AYLI Ground Level 015 – Whodat

DJ Whodat interview by Miguel Solari @MiguelSolari23

Hi Terri. Congratulations on all your success and in particular your appearance on Theo Parrish’s IK7 Detroit Forward mix featuring your track “Don’t Know”. Your mixes are part of that soulful Detroit vinyl crate lineage and your productions are an extended expression of that knowledge. I read elsewhere that Theo came up to you at a record store way before you started djing and said, “are you a DJ, because you look like one” and handed you a record. It seems like your music career in this sound was deemed in the stars. It’s an honor to interview you. 

It is said that your vinyl digging can be traced back to shopping records with your mother. Could you tell us a little more about those formative experiences and how they shaped your love for music on vinyl? Also, please, what is the first record you bought and when was the last time you played it?

When I grew up, vinyl was the main format that music existed on. My mom had a small stereo system she won from a raffle, a few albums and some 45s. As soon she put me in a walker, I was in into her 45s. Not sure what the fascination was but I was drawn to them. Momma just started to show me how to use them and care for them from the beginning. I think I got my first radio and turntable when I was 3. Then I was really blown away by the radio. Like you can listen to anything! I eventually understood that the music on the radio could be bought at the record store. So at first, I would tell momma which records I wanted and she would buy them. One of those records was a 45; Rockin’ Robin by Michael Jackson. I started to dig on my own at about 10 or 11. One of the first records I bought was Sade – Promise. I played the copy of that album that I bought earlier this year. The Rockin’ Robin got lost or stolen. I haven’t heard it in a long time, not even randomly.

You had a respected reputation as a record collector before you even started djing and heads knew about you and were already going out and part of the scene. So in retrospect, can you point to a memorable and transformative music experience at Detroit venue, underground event or dj performance that might have planted a seed for your dj style before you even go you first pair of turntables?

I think the venue may have been Floods or maybe Half Past Three (TV Lounge) but this happened to me a lot when I first started. As soon as I would start to play, maybe like my second or third track, one of the other djs on the bill would come up me and asked if they could get back on. I didn’t really know what to do but I never wanted to argue about it. So I would just unplug my headphones, pack my bag and not play again that night. Then one night, Earl ‘Mixxin’ McKinney came up to me and said “ Fooooool, when am I going hear you play more than 3 records. Every time I start grooving you starting packing your bag.” I got the message after he said that to me. That was my last 3 track set. lol 

Speaking of vinyl, Mike Huckaby was a wise one and it seems like he had huge influence on you. Could you share a particular memorable moment or conversation with Huck that left a lasting impression on you?

We ran into each other at the Excursions Movement afterparty in 2019. He was so excited about my Workshop release. He told me how proud he was and made me sign his copy. Super dope moment!!

Your instagram feed is great and I recommend everyone to follow it. Clearly the The WhoLab is your sanctuary. What are somethings currently coloring the walls or ceilings or any items at the WhoLab which inspire your creativity that we haven’t seen on your feed yet?

Do you remember the JC Penney Christmas catalog? I’m about to cut out all the pictures of gear I want for the Wholab in 2023. My Panasonic 8 band radio I found at a thrift store. I finally got a copy Digable Planets – Blowout Comb for my birthday. A dope poster from Todd Westend. An old project I painted in college back in the day. It really ties the room together.

I have been listening to your mixes recently, the RA mix, RedBull and that Naivetape #21 which took me to another level. Can you tell us a little something about how you approached this As You Like It mix? Also, please give us a little hint on any future projects we can look forward to from you. Bless!

I had to do this one over 3 times. lol. It’s been a rough few weeks. They all depend on how I feel at the time. I do ok most of the time. Only time will tell. As far as projects go, I have some catching up to do. A couple of remixes need to be completed and I’m starting on new projects as well. You will know with who when its time.

Tracklist

Good in the Bad – Jihoon featuring Meftah (One Spoke International)

Be Yourself – Space Ghost (Tartelet)

Chlorine Cologne – Pools (Spills)

Cookies and Cream – Scott Grooves (Natural MIDI)

Whispers – The R.A.S.E. (Ron Allen Sound Experience) (Collective Rhythm Network)

Real Right In Detroit, Real Right – DJ Mode (Stilove4music)

Rodney’s Vibrations – Souldynamic (G.A.M.M.)

That’s All I Needed – Kerri Chandler (Max Trax)

Somethin’ Else – 2nd Shift featuring Heather (Seasons Recordings)

Submarwhip – Ryan McCray (Choose Better Friends Records)

White Label 

Lovely Day – Bill Withers (K2 Edit)

T.O.M. Project Remix – Marcellus Pittman (Unirhythm)

Attack! – Kyle Hall (Forget The Clock)

How Do I Go On – Joeski featuring Jesánte (!K7 Records)

Ride – Harrison Crump (Electric Chair)

Ocean View – Jamie Thinnes  Featuring Sidestreet Players (Seasons Limited)

Moonlite (Duality/Detroit Live Version) – Ian Fink (!K7)

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