Times of Youth: How would you describe yourself for our readers who may not be aware about your work?
DJ HB Smooth: I’m an outgoing individual that purposely looks for talented artists, etc. I just want to help give them a push to where they want to be at. I love dropping R&B mixtapes, in a sense my College Freak mixtape series is what really branded me. Right along with me making Chicago juke remixes and Chicago juke/footwork music.
Times of Youth: What made you choose ‘DJ HB Smooth’ as a field name for yourself?
DJ HB Smooth: I chose to call myself that because I wanted to be different. I wanted to add my own twist to smooth, since I knew there were a lot of DJ Smooths.
Times of Youth: Who do you consider your mentor/inspiration?
DJ HB Smooth: I have a few; DJ Rell ,DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Badboy Bill and DJ Drama.
Times of Youth: What made you take up DJ-ing as a career path?
DJ HB Smooth: After hearing a mix on B96 from Bad Boy Bill, I loved the way he would mix the different songs. In fact, I would listen to him on the radio every Friday when B96 did street mixes. It was something about the mixing, like if the songs never changed. That’s when I knew I wanted to become a DJ.
Times of Youth: How has your family been handling your journey to success?
DJ HB Smooth: Not very well, I guess you can say majority of my family supports me from a distance. They wanted me to focus on something more “realistic” rather than focusing on the creative arts.
Times of Youth: Considering that you were the first DJ to own a Vevo account, what significance did it hold for you?
DJ HB Smooth: It allowed me to put more shine on juke/footwork music.
Times of Youth: Being the first DJ to be officially verified on Twitter, how did that make you feel?
DJ HB Smooth: I was beyond excited when it happened. To others it didn’t mean much, but to me it meant that I was working hard enough for Twitter to notice me.
Times of Youth: Of all the places you’ve visited and played at so far, which one was the most unforgettable?
DJ HB Smooth: I would have to say New Orleans. I love the vibe, the accents and especially the scenery.
Times of Youth: Popularly called the ‘R&B Prime minister’, your R&B mixtapes are a hit with the ladies since several years. Has there ever been a female fan whose antics took you by surprise completely?
DJ HB Smooth: I remember this one time I passed a mixtape out to a fan. I didn’t see her until two days later, and she walked up to me and started whispering in my ear. She started asking me all kinds of questions and told me that next time I make a tape like that, I should make sure she’s around.
Times of Youth: How far do you feel you’ve come since your earliest jukeboxing days?
DJ HB Smooth: I think a long way; now I just mix music based on how I’m feeling at that moment. Or I just freestyle mix, something I love to do.
Times of Youth: Your most cherished moment in life has been?
DJ HB Smooth: When I was going to summer camp at Columbia College in Chicago, back when I was 12. It was really fun, we would create skits, make shirts and play soccer, which is also the first and last time in history I broke something, my thumb, while playing soccer. I ended up wearing a cast or a brace on my thumb for a few months. I suppose the only good part about my thumb being broken was how many females had signed on my cast.
Times of Youth: What are your upcoming assignments?
DJ HB Smooth: I’m working on my next ‘College Freak’ mixtape which will be Vol. 31. Then I’m producing a beat for one of my artist, who goes by the name “Jodi” this summer for his album. Also I’m currently working on a juke/footwork EP.
Things we’d like to know about you-
You’re addicted to: Success and Adidas
Favorite holiday place: Miami
If you could change one thing about yourself, it would be: My voice, I wish it could be deep as Barry White.
Love or money: Love
Calm beach or lounge party: Lounge party
An accessory to die for: Smartwatch
Oldest item in your closet?: Southpole shirt (which went south since no one really rocks south pole anymore)
A necessary extravagance: Cellphone
Fragrance you love: Chrome
Best piece of furniture in your home: Lazy Boy sofa
Most native thing about you: Rocking a Chicago hat and saying ‘Joe’ after every word.
What makes you extremely happy?: Proving people wrong
Best de-stressor: Either going outside, making a mixtape or working out.
Times of Youth: Do tell us how admirers can contact you to share their appreciation and feedback.
DJ HB Smooth: Email [email protected] or tweet me @djhbsmooth