Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Interview with OTW Advocates Ako & Atiba aka "The Blackouts"

We recently had a chance to sit down with the the Jefferson brothers, Atiba and Ako who also go by their DJ duo surname "The Blackouts." Both Atiba and Ako share not only similar DNA but their taste in music, partying and hosting epic nights at Cha Cha and Max Fish are something of legend. In their everyday occupations, Ako helms The Skateboard Mag as the Art Director while Atiba is a photographer shooting for a variety of clients ranging from the NBA to a plethora of magazine titles. As combined in their leisurely exploits, The Blackouts are in a category of their own. Listen in to a candid interview and get to know Ako and Atiba.

What's behind the name "The Blackouts"?

Atiba: Takin' the party to phase 2.

Ako: Jagermeister memory loss.

When did you guys start djing and how does music affect your work?

Atiba: I'm not sure...maybe two years with Ako together, but honestly I started when I was 15 with my homie Damon Soule. We had two 12" of KMD and Beastie Boys. We each had a turntable he had mixer, so we would meet up and try to be Terminator X. Music has a positive effect on my life as a whole.

Ako: I started djing two years ago, thanks Kevin and Tony! I listen to music eight hours a day while I work.

I know Cha Chas is one of your favorite venues, what other venues do you enjoy?

Atiba: Max Fish in NYC but it's really about havin bro bartenders and a good subwoofer.

Ako: Max fish in NYC for me as well.

As DJs, where do you usually pick up your music?

Atiba: Ameoba, trolling the interweb, and ebay.

Ako: Mediafire or Amoeba.

Ako, I remember you mentioned you like "house"music, were you always into it? I ask because I know that overall LA seems to be going through a 90's renaissance of sorts, the fashion and music has definitely been affected by it. What are your thoughts on that?

Ako: I've just gotten into "house" over the last year. It does seem like things are coming back around like drum'n'bass sounds. I listen to so many types of music so it don't matter to me what genre or what year its from it is just care if its good.

Atiba: For me, we graduated in the 90's so it reminds me of middle school dances.

Do you guys like all genres of music?

Atiba: Yes, I just vibe off the crowd I'm a crowd pleaser Ako is not.

Ako: All genres...I just play what i want to hear.

What's up with thumbing beers?

Atiba: Ynot, 'cause it the funnest thing ever. You have to have done it to know why.

Ako: Good times and to have good times.

Folk music is making its way in LA, any interest in that whatsoever?

Atiba: I love Nick Drake

Ako: It depends who you know...

What's a typical set from you guys, how do you guys like to start your music and what particular tracks and artists do you guys fall back on when you feel that impulse from the crowd?

Atiba: It really depends on crowd but Biggie always makes people happy.

Ako: Depends where it is and whether we're in a club or a bar or a party. At Cha, I always start mellower jams because it's early when you start. I always fall back on Bad Brains, New Order, Outkast and Animal Collective.

Have you guys recorded a mixtape of sorts? Any plans to dive into music full time?

Atiba: Yeah we are gonna do podcast and also start a punk band, I'm also in a band called the goat and i got solo jams I hope to start a soundcloud soon.

Ako:I've made mixes for friends but wanna put some up on this site soon. I have no plans on music full time but you never know....

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