Look no further for the perfect 4th of July barbeque mixtape. DJ Reid Waters gives us fifty upbeat minutes of classic rock with a healthy mixture of reggae, starting with Bruce Springsteen and ending with Hendrix’s “Star Spangled Banner.” If it’s not part of your playlist this weekend, you’re being unpatriotic.
Our Art Director Othelo spoke with Reid on his DJ career, party scene and his move to Miami, below.
How did you first get into DJing?
Funny you’re asking me this because you were one of the first, if not the first, DJs I ever met. I worked at a tattoo shop in NYC that was approached by a nightclub to do a pop-up in the club. I ended up chilling with the DJ most the time, then approached the owners about giving me a night (even though I didn't know how to DJ).
“Ask and you shall receive.” I started DJing there weekly with my boy and figuring it out as we went along.
How did you start getting into the Miami music and DJ scene?
It was tricky because I moved to Miami for a change of pace, and wasn’t really into the Miami music or club scene. When I started DJing around town I learned to adapt to stay in business. I opened my mind and figured out how to give the people down here what they want, while still being myself and not compromising my musical integrity.
What are your favorite places?
Miami has so many venues but a lot of them are less than awesome. My favorite spots to play are the ones that cater more to the locals or at least are unapologetic with musical diversity, and just let me have fun such.
“I pay my taxes every year with a smile on my face.”
For those who may not know, what are some of the best recurring parties in Miami?
There are a few good weekly or monthly parties down here with some pretty notable recognition.
Miami Vice Episode is a monthly reggae and dancehall party that I throw in Wynwood, which basically captures the vibe of a real Kingston dancehall party.
Chocolate Sundays is a weekly party I DJ and was my first residency down here, as well as the longest running party in Miami with 13 years running.
One more I’m not directly affiliated with, but DJ on occasion is PeachFuzz that my boy DZA throws every Friday and offers a real house party vibe.
What were you doing in Jamaica besides smokin’ blunts and gettin’ irie?
Actually in Jamaica, I smoke Rizzla! I’ve been going down there DJing, throwing parties and learning more about dancehall culture. Shit is awesome, Kingston is the truth.
I went down last time for Carnival and got to play during the road march until the police shut it down. I also threw my party Miami Vice Episode, highlighted by Sean Paul showing up and rocking the mic. Chi Ching Ching, an artist I work with, took me around to some parties and got to link up with Beenie Man, Popcaan, and Aidonia as well, which was a pretty rare and awesome time.
What are your plans for this 4th of July?
Well I have a DJ gig that night, so can’t go too hard during the day, but I will find a way to celebrate the independence of the greatest nation on planet Earth one way or another. Also the Miami Vice Episode is the following day so I will be gearing up for that.
What do you love about America?
Man, so much. I truly love and appreciate our country so much. I pay my taxes every year with a smile on my face. Every country has their fair share of political bullshit going down but as a land and a people I don’t think I’d want to live anywhere else. I love exploring all the little pockets of culture our country has to offer. I just got back from the Florida Keys. It felt like I was out on an island out in the middle of the Caribbean, but naw player it was the good ol’ USA!
1. Born in the U.S.A - Bruce Springsteen
2. Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
3. Green Onions - Booker T & the M.G’s
4. Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
5. Ghost Town - The Specials
6. Police & Thieves - The Clash
7. Finally - Jesse Royal
8. Plant It - Chronixx
9. Amsterdam - J. Boog
10. Pass The Dutchie - Musical Youth
11. Gimme Di Weed - Bigga Haitian
12. Zungguzungguguzungguzeng - Yellowman
13. D’yer Mak’er - Led Zeppelin
14. American Woman - Lenny Kravitz
15. Cowboy - Kid Rock
16. What’d I Say - Ray Charles
17. Star Spangled Banner (Live at Woodstock ‘69) - Jimi Hendrix
See more of Reid on his Instagram.
Photo by Nathan Perkel.