DJ Q45: Media Maven
Kenneth Eric Williams stands as proof that turntablists can realize dreams beyond winning DJ competitions. Known professionally as DJ Q45, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based Williams has transitioned easily into other media—namely, TV and radio.
His outlets are many.
On television, he’s the monthly resident on BET Network’s top-rated show, “106 & Park.” And on The WB, he’s featured on the Daily Buzz morning show that reaches 165 U.S. television markets. On radio, he appears regularly on WJBT 93.3/The Beat, his hometown station, as part of their scheduled mix shows. When it comes to clubs, he has a residency in Jacksonville at Club Pure and he also plays a monthly R&B party in Orlando called Pillow Talk at the 23 Orlando club. He also travels to one-off events around the country.
We recently caught up with DJ Q45 to discuss his range of work.
DJ Times: What got you into DJing?
Q45: I wanted to become a DJ because I love how music moves people. People can have the worst day of their lives and that one special song brings them back into a good mood. Jam Master Jay was the first prominent DJ I saw perform live. I loved how he used to cut the record! It was such a wonderful sound. And, of course, there’s Kid Capri, Doctor Dré from “Yo! MTV Raps,” DJ Laz, DJ Magic Mike, QBert, Grand Master Roc Raida, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Trans, DJ Capone and DJ PeeWee, just to name a few in no particular order.
DJ Times: Did you ever do mobiles?
Q45: Mobile gigs are cool. I just hate having to set up and break down. But being able to go anywhere and perform is great. I was the first Nike store DJ and that was a great opportunity for me. I was playing in front of people that had never seen a real DJ before. I love Nike shoes and having worked with that brand is a big thing on my “got-it-done” list.
DJ Times: Aside from using Serato Scratch Live sometimes, what’s in your current DJ rig?
Q45: My turntables of choice are the Stanton STR8.150s and their M.207 mixer. The STR8.150s are battle tanks! They are the strongest and toughest turntables out there. I have dropped mine, had drinks spilled on them. I even did a party in the rain with them and the motor is just as strong as the first day out the box. The speeds are still on-point with each other after six years of use. The motor is powerful and the pitch control is very sharp—meaning, when I push it to the number, it’s on the number. With the way I DJ, I need a turntable that keeps up with me.