An interview with Brooklyn's Teeburr, who talks about DJing full time, how it affects his production, working with the rapper Qu'ality and more.

Hey, You’re Cool! Teeburr

Brooklyn’s Teeburr can turn a party up. He’s been a working DJ for years, grinding out a living off the craft at spots all over the city, playing anything from that new Future to some disco to Jersey club. He produces a lot of music too, although he hasn’t released much dance music since Soundcloud deleted his account for making remixes of popular artists. His rap production is more visible these days, which he creates under the alias Qu’burr Gooding alongside his homie Qu’ality who raps over the beats the two create. We talked to Teeburr about what it’s like being a full-time DJ, the way DJing affects production, working with Qu’ality, and more:

Where you at right now?

I’m at Turntable Lab. I’ve been working there for about a year I think. But I was living off DJ gigs for a while, I just took the job for some extra money, for some equipment. I’ve been living off DJing since I was like 20. I’m 27 now.

How many gigs a week do you have to do to do that?

A lot. It’s like five days a week DJing. Depending on what type of gigs they are. Those corporate gigs will set me up for a month. I play mostly local parties at my favorite bars and friends’ events. I’m not taking a gig unless I’m playing what I want to play. They might make suggestions at the corporate gigs, but they’re open format. I’m open format all the way. You can hear anything from disco to trap.

So it’s pretty hard not to find something to play to fit the vibe?

I kinda don’t like the corporate things because people are just coming in and profiling stuff, nobody really wants to be there to listen to music. I don’t like being there for background music.

What’s your favorite party right now?

Saturdazed at Tender Trap in Brooklyn. It’s crazy in there. We’ve been doing this party for years now. Tender Trap is in Greenpoint now but was originally in Williamsburg. It used to be in a really small spot, but now they took over this place called Coco 66 and there’s way more space.

Is it harder to get people out there?

It can be, but once they’re there, they stay there all night. It’s fun. A lot of friends come through and chill, show support every weekend. It’s kinda far but it’s always good.

Does DJing so often make it difficult to focus on production?

Nah, they go hand in hand. I want new music to play, so my brain is stuffed. I want things to sound a certain way, so I make music to fit into the sets I’m playing. I’m stingy with them though. I use them for my sets and give them to certain DJ friends. I had some stuff on Soundcloud but it got deleted for remixing big artists. So I haven’t put anything out in a while. Soon I’m going to release a lot of stuff I’m sitting on: singles one at a time to build up a buzz of remixes and originals. Stuff for people to dance to. Half of them don’t even have titles right now.

Do you have to do your own promotion?

You gotta do everything. I got a bunch of friends to help me out though. It’s all of us, we do our own promotions. We used to have a team called WC Kids, but everyone was in our own spaces. We still DJ together from time to time, but for the most part, it’s solo now.

How often do you have to find new gigs? Are you doing weeklies?

Saturdazed is weekly, but I’m there every other week. The guy I’m running with is an active DJ and has a lot of people he wants to put on. So different DJs come in when I sit out. I’m looking to do some more weeklies in the summer, though.

So you have to find new ones week to week?

I’ve got a lot of DJ friends, so every time they hear about a new venue or someone who needs a DJ, they let me know and vice versa.

What’s up with Qu’burr Gooding?

He’s always workin’! If I’m not doing dance stuff, it’s Qu’burr. That’s me and my boy Qu’ality. We’ve been making music since we were kids but we never really packaged it. So we just made this play on both our names. Some clever shit.

Do you want to do more rap production?

They all feed into each other. I’m always going to be a producer. I was always into hip hop. But I just love making dance music, so one day they’re just going to combine I guess.

Does Qu’ality perform at your shows?

Sometimes but we kinda laid off of that. You know how rap shows can be. I just want dance vibes all night.

What’s a common pitfall DJs should be aware of?

Over-saturation. Doing too much. I like to keep people wondering what I’m gonna be doing next. Tender Trap is the one spot you’ll catch me at consistently. I might not post a party on Instagram or something like that.

Do you find most people you work with are honest?

I’m lucky, I chose wisely from the jump. I had some hiccups over the years with some people that are kinda shady. You just gotta watch out and learn how to leave ’em out in the grass. Besides that, everyone I work with now is top notch, respectable people. I respect everyone and that’s all I ask in return.

Last question: Top five tracks right now?

Oh man. Well, Mind Design “All Up To You.” Kendrick’s “Humble,” I’m bangin’ with that. Qu’ality. He got so much shit that I could name. Anything from Q. Future of course, I like his shit. “Mask Off,” that’s the hitter right now. We could go on forever with this. I got a lot of favorites.

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