The story of how I met this guy is actually pretty interesting. We were about a year into CA, with Make Chicharon Not War as our biggest seller. I got an email requesting the tee in more sizes, so we made that happen and met up with DJ Duel one cold night at the Burbank In-N-Out. I had learned that he was a prominent scratch DJ in the LA area, also working with the now defunct Eagle Rock Underground. We shared so much in common; it wasn’t a surprise that our friendship progressed quickly.
We’d often lace him up for gigs, and then this past April I commissioned his latest project, Oishi Media, to direct/film/edit Bambu’s "The Queen is Dead" music video. Oishi has since become the go to team for many artists and organizations out of this area. DJ Duel and his camp give vision and give voice for the simple reason of inspiring.
It took me awhile to call you by your legal name – Marvin – because I’ve always known you as DJ Duel. Nicknames don’t stick quickly…how long have you been DJing?
I’ve been djing for about 15 years, first mixing...then evolved into serious scratching (SpinCycleLA represent).
I'm not going to lie. I don't go see scratch DJs do their thing. With that said, is Los Angeles a good market for that kind of DJing?
Not really. Los Angeles has so much to offer but is not appreciated. No artist in LA gets the proper recognition they deserve. It sucks that my music here is nothing, but I get a crap load of downloads outside the country.
Is that why you started Oishi Media?
I mean don't get me wrong, DJing is still there. I still scratch, but have been on hiatus from tours, recordings - with the exception of Rhythm Natives’ new album, a few tracks for Budamunky (Jazzy Sport Records), and a couple releases for Ivan Ives (No Threshold Records). But my main focus now is to visually stimulate bored minds.
How did the visual stimulation start? And tell me about its evolution.
In February 2010, a few of us decided to submit an entry for a cereal commercial competition, hahaha. We fell in love with the production of it, and got serious. One of boys at the time was depressed and lost from losing one of our best friends last year, and turned to narcotics to ease the pain. Camera work and being behind the scenes with editing, brought him out of that funk.
With the help of my partner Petro (RevBong) we decided, since Petro is a HipHop MC/Rapper (see www.oishimedia.com video section for “Love is a Battlefield”), and I am a DJ, we could shoot, produce, and edit videos, and that would keep him happy, and all of us productive. Because of this, we all got sucked into it. We fell in love with the art and hustle involved with media production. Now it is where it is. People loved our hard work and our vision. Till this day that hasn’t changed.
Oishi Media has now become a prominent name in the cultural circuit - was that your plan all along?
Our plan originally was to inspire. To let us capture and show what lives and grows in Los Angeles, that people don’t pay attention to. It just happens that the cultural circuit caught wind of this, and made us one of their primary correspondents to capture media.
Tell me your ideal project/ideal artist to work on/for.
Our primary work is around showcasing artists that mean something - artists that can inspire people to do great things. To chase what they love and fight for what they believe in. That’s why we work so closely with artists like Rhythm Natives and Bambu.
So if you were working on a video for Bam and let’s say Lady Gaga needed Oishi immediately, would you stop what you were doing to do a video for her?
Hahahahahaha HELL NO. We have loyalty to the people we are associated with. Especially those who do good for their community and their people. We believe in the same ideology as Bambu and would never turn our back to him. Oishi Media also has a strong, driven, work ethic that makes sure we finish the job correctly before we leave.
What can we expect from Oishi in the future?
More videos, more photography, more funk for your eyes and ears...!!!
Can you give me specific project names?
We are at 65% completion of the Festival of Philippines Art and Culture (FPAC) 2010 DVD project which should be in production by the first quarter of 2011. We are also in works with Bambu on several video projects, as well as Rhythm Natives and Double Dosage. These along with interviews, reviews, and promo’s including Youtube sensation, TenchiJK, and clothing company Pnoy Apparel.
Nice! Now for your off topic question. You're also a foodie, give me your top 5 spots in LA.
Oh man, theres so much. I can't give a super Top 5, but I will put the random 5 places I love to grub. I'm not saying they're the best, but pretty damn fulfilling. In a random order:
1. Park's Finest BBQ
2. La Estrella Tacos (on Fletcher Drive)
3. Koraku (Little Tokyo... late night rice)
4. Sam Woo BBQ (The soy sauce chicken and roasted duck)
5. Mediteranean Triangle (The 3 meat combo. I think its called soltana plate, so bomb!!!!!)
6. Let me add in taco trucks!! Fred's, White Rabbit Truck, NomNom Truck....!!! HOLLA!
Let me just shout out the Oishi Media staff: Petro, Kim, Jeff, CJ, Jorge, Robert, Ritz, Diah, Peter, Arlene, Charlie, and Johanna. SpinCycleLA: War, Rever, Kary, Hectic, and Eri! And the Live Injection Sounds! Peace to Rhythm Natives, Bambu, and Beatrock Music. And to Chicharon Adventures for always being dope as fuck and always having my back.
I am NOTHING without my core. My family, OISHI Media, and all of my SpinCycleLA CREW drive me to do great things!
Please get familiar with Oishi Media. They are doing big, big things for industries you should care for. You'll be able to follow their work here on CA or thru any of our affiliated artists. We strive to lift our friends and colleagues up and DJ Duel stands for all that.