10 Years Strong Mix Series – #3 Nam Jams

Posted by: operativejp on February 13, 2015


As part of the 10 Years Strong anniversary, the diverse and different artists from The Operatives collective have carefully crafted a series of 10 mixes.

There from the very beginning, the OG Agent Nam slams through a retrospective of Operatives vibes from over the last 10 years. Spanning the distinctive contemporary music scenes from late-night bass and early-morning electronica, to dance floor-filling hip-hop and house, each time behind the decks Nam creates a glimmering work of art that blends both local and international as well as almost unheard of tracks, his style has assured that Nam hasn’t remained the Operative’s secret weapon for long.

1. Your mix is part of the 10 Years Strong Series, how did you become involved with The Operatives collective?

I met Jerry through drum ’n bass parties about 10 years ago, to me he was one of the best DnB DJ’s in Melb and the parties he use to put under the Elementz banner with DJ Blanco aka Roger De Payva were some of the best parties. It was also probably the only drum ’n bass night that actually attracted a healthy number of female punters! I was starting out as DJ as well and when Miss Libertines (Captain Melvilles) opened, I got a job there briefly and Jerry was the booker for the venue and we got along famously and the rest as they say is history. I was Jerry’s right hand man for a long time – helping setting up the gigs, picking up ad looking after artists, running some shows while Jerry was overseas. Through my tenure as an Operative, I’ve been able meet and become friends with many of my idols and influences. I’ve been very blessed.


 2. Flash-back to ten years ago, what would you be listening to right now?

DJ Marky & XRS ft Stamina MC – LK

Ready or Not – Fugees (Zinc remix)

Souls of Mischief – 93 til Infinity

Pendulum – Vault

Bad Company Ft Rawhill – Mo’Fire

Missy Elliot – Yadaya (TeeBee remix) (Can’t remember the name of the track but I had on white label)

Brandy – You Don’t Know me (TeeBee remix)

DJ Marky VS DJ Craze mix from Radio 1 was on heavy rotation too.


3. Which track will you still be listening to in ten years time?

Tea Leaf Dancer – Flying Lotus.  This track to me is timeless.  Will stand the test of the time. Absolutely beautiful tune.


4. What are your top 3 memories from your musical path? 

There are so many that’s it’s hard to pick my top 3 but here goes:

Doing support for DJ Marky at the Prince of Wales in 2008. It was a tick off the bucket list for me as Marky is one of my all time favourite DJ’s. Lucky enough to become friends with him too.

Funnily enough, playing at Summadayze 2012. We had an Operatives stage. I played to about 1000 people in the scorching sun. Didn’t matter that most of the crowd thought I was Skream & Benga, I had a ball and played of my best sets!

And playing at the Forum in 2014 as support for the Flying Lotus show w/ Kutmah & Om Unit. I never thought I would ever play in a beautiful and iconic venue such as the Forum when i first started out DJ’ing. From E:55 to the Forum, dreams can come true. I even had my own dressing room!


5. How did you go about crafting this mix – what was the inspiration or mood you are creating?

I had to put a lot of thought into this mix. It wasn’t easy trying to fit my 10-year musical journey into a 1-hour mix.  I wanted to span the different genres that have influenced me and also have some new tunes on it so it doesn’t sound too old, if that makes sense.  I’ve always found drum ’n bass and hip hop to go hand in hand and I guess that’s what I end up doing in my mix.  Also with every mix I do, I always want to include local artists because I strongly believe in supporting homegrown artists.  I’ve always listened to hip-hop, RnB and drum ’n bass so I was hoping to show that throughout the mix. As for the mood, I love being able to head nod to tunes and I feel like I’ve created an hour-long head nodding mix.

Also a lot of the tunes I’ve chosen have been on rotation in my sets over the years, whether it is from my residencies at Section 8 & Workshop to the club shows and festivals I’ve played at.


6. This mix explores various artists, what has attracted you to this particular palate of sounds and rhythms?

I love anything with a beat. To me drums are like the pulse, it sets a tone and gives you something your body can move to. Most of the tunes i have chosen have big sounding beats. That’s just me, I love big beats. I also like playing without genre boundaries, which might seem strange, as I played DnB for so long but nowadays you can catch me playing everything from hip hop to garage to house to reggae.  I love almost all types of music, anything that has soul and a strong rhythm.


7. Is there anything you regard as an essential aspect to music you like, make and listen to?

The same as above!


8. What are you instruments and software of choice when producing your own music? Is there a certain time or place when you are the most creative?

I don’t produce, I’ve tried but I don’t have the patience unfortunately. I love being a DJ, being to control a room with switch of a tune and get people dancing.  I guess that’s when I get most creative, when I DJ on the fly without a plan and just go with the flow.


9. What are you excited to be working on musically in the future?

I’m actually looking to incorporate an MC into my DJ sets. Make it more fun and get the crowd involved. So if anyone out there who is a good hype man with the same taste in music wants to get up on stage with me, hit me up!


10. Is this the type of mix we can expect from seeing you perform live?

My DJ sets vary all the time. I always wait & see what the vibe is like at a gig before I decide in which direction to go.  More often than not I’ll play set that can go from 70bpm to 120bpm depending on the mood. One thing guaranteed is that you’ll see me dancing and having fun while I DJ, I love it and it’s my passion.

Check out NAM’s Artist page.

Stand by for the next mix in The Ten Years Strong Series exclusively through The Operatives.

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