of the world were on the same time when it came to their live sessions dealing with various genres of music such as afrobeats, soca, dancehall, hiphop, etc. The Compozers were based in the United Kingdom while the Kingsmen were based in the United States. This inspiration came from African culture when live bands would perform at birthdays, weddings, and celebrations of life.
What is your favorite piece and why?
My favorite piece is the “Motivation Series” which is a compilation of 90’s r&b blended with today’s r&b, afrobeats and other genres. The reason why the motivation is my favorite piece, because it was my second attempt at story telling with music that allowed listeners to vibe with subjective ears. When seeking thoughts on the Motivation pieces, I loved how I got different perspectives on the unique curation of songs; for instance, the transitions from soul to afrobeats through song context, instruments, tempo/bpm.
Who would you like to work with /who inspires you/ which artist do you admire?
I definitely would love to work with DJ Tunez and Juls because they are two creatives who have a unique vibe/extensive library of music. I was at a party at NYU (New York University) that DJ Tunez and DJ Ob1 were covering. Tunez says “We are going to end this night right” then plays Wizkid- Ojuelegba which is like the anthem for hustlers, transitions to Justin Bieber- Sorry, and ends it off with Bryson Tiller-Don’t”. Who does that shit??? I guess only Tunez. One morning, I was watching Juls play two different versions of a beat that he made, both versions were smooth, and it showed how impressive his attention to detail was.
Two Creatives that inspire me are Ryan Leslie and Kanye West. Ryan Leslie plays so many different instruments and also is involved in making sure the artists have bangers by laying vocals/adlibs to their songs. Kanye West inspires me to be as creative as I can be when working with an artist and creating my own piece.
I admire the production duo of the Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) because their catalogue of produced songs is extensive from Beyonce, Usher to Snoop Dogg and Beenie Man. In 2003 more than 40% of the music that was played on the radio were produced by the Neptunes.
I have some more mixes, collaborations with artists and my own EP coming up.
What advice do you have for anybody out there who wants to be an artist like you?
I would say make sure you are in sync with yourself mentally and emotionally because when you are down at times, you must be able to push and believe in yourself since your vision can only be fully seen by you.
There are times where you must work hard and smart because time does not respect anyone who doesn’t respect it.
Create your own wave/sound because if you chase a wave that fades, unfortunately you go out with it.