Alo & Jaidot Present: VINTAGE
Chicago Hustles: For the readers introduce yourself to those who may not know you.My name is Dj Alo, born and raised in Chicago. I am a producer/recording engineer/dj.
I’m known as (Dj) JaiDot. Originally from Huntsville, Al, youngest of three, and the only boy. I’m a dj, illustrator, and Chicagoan for 12 years.
Chicago Hustles: Give us a bit of insight behind your name(s) and how they came about.
Alo: My real name is Alberto, and at one point people started calling me Al for short. In college my friend Mel would call me Aloicious for no particular reason. I was in a group at the time called “the garden” with a couple guys I met in Logan square. They would call me Alo based off the Aloicious name, and it’s been Alo ever since.
Jaidot: It came from abbreviating my first name on an application. Its “J” and “.“ spelled phonetically.
Speaking of names and titles you dropped an album called “VINTAGE” in the bio video you stated the concepts origin is from talks about music. What is a typical conversation of music like between the two of you?
Alo: I’ve known Jaidot for many years, I met him through music, and with that alot of our conversations were based on just that. Whenever I would speak to him, it would seem to be on a level that no one else seemed to be on. We would really talk about samples and drums used in old and recent hip hop tracks. Calling the album vintage just seemed appropriate, considering our classical knowledge of the music we loved. At one point I had pulled the name vintage, ironically Jaidot had started a night and the promoter ended up called it vintage. Jaidot wanted to keep the name, yet I still was open for another name. At one point the name of the album was going to be called “same school” but about half way through the album I sat down with J and said “we gonna stick with vintage”. It just seemed right to stick with the original, and judging by the sound we had, the music was clearly complementing the title.
Jaidot: It would start with “What have you been listening to recently?” or “Have you heard this or that?”. I’d say I wasn’t diggin’ an Alchemist beat, for example. “What?!” And it would go from there. We’d go into what drums and samples were used ,rap crap, beefs (local and industry),down to philosophies on life. We’re the old men playing checkers and talking s__t at the barbershop.
It’s very apparent that Vintage has a Hip Hop vibe to it, how did you both go about making the album, and selecting tracks?
Alo: As far as the production process and the all in all making of the album, we wanted to literally make an album based on our knowledge of the tunes producing and beat making has always been my thing. And with this album I wanted to go back to my roots as far as production and theme. I had approached Jaidot and brought it up that we should chop it up in the studio some time. Our first session was basically the momentum to the whole piece. We went through hundreds sounds that night eventually making 5 tracks in a matter of hours. We soon birthed a routine; I would chop the samples, play them out over a metronome, while Jaidot cued up drum, and additional sound ideas. It really was always a music machine with the both of us, we both would be working on something at the same time, and that is always a plus on the productive side of things. As far as moods, and certain selection of tracks, we basically would put it on auto pilot usually just playing a bunch of music from both our collections until we both gave something the “nod” or the ok so to speak.
Jaidot: It started with listening. And the hip hop gods being in the studio! LOL!! We’d both bring sounds to the table, toss around ideas on flipping those sounds, and make the beat Super organic. The entire process was natural. It flowed like a conversation.
Musicians are often perfectionist, did you guys disagree on tracks on the album if so which and why?
Alo: I would definitely say I’m a perfectionist with the tunes, but at the same time always open to imperfection. No one is perfect. With every album there is always tracks that don’t make the final cut fortunately Jaidot and I never clashed alot, we made a load of tracks, only cutting out like 4 in the end. At a point our sound was just getting better by the session, so some of the older tunes fell to the waist based on sound quality, and length, not really on creative difference.
Jaidot: We didn’t clash. We are both perfectionist which was a plus! Having the same vision takes you a long way.
The intro to the video starts in a vinyl factory was this based in Chicago? Is this hinting that there will there be vinyl releases in the future for VINTAGE?
Alo: The vinyl factory footage in our video was just some footage I found and chopped up. I came up dj’n on wax and have always loved the sound and feel of an actual record. I felt it was only necessary to represent the pressing process of a record. Many people don’t even know this, so why not teach it. Unfortunately as much as we would love to, our album is not going to be released on vinyl. Sadly it’s not in our budget; still the album will be released on cd format as well as digitally. The times have changed, but vinyl is still relevant to us. I strongly believe albums can be put out on any platform, in the end it’s what the music sounds like. Vinyl is the foundation and in my opinion vinyl has the best sound. That was Alo’s vision for that one. It just embodies the feel of the album. Vinyl? Who knows? Maybe in the future.
The tracks I was allowed to preview (thank you) where very well rounded, when is the album coming out officially?
Alo: I’m glad you enjoyed the snippets of our album. We currently are putting in the finishing touches on it and are planning for release in the beginning of February. Thank you to all our supporters, we really appreciate your love and patience.
Jaidot: Shooting for February.
It is apparent you are both hip hop heads. How did you feel about Chicago hip hop in 2011? What where some notable albums to come out that where slept on?
Alo: I definitely consider myself a hip hop head; I’ve always been fond of Chicago hip hop. Our city is very slept on. Chicago has a huge variety of styles and I love that. I’m not really a believer of the “city of hate” title some choose to give us, people choose to hate, but that’s not part of this community, at least not in my house. There’s hip hop, and there’s hate, two completely different things. Hip Hop is all about its business, haters are all about the bitchness, (sorry had to quote Reks), yet oh so true. It’s okay to not like something, just don’t be a jerk about it but that’s just me. Still I salute all the real Chicago dj’s, mc’s, artists, and producers, to many to name, if you love it like me you know who you are!
Jaidot: There’s some pretty good local joints out of Chicago in 2011. Pretty wack joints too. I’ve been more into jazz and soul lately. Hip hop is odd right now.
It was stated in the VINTAGE video that you both wanted to bring concept and fun back to the music. In your opinion(s) what caused Hip Hop to lose its fun and concept?
Alo: I think when one starts taking something too serious; it takes away the fun and the creativity of the creation process. It’s always been about a vibe to me I believe music these days is very materialistic and image driven which in my mind takes away from the actual quality, and substance of the music. In my day it was about the music, while image played a small role. Thinking outside the box is definitely a plus to keeping it fun and creative as well.
Jaidot: Money. Corporate funding. Lack of…….so much. The “cookie cut-out” suppressed the concepts. There are more concepts in the video than the actual song. There was a time when groups were known for concepts and that made hip hop fun. We were fans because that. Now? You pick the lesser of several evils however; there are groups that capture the essence of hip hop that I come across. There just not as visible as (insert top 40 artist here). For the album, we wanted to capture hip hop and re-present it as we knew it to be true….a time you rarely pressed rewind back when you anticipated new releases on Tuesday on cassette, when it was fun.
Music is your life so much passion and energy goes into it but then many artist just give away the music. What are your thoughts on this? It takes time, money, and equipment which all are not free.
Alo: As far as artists giving away music for free, I really see nothing wrong with that. You gotta start somewhere, and sometimes free music makes that possible in the end it’s really on the artist. Personally I like to have product to sell, and give away. Some people gave up on the hard copy, and live and die by soundcloud and bandcamp, nothing wrong with that but nothing can replace having a hard copy with art and all the fixings. I used to listen to albums, and love to read through the album inserts etc.
Jaidot: That depends on why you are in it. There’s a way of doing both.
This album is a combination of two good ears with very developed styles. Where can Chicagoans let alone the world pick up the new VINTAGE album? Do you plan to release VINTAGE as an ongoing series?
Alo: Upon our release we plan on putting our album in the shops around town. We also will have digital copies online, itunes etc. we also will have copies on us for sale. As far as vintage being a series of albums, we do plan on other albums in the future only with different themes. Vintage was our “homage” to the classic. The next project might be an electro type joint, but with us you never know I’m assuming stay tuned.
Jaidot: Physical copies will be coming in February and look for it on iTunes. “Vintage” was for this project. What we do next creates the name for that project. Everything flows.
Hip hop is about originality as heads what message can you impart to the new generation of musicians, same song list djs, and sub par producers?
Alo: As far as advise to the “new” generation of artists I say be you, respect where you came from, and remember to always have fun with it. As far as same song list dj’s you’re gonna get that everywhere in the world. I respect dj’s who can move a party, if your just playing to get paid you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. I also wouldn’t call a producer sub par, heck when I started my stuff sounded like crap. You gotta be humble, you can’t get a beat machine and make beats for a month and go around saying you have heat, it’s impossible. It took me years to get a “good” sound and I still don’t think I’m all that. Let the music speak for you.
Jaidot: Do your homework. Learn the foundation if you “do” hip hop. Be an individual. Take all criticism. Meanwhile, never lose touch with why you chose this music.
When & where can Chicagoans who love ill production, hip hop breaks, and the style of VINTAGE check you out?
Alo: I don’t really spin out weekly anymore, unless I have a guest spot. I’m kind of over the night life, I mainly do hip hop shows dj’n for artists The Gent$, Wes Restless, Walter J Liveharder, Shadow Master and Mike Ravone other than that I really just stay working in the studio. There still is alot of great nights in the city to find a good vibe on a weekly, big up to all the real dj’s grinding to keep it right.
Jaidot: I spin every Wednesday at Crocodile Lounge from 9-2a with rotating guests. 1540 N. Milwaukee Ave. We rock the fresh joints over there!
It’s so apparent your lives are based around passion for the culture and music. How do you define the term HUSTLE?
Alo: I would say that hustle is really a flashy name for a hard worker. You can always tell who is “hustling” from the work he or she is doing. Hustle is fine just stop using the word “swag” lol
Thank you again for reaching out, we greatly appreciate it.
Jaidot: Loving what you do, making it a business, and running the business the smartest way possible.
Chicagohustles.com would like to thank Alo & Jaidot for taking time out to speak with us. Make sure to pick up a copy of “Vintage” when it drops and as always support local music.