DJ Hoppa’s music influences range far and wide, with his mother being a cellist and his father a trumpet player.
But it was hip hop that spoke to him. “It was just something that was just pure fun in the beginning. My homie John had turntables in the garage. He had one a capella record and then he had a beat on another record, and he was just mixing them together. To me – that was just crazy. I've always played music, but to manipulate it and remix it live like that was just super fun. It just caught me. It's just being young – hip hop just speaks to you.”
A resident of California, DJ Hoppa has ties to Australia’s hip hop scene via local royalty Bliss N Eso. “I heard about them through the internet; I produced this song for them called 'Up Jumped The Boogie' [off 2006 LP, ‘Day Of The Dog’]. And that was my first link to Australia, that was some years ago.
"I kept in touch with them and always stayed on top of their music and always dug their beat — I felt like Australia was really good at keeping the culture of hip hop very true ... Just more conscious of the beats and the lyrics than the gimmicks and the money stuff.”
Headed down under with fellow Californian rapper Hopsin, Hoppa says the two grew up in the same neighbourhood, but never knew each other until their manager intervened. “It's a trip. Our mums live in the same neighbourhood, like blocks from each other, but we've never known each other. I didn't know him until our manager Dane approached me to go on tour with Hop. It was only going to be a couple of shows, one small tour, but the energy – we have a really good dynamic on stage, like I feel like I can read his cues really well. We just know how to control the pace of the show really well. That's like the foundation of everything – the show.
“We've been on the road together so much that we just see each other all the time. Now it's just like, ‘Let's kill it man, let's get to work!’ We just rock the show.”
DJ Hoppa supports Hopsin at The Tempo December 13 as well as the Surfers Paradise Beergarden December 16.