QE: What’s it like being the point man for the longest running independent DJ showcase in and around Nashville?
BD: It’s a responsibility that I strive to approach with the upmost probity. As time goes on, and more people become familiar with our event, I enjoy having the opportunity to help introduce people to our project and get them excited about what we are doing for the Nashville DJ scene. Once you get me started talking about Mashville, there is no end in sight.
QE: Can you talk about how you got involved with Mashville?
BD: Really, for me, it occurred as a natural continuation to an event I was coordinating in Murfreesboro at Liquid Smoke. We had a weekly show where we would feature area DJs and throw in a freestyle cypher with local MCs. Towards the end of the Thursday Night Hip-Hop shows, I started getting involved with the Yung & Ugly crew in Nashville. At that time, Mashville was being run by Brad Knight (Local Motion). The crew of DJs was pretty much the same; Kidsmeal, Wick-it and Orig. I became a part of Mashville after my first DJ set in November, 2008, mostly due to the fact that I was already close friends with the group producing the show. It marked a transition in my contribution to Hip-Hop/DJ scene. Up until that point I had been an MC, but I also had an interest in performing as a DJ. Actually, I first became interested in DJing because of Kidsmeal (Jesse Shacklock). I was in high-school with Jesse when he helped expose me to the art DJing. Along the way, I happened to meet some of the most talented and dedicated DJs in the game. From Kidsmeal, to Wick-it, to Orig, all of them were an inspiration to me, and I knew instantly that I needed to be a part of what was happening around me.
After my first set at Mashville, I started showing up at the meetings that were happening. I wasn’t the best DJ, but I was able to offer another skill, which is graphic design. I told them, “I’m going to do all of your flyers, I’m going to art this shit up.” And that was it. I started making the flyers, doing all sorts of artwork, and smashing the online presence for Mashville. Eventually. I ended up right in the middle of it all. I made an effort to always be the first to load in at the shows, help set up our equipment, and develop relationships with our venues.
QE: I’ve seen you emcee as AOK; DJ as DJ Bateman and also you do design under Bateman Design. Can you talk about your motivation to get involved with the arts in these ways?
BD: As an emcee, I always strived to exhibit the act as an art-form. To be able to think on your feet, come up with words and ideas quickly, those are the principles behind what I tried to express. Having spent the time and effort pursuing the art of an emcee helps give me perspective on the artists that I get to observe today.
Bateman Design is a whole other beast. As I mentioned before, graphic design was my initial contribution to the Mashville project. As a result of my efforts there, I have been able to create artwork for an increasing amount of clients inside and outside the music industry.
QE: Do you have a vision or goals you want to share for yourself creatively or as a career?
BD: First off, as far as Mashville is concerned, I look forward to extending our audience. I think that we offer a sound and atmosphere that is unique within our town/city. There is a lot that we are working towards, the least of which is establishing our own independent record label. I also hope that Bateman Design will eventually be a relied-upon resource within Nashville as a freelance graphic design option for anybody needing quality artwork.
QE: What are your thoughts on the music scene in Nashville? As in: Who’s doing it right? Who should we keep an eye on? what would you like to see more of?
BD: The music scene in Nashville is never-ending. And that is a great thing. Even within the genre that I am currently involved in, we have a robust, healthy assortment of competition. There is a great group of people who are doing big things in town. First off, Y2K at 12th & Porter (led by Jeremy Todd, a.k.a. Coach) is consistently turning it out. That whole scene is something to behold, indeed.
We can all learn from Bateman. Here’s what I’m taking away:
- Use your skills.
- Work hard.
- Lend a hand.
- Build relationships.
- Add value.