Q&A: Skratch Bastid

One of our own got the chance to pick the brain of the up and coming Toronto DJ, Skratch Bastid who recently released his 110% mix this summer. You may recognize his rework of Kanye West's "Workout Plan" or his own take on James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)", or maybe you've seen him on tour. The Bastid has been busy playing shows all across Canada and stopped through Blue Dog on September 27. Check out the interview below...


Lookout: Playing about 200 shows a year, what are the pros and cons of not having a home?

Skratch Bastid: The 'Pros' are many. First of all, TRAVEL! I am extremely lucky to have seen just about all of Canada, 30-something US states, many European countries, Bermuda and more. And to travel to those places and have people come out, listen to you and be entertained, it's a true gift. More specifically, seeing my music spread all over the place brings me a lot of satisfaction. Probably why you can catch me jumping around on stage and what not.

Also, meeting people and artists from different parts of the world inspires me to keep my music fresh by approaching it from many different angles. The 'Cons' are mostly what everyone takes for granted - weekly routines like being able to water plants regularly, missing shows & parties because you have another show, not being able to sleep in your bed every night, you know. All of that is pretty much outweighed by the pros, though.

Lookout: Last year, Kanye blogged your “Workout Plan” blend, this year, Common blogged your James Brown video. Who would you next like to hear some love from next?

Skratch Bastid: Bring it on! I'm thankful for it all, but yes, those two were nice. In the content-intensive blog world, I'm not really aiming for anyone in particular... just putting it out there and hoping that like-minded people pick up on it. It's older, but I'd still like to see what Justin Timberlake thinks of my mullet-sporting "Like I Love You" routine. It would be nice to hear what the artists that I use in my routines would think of my routines.

Lookout: At the beginning of August, you finished up your 110% CD release tour. How did that go?

Skratch Bastid: Incredible. I'm getting pretty good at this touring thing, ya know? Summertime is the best time to see Canada, and I embraced it with open arms. Saw some new small towns (Whitehorse, Cranbrook) and tackled some bigger ones again (Vancouver, my new home of Toronto). Did a lot of cliff jumping on the side. Ate some great food. Got the mix into a lot of people's hands!

Lookout: You’ve played shows all over Canada. What’s your favourite Canadian city to play in?

Skratch Bastid: Two nights ago in Toronto, Talib Kweli, Hi-Tek, 9th Wonder and Jeru the Damaja were all on stage bugging out to an after-party set that I did at Toronto's MANIFESTO festival. The crowd was going nuts. Toronto has such a great depth of musical knowledge, and as a DJ, that's so much to draw from. But the love/comfort didn't come overnight. I've been playing in T.O. for 4 years and some of the rough edge has worn away. I'm really loving playing here now. So yeah, I'd have to say Toronto! But I can't forget the hometown crowd of Halifax. Always a great time playing for friends and family. Yes, it's basically that small.

Lookout: What’s next for the Bastid?

Skratch Bastid: I'm working on a series of events called "Skratch Bastid Presents..." which will be nights that feature great, interesting or unusual collaborations between artists of a variety of genres. The nights will be spontaneous: different artists combining their strengths with others and creating of-the-moment experiences, freestyles and, i'm hoping, legendary music. Up first is "Scratch, Skratch, Scratch", a collaboration between myself, DJ Starting From Scratch and Scratch the beatboxer from The Roots. November 14th @ Revival. I think it's going to be amazing. I'll keep you posted!

Do yourself a favor and check out Skratch Bastid's take on Wale's "Chillin ft. Lady Gaga"

Interview by Tiana