DJ Todd P Has Been Throwin It Down Since the 80s and Isn’t Stopping Soon!
Todd Hurley, a.k.a. DJ Todd P., has been on the turntables since 1984. He started spinning hip hop and breaks back in the Break Dancin’ days, moved from Medford, Oregon to California and found the underground Rave scene in San Francisco around 1992 and fell in love with techno and the dance/club scene. As the scene changed, Dj Todd P was right there making the move to house music, and playing soulful vocal funky house at various clubs, parties and raves around California. Today Dj Todd P is owner of Hurley Entertainment in Sacramento/Bay area California and is playing NU-Funk, break beats and House. Dj Todd P is passionate about music and passionate about rockin the dance floors with great tunes.
So how did it all begin?
– Wow it was a while ago!(1984) I was 16 I was in Medford, Oregon where me and my friends were all in a break-dance crew (the RZA) then I moved to L.A. for a year and got to see the Hip Hop scene for real! I, went to the underground club that ICE T owned “RADIO” (it was in the movie breakin’) anyway, I saw the Dj G.L.O.V.E. on stage scratchin and Beat Juggling and really movin the crowd. I knew right then I had found my calling. when school started there was a Dj playing at our lunch break in the courtyard and I went up introduced myself and started learning from him and his brother (thanks Polo and Nic) A Dj was born that day…my first Dj name was “EXQUISE Dj”
Where did the name come from?
Well that’s a tough one. My first name is Todd my middle name starts with a P. Dj Todd P. it’s been said that you’re not supposed to pick your dj name. I had a few Dj friends with the name of Todd so we threw in the middle initial to tell us apart. I remember a party that six Djs played and we were all named Todd. (The party was called Todd Squad 85) so since that party the Name has been with me ever since.
What gave you that initial push?
Where I grew up in Medford we started clubbing at 16 yrs old. I love to dance. So I guess dancing pushed me into the Dj booth.
Tell us about your current DJ / Production setup? What Hardware / Software do you use?
Well I own a sound production Company (Hurley Entertainment) I have a lot of equipment. In my DJ coffin I use pioneer djm 600 mixers, Technics turntables and Serato. I also have a Roland MC909. My sound system has 4 18″custom subs and 8 15’tops., a huge rack of sound processing equipment and amps. I bring the noise!
Did the Djing, Production, Promoting come 1st?
Funny, I really started making mix tapes and carrying the ghetto blaster for the RZA break-dance crew. Yeah we broke out the cardboard! Then Djing then production now promoting.
Who’s throwing the best parties at the moment?
Well in Sac I like the Substance parties they have really been bringing out some great talent from all around. In the Bay Area there is so many world class Djs any night of the week you can hit a great party.
What was the first event you ever played at/put on?
I got to play at my High school dance in L.A. (1984) the DJ that was supposed to play got suspended from school. And that was my big shot! We had a lot of breakers and poppers. Another school came and battled my school on the floor! (We served up proper) it gives me chills to remember that night… thanks.
What was your first record you bought?
I still have it! It was JAM ON IT by Newcleus! It had just come out and I scored on it at licorice pizza in L.A. that was the first DJ record store I had ever seen. Stacks of vinyl, record players and headphones. Ahhh the days of old…
Out of all the tracks in your crate, which one never fails?
Wow there are so many…I love to play Nu-Funk so I would say anything that Jayl Funk mixed or Fort Knox five! Seriously there’s a lot of fire out there right now in the Nu-Funk genre!
What’s your favorite track / record / album / mix set of all time?
It’s the one going in my head at all times…it just never stops.
When all the partying is over how do you like to chill out?
I like to chill with my wife Wendy we like to go on bike rides, rafting the river, Camping we really like art too. She’s a singer songwriter so we play “Studio” a lot.
So how is the scene in your eyes at the moment?
It’s always changing but always kind of the same. The scene is about fun music dancing love and friends. There is room for everyone in the scene! No matter whom you are or where you come from. Just go to the scene and make new friends any time. You go where you hear house music or funk you’re going to make friends! All you need is a smile!
What’s your real name if you use an alias and how old are you?
My real name is Todd Hurley and I am 42…uum did I just say that?? They say inside every old person is on young person wondering WTF happened? okay 42. Moving on next question…
Where do you live currently?
I live in Sacramento California
How big is your vinyl collection?
Pause…moment of silence please…most of my record collection was stolen a few years ago. So I’m rebuilding. I have 12,000 songs digitally on C.D. and a computer full of new music.
What do you think about digital DJ setups like Serato, Traktor, and Ableton? Do you use them?
YES! I use a Rane Serato SL3 and I love it! I am a vinyl guy forever and my serato gives me the opportunity to get real hard to find music or tracks from friends and still mix with vinyl. The days of record stores are fading away and I will always miss that. BUT music selection is not limited by the record stores crates. I can get anything on the internet.
Funniest thing that ever happened at an event?
Hmmm brain overload…
Other DJs you rate?
Jeno, Garth, Rick Preston, Miguel Migs, Andy Caldwell, Chuck Love, Joshua Heath, Jon H. (FK5), Jayl Funk, and locally I dig Nate Spross, Kritt, and Dansin. I’d say those are my favorites right now.
What do you think about MC’s and their role in hip-hop/dance music culture?
I know a lot of emcees and I think that it’s an amazing talent. I really like freestyle rappers and battle rapping. That’s REAL talent. Cuz it’s live off the cuff. My favorite underground emcee is E.S.O.G from Hollister CA. that guy has skills!
What advice would you give to up and coming DJs/Promoters?
Practice, Practice, Practice and learn with vinyl. Then post some mixes up on one of the hosting sites and get some feedback. AND LISTEN TO THE FEEDBACK! Be your own DJ play what you like not what people say you should play. Djing is an art form and a lifestyle WELCOME!!
When you play is it a planned set?
Never planned, I pick music out for each separate show and put it in a crate then play outta that.
When was the 1st time you visited Ibiza? Was it to holiday or to play?
I haven’t been to Spain but I have played @ Ibiza in Oakland back in the 90’s. If I’m going on holiday my Wife Wendy tries to get me gigs wherever were going.
Anything else you want to say? Any shouts?
To my FAT CITY peeps, RZA, Substance Crew, Felony 1 records, My Wife Wendy, my Daughter Megan, my son Brandon
If you could stage a rave anywhere, where would you choose?
I think it would be cool to throw a RAVE at Alcatraz!
How do you see the scene 5 years from now?
I have watched the scene evolve over the years in a lot of ways. The party and the music. When I got into the Rave scene in 1989 it was all TECHNO and everyone was real drugged up. Then the House came around and has evolved into a million sub genres. Back then nobody knew what house music was not even the clubs. Now I hear house music on T.V. ads and it’s really hit the mainstream. The Breaks and Nu-Funk is real big in Europe right now. And I think that’s the direction it’s going musically. There are a lot of people calling themselves producers because they have a computer and some loops. I like real musician’s real singers and real studio production. And songs with some structure shape and dynamics. Not just the same loop for five minutes.
If you had a time machine what year would you go back to and why?
It would be the summer of love 1969 I’d be right at the Haight in San Francisco. That’s really where it all started for the dance music scene. I love the energy there on the Haight. I make a point to go every time I’m in the City
Knight Rider or A-team?
How bout Starsky and Hutch. The music was better! Bow chicka bow bow!
Shalini Chandra is a mid-30’s student, dancer, animal lover, and club junkie. She has been into the nightlife scene since the tender age of 16 and is still going strong. Over the years she has grown to know and love DJs in both the Sacramento and Bay Areas, and is respected as an authority on local nightlife and DJs. She is well known for her wit, sassiness, and sharp tongue; more of which you can read at thatgirlfromtheinternet.com. Shalini can reached at: Shalini@thatgirlfromtheinternet.com.
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