K-Mix & Socaboy are DJ Close Connections, popularly known as the Mixtape Kings of NYC, they pump out at least 15 mixes a year in the West Indian circuit.
You heard their name, you heard their mixes now it’s time to get familiar with the two people behind your favorite mixes. We took some time and spoke to DJ Close Connections about their career.
Q: How did Close Connections (CC) come about? When did you two form CC?
CC was started as crew in 2003 by a guy named Soca Flex. The name & vision behind Close Connections was to start up global network of DJs who all played under the name CC but independently worked on their own.
Even though the DJs were far apart it was intended for us to keep a close connection musically, while expanding the brand in various major cities. The other DJs never mounted to much while the NY base took off rather quickly in our first year. Even with our exponential growth in our first 2 years, Soca Flex decided to quit to secure the best interests of his family. Supa Roy’s older brother Sean, aka Soca Flex was a big part of getting this group together, and coming up with the name. We had been in the same circles for a while before actually meeting, and realizing we all had music and aspirations in common.
Q: So K-Mix lives in NYC and Socaboy lives in Toronto, How do you make time for gigs, mixes and overall planning?
We both have full time jobs aside from DJ’ing. The move to Toronto is a fairly recent transition for CC and it’s a major sacrifice on Socaboy’s part to make local gigs as he tries to further his career. Technology made it easier to collaborate on mixes as well. When you hear a mix with all the tricks & multiple complex transitions, it’s usually done by both of us working on the same playlist.
In terms of touring, it is very challenging at best, and has required a good amount of planning in advance in order to attend events. Socaboy is at airports and on planes just about every weekend.
Q: Where do you see the CC brand in five years?
We’re working on expanding into some of the other industries revolving around the carnival culture. Additionally, we’re looking into other business opportunities that are presented surrounding night life & Caribbean culture.
Q: What do you love most about being DJs/MCs?
Socaboy: For me it’s definitely the road. As an emcee, it’s one of the few times you get to see people experience what I like to call freedom. You see the true joy in people’s faces when they play mas. I love the direct interaction with masqueraders, it’s almost like you’re the conductor of this great symphony!
K-Mix: As a DJ, it’s an adrenaline rush to be able to make people have a good time. Nothing can describe the feeling of when you get on the set and you watch the whole vibe of a party just change in a positive direction. That feeling is a high & can be addictive.
Q: What advice would you give to younger DJs coming up?
Don’t be afraid to play the music! It’s easy to play the top 20 songs, but learning to move a crowd without them to me is where truly become a DJ.
Pay attention to the crowd, learn to read them, and although it’s nice to see, don’t always look for hands in the air as the only indicator that people are having a good time.
Most importantly, always remember that consistency is key! Put out mixtapes periodically to show the world what you are capable of doing. Every well known DJ in history has had a platform in which you can listen to them play without being present in the party. Set goals with dates & make plans. People make goals but if you don’t lay out a plan on how you will achieve that goal & set a date as to when you want to reach that goal, you will never reach your full potential. Get a full-time job with benefits to have something to fall back on. Last but not least, dibble & dabble in all aspects of the business.
Q: We know that you both are well toured DJs, what’s one destination you would like to play and why?
We would say St Lucia. Following years of improvement in the music & the insane reviews about St Lucia Vaval 2019, it peaked our interests in wanting to go there next year. Although every island has it’s own vibe and energy there’s something very organic about SLU that stands out to me as something we’d love to experience.
Q: What are your favorite mixes to make?
The post Trini carnival mix (found in the Soca Storm series) and Miami Heat are our longest running series and we usually enjoy collaborating on those to make 1 monster mixtape that will prompt people to listen to it months after its release. It’s the most unique soca mixes in the industry. Very few are able to duplicate that style so it’s something that has set CC apart from the others.
Q: At DSA, in addition to music, we love our food. Tell us, what is your favorite West Indian Dish?
Hands down it’s Roti. We’ve considered a strictly roti diet!