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Bateman Design Adds Value To The Nashville Music Scene


I do a lot of footwork around Nashville to keep up with who’s doing what. Eventually, you start to see some of the same people and you find out who’s doing what. Over the past few years, I’ve been to shows of all genres and I keep seeing Andrew Bateman of Bateman Design. However, it’s not just that I see him at all the same shows. I see him at the same shows and he’s running things. He’s done just about everything, but more prominently he’s a part of the Mashville DJ crew. He graciously took some time to answer some questions and show us how to grow to boss status by adding value to your music scene.

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.

DJing was a given. Music has been a passion of mine since before I can remember, and anybody who has spent a moderate amount of time with me can attest to that. Mashville was a perfect fit for me because of the diversity in my musical tastes. I first began to perform as a DJ because I had all this music that I wanted people to hear. I wanted to share the music that I was listening to from day to day. I’m kind of a snob when it comes to music, I know what sounds good – and that’s that.

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.

I have to say, though, that the people you need to keep tabs on are within our own camp. Mashville is staying on top of it. Sam & Tre need to be in your sights. These guys are incredible. I haven’t heard an album like this… ever. And that’s saying something. Their next release is going to follow suit and blow everything out the water.

If you haven’t heard KDSML & SAM – SHACK ATTACK, you are missing out. Way out. These guys know what they are doing, and there is no end to what’s in-store.

I don’t even need to tell you about DJ Wick-it. This guy has been at the top of the field for so long, and finally he is getting some of the recognition he deserves. I can’t begin to tell you how many shows he’s rocked, how many joints he’s dropped, or how many cuts he’s sowed. I’m blown away every time he’s like, “Hey man, I’m working on this track, listen to it real quick.” Hot Damn.

STFU or GTFO (The Greatest Dubstep Mix Ever Made) by wick-it

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.

Check out or follow Bateman on Twitter.

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