Originally from Chicago, Scoop has called Houston his home for 25 years now and has been igniting turntables since 1989. A key player in Houston's Bollywood music scene, scoop rocks a room with some major muscle. He's definitely worth a listen, just don't get too scooped away!
Where did you get your name? DJ Scoop name was given to me by my fellow DJ buddies, when I was working at 97.9 THE BOX. I got the Scoop on a new Party Station that was going to hit Houston airwaves ,which was Kiss 98.5. I told my boys, DJ Ron E G, DJ Seduction, & DJ Frosty Ice (all former members of our crew Houston All-Star DJs) and next thing you know the following night when we headed to Middle Earth to DJ, I started to notice everyone calling me Scoop. From that point on, I became DJ Scoop. The name replaced my former DJ name of Homeless and Pakman.
What made you start djing? I used to be a b-boy and break dance. Then, I had an injury. It always intrigued me to see how the dj's mix one record to another and keep it continuous and stuff. So I used to listen to a lot of the dj's on the mix shows. In Chicago I used to listen to Mix Master 5, Bobby D, Bad Boy Bill. When I moved to Houston it was Dj Riddler. Back then he was known as Rippin Rich. I saw all the old guys that used to be part of underground productions that used to do all these warehouse parties. I'd go there, check them out, listen to them and that's how I got into it. Feeling the music and watching the djs behind the music booth.
What's djing in Houston like? Currently, compared to other states—it's not there. It's moving up. Before, the dance scene, the hip-hop scene, even the nightlife was great. There are more lounges than there are clubs. The nightlife scene is getting there. A lot of new promoters are coming into the game with fresh ideas. They're working to bring the scene up, but it's going to take a while.
What's lacking do you think? Our population. If you are going out on Washington or downtown - it's the same people going. If one promoter leaves, they take that entire crowd. A lot of the clubs are losing their originality. If you go bar hopping, you'll hear the same style of music. You can't distinguish from club to club. The music doesn't match the place.
It's everyone's responsibility to make the image. If the owners are hiring the promoter, the reason why they are hiring the promoter is because they are good at what they do. If they're hiring the dj, they should let the dj be responsible for letting them make the image of the place. There are a lot of owners that will give you a play list for a club, which is unheard of anywhere else.
It's fine you want house music, mainstream or straight up Hip-Hop, but if you're going to hire a Dj—especially a professional dj, you're hiring them because that's what they're good at—let them do it. There are few club owners that are like that. There are few promoters that just stick with the promotion, let the dj create the image for them. I've been djing at clubs where the owners are straight up, "you can't play this, you have to play this." Even though the genre of music doesn't work for the crowd or the club.
What's your style of djing? I'm very versatile. I spin from Bollywood music, Arabic, House, Mainstream, to Hip Hop. I really started out on House Music and got into hip hop as well. Back in the day you didn't have mp3s, you had to go digging for records. Not every Dj had the same record as you. You might have one white label that the other djs didn't have. I kind of got mentored by a lot of djs at that time that were into all types of music. When I was djing 511, that was straight up international music. I joined myself with the other dj's and we exchanged music. It really opened my mind. Houston being very diverse, you never know which club you might be djing at. I always keep my playlist updated.
Is there a certain style you favor more? Dance music.
Why is that? I grew up in Chicago. It's the birth city of House music. A lot of the hip hop that's coming out is very dancy. Dance has become very broad. It works a lot better with the crowd than playing that one genre. There is more diversity in it. It's very universal.
List some dance music that you like? Deadmau5, Afrojack, Nadia Ali, Swedish house mafia
Favorite venues in town? I like Avenue. I love the new Drink Houston, NOX. I really like ROAK.
Is there a place you haven't played that would like to play? I haven't played a lot of the Washington Clubs. My schedule makes it difficult. I'm more of a tour dj, but I would love to play Avenue.
What club that's not here anymore do you miss? M Bar. Red Square, that's taking you back! The one club, that was my first gig in Houston, Power Tools—I miss it the most.
Where do you grub late at night? I go to a lot of taqueria's or Ruchi's
Favorite Drink? I don't drink alcohol, but cranberry sprite—that's what they know me as. I'm one of those sober djs, but I still get wild.
Craziest thing you've seen happen at night? People basically needing to get a hotel room.
What do you wear on your feet when you DJ? Adidas or puma
Favorite album cover? Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
Favorite concert? U2 360 tour
Super power? Invisibility
What's in the future for DJ scoop?
I'm doing a lot of production stuff. I'm doing a lot of Remixes. From mainstream remixes as well as a lot of the Bollywood mixes.
Tell us about the Bollywood scene? I started to do the Bollywood stuff back in 93, 94. I was probably like the first south asian DJ to touch Bollywood music in Houston. There's a radio station called Masala Radio. They used to do monthly events at Club Crystal. I started djing those events. At that time the Bollywood scene was really fresh. We were getting flown around everywhere for this movement. What started out with 150 people ended up being like 2000 people listening to the Bollywood dance stuff. A lot of the remixes that we play at the Bollywood events, it's on par with a lot of the house music. You might not understand the lyrics, but you definitely can relate to the beats.
The Bollywood scene has come a long way. There's a lot more DJs doing remixes, producing. Houston was one of the main cities that started this Bollywood party scene. DJs from new york la Chicago they would love to come play for the crowd here. And then it hit rock bottom. We're still trying to revive and maintain the scene so it doesn't go back down again. We have a couple of promoters, including are promotion group, which consists of Yogi G (who does Generasian radio) and as well as ABCD Houston and Uzazi entertainment. We bring guys from India and London as well as local guys.
Favorite quote? "The DJ is the artist, the dance floor is the canvas, the crowd is the art."