Sunday, August 26, 2012

History of DJ Mista Sinista


As an 11 year old , Mista Sinista’s first influence was the sound of his father (a DJ) spinning old breaks in his house. Naturally interested in the art form, the Hip-Hop sounds of Mr. Magic and Kool DJ Red Alert (on New York’s WBLS and KISS FM), soon captivated the Queens, NY youngster. In February of 1986, Mista Sinista finally saved up enough to get a set of his own Technics turntables, and spent the next few years practicing religiously. Mastering the aspects of scratching and mixing was an obsession, as the young deejay honed his skills. In the summer of 1991, Sinista met Dr. Butcher, a legendary Hip-Hop deejay, who was also from Queens.

Asking Mista Sinista about the importance of this relationship, he replied, “Dr. Butcher had skills that were far in advance of anybody I knew at the time”. His new-found mentor took Sinista under his wing and taught him the art of turntablism. With Dr. Butcher’s teaching, Mista Sinista’s skills started to greatly evolve.

In July 1992, when Rob Swift (another student of Dr. Butcher) entered the Northeast DMC Finals, Sinista was on stage aiding him. Rob placed first and Sinista was able to witness first hand what a battle routine was all about. Inspired, Mista Sinista who was by now a member of The X-men, started competing the following year. Coming in as runner up in the 1993 New Music Seminar Battle, and also in the Northeast DMC Finals, Sinista attracted a lot of industry attention. Sinista’s controversial DMC performance (which included the classic “Method Man” routine) soon led to gigs cutting for and touring the world with Common and The Beatnuts.

Throughout the next couple of years, he gained a reputation for being one of the best tour and scratch deejays in the world (check Common’s “Resurrection” LP for some of the best cuts ever recorded on a Hip-Hop album). His work was also highlighted onFat Joe’s sophomore release, “Jealous One’s Envy.”

In 1996, Mista Sinista returned to the DMC and took the DMC East Coast title. He also continued his studio work, recording with Al' Tariq of the Beatnuts and his good friend Kukoo. The following year, Sinista rejoined forces with Common for a few tracks on his new album, “One Day It'll All Make Sense". With touring and studio projects in abundance already, Mista Sinista began to partake in the recording of the X-ecutioner’s debut album “X-Pressions” on Asphodel Records. Around the time of this release, some of the X-Men working on X-Pressions, including Sinista, renamed themselves the X-ecutioners. (Historical note: Not all of the X-ecutioners were originally X-Men and many of the X-Men did not become X-ecutioners).

With the critical success of this album, as well as the growing buzz of the crew, the X-ecutioners secured a recording deal on Loud/Sony. “Built For Scratch” was finally released in February 2002, and was viewed as a groundbreaking album for turntablism. Soon after, Mista Sinista left the group to pursue several ventures, including his own solo debut album.

The Mista Sinista’s debut album, “Heartfelt” was released in 2006. This LP will showcases Mista Sinista’s creativity and ability to experiment, successfully, with several genres of music. According to Mista Sinista, “There is something on it for everyone, and the project itself is heartfelt”. The album features joint efforts with some of Hip-Hop’s best emcees and DJs, as well as several cross-genre music collaborations. This seminal release further raises the bar and pushes turntablism toward new heights of creativity.

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