Growing up in NYC, the birthplace of hip-hop, can be quite inspiring for a young DJ. Take that and couple it with being the son of one of the most influential artists in hip-hop history, Jam Master Jay of Run DMC, and you get a cool and authentic take on music mixing. TJ Mizel of Scratch DJ Academy is an up-and-coming mix man that not only works head bop-worthy mash-up sets of hip-hop and dubstep, but also rocks fly clothes.
Mizel’s style blends the strong urban edge of his father’s look with a modern and dapper runway vibe. He’s the kind of dude that sports the high/low fashion trend--a Louis Vuitton backpack with Bernhard Willhelm zebra printed kicks and a baggy tee, for example. We caught up with this young and stylish DJ to chat all things fashion and music.
What are your favorite songs to mix right now?
My favorite songs to mix right now would have to be Justin Timberlake’s "Suit x Tie (Dillon Francis Remix),” and Ace Hood’s "Bugatti," The Insurgents’ "Switch. These are my bangers at the moment.
What singers (past of present) do you look to for inspiration? What do you love about their style? Is there one specific look?
I really look up to singers like The Weeknd, Wynter Gordon, and Jeremih for musical inspiration. I love these artists because they are very open-minded when it comes to their music production, making them appealing to all ears.
How do you decide what you’re going to play at a fashion event? Are there staple artists that are a must to play?
Before I play at a fashion show, I do some research on the designer and check out their previous shows. This gives me an idea of what they like to hear. It’s usually up-tempo industrial sounding disco, or some ambient downtempo electronic music. A staple song that I've always played at fashion shows has to be various remixes of Cut Copy’s “Lights and Music."
Who are your main style inspirations in the music industry?
When it comes to style inspirations in the music industry, Theophilus London, Kanye West, and A$AP Rocky take the cake for me. But I'm proud to say that Run DMC coined this look that a lot of our tastemakers have been wearing the last few years. It’s all a cycle.
Where do you like to shop? What do you love about those spots?
My favorite spots to shop are places like Top Man, Bergdorf Goodman, and Tres Bien (online). I love these stores because I know I won’t see too many other people wearing what I have on. It’s never good when you go out and see your twin next to you. You can always catch me in World Weapon as well. It’s a cool online shop that some friends of mine started in Brooklyn. I love what they stand for and they're always coming out with some really dope stuff on the street wear end.
Who is your favorite designer? What do you love about them?
As far as designers go, I'd have to say Marni is my favorite at the moment. With Marni, there is a great balance between high-end fashion and urban street wear. I feel as if these two styles depict me the most. There are the opportunities to get dressed up and be more formal, but there are also times where I just want to jump on my skateboard and be as comfortable as possible.
What are your five must have fashion items right now?
- Bernard Wilhelm x Camper Toder Safari Print Sneaker
- Louis Vuitton Michael Damier BackPack
- Dicks Cotton Sunglasses SoCal Collection
- All over print shirt (Top Man)
- Drop crotch or harem pants
What are your five tips for dressing for a hot night out?
- Be comfortable.
- The right shoes, comfortable yet not limiting of what establishment you can get into. Unless you are the man!
- Layering is always important. It allows you to change your appearance. Be ready for any weather change.
- Be mindful of your accessory selection. It’s too easy to do too much. Keep it simple.
- Make it count! Pick the threads that make you happy.