My Approach to DJing.

July 21, 2020

Here are some notes/concepts on DJing. I first starting DJing in 2008. I would just use Traktor software to mix tunes. I had a Thursday night slot one summer in NOLA at a bar called Handsome Willy’s. I would play tunes for 8 hours straight. Handsome Willy’s was right by the Superdome. Funk tunes always went down well. You would walk out into blinding sun and cop cars everywhere.

The Ira Glass quote is one of my favorites, because the taste comes first. It’s important to keep in mind when being creative. A song can bang for so many different reasons. You know why you pick a tune. Your taste cannot be faked. I listen to real music and level up to it. It is kind of a backwards process, but I am proud of every tune I play.

Remember when it comes to mixing, there are no right or wrong approaches. If it speaks to you, do it! These are just my approaches. People will say you can’t mix certain genres of music. Wrong!! You can mix anything, just believe in yourself!

Without quality music, my DJing would not exist.

One of my favorite DJs is DJ Shadow, because he creates these shifting sonic trip-hop journeys. Another one of my favorites is English reggae-dancehall DJ David Rodigan. He once said, “If DJs don’t play new music, there is no future.” “If you don’t like the current trends in reggae-dancehall, remember that maybe it wasn’t made for you.” Such good, open-minded outlooks to have.

When I was 17, I interviewed Annie Nightingale. She plays bass-heavy dance music at 1 AM on Tuesday nights. She was the first female DJ on the BBC and is 80. I have been reading her memoir. I loved this quote, “If there’s somewhere you want to be, circle your target. Hang in there, do not be deterred. When it’s said that someone achieved their aim by being ‘at the right place at the right time’ , I say this: you may need to hang in there and be in the right place for potentially a very long time before that magic door opens.”

Anyone can play the tunes on the Spotify charts. Bringing your fire is a whole different story. People don’t ever really know what I am going to do when I spin a set, but the energy will be there. You have to outsize yourself sometimes. DJing live is almost like theatre (I was a thespian in high school, because of course I was 😂😂😂). You gotta pull from within yourself and level up to being the BADDEST DJ, the ROUGHEST DJ, the TOUGHEST DJ. Big, real energy. It is a mindset and an extension of yourself.

People often talk about getting a second wind. However, the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh winds also exist and are under appreciated. Serious beasting. It’s something internal, but you’ll know when you hit that seventh wind.

I generally like to mix without cueing, because it makes you know the tunes. Gain is the top knob. It is used for the overall range/volume of the track. The second knob down is the high end knob for the high parts of a tune. The third knob down in this pic is the midrange. It often contains the vocal area of a track and I tend to mix that in first on songs with vocals. I do this to not try and chop off the lyrics of a track. The fourth knob is the low end for the bass part of a track. Slowly, I bring a new tune in a third at a time. Mid, then high and then low.

With dance music/longer tracks, I tend to start mixing a track out with about a minute left. With afrobeats, soca, bounce and reggae-dancehall, I usually start mixing in the next track with about 30 seconds left.

You can mix tunes by key so things flow more smoothly.

A lot of DJs are anti-SYNC button, but I feel like it helps me keep things smooth. SYNC matches up both decks to the tempo you choose as the master.

Sometimes, I like to really plan out my set list. Other times, you just roll a tune and roll another!

As you work with tempos, you will see that certain styles of music usually follow certain tempos.

Here are some general tempo guides:

Hip-hop/R&B: 70-90 BPM

Reggae: 70-90 BPM

Footwork: 80 BPM

Afrobeats: 90-120 BPM

House: 120-130 BPM

Ghetto House: 130-140 BPM

Juke: 160 BPM

Soca: 100-160 BPM

Footwork (again): 160 BPM

Drum & Bass: 160-172 BPM

Dancehall: 90-220 BPM

I hope this is helpful and aligns your chakras. Keep beasting it!!!

Interview: Ziggy Marley.

December 1, 2019

Ziggy Marley is a reggae legend. He is the eldest son of Bob Marley. His newest album is Fly Rasta. Ziggy recently discussed Fly Rasta, how his life and career are one and the inspiration he draws from his father. For more info on Ziggy Marley, check out

How old were you when you first got into songwriting? How’d that
happen for you? I mean, obviously, you’ve been surrounded by music
your entire life. When did you first start writing your own material?
It was a song about a girl. I think I was about 10 or 11. That was the
first time, but then after that, I don’t know. I’m not an intellectual
songwriter, so I don’t know when it really started, to tell the truth.
All of the sudden, I’m just writing songs.

Do you feel that songwriting is just something that just comes to you
naturally? What inspires you lyrically?
For this last album, things that I went through. I wrote songs about
stuff that I went through. You write something that you got, but we
have to get everybody tuned to it. The song is not just about you, but
other people can relate to it.

Absolutely, you want to make something that connects with many
different people.
Yes, yes.

Your family has been about writing music about themes. Your dad, he
made music that connected with so many different people. Growing up,
what inspired you the most about your father?
I think it was his toughness, you know?

His toughness and leadership role. I think that really inspired me.

Absolutely. Within your own music, you’ve used your music to make so
many positive things happen. With this album, Fly Rasta, what was the
first song you wrote for it?
It’s probably “I Get Up.” It was the first thing that came to me after
the injury. I injured my knee in soccer and went through some other
difficult things. I come out of it and I get up.

Absolutely. You make music that helps to keep people inspired. That’s
what it’s all about.
Yeah, hopefully, yeah. Somebody is touched by a lyric and it will be
good for that. Motivate people who’ve gone through some difficulties,
you know?

Yeah, absolutely. A lot of people make music and it’s disposable. You
don’t make disposable music. You make music that hits people hard and
that’s why you on a totally different level. Do you follow a certain
writing process? Do you start with lyrics first or melody first? Is
there a certain way you go about it?
There’s no process. However it comes, it comes. I can’t have a
process. It grows naturally.

How often do you find yourself writing songs?
It depends on the season. It’s just like winter, summer, spring, fall,
orange season, mango season, I have writing seasons.

Absolutely. You’re always involved in so many different projects too, beyond music. What are some of your new projects you’re working on?
I have some stuff that’s already been done, because right now I’m just
focusing on Fly Rasta. We have a couple of books that we’ve put out
already. One is the Marijuana Man comic book. The next one is I Love
You Too, a kid’s book. Hopefully, I can expand my creativity in some
film and then some more book stuff. The Internet and these things, it
gives me another real estate to try other creative endeavors. Anything’s possible.

Yeah. You’re such a creative force that it knows no bounds. Whatever you apply yourself to, you always put your own slant on it.
Yeah, sure.

I’m sure coming up, your dad taught you to look at things in a different view point, right?
No, we just grew up that way. I think some things are innate, some even before I was born. It’s a part of who I am. There are certain traits within us that are not taught, it just is.

Yeah, It’s something that’s just natural. What advice would you give
to artists just starting out? What have been some of the biggest
challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
My career, it’s not a thing. It’s alive, you know? The thing with me
is that my life and my music are connected. My career is not separate
from my life. It’s not like I have my career and I have my life. It’s
all one thing. The challenges we face in life are the challenges we
face in careers. It’s the same challenge, it’s the same thing. It’s
all one thing. The challenges of other people who criticize or don’t
believe in what you’re doing. The internal challenges that you face
yourself. Sometimes you are not sure. It’s all of these types of
things that happen in life, it’s a part of it. Advice to up and coming
people is try to be true to who you are. That’s a good lesson for life
and career.

The Rising Generation of Women Ruling Reggae-Dancehall

November 11, 2019

There are a lot of great up-and-coming female artists currently ruling the world of reggae-dancehall. They are bringing real, honest lyrics and quality vibes. Here are four of my favorites.

Interview: Eddie Money

September 14, 2019
Eddie Money Portrait

Eddie Money (Image via

Eddie Money was a rock legend. I wanted to share an unreleased phone interview I did with Eddie on August 14th, 2014 as a tribute. He discussed how he got started in music, his lyrical inspiration and approach to songwriting. Eddie Money’s energy and passion for music are inspiring. He was a person that was proud of what he had accomplished, but wasn’t stuck in the past. Eddie brought so much soul and realness to his music. For more info on
Eddie Money, visit

How’d you become involved in music?
I was in a rock band in high school. I get out of high school and I joined the police department. Being a cop, it’s not an easy job. I did pretty good in the academy. I looked at my old man, who was a cop for 29 years. I just didn’t want to be in uniform for 20 years of my life.
I should have joined the Marine Corps, like my brother. My heart goes out to emergency service workers and the firemen and police department. Civil service people, they do a lot for the community. My band moves out to California and I stayed at a police department for a
couple years. I said to myself, “Maybe I want to be a rock star, because I was in a rock band in high school.” I moved out to California and then we wound up getting a record deal back in about the late ’70s. We had “Baby Hold On,” “Two Tickets to Paradise,”
Think I’m in Love,” a string of hits. I have to say that the big man upstairs was very good to me and very kind to me.

Do you follow a certain song writing process?
I always try to write the chorus first. “I got two tickets to Paradise.” “Baby hold on to me. Whatever will be, will be.” “Well, I take all my love, my life is looking up.” I usually write the chorus first, then I write the verse after that. Then, I probably, usually write the bridge last. There is a formula to writing music. It’s a mathematical formula. You start off with an intro, then you do your first verse. Then you want your first chorus, your second verse, second chorus, then you go to a nice bridge and come back with two choruses and out. You fade on the last chorus.

Yeah, absolutely. You’re so skilled at writing quality songs. It’s interesting the way you build songs around choruses first.
We sold 29 million records and we must be doing something right. I’ve played with the Police, and I’ve played with Bob Seeger. Who haven’t I played with? We’ve had a really good run, you know? It’s been a lot of fun and I gotta find some wood to knock on ’cause I
just got a nice write up in Rolling Stone.

Yeah, I saw that.
People really like band and things are going great. You know I’ve got my kid, he’s Dez Money. He’s got a very promising career ahead of him. I tell you, Kansas City’s a great little rock and roll town. I’ve always been a big Royals fan, only two behind Detroit right now.Detroit’s slowing down. I think Kansas City’s gonna be there this year.

We’ll see how it goes. What Inspires you lyrically?
Take Me Home Tonight,” they play it in all the bars before people go home. “Take me home tonight I don’t want to let you go till you see the light.” “I got two tickets to paradise, pack your bags, you leave tonight.” You gotta write songs that make people feel good. If you’re entertaining, you don’t wanna bring people down. You wanna bring people up. I try to keep a real positive attitude. So when people listen to an Eddie Money song, they walk away feeling good about it. People really love the show live, and we got so many great fans out
there. Fans in their 50s, in their 40s. Now, due to the power of the Internet and that Geico commercial they did, they got little kids six, seven years old that actually know the lyrics. It’s great to get out there and it’s a real joy to see kids and so many people enjoying what I do for a living. I’ve got the gold records on the wall, and the platinum records on the wall, but the real fun I have is playing live. I’m going to have a really big guest list in Kansas City. We’ve got so many friends in Kansas City, that the phone’s have been ringing off the hook.

Silent Nights: A Mini Documentary About My Boulevardia Debut

June 26, 2019

Documentary filmmaker Bobby Pitts, of Worth It Films, recently shot a mini doc about my debut festival set at Boulevardia 2019:

My Festival Debut at Boulevardia 2019

June 17, 2019

DJ Diehard at Boulevardia 2019 (Photo via Nicole Bissey Photography)

I recently made my festival debut with a two-hour set in the silent disco at Boulevardia 2019.

You can listen to the mix here.

Guest Mix for So French, So Good

May 23, 2019

I recently made my Belgian radio debut with a guest mix for So French, So Good on RUN.

So French, So Good is a radio show specializing in the French touch style of house music. RUN is a college radio station based in Namur, Belgium. The episode also features an interview with DEMON and a mix from Stephane of Superfunk. You can listen to the show below. My mix starts around the 23 minute mark. French touch forever!

Guest Mix for Influx Radio.

May 2, 2019

I recently made my UK Internet radio debut with a guest mix for Influx Radio. The mix was recorded live, with no re-edits. Check out the mix below:

DJ Diehard’s French House Mini Mix.

April 18, 2019

I first went to France in 2001, the summer after Daft Punk’s Discovery was released. It seems like that album was blaring out of every shop and open window in Paris that year. I call it beach music, what you listen to when you’re eating shrimp on the beach in the South of France. The French approach to dance music is unique, grooving and inspiring. This mix was recorded live and features 21 tracks in 13 minutes.

Photek “Mine to Give”

Superfunk “Discoball” (Dealers De Funk Remix)

Cedric Gervais “Do It Tonight”

Daft Punk “Revolution 909”

Cassius “Feeling For You”

SebastiAn “Embody”

Justice “D.A.N.C.E.”

Daft Punk “Face To Face” (Demon Remix)

Martin Solveig “The Night Out” (Madeon Remix)

Bob Sinclar “Gym Tonic”

Modjo “Lady”

Bob Sinclair “Love Generation”

Etienne de Crécy “Am I Wrong?”

Superfunk Feat. Ron Carroll “Lucky Star”

The Supermen Lovers “Starlight”

BeatauCue “Falcon Punch”

Michael Calfan “Got You”

Lifelike “The Chase”

Mr. Oizo “Flat Beat”

Breakbot “Baby I’m Yours”

Stardust “Music Sounds Better With You”

The DJ Diehard Mix Show on

February 7, 2019

I’m pleased to announce the launch of the DJ Diehard Mix Show, every Tuesday at 8 PM EST/7 PM CST, on is Canada’s Number 1 Music Network. The show features some of the best in house and dance music, all in the mix. Past episodes can be streamed on my Mixcloud.

DJ Diehard is a Kansas City, Missouri-based DJ. He is passionate about bringing the energy and quality vibes. DJ Diehard began DJing in 2008, while attending college in New Orleans. His sets often blend Afrobeats, bounce, footwork, house and reggae-dancehall. DJ Diehard has played many venues, including the Riot Room, Niche, The Chesterfield, Handsome Willy’s, RecordBar and CrossroadsKC at Grinders. The DJ has a monthly residency, every last Thursday of the month, at The Chesterfield. He hosts DJ Diehard’s Selections, every Friday at 4 PM GMT/10 AM CST, on Ugandan Internet radio station DJ Diehard also hosts the DJ Diehard Mix Show, every Tuesday at 8 PM EST/7 PM CST, on He has opened for a wide range of artists, including Big Freedia, Mickey Avalon and Simon Rex (Dirt Nasty) and DJ Taye. When you see DJ Diehard’s sets, the beasting is unparalleled.

%d bloggers like this: