Thursday, December 1, SDSU hosted the HeadSTRONG Toy Drive in the Student Union in collaboration with Polinsky Children’s Center in efforts to raise toy donations for children. The drive was a huge success, and so was DJ Josh Giggin’s performance.
Josh is the founder of ECLECTIK, his music corporation based in San Diego that’s linking up with artists, producers, and music professionals around the world.
Since July, when Josh launched ECLECTIK, the organization has been growing fast. When I asked him how often he makes music he laughed and replied, “I don’t make music, I’m too busy watching over everyone else.” From a close knit group of friends who share a passion for making music, it’s grown into 20 founding members and 34 members overall in several different countries.
But that’s not important to DJ and founder Josh, he’s simply here to “set a culture.”
“Music these days is really hard to listen to. Just in general, listening, you don’t even know what they’re saying.”
“When I find artists through SoundCloud to bring onto ECLECTIK, they have to have a certain sound. Something you can listen to—easy listening—it inspires you to get up and go through your day. I’m really versatile with my song selection, that’s why a lot of people in our group are really versatile. They can sing, they can rap, then they can trap.”
“I have to be inspired to inspire. If I’m not inspired when I DJ, it’s hard for me to spread that. My main inspiration is to be an inspiration.”
As for who inspires him, it’s mainly underground, “low-key” producers. His favorite genres are trap, new soul, hip hop, and R&B.
ECLECTIK rapper Ta’ Sean Du Bois began writing when he was 6 years old, and his talents have since escalated into what he calls “feel good music” that you can wake up and go to the beach to.
“I always loved reading and writing, it was like my best subject in school and I also really loved music. I liked the aspect of beat, the lyrics, and how the lyrics matched with the beat pattern. I started rapping early, like in high school. We would freestyle everyday afterschool by the ice cream truck, and then I got more confident and I started rapping over like Kendrick or Dr. Dre and then I started writing my own music. I officially started rapping like senior year.”
Ta’ Sean says his main musical inspiration is Kanye West.
“My parents are from the Caribbean’s, so I grew up listening to reggae. I didn’t think there was any other kind of music. My older brother showed me “Champion” by Kanye West and I was just like, ‘What is this!’ That’s when I started listening to like Nelly and not really people who were like ‘in in’ at the time 'cause they were different, but I liked that.”
He’s inspired by artists like these because of their “swag.”
“They’re so confident in themselves, that they’re gonna take something from like 17 yeas ago, mix it with something new, and put it out there. Being confident is hard, being able to do all that is hard, and so they really helped me improve that.”
Since forming ECLECTIK, Ta’ Sean can see his improvement in his music and performing, as can all of the founding members.
“Performing is scary, that’s what's hard,” he said. Each of the members I spoke to said they still get nervous when they’re about to perform, “but that excitement and joy also drowns that [nervousness], and then you’re hyped.”
ECLECTIK is constantly expanding. Josh told me about their Link Up show in Orange County, which showcased local talent, and their #LinkUp efforts in San Diego as well. With a worldwide organization, communication can be a problem.
Josh: “We’re everywhere, it’s hard for us to all talk and gather our ideas, but everyone believes in the mission. There is a sound that needs to be spread. Money’s not a big thing to us. It’s easy to make good music when you’re not worried about money.”
“We have a DJ in Australia. We have a DJ and producer in the UK, she’s actually planning a music festival and she’s already asked us to go there. One of our artists is going to be going on tour early in 2017. It’s gonna be 17 cities over two months.”
Those are just a few of ECLECTIK’s exciting future prospects. But through all the success, they’ve kept it real. To all the budding artists out there, the founders of ECLECTIK have this to say:
“There’s always gonna be haters. You can't please everyone, but you just gotta keep going. In a group of 10 people you might get one person that’s gonna like your song, and that one person is gonna make it worthwhile. And that one person is gonna turn into a whole fan base and next thing you know, you’re playing at a music festival in front of thousands of people.”
And if that doesn’t happen, “we’ll find you,” they added, laughing. Josh did a great job DJing the Toy Drive at SDSU. And I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from ECLECTIK in the near future.