DJ Campaign Camo talks getting DJ start, "TakeOver SZN" brand, influences and more in his official Q+A
Campaign Camo is a rising DJ from the city of Chicago.
From his DJ mixes, to his budding "TakeOver SZN" brand, event hosting and more, Camo is aiming to take his works to new heights. Starting early in college, he did a great job keep it rolling well after graduating from Western Illinois University.
I recently inquired to the rising DJ about an interview and we still connected throughout the timing of the current world events. Take a read in to the start of his brand, and what got him going as a DJ.
GroovNuke: How did you get your start as DJ?
Camo: I got my start in being a DJ at WIU. I was always on somebody's aux cord playing music in car rides, or playing the music at the kickbacks, having songs first before the general public or putting people on to songs they never heard before. I had a lot of songs on my laptop when I first started too so that gave me confidence that I'd be able to hold my own.
GroovNuke: What was you first gig as a DJ?
Camo: My first gig was a skate party held in Macomb, March 25th, 2016. The performance wasn't the greatest by any means but it did the job. I got a lot of love from my peers after that party. To me it was a sign to take DJ'n seriously. The run I had with DJ'n while in school was amazing.
GroovNuke: Talk about your run with DJ'ing in college?
Camo: The progress & responses are what I took so seriously. I wanted to put on a show every time I had a gig. I got a lot of love on my home turf but when I went to visit other schools it was hit or miss. I was okay with that because at the end of the day, the respect overrules anything else in my eyes and when I visited other campuses for shows that's what I came away with nonetheless. I do think there was more I could've done as a DJ while in school but I believe I was top tier during my time of spinning while in school.
GroovNuke: How did you balance being a full-time student, designer, and DJ?
Camo: Balancing the three-headed snake of school, spinning & designing was a huge obstacle for me but having others alongside of me to hold me accountable, be of service when I needed them & help with giving myself a timetable on when things needed to be done helped me prosper in each lane. It would've been nearly impossible trying to take on all three head on by myself.
GroovNuke: Biggest influence to your DJ passion?
Camo: The biggest influence on my DJ passion is Chicago. That would be my same answer for the fashion version of this question as well. The DJs from here who have come before me love the craft so much. Their personal experiences & achievements have shown me what's available for you with a certain work ethic & drive.
This city is so rich with hustlers and entrepreneurs too which is something that also keeps me wanting more. The music scene here is very historic as we all know, so to be apart of that and help contribute by playing homegrown artists when I do a set wherever. Even just networking & supporting the artists from here is a dope feeling just due to the fact that we all are in the same race trying to grab the reigns of the city in all of our lanes.
GroovNuke: Share what “Takeover Szn” is and what does it mean to you?
Camo: Takeover Szn started off just being a state of mind for me. When I felt like I needed to lock in or aimed to be at the top of my game when doing something in particular it was time to takeover. At this same time, there was a wave of new creatives including you and I at WIU as well so the mindset of us taking over the campus in our respective fields as well brought it into a clear-eye view. Takeover Szn's meaning is so universal. You can use it in any way you personally feel that you need to dig within yourself to overcome whatever it is in front of you.
GroovNuke: How far do you want to take the brand?
Camo: I want to take this brand to unimaginable heights. I want clothes to be distributed to every state in the country if applicable, I want all kinds of influencers in the merch, I want international sales as well. I want the brand to host top tier entertainment & charitable events too. Thoughts of having a label or agency under the brand surfaces my brain often as well. The sky is really the limit.
GroovNuke: Go to artists to spin right now?
Camo: Go to artists for me to spin right now consists of Lil Baby, Gunna, Young Thug, Meg The Stallion, Lil Durk, DaBaby, Future, Drake, & Roddy Ricch just to name a few. I want to show some love to some local artists on the rise I like to spin too like Flex, Lil Blessin, L'Gado, OG Stevo, SBG Kemo & Ke Millie and Cari & Leeko Sav.
GroovNuke: What is your favorite mix you created?
Camo: My favorite mix is such a tough question to answer because they all resonate with me in different ways. If I had to pick one though I would more than like say a mix I created called "Takeover Szn Thursdays Pt. 5." That was the first mix I made that was strictly r&b music & vibes of that nature. To this day its the highest played mix in my catalog with 7,000+ plays.
GroovNuke: Biggest influences to your “Takeover Szn” fashion line?
Camo: Biggest influences on Takeover Szn fashion wise would be the streetwear world but in specific, brand owners of brands from Chicago that I rock with personally. The crew at Fat Tiger Workshop with Joe, Des, Rello & Vic are big influences.
The owners of Leaders are OGs in the Chicago fashion game are big influences & their Madison streets neighbors, Pillars is another Chicago brand that influences me heavily. The owners of rising Chicago streetwear brands Just Gang, Rich So, SweatsByStew, Designer Junkie & ScoopEra are more so personal influences because of their successes & I have more personal relationship with these owners.
GroovNuke: Describe your support system?
Camo: My support system is my close family & friends, my girlfriend & literally anybody who's ever bought merch, listened to a mix I've made, attended a Takeover Szn event or given me any noteworthy advice throughout my journey so far.
GroovNuke: Favorite thing to do when you aren’t branding?
Camo: My favorite things to do when I'm not branding are watch sports, kick it with my friends & listen to music.
GroovNuke: What was your favorite event you’ve participated in thus far?
Camo: My favorite event that I've done thus far would be between a silent party I spun in Minnesota late last year because that was my first out of state show and they showed me so much love or opening up at the concert for Lud Foe at WIU back in 2017. That was a "I'm here" moment for me & the entire school was there to witness me kill that set. I got a lot of love after that show as well.
GroovNuke: Describe your time with hosting events?
Camo: Hosting events has been a very humbling experience because you may throw something and expect a crowd but you can get quickly humbled as I have before. I appreciate the ones who pull up to events I throw regardless of price or who they think may be there & other deciding factors like that. I try to make sure the people that are in the building are appreciated for spending their time or money with me regardless.
GroovNuke: When faced with hard times with you craft, how do you respond?
Camo: When I'm faced with a hard time in crafting, myself or somebody close to me just reminds me of the journey that I have been on so far & its always adversity you gotta face to be get where it is you want to be.
GroovNuke: If you had to choose on lane for the run, which will it be (DJ'ing or designing)?
Camo: If I had to choose one lane for the long run it would be Dj'n because I see more opportunity for myself in that & I've been given more opportunities in that lane so far as well.
GroovNuke: How was your experience with DJ’ing All-Star weekend in your hometown?
Camo: The experience of this past all-star weekend in Chicago for me was very dope because I spun for former big name NBA pros like Baron Davis & Al Harrington, unknowingly did a performance set for 147 Calboy at a pop-up shop I spun for ScoopEra & I also hosted my own events that were successful too. It was just an amazing time to be in Chicago & be apart of something historic like that.
GroovNuke: One person or event you want to spin for in the near future?
Camo: An event I would like to DJ at would be a big festival like Rolling Loud or Lolla & any tours I do in the near future with Flex would cover the person I want spin for.
GroovNuke: Where can you see yourself in five years?
Camo: In five years, I see myself with a few storefronts, a music studio or two & having traveled across the globe as a beat making, fashion designing, show-rocking DJ entering my 30's on my own terms of success but hungry for more.
GroovNuke: If you can give some advice to yourself before all of this kicked off, what would it be?
Camo: The advice I would have given myself before all of this kicked off would be, be patient, analyze all your moves before you make them and have faith in your journey.