Through touring and not seeing his family, it’s hard for CLOCKWORKDJ. Thanks to his skill set, Clock has been DJing for famous rap star Mac Miller for the last nine years. They have created a long-term bond as they shared the stage together many nights and had a friendship outside the music. Though he misses his friend, his musical times don’t end here. Clock will be releasing a project called ‘IGNORED’ that is set to drop the very top of 2019. After Mac Miller’s death, Clock learned to turn his sadness into motivation and gets to his notepad as an artist. In his mind, he always think about the memories him and the “Self Care” rapper formed during his time here.
We caught up with Clock and talked about the memories of Mac Miller when he joined him on stage for the final time. We also discuss his transition from being a DJ to an artist, his latest project in the works, and more. Check out this special interview with Clock below.
RESPECT.: How did you and Mac meet?
We met through, one of my best friends and first manager, Sean Herron. Before Mac, I toured with Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek and learned how to become a tour DJ. I didn’t know that there was a difference. After that tour, I was talking to Sean, and he introduced me to Mac via YouTube and played one of his tracks called “Frozen Pizza and Kool-Aid.”
Sean was heavily into booking concerts and bringing the next new act to Cincinnati and his eyes were on Mac. He wanted me to DJ for him. I was happy to have the opportunity to do it and plus I wanted to get onto more tours. I was down to do it. At the end of 2010 I believe, Sean booked Mac on four shows from the states of Ohio and Kentucky.
RESPECT.: How did you and Mac Miller become brothers or grow a bond?
It has a lot to do with our musical influences, by having things in common, from the same taste of music to so many artists who we looked up to. For example, BIG L, Wu-Tang Clan, 50 Cent and Radiohead. I’ve put him on to a lot of classic hip-hop records, some Ohio funk to soul samples.
Mac might hear a sample and wanted to know what it was. We’d always educate each other on music. We spent a lot of time touring together. I can say that he was always happy to be there by cutting up on people, always making beats or battle rapping with someone. Just being some kids enjoying each others presence. Mac loves Cincinnati too, but when the Bengals and Steelers play, it’s over!
RESPECT.: What made you pick up the turntables and start?
I am always into music. I had piano lessons up until third grade. No matter where I was, I was always surrounded by music. When Sir Mix A Lot “Baby Got Back” track came out, I saw the DJ scratching on top of some butt cheeks, it made it look fun, haha. Afterward, I bought my own set of turntables.
RESPECT.: How did you get your DJ name? What is the story behind it?
When I was 14 I believe, my oldest brother told me I got in trouble like “clockwork.” When I was 15, my first thought for a DJ name was DJ Clockwork. I ran with that for a few years and then I began evolving from DJ to more of a producer and artist era. I reversed roles hence CLOCKWORKDJ. Music keeps me alive. My name means music 24/7 like clockwork.
RESPECT.: What can you say is your most challenging moment of the ups and downs by being a DJ?
When I tour, I dedicate a lot of my time to tour. I miss out on a lot, as far as, being in a relationship and being detached from life itself with friends and family. When I am in a different city or state, everything is moving fast. Your focus is to prepare for the show and try to get some sleep because every day it’s something new.
RESPECT.: What can you say is one of your favorite cities that you like to tour when you were with Mac?
It is good to come home to Cincinnati. It gives artists or someone from the city motivation to say that someone they know made it. It’s motivating for them to see that.
RESPECT.: What can you say is the most memorable moment you have with Mac?
What stood out to me was when we were in New York City on New Year’s Eve for a special TRL Show. I was nervous as hell, I think that was the first time we saw Ariana Grande. We were dressed up wearing our costumes in the city. We were all there. All the homies, smoking on the rooftop of the TRL building, looking over the city and people. It was live!
RESPECT.: Define RESPECT.
Loyalty, accomplishments, love, and honesty.
RESPECT.: When you were at the Heritage High School teaching kids how to DJ and use their skills to perfect their craft, what can you say is the most memorable thing from teaching them so far?
This is my third year teaching. From the three years of doing it, I see the evolution of my students, seeing them picking up on how unorthodox I’m teaching them about my craft. Seeing how much they love to be a DJ, learning the ins and outs about it, so they can become one, is such an incredible feeling!
RESPECT.: Do you ever think it could be somebody like Mac again as an artist?
No one can match what he did. He was a rare person that God gave to us. He laid the blueprint out for younger artists of going the independent route by touring and earning respect from his hometown first. He laid the mechanics out for us to become successful.
RESPECT.: Which album can you say is a favorite of Mac and why?
Hands down is ‘GO:OD AM’ album! I can play that project all the way through and connect with it emotionally. This album is very mature. I was around when he made most of the album. My favorite tracks were all of them.
RESPECT.: What can you remember the last time you were on stage with Mac Miller? How was the crowd and their energy?
The energy was astounding! We had never been to South America before so our supporters were extremely excited when they saw us. I remember Anderson.Paak coming out to perform in Chile. It was nuts! Mac was gearing up to release Swimming after South America. He was excited about life and the people he was around.
RESPECT.: What is next for you? What music is in the works?
I’ve been crafting music for over six years by producing, writing and remixing records of my own. I am trying to record as much as I can to get my clout up. I started recording my debut project with Mac in LA and finished with the legendary Hi-Tek in Cincinnati, Ohio. My latest project is called ‘IGNORED.’ At the beginning of 2019, I aiming for my project to be released.
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