The Rocks Off 100: DJ Candlestick, One Niceguy and a Very Busy DJ
Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there, too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Photos by Marco Torres
Who? "My name is DJ Candlestick, but my friends call me Omar," opens the turntable man for popular Houston rap group the Niceguys. "I was born in Missouri City, and grew up back and forth between Houston and Missouri City.
My parents are from the islands. My Dad is from Guyana, South America and my Mom is from Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I have one older sister, Lana. My family is the reason I have a natural ear for dancehall, reggae and soca. I started DJing at the age of 14 and I am now 27 -- do the math.
Recently, I attended U of H for a little while before taking on DJing full-time instead of becoming a full-time student. I plan on going back soon because I only have two classes left (just in case my mom reads this).
U of H was also the birth place of The Niceguys (music extraordinaires). We formed our group officially around 2007, (me being the last member to join) and are still going strong.
Home Base: "I have a few home bases in some notable studios in the Houston area," he says. "The Niceguys record at Wire Road Studios, a major factor to our success. Yves, the rapper of the Niceguys, especially spends a lot of time there recording over the beats and whatnot."
The ChopNotSlop projects get mixed together at OG Ron C's studio (aka the Purple Dome). One of the more popular albums we remixed was Chop Care hosted by Drake, which had at least 6.4 million downloads.
We also have a plenty of other popular mixtapes like Kanye West and Jay-Z's Chop the Throne & Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid, Purple City available at www.chopnotslop.com.
Aside from the random concerts and parties I DJ, I'm also on 90.9 FM KTSU every Friday from 10pm-2am. Every Wednesday I DJ at AvantGarden in Montrose, hosted by the Niceguys. This is where the we spin all kinds of music depending on that night's crowd. You will hear anything from dubstep or dancehall to pop and hip-hop.
DJ Candlestick (L) with his Chopstars mentor OG Ron C (R).
Why Do You Stay In Houston? "I stay in Houston because I was born here and it's a beautiful city," says Candlestick, who feels the city offers a "perfect blend of people, weather and emotions. A city where you have to find your niche. A city where everybody is chill, and with a double cup. Clutch City aka Screwston, Texas."
Good War Story: "My favorite war story would be Gladiator," he says. "I felt his pain. If someone tries to kill your will, never quit until you accomplish your goals." [We'll accept that -- ed.]
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "Is, and will always be, artists' lack of originality, creativity and work ethic," Candlestick says emphatically.
5 Records You Can't Live Without:
- Notorious B. I.G., "Get Money"
- Screwed Up Click, "June 27"
- Swishahouse, "Drank In My Cup"
- Z-Ro, "Mo City Don Freestyle"
- Bob Marley, "Is This Love"
DJ Candlestick (L) with The Niceguys at Wire Road Studios.
Best Show Ever: One of the best shows I ever experienced was our own show at the House of Blues," says Candlestick. "We only [promoted] it for a week and it ended up being a packed house on a Tuesday night.
To top it all off, Bun B came onstage and popped a bottle of champagne and shared a toast with us right before we performed the song "Toast."
We, in return, gave him [Bun B] some of his favorite boudin dip courtesy of Sean [owner of Sole Purpose Shoe/Clothes Boutique] and his family. After all this, he performed "Let Me See It" and "Big Pimpin'"
I was DJing the show so I took advantage of a legend being on stage by playing my favorite UGK tracks. He had no idea he was performing that night. We were eventually blessed with the opportunity of putting Bun B on The Niceguys' "Ari Gold" Remix.
Next Show/Project You're Promoting: "I am currently doing a little production work and working on a lot of Chop Not Slop projects with OG Ron C that can be found at www.chopnotslop.com," Candlestick says. "The Niceguys will be droppin' some new songs this month, along with Yves' (The Rapper) personal mixtape.
"Add The Niceguys Station to your Pandora and check us out," he urges. "Also be sure to check out the Niceguys at Club 606 March 2 in Austin, and SXSW. Most importantly, our latest Album, titled James Kelley, can be found at www.theniceguys.bandcamp.com."
See who else has joined The Rocks Off 100 this year on the next page.
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