Stacey White, AKA DJ Sliink doesn’t just make music you can dance you, it’s music you can’t reasonably stay still to. Hailing from Newark, Sliink is one of the most notable figures in the Jersey Club scene. The entire basis of the genre he came up on is made for movement, the more people bounce along, the more you know it’s really hitting the spot.
The young producer pairs what seems like an infinite arsenal of shuffling drum patterns with vocal samples put on loop. Often the vocals are taken from R&B and hip-hop songs, Sliink’s used everyone from RIhanna and Missy Elliott to Justin Timberlake and 2 Chainz. The songs are sped up to between 134-136 bpms, elevating a catchy pop-song like “Diamonds,” to the soundtrack that makes the people on a packed dance floor sweat through their tank tops.
This year, Sliink headlined the Certified Trap Tour, building on an expansion of his sound into heavier hip-hop beats and bigger bass drops alongside NYC duo Loudpvck, Atlanta’s FKi and Philly native, Dirty South Joe. Sliink also hopped on the lineup for the Mad Decent Block Party Tour with recent collaborators like Flosstradamus, Major Lazer and Baauer and has big plans to drop some official remixes in the coming year.
After years spent pumping out a dozen remixes a day, DJing live night after night and constantly searching for ways to evolve and grow his skills as a producer, Sliink has been through a lot to get to where he is now. He sat down with us to talk about the things he’s done to get his music heard, the importance of having an attitude, and the difficulties of being a young single father with big dreams.
What is the wildest thing you’ve ever done to get someone to listen to your music?
I used to DJ off of this online radio thing on the web. I forget the name of it. I would broadcast everyday of the week on this server. I wouldn’t call it wild, but a little dedicated. I would mix most of my own music on Virtual DJ, this was about seven years ago. People would actually tune in and look forward to the show.
How did you book your first show?
My first show was actually a family cookout. My family finally got around to getting me some numark dual-deck type of tables. When I was coming up I guess that was a cool set up for me. I would do most of the family gatherings. I moved on to doing basement parties and school shows. I actually moved on to DJing in pool halls where kids could come and have fun, those were the good times.
Tell me about a time when you had to do a set on the fly—are you always ready to play?
Coming up I would always go to a event with my CD book on hand. I was like a local celebrity in my town after a while. I actually showed up to a party just to chill and a promoter kicked the other DJ off because I was in the building. I’m not the type to steal a person’s shine but it was a request! I enjoyed performing around my city and I was always ready.
If someone offered you a $1 million, conditioned on you doing one of the following things, would you say yes and which one would you choose.
a) Wrestle an alligator.
b) Walk a tightrope in between two buildings
c) Ride a bull. (It only counts if you make it to 8 seconds)
All of these things are pretty interesting. If I had to choose one I would ride a bull. I’m pretty confident in my strength and it’s something I actually thought about doing. If I were to lose it wouldn’t even matter.
Ever dropped a song in the middle of a live set that you were worried might totally bomb? Did it?
I actually dropped Ginuwine “Pony,” recently. I was playing a very intense set and went on to my “Body Party” remix with my bro Nadus. It actually went very well. Even though the kids were young, they knew about “Pony.” I actually thought about doing it from city-to-city since it worked. I like to keep my sets all over the place so I can keep people as happy as possible.
Ever had to break the rules to get in front of a crowd?
I don’t think I ever had to break any rules to get in front of a crowd. I think you get what you work for most times. I been working hard for the last 7 years , so most things were we deserved.
What’s the toughest call you ever had to make when it came to going for it with your music or letting an opportunity pass by?
The toughest call was leaving my family at the age of 18-19 years old. I actually had to move to North Carolina and everything I knew was in NJ. I felt as though I had to get back to NJ and finish what I started. I actually moved back to Jersey and stayed friend-to-friend and house-to-house. I was pretty much couch-surfing and slept on floors to make a dream happen. It was all worth it. I look back at things and congratulate myself and the people that were there for me.
Do you think that sometimes it takes a little attitude to get what you want? What’s your policy on dealing with people who give you a hard time?
I grew up in a rough neighborhood, so you always gotta stand your ground. I never liked tolerating disrespect towards me or anyone in my camp. It’s always a great day when I’m right and the person is wrong. (Laughs) You really need attitude in this music game.
Tell me about the craziest place you’ve ever played a set?
The craziest place I ever played a set had to be in Berlin. The party actually started at 11pm. The party was in a old bakery and had like seven rooms. I got back to my room around 7-8am, so tired.
Was there ever a time that you had to pass up something to favor your career that seemed like a big deal at the time? Tell me about it?
Actually I kind of had to pass up on being there for my son a lot. Until this day it’s always been a big deal. When I travel all around the world my aunt watches him. My son’s name is Jazier, he’s going on three-years-old. He seems like he will be into music. I try not to stress things because I know everything will work out in the long run. I’m so happy to have a supportive family. I actually want to thank my aunt Haneefah for being there for me. She never tried to hold back my career because I had that big of a responsibility. Also many people don’t know I’m a single parent with the help of my aunt, so big thanks to her.