Before you started DJing more, everyone has always known you as Jason or JT, was there every a time that you felt you wanted to separate your “DJ self” and go by a different name? Say DJ Goodlife, maybe?
(Haha) I like simple, so I thought about a DJ name a few times, but figured it be so much easier to just go by JT or Jaytee.
You established yourself nicely as a promoter, entrepreneur and all around cool guy. Are people still surprised when you find out you DJ? What do they typically say?
Not so much now, but before, a lot of people were surprised when they would find me playing at my own spots, or events. Now I’ve been focusing a bit more on djing, so it’s not as much of a surprise. I would usually get the typical, “Wait, you’re a DJ?” (LOL)
What is the last, BEST piece of advice a DJ has given you that has had an effect on your style and approach?
It may sound cliche, but I think the best advice has been to “be yourself”. As in all things, I’ve come to realize that it’s important to be yourself, and have your personality show in the things you do. After all, when all is said and done, all bullish*t aside, “real” is all you’ll have left. With that being said, it’s also important to be able to know your customers and your crowd. Those are probably the two most recent, influential things that I’ve had discussions about, with people and other DJs.
Can you briefly talk about how you've grown and improved, knowledge and skill-wise?
I feel I have come a long way in the past few years. With the digital dj age in full effect now, you have no choice but to grow, and progress. Or get left behind. I started out at the University of Oregon djing in my living room with vinyl and ran myself broke, buying records. So from there till current day, my skill in the dj booth has come a long way, but there's always a lot of room for growth. I'm constantly learning new things, new music, new ideas, watching and absorbing all the time, but in the past few years my surroundings have been a great influence on my knowledge of music, crowds, and in turn skills. I've had the luck of being around a highly international crowd, as well as being able to see and hear a number of DJ's from all types of genres and I'm always impressed and enjoy watching and listening to them. Being exposed to these things regularly has definitely increased my understanding for DJing, and music in general. Did that sound obscure or abstract?
Would I be right in saying that DJing is a hobby for you right now?
I would say that DJing is and always has been a hobby for me. Reality is that DJing has become my job in the past few years until current. BUT, with the word "job" sometimes come's a negative feeling. Quite the contrary, I love DJing, and so I would say it's currently one of my passions..hobbies..jobs.
Current Residencies? Upcoming special events?
Currently I play at the M nightclub in restaurant row, and the newly opened Michelle's Lounge on Keeaumoku Street. In December I have an event coming up, celebrating the grand opening of Flag-J (a Japanese shoe store opening in Ala Moana), that will feature 3 girl's from an all-girl DJ crew straight from Japan. And then in March of next year, myself and Jami (from NSK) will be leaving Hawaii on our 3rd Annual Good Life Asia Tour again!
Last question my man, When was the last time you had an "Holy Shit. That was Dope. I'm surprised I just did that" moment?
That's a hard one. I get those moments here and there, when trying out new things, especially in front of a crowd, or on the job. New music combinations, new ideas. But it's more of a "Holy shit, it actually worked!" type moment! It happens almost every week to be honest. The DOPE part might not be there ALL THE TIME and is definitely in the eye of the beholder, but definitely "holy shit" part is there! (Lol). I try new stuff on the fly all the time.