In the dynamic world of turntablism, some events stand as monumental milestones, and then there’s the DMC World DJ Championships – the holy grail for DJs around the globe. Since its inception in 1985, it’s been more than just a competition; it’s been the ultimate proving ground for those who seek to push the boundaries of scratching, mixing, and beat-juggling. It’s a dream for every DJ to stand on that stage, but to win? That’s achieving legend status.
As we roll into the aftermath of the 2023 Championships, the echoes of the beats still reverberate in our ears. This year wasn’t just about a winner; it was about six groundbreaking artists who stole the show and etched their names in the annals of DMC history.
In this article, we dive deep, getting up close and personal with some of these DJ titans, exploring their journeys, inspirations, and the sheer artistry they brought to the decks. Prepare to be taken on a whirlwind tour, from nerve-wracking preliminaries to the grand finale, as we celebrate the champions of DMC 2023.
What are the DMC Championships?
If you want to glimpse what turntablism entails, look at this nine-year-old kid – one of the youngest-ever DJs to compete in a DMC battle!
This year two DJs stood out as champions in the Portablist category of DJ battles held using an analog portable turntable and vinyl records – both making their inaugural victory run!
All right, so check this out: The DMC World DJ Championships! Man, this is like the Olympics for turntablists. Started back in 1985 in the UK, the DMC Championships were born out of a love for hip-hop and the art of turntablism. It’s not just any DJ competition; it’s THE competition. Legends have been made at this stage.
In the early days, DJs came up with tricks and techniques that today are fundamental in scratching and mixing. Dudes like DJ Cheese, the first to bring scratching to the championship, changed the game. And every year after that, the competition just kept pushing boundaries.
Then there are the legends like DJ Qbert, Mix Master Mike, Roc Raida – may he rest in peace – and A-Trak, who won it when he was just 15! Mad skills, right?
Every year, DJs from all over the world battle it out, showcasing mad talent, fresh routines, and insane skills, pushing the culture forward. The battles, the routines, the innovations, man, it’s like witnessing history.
But here’s the thing: DMC isn’t just about the championship title. It’s about community, culture, and pushing the art of DJing to the next level. It’s a global movement, with heats in different countries leading to the World Finals, where the creme de la creme face off.
This year’s DMC Championships offer an abundance of events. Alongside their popular competition, workshops, and performances from top DJs will occur. There is also the Portablist competition, in which DJs use an analog portable turntable with seven-inch vinyl records to beat juggle; initially introduced in 1985, this has seen some legendary turntablists compete since.
Precision – USA
Precision from hip-hop group The X-Ecutioners won the beat juggling category. DJs compete by mixing two or more existing beats into an original composition. As a winner in this contest, Precision will represent his country at Sunday’s advancement class-style battles, scratching, and team competitions.
He says winning the DMC championship title will open new doors and increase his exposure in the music industry. His passions lie with hardcore hip hop, old school techno, rock blues, and jazz music, performing alongside Kool G Rap, Cypress Hill’s Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park, and Rob Swift from Total Eclipse on Ground Xero album release.
For winning the championship, he gets a prized A Technics SL-1200MK7 turntable.
Erick Jay – Brazil
DJ Erick Jay was the first Latin American DJ to win two international DJ championship titles simultaneously: DMC World Supremacy Champion and IDA World Technical Champion and is a 4 x World DJ Champion.
C-Hell – Russia
DJ CHELL from Russia showcases his musicality with an incredible beat juggling routine. Starting off with props and light scratching over an interviewee’s remarks about what people expect of a DJ, then moving into more heavy beat sections with different rhythms from bar to bar, this 2015 IDA World Vice Champion DJ shows his musical versatility at his best.
DamDanny – Philippines
DamDanny earned first place at the World DMC Championships for the Rest of the World category in 2023. His control and maturity earned praise, along with many techniques, combos, and unexpected patterns he played, making him an expert in his craft.
He participated in numerous festivals and events across the Philippines, such as Sinulog, Masskara, and Dinagyang Festivals, being part of Motherbass with Macky Brillantes and 4 Hit Combo with DJ Aryan, also competing in Red Bull Thre3Style, where DJs must perform three distinct genres within 15 minutes.
He is an acclaimed DJ that blends various styles and genres of music ranging from hip hop, EDM, traditional folk, and even electronica into his setlists for festivals and events in the Philippines over ten years.