DJ AI-VA Riga, Latvia
Skillz:Regional Manager for Bum Squad DJz Baltics and Scandinavia, Creator of Rhythm School, member of the Latvian music industry awards Gada Balva
DJ AI-VA with 20+ years in the DJ game is still looking to expand on his resume of clubs, festival and remixes. The Regional Manager of The Bum Squad DJz in the Baltic and Scandinavia is always looking for new challenges.
DJ AI-VA More Than Just A DJ
In the 2 decades that DJ AI-VA has been in the game he has been more than just a average DJ. DJ AI-VA has used his status as a top level DJ to explore promoting, garner appearances on MTV, become a member of the Latvian music industry awards Gada Balva, producing the weekly hip hop show The Remix Show and opening The Rhythm School. DJ AI-VA is one busy DJ!
Along with the usual gigs playing at clubs, festivals and private parties DJ AI-VA has played on DJ tours around the USA, Canada and Europe. He has been a warm up act for Wu Tang Killa Bees and Busta Rhymes. DJ AI-VA has had the pleasure of playing alongside hip hop elites DJ Premier, Cash Money and his favorite DJ Jazzy Jeff. With a resume like that it’s no wonder DJ AI-VA was named Best hip hop/urban DJ in Latvia 2010/11.
Read on to see what else the regional manager of The Bum Squad DJz has going on.
How long have you been DJing?
More than 20 years. First club gig happened in 1991 but really what I can call professional deejaying – from 1998. That was when I started my first steps in promoting hip hop club nights.
Who or what influenced you to DJ?
My first and foremost influences were my older brothers. My brother Imants was a rock musician and he had an old record collection that I loved to listen to. My other brother Eduards was a “chart follower”. In the mid 80’s he went into the military and asked me to write down the radio charts (I was just about 10 yrs old). I was very determined to do just that. I had huge chart lists written down in paper notebooks. As an eight year old kid my first mind blowing experience was to see Herbie Hancock with Grandmaster DST in the “Rockit” video in I guess 84. It was something that I have never saw before! Later on I discovered Run DMC and Jam Master Jay and the Beastie Boys with Mike D. My absolute hero is Jazzy Jeff.
What was your first gig?
I started to spin in the high school parties as a kid in late 1990’s. It was at Pumpura High School. I was 13 years old. My first club gig happened in the summer of 1991.
Tell us about Rhythm Institute school.
The Rhythm Institute (Ritma Instituts) was created in 2005. The aim was to have a deejaying school because we didn’t have any schools like that. There were just some private tutors. So me and a few friends came together and built it as an official school with courses for dj’s, music producers, vocalists, emcees, radio dj’s, and other programs. We have some of the best teachers around. Some of our graduates are now working on major radio stations, playing in almost all Latvia’s night clubs and bars and producing great music. We even have some singers who have won major awards. So I am really proud of what our school represents.
What was The REMIX SHOW?
That was my radio show that I produced for many years for various radio stations in Latvia. The main goal was to show the many genres of music in a remixed fashion. I had many guests on the show over the years including Grandmaster Flash, Fatman Scoop, Daedelus, The Heavy, and Take. The show is on hold right now.
Most memorable gig?
There are many but the one I loved the most is playing a warm-up for Jazzy Jeff. My first gigs were the most memorable ones – lots of great mistakes were made :).
What would be your dream gig?
I have played at big festivals with crowd sizes between 20-30K. So, I can say one of my biggest dreams has come true. My other dream is to tour the whole world. Right now I mainly play in European countries and parts of the United States and Canada.
What was it like being part of the Gada Balva?
I was on the grand jury of Latvian music industry awards, Gada Balva, for many years. I judged the best in many categories including best hip hop artist, best album, best dance music album, single and many others.
I see you have played with some big name DJ’s. Who was your favorite?
Jazzy Jeff will always be my favorite but I also really enjoyed the energy of DJ Cash Money and a raw hip hop set by DJ Premier.
Any future projects you are working on?
As a regional manager for Bum Squad DJz Baltics & Scandinavia, I work on many events/projects on a regular basis. Other than that I do my own remixes, edits, mash-ups to spin in my sets. Some of them I share with everybody on Soundcloud – www.soundcloud.com/djaiva. I do organize bigger events. Every year there is some kind of huge urban type of event that I organize. I worked on the Baltic Graffiti Festival and The City Festival for many years.
Appearance on Ego Crushen
During his visit to California DJ AI-VA was invited to appear on The Ego Crushen Show – www.egocrushen.com