El Dopa was born and raised in the LA area to an international family. DJing since ’98, he got his degree in Sociology and studied Ethnomusicology in college, which included classes on Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Afro-Latin Music and more. In 2012, El Dopa took his sound internationally when he toured Brasil making strong connections while picking up gigs along the way. Here in the states he’s been featured at some of the most sought out parties including Low End Theory, Afro Funke, our own Re:Fresh, Motown on Mondays, FEx (Chicago), Austin Reggae Festival, and Brazilian Day Arizona, to name more than just a few. As a producer he’s assisted on records with Aloe Blacc, GZA, Raekwon, El Michels Affair, Guru and Dakah Hip-Hop Orchestra. He was a very early influencer of Beats of All-Nations, before its inception, from the time we met him back in 2001. We’re glad to call him a friend, mentor and all around great mind! We are glad you can finally explore the world of music through the scope of El Dopa on this two part mix for Beats of All-Nations Radio Episode 012.
“[This mix is] a tribute to Oliver Sacks that exemplifies the idea that music was the original language of humans and is now a powerful unifying and therapeutic force. Part 2 focuses on music from Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean, both new and classics. I used a combination of turntables & CDJs and sampled spoken words using my iPhone.”
-DJ EL DOPA
INTERVIEW AND TRACKLIST:
BEATS OF ALL-NATIONS: Give us the depth of this mix…
EL DOPA: The mix is a tribute to one of my biggest influences Dr. Oliver Sacks. For those who don’t know, (google him!) he’s a fantastic author and neuroscientist who has studied and keenly written about the incredible effects of music on the brain and body (check out the book Musicophilia), among other things. His writings really opened my mind to the uniqueness, importance and many wonders of this thing we call music. He was portrayed on the big screen by Robin Williams in the film Awakenings – based on his book by the same name – which is where I got the idea for my name, DJ El Dopa, back in late ’97. Now in his 80s, he was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Most of the vocal samples I put in this mix are of Dr. Sacks. The first part of the mix also contains the premiere of “Deux Solace”, a song I produced with long time friend producer/MC MasOul who is about to release his full-length album tentatively called Dreaming Awake Working Asleep, mastered by Daddy Kev.
Your selection style is super diverse as reflected in this mix, what were some of your earliest musical memories?
Michael Jackson Thriller album, Harry Belafonte, some kids song called “Shut Up In Your Face,” haha things have changed since then.
How would you best describe your role or relationship if you would with music?
I am an advocate of music therapy and other uses of music to improve life. I
love traveling and playing music for all different types of people, and watching it bring people together for a good time.
What styles of music did you find worked best for your sets in Brazil? Did you find you’d get a warmer reception playing classic/remixed Brazilian tunes for the Brasilieros or were they expecting you to bring an American DJ type flavor?
In Brazil, the people definitely appreciated the “real” – or non-commercial – Brazilian music I played. They were surprised I knew these songs! At the Criolina party in Brasilia they enjoyed hip-hop from the U.S. as well as the global bass stuff. In Rio, the party was all about Soul music, so they loved the Motown and classic soul from the States mixed in with Brazilian classics.
What is ‘Music Makes the Difference’?
Music Makes The Difference is my business name for all things I do musically…from music supervision and licensing to DJing weddings and private parties.
What’s up with your hip hop group, Millionaires Using Coupons, any new works we can look out for?
I’m co-producing a new film/music video for Millionaires Using Coupons that will be posted soon. Features footage from our trip to Jamaica and the Caribbean as well as some new MUC tracks made specifically for the film.
What’s currently on the mix plate?
I have a DJ mix series called “What Is Soul” on my Mixcloud page which has been getting good feedback and really building my international fanbase. It’s kind of a question and a statement, and pushes the notion of what soul music is in today’s world.
‘What is Soul’ to you?
What is Soul to me? Musically, I think it’s anything that strikes a chord within me, evokes an emotional response and makes me think about the important things in life.
Thanks so much for taking the time to put this together, it was only a matter of time but you’ve been one of great supporters from the jump. We have valued your guidance, advice and mixes along the way.
Big thank you to Beats of All Nations crew for allowing me and so many others to express our creative vision and spread good music of all cultures.
What Is Soul intro
Max Graef & Delfonic – The Way (Free)
Hiatus Kaiyote – The World It Softly Lulls (Dan Marshall flip)
Saneyes – Rebirth
Masoul & Dopa – Deux Solace
Accadde A – Accadde A Bali
Mylo – Bicycle
Madlib – Where Do I Go
Baden Powell & Pierre Barouh – Samba Saravah (live)
pt.2: Africa, Brazil and Beyond..
Eliana Pittman – Quem Vai Querer
Coaty De Oliveira – Caminho Livre
Checkmates – Disco Groove
Nidia Gongora & Quantic – Muevelo Negro
Thornato – Ka Kong (Captain Planet Remix)
Bondo do Role – Kilo
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – The Girl From Ipanema
Wilson Simonal – New Vem Que Nao Tem
Marcos Valle – Os Grilos
Toni Tornado – Me Libertei
Curumin – Afoxoque
Koop – Tonight (Nicola Conte New Jazz Version)