Hey, DJ: Shindgz of Trip Eazy LA

Calling all lovers of Kanye more than Kanye loves Kanye! This Friday, L.A. collective Trip Eazy makes their way up to the Bay for a second time to celebrate all things Kanye with this month’s “Yeezy Season.” While the crew’s first Kanye-themed party was thrown just a year ago, it has already grown from a dive bar one-off to sold-out shows throughout California.

We got a chance to chat with Trip Eazy member Shindgz about the origins of the party, his own DJing style, and why Kanye remains one of the most influential artists of his generation.

Kanye Loves Kanye: Yeezy Season takes place this Friday, Aug. 25, at The Great Northern.

Hey Shindgz, what prompted you to take up DJing?
Before I started DJing I had my own radio show in Arizona at my college’s radio station and I had my brother and a friend of mine who would be my regular DJ’s on the show while I would be the personality behind the microphone. After graduating I came back home to L.A. and my brother’s DJ equipment was there so I decided to start picking it up and from then on for lack of a better phrase I got bit by the DJ bug, if that’s even a phrase.

Describe to us your DJ style.
My style is best described as an open-format DJ. I don’t get a thrill out of spinning only one specific genre, I prefer to cover as many genres as I can in a set if it makes sense vibe wise and the timing is right. I enjoy using tracks of one genre to seamlessly blend them into another genre; it makes for a more interesting set and caters well with diverse crowds.

Three years ago you started your collective Trip Eazy LA. What’s the story behind the name and objective?
When it came to finding the name it was honestly three weeks of eight different people just throwing out names for our collective until Trip Eazy stuck with all of us. We describe it best as this journey through music and the genres that get introduced along the way. We initially started as a podcast in a small room about the size of a supply closet with the eight of us crammed inside the room. We would do recorded podcasts and feature up and coming music. Shortly after we started throwing parties and haven’t stopped since. Our main objective is to show people the diverse movements in music. Music is evolving at a rate faster than what it was before with new sounds, samples, and sub-genres and we as a collective take those movements and unify them into one event, one DJ set at a time.

About a year ago, the collective started putting on a Kanye-themed party. Why Kanye?
Personally I wanted to put on an all Kanye-themed party as a challenge to my DJs to see how well we can put on a party focusing on one artist and without repeating any of his tracks. I grew up a fan of Kanye’s music as did the rest of my team and wanted to put on this party to challenge ourselves to mix an artist that we all had a mutual interest in. I had anticipated the party at first to be a one-off event at this small dive bar in L.A. Shortly a few months later, we were approached by another established collective-company about throwing Kanye Loves Kanye on a larger scale. We agreed to try it out on a bigger scale and it hasn’t stopped since, it has become bigger than I had ever imagined it would be and there is still so much more room to grow.

Which album has been most influential to you personally?
I would have to say My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The creativity and versatility of each track was mind-blowing and I was drawn from “Dark Fantasy” all the way to “Lost in the World.” At the time when that album dropped I was doing sports broadcasting then after listening to this album I gravitated towards working in music and haven’t turned back since.

Kanye’s career has been a rollercoaster, which many people jumping on and getting back on in terms of fandom. What are your thoughts about his career?
It is exactly how you would describe it, a roller coaster. But if you take a closer look at Kanye in his music and actions, his whole career he has been a consistent advocate for taking ownership of your own creativity and not letting others take that creative process away from you or limit you from your creativity. First hand it is difficult to manage a creative person because you can’t limit their process and what they are envisioning. Kanye is one of the most influential artists of our time and I can say although some may describe his career as a roller coaster, I would profile it as breaking barriers to achieve progress.

How do you guys distinguish yourself from other themed parties?
The energy and atmosphere that we create with our themed parties. Every party we want to push the envelope of your standard club night and create a concert-like atmosphere. Make the crowd feel included and make them feel as if they’re a part of the night because of course the crowd is the main source of energy for any club night, concert, and festival. It starts with the DJ, the music they play, and the presence they have each set. They’re the tone-setters for the crowd to get into it and then after the DJ begins to feed off of the crowd and everything works in unison. It’s pretty crazy how you see it evolve first hand as the night progresses.

How was the reception in the Bay Area last time?
The reception from the Bay Area last time was unreal! We played our first show to a sold out crowd. Everyone was vibing and the energy was insane.

What are you hoping to do with a bigger venue this time?
With a bigger venue of course share our party with more people and give them an experience they wouldn’t hesitate to tell their friends about. The goal for every party to go beyond your typical club night and create a concert like atmosphere for the crowd.

Where do you see this party going in the future?
I can see this party in other destinations outside of California for sure. Big goal of mine is to have a Kanye Party in Chicago. I already have the vision and theme for what I want to do a party out in Chi-Town.

If there’s one Kanye quote to summarize the party vibe with, what would it be?
“I love you like Kanye loves Kanye” because “I Love Kanye” from The Life Of Pablo is where the name of the party was derived from. Also we base that off of the nature of our parties because we want to welcome everyone and we want to be sure everyone has an amazing time at our party. Therefore, that’s why we came with the slogan, “The party that loves you more than Kanye Loves Kanye.”

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