DJ Iceman: Who are you and where are you from?
LD: Believe it or not I am from the deep south though Birmingham, Al has been my home for many years. I've been djng for 10 years and moved to Birmingham to attend college. I graduated with a Bachelors degree in Political Science and Masters in Public Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
DJ Iceman: Any affiliations/crews?
LD: Magic City DJs (Bham, Al) /Charlemagne Records
DJ Iceman: How did you get started as a dj?
LD: In 2006, a friend of mine, Kylani who was an aspiring DJ at the time introduced me to broken beat artists like Bugz in the Attic, Basement Jaxx, Clara Hill, house music producers AtJazz, Miguel Migs, Louie Vega, and under ground neo-soul & hip hop artists like Eric Roberson, Peter Hadar, Ursula Rucker, Platinum Pied Pipers and so many others..but it was the house music, the soulful & deep house music that blew my mind. I fell completely in love with the sound of deep bass, the percussion, the rhodes piano, synths, the melodies and vocalists..wow..
In 2007 the decision was made to go ahead and give it a shot; djng. I had the mindset of "now or never". Never wasn't imaginable.
Kylani gave me a few tips for using Mixmeister, a software program to create mixes. It was my "crawl before walking" approach since I didn't know any veteran DJs at the time who could educate me using vinyl and a mixer.
In 2009, i bought a controller called the Hercules DJ Steel Control and became acquainted with one of my now, mentors DJ Don Johnson. To improve my skills, I sometimes after a long day at work would go by a local night club/lounge to observe my mentor and spin as I learned techniques for transitioning between songs.
My mother passed away in early 2010 just before my birthday in January. I learned all that I could about mixing the best I could with what I had available to me. Delving into learning to DJ became therapeutic. My mom and I were very close.
Helpful to me also were Dubspot tutorials online, videos of Qbert scratching, videos of other female djs like DJ Annalyze, DJ Shortee and the Women on Wax Djs. I bought the DJ Revolutionaries book by Bill Brewster & Frank Broughton that has a collection of interviews by Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc, Tom Moulton, Grandmaster D.ST, Grandmaster Flash, Frankie Knuckles, Chip E and many others; another educational tool that gave me some background knowledge on how these legends got their start and using what medium. I even purchased online web courses from DigitalDJTips.com in which djs demonstrate various techniques for mixing and much more.
In September 2010, my debut gig was a 2 hour set at the Birmingham Artwalk at Second Row Studio, a local art gallery.
DJ Iceman: Who do you think most influenced your style of djng?
LD: Frankie Knuckles R.I.P.. Louie Vega. Also DJ Tony Soul's energy really inspires me.
The documentary "Maestro" about Larry Levan and other house music djs and producers as well as the hip hop documentary "Scratch" gave me a lot of insight as a dj.
DJ Iceman: How did you get your DJ name?
LD: I chose the name DJ Love Deluxe for a couple of reasons. One, a tribute to Sade and the "Love Deluxe" album. It's my most favorite album of all time other than Mary J Blige's "My Life". Also, Love Deluxe conveys the feeling I have about music and sharing that with people. I want them to also feel love... in "deluxe" fashion when attending a DJ Love Deluxe set.
DJ Iceman: What's the most important aspect of dj'ng to you?
LD: Several things.. Building a tribe of active supporters, professionalism, the music of course.. execution, selection, organization, having an appreciation for DJ history and the art form.. I'm always a student. CREATIVITY.
DJ Iceman: Most Memorable DJ gigs?
LD: My most memorable DJ gigs were spinning for Teach For America at the Sheraton Ballroom in Birmingham, Africa Miranda's Girls With Curls Hair & Beauty Mixer, also hosting British Songstress Julie Dexter's "New Again" album listening party, Djng at Aloft Hotel in Bham's Soho district as the opener for New Year's 2012 and my debut house music dance party called BLISS!
I was fortunate to be asked by the legendary House Music DJ/Producer Jesse Saunders to become Birmingham's host for the 30th Anniversary of House Music.
Djng at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival at the Besharat Art Gallery in Atlanta and opening for DJ Jamad of Afromentals and DJ Tabone at Apache Cafe in Atlanta for "Respect the DJ" in honor of them was ..amazing. My debut at Sunday Dinner Atl spinning house music was incredibly gratifying also.
I've held a residency at Rafiki's African Grill hosting my "Suite Heat" Soulful House music party and made my debut at "ArtontheRocks" in July 2017. It's one of Birmingham's premier art, culture and music events. All crowd photos are from Art on the Rocks in August of 2019.