TOPSPIN | That's My DJ
Topspin aka Blendiana Jones has been a fixture in Seattle’s hip hop scene for over two decades. I got a chance to sit down with him on what seemed to be one of Seattle’s endless smoky summer days for a quick chat on his history within the city, and a few other key components that makes him a gem in the oversaturated world of DJs.
Born the youngest of 3, Topspin the DJ / Producer / Tennis guru, developed a keen ear for music at an early age. Due mainly in part to his brother Ken, a professional tenor who sings opera, and was a part of the Northwest Boys Choir. Late nights, Ken would tune his voice to the stroke of piano keys searching for his perfect tone, not knowing that his younger brother was subconsciously being trained to develop his own ear for music. Topspin acknowledges that this was a pivotal part in his ability to promote harmony within his music.
His mixtape career started in the mid 90s while DJing on college radio. Topspin decided he needed an outlet to release music outside of the commercial means, which led him to create his own imaginary radio station, 101.1 KTOP (get it?). Each of his mixtapes were released under this station and served as premium musical product that could only be accessed by acquiring these tapes.
Blendiana Jones, a moniker he would later adopt, became a master by hearing the key tones within certain songs, before Serato would do the work for you, and blending them to harmonious perfection. He would go on to tell me how he “loved when frequencies danced together.” Topspin would hold blends for minutes at a time, giving crowds, as well as himself, time to enjoy his on the spot creation. This was a marvelous feat, especially in a pre-digital era.
His product is methodical; everything has meaning. From the double entendre names, to his radio stations, to the blends he created that speak to you every time you hear them. He has an innate ability to create a unique product.
If you had to choose, which of your blends ranks in your number 1 spot?
“Ain’t Nobody REALLY Care About Us” – Both the meanings & melodies harmonize; my style incarnate.
You can find Topspin aka Blendiana Jones at Blue Grouse in Georgetown for his parties Rhythm Rug on 2nd & 4th Saturdays, and Definitely Jamming on 1st & 3rd Sundays (this one is during the summer). He will also be bringing that heat to our summer closing Day Shift in Georgetown on Sunday, September 24th.
Written by REINA LEILANI