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  Oliver Twist



Please call 310.477.2212























Name: Oliver Cantada
Born: 12.17.1970
Years spinning: Since 1985..I can't do math!
Music types:

Deep House, Funky House, Breaks, Chugging Funky Bluegrass, Tribal/Tech House, blah.blah.blah!!

Influences: Frank "Ponch" Poncherello, David Hasselhoff, Emanuel Lewis, Fred Sanford, ZZ Top, Jethro Tull, and oh yeah. Derrick L. Carter, Mantronik (King of Beats!), Angus Young, Rakim, Donald Glaude, DJ Dan, Eddie Van Halen, and David Lee Roth

You may recognize the name from the classic tale by Charles Dickens, but this Oliver Twist isn't a character from a children's book! Here, his name is synonymous with the Southern California club scene. Spinning grooves for over 18 years, he has definitely come a long way from his first gig at the 'Our Lady of Sacred Heart' Spring Dance of 85'! He has played at some of the best clubs and parties in the country like Level (Miami), Utopia (Vegas), Coachella, Giant (LA), Honey (LA), Union@Montage (San Diego) and Remedy (OC). Currently Oliver Twist has residencies at one of LA's biggest and best nightclubs, Spundae and with the infamous Funky Tekno Tribe. Find out all about all his likes, loves, and tastes in music in this exclusive raves.com interview with reporter Annalee!

Annalee: How did you get started?

Oliver Twist: Actually, I got started when I realized I had 2 left feet. It was St. Augustine High School (in San Diego), Spring of '85. All my friends were b-boys, so they knew how to pop, lock, b-boy, etc. I just couldn't get the rhythm, so I tried the ever-so-expensive hobby we know and love as DJ'ing! I remember saving a portion of my lunch money for a month, went to Radio Shack and got me my first mixer, it had 2 little VU meters and 4 vertical "stiff-as-hell" faders, no cross fader. I stole my great grandmother's turntable w/ no pitch and a ceramic stylus- all plastic turntable! The other turntable I stole from the family room's stereo, dad hated me!

What was the 1st record you ever bought?
I still remember to this day, wait, how about my first 2 records? The first one was I believe in 1976 @ KMART, my mom bought me a 45 single of the S.W.A.T theme track, still a funky ass track to this day! My 2nd and really 1st 12" single was "Rappers Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang, my parents took me to the Wherehouse in '77 for that one *shedding a nostalgic tear*

What/Where was your 1st gig?
Spring Dance, 1985 @ Our Lady of Sacred Heart.wow, I remember the BS I had to go through to get gear for that gig! I remember dismantling my dad's amplifier from the rest of its unit, taking his speakers, turntable, and everything else and having my mom drive me to the dance w/out revealing to her that I had their equipment! The worst part was midway through the dance, the amp started smoking, leaving me no choice but to stop the music.how embarrassing

How did you end up in Los Angeles?
In 1993, I moved up to LA to finish my degree @ USC. I had quit DJ'ing for about 5 years and was dying so I promised myself that once I finished I would take it up again.actually, I didn't get into med school so I needed something to fall back on!

Do you currently have any residencies?
I have a residency with the almighty Funky Tekno Tribe (hehe). I am also Barak and Rebecca Sin's beee-yatch on www.wantickets.com - buy ALL of your tickets there! And I recently have accepted a residency w/ Spundae (LA), so I am really happy about 2003 already!

Do you currently have any albums out?
Not yet, it's still in the works. I did work w/ DJ Rectangle on one of his Ultimate Battle Weapon records a couple of years ago; I believe it was UBW IV??

Are you in the studio now, do we have anything to look forward to in the near future, maybe some collaboration with someone else?
Yes, yes, yes..I am currently collaborating w/ (the female group) Tatu's keyboardist (Sven) and guitarist (Troy) along with my longtime friend Brian Vasquez on some pretty cool, off the wall stuff; we call ourselves The Congaloids; lots of monkeys involved. I also have about 4 solo tracks just about ready to go, keep ya eyes peeled by the end of the summer!

What do you think about all this mainstream techno on the radio these days? Do you think it is good for the scene or are you 100% against it selling out?
I actually really do like it, from DJ Rap on the Twix commercial (it was kinda funny too) to Roger Sanchez remixing No Doubt, you know it's been around a while anyway, people are just really beginning to take notice, and it's all good. I really don't care about the purists talking shit about "selling out" like hip hop supposedly did; yeah right, has Mos Def sold out just b/c he has his own show on HBO or is an actor now? Hell no, that guy is still deeper than the Marianas Trench.. mainstream is just becoming more open to underground culture.al.

What type of music do you listen to when you are not spinning?
I love listening to jazz (Coltrane!), also everything from Tina Marie to Hall and Oates, old school "G" hip hop like Above the Law (VSOP!) and RBL Posse, still listen to Rush, AC/DC, real old school hip hop like Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Mantronix, and of course my heroes Eric B. and Rakim! Can I keep going??? Okay, I love The Cure, Depeche Mode, Modern English, The Smiths, Stevie B., The Cover Girls, Nocera, the list goes forever!!!!!

What are your thoughts on the scene right now locally?
I think that the scene really needs to isolate the DJ as its true rock star, make nobody else more important, have the promoters pay us more and give us our own dressing rooms with strippers, Mongolian midgets dressed as chimps, and a bucket of paint. Of course I am serious. Really. there's a local base so rich in talent in so many genres; for this we can give thanks to our local promoters from your Neil Thomas' (Spundae) to your guys @ RED (Howy, Henry, Kosho, Paul) for providing a platform for us to express ourselves regularly. Not only that, what I really like about our local scene is that we DJs are actually friends and really support each other, never any beef involved. That's such a great feeling when your peers take the time to come out and support you and vice versa! We have a lot of DJs outta LA who will be making some noise in the near future: Rebecca Sin, Kazell, DJ Sol, Cody Lee, Justin Gourley, John Do, Josh Abrams, Architects of Sound, Nicholas Bennison, John Wander, Brandon Meyers, Jayell, Jeffery Allen, straight-up TOP NOTCH talent!

Do any favorite moments in your career come to mind?
Slam dunk- when my mom and dad drove all the way out to Remedy (OC) from Vegas on a Thursday night to come see me play; growing up, my parents hated the fact that all I wanted to do was spin, especially my father. To see him look at me and smile when I was up there in front of all my friends and family was the most rewarding feeling ever. Plus my mom loves DJ Dan (who played right after me); I think that was the real reason for the visit!

In the many places you have performed, which venue is your most favorite?
Spundae @ Circus, particularly Feb. 1st 2003 when I opened up for DJ Three and Lee Burridge. I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E

Tell me about some of the bigger parties or "One Off's" you have played to date.
Well, when I was DJ Rectangle's MC there were a ton of HUGE parties from Denver's Roofless parties to the SONA in Montreal. The biggest party that I DJ'd was in Seattle under some unfortunate circumstances; Rectangle fell ill during his set and so I took over w/ about 8,000 people at the main stage. It was surreal and bittersweet.

How has your creativity changed over the last 8 years?
Well, I started my DJ career w/ hip hop and old school breaks, and then moved onto House. What I always did maintain was the "trickery" if you will; I just started applying every trick I learned from hip hop to house. I have noticed that I have gotten ballsier when I play, trying things that I have never done before, but that's what is so fun about playing, you learn something new every time you spin. I am constantly learning from other DJs, I love how everybody has their own little style and I just enjoy seeing the creativity come out from these people.

What is your current Goal as a DJ?
To enjoy it to its fullest, remember where I am from, what I have had to go through, and most importantly to remain humble.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of buying some tables and learning to spin?
Buy them! I would really suggest that you save up and get the 1200s right off the bat. The way I have always taught my friends is to 1st get comfortable with your equipment; buy identical copies of a record (preferably with stripped-down beats) and just keep matching the beats over and over until they're super-tight! Always learn how to scratch later!!!

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
I see myself driving a Dodge Caravan w/ 2.5 kids, a dog named Millhouse, and my beautiful wife feeding me grapes. Really!

What would you be doing right now if you never bought that 1st record and became a DJ?
Probably lancing a monstrous boil on some patient's ass.

What are your thoughts on the Rave Act?
This is all I have to quote: "The federal government can't even keep drugs out of prisons, yet they seek to incarcerate business owners for failing to keep people from sneaking drugs onto their premises"

OK: The answer to the last question was great, but I have one more for you before I let you go. What, in your opinion, is the greatest aspect of being a DJ?
Having the best view in the house of the go-go dancers and free beef jerky from the Spundae Mayor... no, really! Honestly, hands down, the feeling you get from all the happiness you bring to people; I love putting on a show too, just being myself, something I remember doing in front of the mirror 18 years ago.

-- written by Annalee Stone



"Sick"- Saeed and Palash (Addictive)

"One of the best DJs I have ever heard play, straight up"- Jonathan Lisle (Bedrock)

"Most definitely a force to be reckoned with"- DJ Dan

A disciple of the turntables since 1985, Oliver Twist has seen the art of turntablism grow from backyard parties into a mainstream phenomenon. After playing the trumpet and guitar in his elementary and middle school years, Oliver found DJing by accident in his freshman year of high school. With a dance-heavy peer group flourishing in breaking and popping, he frustratingly spent weekends getting lessons. But he began gravitating, instead, toward something else. "My friend Felix popped in this tape of the Rock Steady Crew from back in the day, and instead of watching Crazy Legs, I ended trippin' out off of the guys that were playing the music--Grandmaster Flash and Kool Herc." Never having seen a DJ before, Oliver was convinced that this was what he wanted to do. He went straight home, brought his tape player downstairs, placed it next to his dad's stereo, put a record on dad's turntable, and tried to scratch using a rotary knob. A DJ was born.

Years passed and, after graduation, Oliver earned a slot at a local teen nightclub in San Diego, meeting and befriending what turned out to be one of the largest influences in his DJ career, the legendary DJ Rectangle. After a few years of spinning gigs and producing music together, Rectangle continued to follow his DJing aspirations, while Oliver went to college, studied full time and gave up spinning altogether.

After graduating from USC, he applied to medical school twice without success. It was then that Oliver decided to take up the decks again, and again he hooked up with Rectangle. Now eight years later, Rectangle recruited him into his production team and assisted him on the production of Ultimate Battle Weapon IV. In addition, Oliver toured North America with Rectangle as his emcee, performing in Vancouver, Montreal, Madison (WI), Seattle, Chicago, Denver, and Mexico. "I owe Rectangle a ton for re-introducing me into the game. Oliver cites Donald Glaude as a "slam-dunk" influence on his style of play. "I grew up purely hip-hop: scratching, juggling, and all that kind of stuff, so when I saw Donald play for the first time, fusing hip-hop skills w/ house music, in addition to being completely blown away by his stage presence, I knew that I had found my niche." Having a diverse and aggressive style of play, it is no wonder why he also looks at Q-Bert, Cash Money, Jam Master Jay, DJ Dan, Steve Lawler, and especially Derrick Carter as major influences.

With an admittedly hip-hop oriented musical sensibility, Oliver fuses deep, sexy house with classic west coast funky house and often lacing his sets w/ funky tribal, tech house and techno; adding his scratching and beat juggling capabilities to the table but is best known for his animated personality behind the decks, often driving the crowd into a frenzy. 2002/03 has proven to be a breakthrough period for Oliver, over which time he has spun at such well-known clubs/events as Level (Miami, FL), Utopia (LV), Coachella (KROQ tent) , Spundae(LA), UNION @ Montage (SD), Giant, RED (LA), Honey, and Remedy. During this period, Oliver has honed his skills and reputation playing alongside such heavyweights as Saeed and Palash, Derrick L. Carter, Donald Glaude, Jonathan Lisle, Max Graham, Trendroid, Lee Burridge, DJ Three, Christian Smith, Gene Farris, Jay-J, Julius Papp, and DJ Dan.

In addition to his residency with San Francisco's legendary Funky Tekno Tribe, Oliver has recently accepted a residency with Spundae (LA), The World Party, and Wantickets.com, not only to play his signature House but also continuing to play Hip Hop sets, a dynamic rarely seen from today's DJ.

www.wantickets.com - www.theworldparty.net - www.spundae.net - www.funkyteknotribe.com - www.dubcoast.com





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