by Jon Gugala
Last May, just before DJ Day’s set at The Boom Bap, he was outside The 5 Spot when a pickup truck roared up. With the engine running, one of the passengers leaned out the window, screamed a banshee yell, and then shot off a bunch of fireworks down the street before peeling out. “I’m definitely in the south,” Day remembers thinking. “I’ve made it. I’ve arrived.” DJ Day returns this Saturday, March 22, to The Boom Bap, The 5 Spot, and Nashville to spin his world-renown genre mashup of funk, soul, reggae, and always hip hop. But he’s not about throwing out labels: “I don’t want to turn people off by saying I’m going to play one certain thing, and then end up going a whole different route,” he says. “I keep my shit open format, but still rooted in hip hop.”
It’s been a busy last month for Day, spinning worldwide in Austria, Israel, Amsterdam, Paris, “Fuckin’ Germany,” he says, and “somewhere else I’m not remembering right now.” With that many places, it’s excusable. But in Nashville, Day says he’s looking forward to “stretching out” and taking a couple more chances musically. “I definitely won’t do what I did last time, which is open up with ‘Tennessee’ [by Arrested Development],” he says, laughing. “That’s just too fucking cliché.”
Nashville’s different from Palm Springs, Calif., where Day calls home. “For me to go to Monell’s and sit with total strangers, eating a crazy, giant meal, and them shooting fireworks in the street before the show in a pickup truck, their fucking cut-off jean shorts . . . It’s a whole different animal.” Check his iPod and you’ll hear him digging Tropkillaz (a Brazilian twerk, but he hates that word), Soulection beats, emerging hip hop acts from Boston, and random funk and soul. But in his set on Saturday, expect lots of edits and remixes from big-name artists, previously unreleased.
As for why he’s coming back to Nashville after his world tour, Day doesn’t hesitate: “Oh, man, The Boom Bap is dope,” he says. “I know it’s a hip hop party, but [there’s] everything from chicks making out in the dark to boyfriend-and-girlfriend-on-a- date-type shit. “It’s got a real good, laid-back vibe. I can dig that, for sure.”
Check out DJ Day at The Boom Bap, hosted at The 5 Spot, on March 22 at 9 p.m. $10 cover. For more information, check out theboombaplive.com and the5spotlive.com, and follow DJ Day on Twitter at @DJDay.