At the age of 15, A-Trak became a pillar of the music community when he won the DMC World DJ Championships in 1997. Twenty years later, he's giving hungry producers and DJs around the world the opportunity to shine at his first annual Goldie Awards, which will be presented by Fool's Gold/Thump/Noisey/TMWRK on Sept. 7.
"The Goldie Awards is kind of my baby now. This is a new project that I'm really excited about because it's even more close to my roots and foundation," A-Trak tells Billboard exclusively. “It's a new battle that has two categories with a DJ battle and a beat battle. I earned my reputation in battling winning the DMC DJ Competition in '97 and winning a bunch of more titles until 2000 and those couple of years. I remember how that put my name on the map. That was when DJ'ing was more underground. It was sort of a light bulb moment that brought about the Goldie Awards.”
With the competition set to take place in New York's Brooklyn Steel, competitors will battle in front of a bevy of acclaimed music-makers. For The Goldie Awards, A-Trak has enlisted the likes of Diplo, Just Blaze, DJ Craze, Destructo, Mija, and Mannie Fresh to judge the crop of contestants. "The judging panel is pretty incredible. I'm really proud of what we put together," says A-Trak. "I really wanted to put together a judging panel that reflects the whole breadth of the ground I wanna cover with Goldie. So, I'm going as much on the producer side as I am on the DJ side, old and new, hip hop and electronic, and just like trusted names, trusted figures. It's exciting, for example, to see a Just Blaze just have a battle that he did with Swizz Beatz. That tells me that it's a good time for the awareness."