Thanks for the time man. How’s life been?
No problem! Life has been great just working on my mixtape and hope to have it released soon.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is LaDon Battle. I was born and raised in Arizona born into a deaf family, went to a deaf school, played football at UNLV for a year, then transferred to Gallaudet University a deaf university in
washington D.C. I played professional football for 2 years until i got hurt. I started DJing as a hobby but then my love for music has always been strong so i decided to take my talent to the next level. So I
burst into the scene known as DJ DEF. Being deaf is a permanent and unchangeable part of my life, so the only thing left for me to do is to strive for self-improvement in communication. Deaf people are able to enjoy and love music just as anyone else. They do not feel that their lack of hearing handicaps them or is an imposition. Deaf people love music just as much as hearing people do…they just understand it differently. They can feel it.This is in the most literal sense as well as emotional. The part of the brain that normally processes sound to those who can hear is the same portion that the brains of hearing
impaired use to process vibrations of sound. Since these different processes take place in the same area of the brain, the experiences are equivalent in sound. Just because my hearing ability is limited
does not mean I can’t be a DJ and make music the way hearing people could it just means I have to work a lot more harder and be more dedicated to it.
You have to have a different process preparing for a set than most DJs. How do you select what songs to play?
My sets are a combination of what’s the people’s favorite and instrumentals. I try to use a little instrumentals. I try to show people how deaf people can actuallly reconnect with the music without lyrics.
I stay up to date with record pools and go out a lot and study what the people want to hear.
Who are some of your favorite djs? And whats the best way for you to learn from others?
My favorite is of course DJ FLIPSIDE but others I admire are DJ SCENE, STEVE AOKI, DJ KLEVAR, DJ AM, DJ CRAZE and Q-Bert. I also respect every other dj that does this on a daily basis being creative
takes great minds. The best way i learn from others is to network and go out to their events and chill in the booth watch how they mix, scratch and just come home and try to learn. I don’t really have anyone teaching me the tricks or anything i just go out and watch them spin and self-educate.
You’ve played shows all around the country, where are some of your favorite places to play?
I love playing in the east coast. Washington D.C. one of the places I always enjoy. The crowd always loving the unique music and mixes they like whats not on the radio and of course a lot of raggae too.
Tell us about your main goal as a DJ.
My Goal as a DJ is to become well known and respected and I want to be the first deaf DJ to spin in vegas along side with a well known DJ.
Vegas is a place where the weekend is almost never the same. Different people comes in and go and most of the well respected DJ spin in Vegas. I chose Vegas is because its the party capital of the US and I want to be able to rock the crowd just as good as any DJ. Its just one of the biggest achievement I want to accomplish.
How would you describe your style on the tables?
*laughs* Wow, on the tables all my mixes are timed, its like math. I remember them by watching the BPM and remembering what minutes and seconds comes in. Since I cant hear the lyrics, I try to stay focused. Headphones are always on and im always trying to make sure I’m on the right track because with me one little mistake and the whole thing is messed up and it will sound terrible!
Where can people hear your work?
I post my mixtapes online where people can download them and check them out. I also spin in Portland, my next event is at east china town
on may 12th with my dude Yo Huckleberry come through!
Check out my facebook page www.facebook.com/djdef1 all my events, mixtapes, and everything else will be posted on there!