DJ Skee has the personality, wit, and the raw talent that would be enviable to most. The founder and CEO of Skee TV balances his media empire with two stints in radio including a spot at the most listened to radio station in the country 102.7 KIIS-FM. While enriched with power, the man who was crowned “Radio DJ of the Year” humbly tells HipHopWired about how he began his journey to the top at a teen, about his dance contest with T Pain and his plans to take music and videos to new heights.
Origin: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Current Location: Los Angeles, California
HipHopWired: So initially what made you move to California?
DJ Skee: Actually when I was 16 I spent a lot of time n New York and Stretch Armstrong kind of put me under his wing and put me in contact with Steve Rifkind, the CEO of Jive Records and now at SRC. I gave him a proposal on what I thought he was doing wrong with his record label and he loved it. Everybody loved it and he moved me out to L.A. on the spot. So I made the jump to L.A. and I actually figured out a way to graduate high school a year early to come to L.A. and the rest is history.
HipHopWired: So now that you’re in Cali. Do you have a record label situation going on? Are you working with any labels?
DJ Skee: Well with Skee TV we’re pretty much working with every label. We talk to them all the time but we’re not necessarily trying to use that formula where it’s like, let’s make an album we’d rather go the non-traditional route. It is going in the traditional route in a sense but it might be teaming up with a corporate brand and giving out the music for free. We’re kind of lucky we get to maneuver. So we’re just trying to figure out if we need to do it in the traditional or new way. We don’t wanna be tied in. We’ve had label offers on the table but at the end of the day it just doesn’t makes sense with what we’re trying to do.
HipHopWired: Okay so let’s talk more about the West Coast. Who are some West Coast artists to look for? I know there’s Nipsey and Jay Rock but who else?
DJ Skee: Bishop Lamont, Glasses, Pimp Scheme out of Inglewood a lot of people have been out here doing it quietly. It’s just matter of getting the right records and the right push and the right situation. Hopefully the West Coast can have that and come back with that sound and take over the scene they used to have. It’s just about whoever’s gonna come back with that right record. You know out here on the West Coast everyone’s under that NWA tree whether it’s Dre who brought Snoop and all them. There really hasn’t been a West Coast artist outside of like the New Boyz but that’s kind of a different style. There hasn’t been a traditional West Coast Hip-Hop artist out but I think it can be done with a Nipsey or a Jay Rock. I think once that happens it’ll help everything.
HipHopWired: Now I heard you got hooked up with T Pain for this Dance Jam contest through DanceJam.com. Tell me how you got started working with Dance Jam and T Pain.
DJ Skee: Yeah, well me and T Pain have known each other for a while now and one of our advisors at Skee TV Greg Morrow who founded Launch Music with Yahoo and Grind TV, the largest skateboarding portal online came to us and said he just acquired Dance Jam so we decided to partner up on the site. So we teamed up and decided to take over Dance Jam and blow it up. We literally took over it a few weeks ago and we’ve been able to do some amazing things with it you know got the T Pain contest and we have a couple of other big contests we’re about to announce. We just think there’s so much room for growth especially with all these dance shows on TV like America’s Best Dance Crew and there isn’t too much stuff online so we see an open market for that. Especially since it’s in the same vein with what we do. We don’t have a site on cooking because I don’t know how to cook. *Laughs* So with music and dance it fits into our lane perfectly. We’re super excited about it. We just have a great team around it and we’re super excited about the future of Dance Jam.
HipHopWired: Well what about you and T Pain. Are you guys working on anything else on the side? Any mixtapes?
DJ Skee: We may be. We’re working on some super cool video stuff right now and T Pain might be the first to try it out, unfortunately I can’t talk any more about it. All I can say is we’re going to be pioneering a music video style and we’re actually getting in touch with T Pain, he might be one of the first to try it out.
HipHopWired: Cool. Well we’ll definitely be on the lookout for that. What about other mixtapes? Are you working on anything right now?
DJ Skee: Yeah actually I’m working on some things now. I was thinking about doing something maybe some Lady Gaga. Nothing’s finalized but I will be making one in the very, very near future. Me and Freddie obviously have one dropping real soon.
HipHopWired: Cool, well are you doing anything else with Pill? I know y’all are tight, he shouts you out all the time…..
DJ Skee: Yeah, he actually just got signed to Asylum. He has a street album coming out soon, he has a bunch of stuff dropping this year so we’re definitely gonna collab. I’ll actually be in Atlanta real soon shooting some stuff with him so you’ll definitely see Pill and DJ Skee working on some stuff this year.
HipHopWired: With that being said, what’s your ultimate goal for yourself and Skee TV?
DJ Skee: Skee TV, if we could double our viewing numbers from 100 million to 200 million that would be crazy. I just want to continue on the music videos path with Matt (Alonzo), we had five number one videos last year as well as pioneering some stuff. Like I said, we got the thing going on with T Pain and whoever we do it with we want to pioneer with new style and new type of music video. Skee TV is expanding and we’re launching our web page so just to get that up and running, those are the goals on that side. On the DJ Skee side we have a new live show we’re gonna be launching which is gonna be kind of an insane live experience. So it’ll be a full band….it’s gonna be a new type of DJ show like no other DJ show in the world. I’m interested in staying in the platform and growing and growing and growing. Be on the lookout for more new projects. New, cool mixtapes…some dope Shyte.
Be on the lookout for part 2 of our interview with DJ Skee where he speaks on how he discovered Freddie Gibbs, his Kiss 102.7 and Sirius Radio shows as well as his feelings on being singled out for not supporting L.A. artists.