Come Get This Work!
DJ’s Mel Gib and DBK are representatives of a rising culture. Producing music behind the walls of the Chicago Footwork music genre as Tripletrain, you can also find Mel G and DBK showing up and showing out for the well seeded entity known as Teklife. Influenced by the creative minds of DJ Spinn and the timeless work of DJ Rashad, both of these men pride themselves on pushing the culture of Footwork forward with integral displays of quality and constant progression. Our East Coast photog Jamaal White, sat down with Mel G and DBK for a moment to bring you a glimpse of two powerhouses from a world of artistry you may not be familiar with…
So you wake up in the morning to get the day started… What motivates you each day to keep doing what you do?
Mel G (right): Ive always wanted to create shit. There’s not been a single time I didn’t want to be the one making something. I never had an interest in observing a craft, I needed to learn the craft. There’s this one percenter difference. Ninety-percent of people view creations; nine-percent of people construct valid critiques on creations; and then there’s the one-percent of the people doing the actual creating that every one talks about. Everybody consumes it. People are sharing and posting all sorts of nonsense with no direction. I strive to be the person that has a grounded opinion, and intrigue others to follow the cool shit. When you listen to people long enough, you begin to understand what moves them.
DBK (left): Honestly man, dipping back into classic tracks. I know that might sound corny, but going back to all the people who may not have had the exact same tastes but essentially that same love for chords, song structure, and foundation. Especially when songs are sample heavy- touching something from 1962 and feeling like ‘Yeah this dude knows exactly what I’m talking about’ makes all the difference, know what I mean? We are all sharing the same minds, but with different styles.
With all the traveling you guys do, and all the experiences you have, what has been your greatest moment as an artist?
Mel G: When Rashad dropped my track at SXSW in 2013. Right on the fuckin’ Vans Stage, middle of the day, I was not ready for that. I had forgotten I even gave it to him, this ‘Love Machine’ track we had put out. I had given it to him like, off the cuff the night before, and he had played it the next day. I lost my shit! [laughs] I was all shoving people, telling them it was my track and shit. Good times.
DBK: Man that’s tough. There’s been a lot. The moments I cherish most are when random people come up to me saying they like my music. Definitely spending time in New York, I’ve gotten more of those types of moments than I ever had before. Actual genuine fans- and then later sitting down thinking ‘Wow, people will really hear this!’ [laughs].
Mel G: Man, I remember out here [NY] people were literally making fun of us for making footwork music. But then they would compliment us on how well we were mastering and mixing it, but they still never got the beauty of it.
Jamaal: That’s true, and I think what separates you guys is that you pushed through all of the hate and stuck through it. I can contest to that for sure.
DBK: Absolutely. It’s also the fact that we were allowed the time to stick it out. The crew we have behind us gave us space to grow. Even though we weren’t hot yet, they let us marinate.
Mel G: I’m always marinating [laughs].