DJ Matrox and BoomBap Tuesdays recently held one of the most entertaining, engaging, and enjoyable DJ competitions in San Diego’s hip hop scene, the BoomBap Sweet16 DJ competition. The battle took place at North Park’s U-31 bar, and consisted of a single-elimination bracket wherein participants drew artist names the week before, and then crafted 10 minute sets around that artist. DJs went head to head, every other week, until the field was whittled down from 16 to 2, DJ ManeOne and DJ Senema. The title of today’s post removes all suspense that may have been crafted by this intro, so with no further adieu, let’s catch up with the 2017 BoomBap Sweet16 DJ Competition winner, DJ Senema.
SDLHH: Who is DJ Senema?
DJ Senema: Hi, my name is Alder aka ‘DJ Senema’. I’m 32 years old, I’m from San Diego, CA, and I’ve been DJing since 2001.
SDLHH: So, you were recently involved in DJ Matrox’ BoomBap Sweet 16 DJ Competition. Can you let us know a little bit about how the competition is structured and what you liked most about being a part of it?
DJ Senema: Each DJ will supply their top 5 artist they wish to represent. A lottery wheel will be created using everyone’s top picks. Using the lottery wheel, each DJ will be paired with one of their Hip Hop artists they submitted.
The main thing I liked the most was being able to express yourself and showcase your skills.
SDLHH: Okay, so you didn’t just participate, you won the whole thing! What does it mean to walk away from the competition, which was thick with dope DJs, as the winner? Which DJ did you enjoy battling most? Why?
DJ Senema: Winning the whole thing was surreal; it was definitely a tough competition from beginning to end. I honestly enjoyed battling them all from: Jay2, Fastlane Nate, Tren-D & Mane One, they’re all talented and awesome DJ’s. Every single one of them are really cool dudes and I have nothing but respect for them.
SDLHH: Since you draw a different artist for each battle, you chose 4 artists. Who was your favorite? And who was your least favorite, or the most difficult/challenging? Why?
DJ Senema: I loved my choices. Pac, Cube, Kendrick & Kanye are all in my top 10 favorite Hip Hop artists. Each artist was challenging because I wanted to cover all grounds by utilizing their disses, punchlines, hit tracks etc. I am sad that I didn’t get to use Nas for this battle. He’s definitely in my top 3 of most favorite Hip Hop artists of all time. #Illmatic
SDLHH: Since I have you here, do you mind if I ask a few questions just to let SDLHH’s readers get to know you? How did you get into DJing? Who are some SD DJs that you would consider mentors/inspirations?
DJ Senema: : I have a few people that I consider my mentors/inspirations. When I was younger, I used to love listening to the radio DJ’s like Slyed, Happee, Impakt, Mahjestik, Marlino, Richie Rich, Bille Knight and the list goes on. Listening to them made me want to learn how to DJ. So, during that time, I had a childhood friend that owned a pair of Gemini PT 2000’s and a Vestax (I forgot which one), but I used to go to his pad every day after school and watch him DJ. From that day forward, I was hooked and ready to learn.
I have a cousin from Chicago name Tony aka ‘C y not’ who used to be a battle DJ and my aunty used to show me footage of him battling back in the day. She was like, “Oh, you’re a DJ now too? You should have your kuya Tony teach you.” I was like, “Hell yeah!” but in reality, I was really shy. Hahaha! My cousin Tony taught me how to read/use the pitch control, how to mark your vinyls and eventually he taught me how to scratch. Thanks for everything cousin!
As far as SD DJ’s, my biggest mentors/inspirations are Battlestar, Sharpshooterz, Playtime, Orchestra, Armory, Dinoh, H.O.P, original Z90 DJ’s, Interplay, Infamous, MindzAlike, Earthbound radio and Sleeping Giant. They’ve played a big part in my life and they continue to push me everyday and for that I am extremely grateful. Thank you for being an amazing role model not just to me, but for the entire SD DJ community as well. I salute you all!
SDLHH: How has coming up in SD’s scene influenced how you do what you do behind the wheels of steel?
DJ Senema: SD has A LOT of talented DJ’s. I’ve DJed alongside the very best that SD can offer, and they each helped me to become better everyday.
SDLHH: Over the years, which I presume are filled with highs and lows, what has been a high point in your journey as a DJ?
DJ Senema: The highest point for me was when I started to get booked outside of San Diego places such as LA, Long Beach, Orange County, Inland Empire, Las Vegas and Hawaii – that right there made me realize if I can make it in my hometown, I can make it anywhere.
SDLHH: Speaking of the city’s scene, where in SD can readers catch you rockin’?
DJ Senema: Currently, I’m a resident DJ at U-31 every Thursday. Come by and say, “hi!”
SDLHH: I want to give you a chance to share whatever is on your mind with SD’s hip hop scene.
DJ Senema: SD’s Hip Hop scene is alive and growing. Almost every week, you’ll hear/see a bboy jam, graffiti art show, open mic, MC battles, scratch sessions etc. It’s live out here and it’s going stay that way. #ILoveMyCity
SDLHH: Thanks so much, DJ Senema, for taking the time today. Where can readers go to stay in tune with you?
DJ Senema: Thank you, SDLHH for interviewing me! You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, Soundcloud, Mixcloud —> @djsenema.