Today we are celebrating School of Scratch Student and turntablist legend Roli Rho from the USA, who has recently completed the 100 Days of Scratching challenge! ??❤️
Here is Roli’s 100th day post:
Huge congrats Roli! It was so cool to see you take on the challenge and engage in ongoing learning!
I asked Roli some questions to help those of you who are considering doing the 100 Days of Scratching Project.
Welcome Roli! You’re a legend in the turntablist and battle scene, thank you for being here with us!
Thank you School of Scratch for having me! Very humbled to be part of the schools activities!
Can you give us some background on your interest in music, DJing, battling and scratching career?
My first interest in music was in the mid 80’s. It was Freestyle music and Electro breaks! I started my record collection in 86. Then in 1990, I’ve been DJing ever since. I started entering DJ competitions in the early 90s. Amateur hall dj battles, to high end battles such as DMC (Disco Mix Competition) Zulu Nation DJ Battles and ITF (International Turntablist Federation).
Some of my titles are:
- New York’s Zulu Champion (1995)
- The Rhythm Method Champion (1995)
- 105.9 FM radio (NYC) Champion (1995)
- ITF 1st Place East Coast Regional Beat Juggling (1997)
- ITF East Coast Beat Juggling Champion (1998)
- ITF 2nd Place Beat Juggling (1998)
- 2 x Time Vibe Magazine World Dominance Champion (98 & 99)
- DMC East Coast Champion (1999)
What made you decide to undertake the 100 Day Challenge?
I have been scratching since the 90’s. If I hear a scratch. I make it sound like it’s suppose to sound. It’s like playing piano. Some people play by ear. The proper way is to read the notes and play. I felt the same way about scratching. There are Scratch Notations to understand how it works. I learned it here at School of Scratch. Today I’m still getting the hang of it and The Turn Around method. What better way to understand and execute the #100daysofscratching .
What was your approach?
My 1st approach was back when School of Scratch started. Not too long ago, ahem lol. I emailed the School of Scratch explaining I can actually relate to the teacher because she’s a hamster. I asked Emma, if she knew the 3 Click Flare. She sent back a video which i don’t have anymore. But I understood how she did it. As years went by and in 2020 after Feb 4th, my birthday, I decided to enlist in School of Scratch as a student.
What is your recording and posting work flow like?
I used a GO PRO 8 Silver and Serato DJ Pro REC function.
What are your top tools / apps / software / equipment to capture and edit?
My Tool for Editing was Ableton Live 9 Standard It does both audio and video editing.
Then I used a MOVAVI converter to do watermarks and make the video quality into standard for faster uploading.
What did you learn?
I’ve learned patterns that I thought I knew. Now, it’s all corrected and I can do it the right way.
What were some of the highlights of the 100 Day Project for you?
My Highlights were catching the Aquaman Scratch, Autobahns A6, A8, and A9, and Prizms (still a work in progress). But when Emma explained that it was the OG flare and then The OG flare in reverse? I understood and got it!!! Thank you.
What helped you on your way?
I had some friends doing the #100daysofscrathing. Made me wanna get into it too.
What didn’t work?
What didn’t work for me was trying to scratch regular mode at one point. I think it was around the #50th day of scratching. I just gave up cause it was slowing me down. BUT! I will try again next year in 2021.
What was the most challenging part and how did you deal with that?
The most challenging part of the #100daysofscratching was trying to be diligent and being positive about it.
What are your top tips for anyone who wants to undertake this challenge?
Be sure to commit! It’s an everyday thing. Make it one of your goals for the year!
If you were to do this challenge again, what, if anything would you do differently?
I would try to scratch regular way to 100 rather than hamster mode.
You are a School of Scratch student. What has your school and learning experience been like?
It’s been an adventure and the experience to be a School of Scratch student. To be dedicated and diligent to the challenge will put a certain level to your experience.
How do you approach ongoing learning and staying fresh?
I went online and downloaded lots of loopers! lol. Trying to stay fresh with different loopers to sound fresh, funky and at times an electro feel for the speed.
You are a DJ tutor yourself, teaching at Scratch DJ Academy NYC. Do you have any wisdom on learning that you can share with our students?
Yes, Scratch DJ Academy NYC is my home base. We teach all levels of djing and music production. One thing to remember is to try to be all around. It will make you a better DJ and experience a bit of everything.
What is next for you?
To respect the idea of the #100daysofscratching and see what i can do with other styles like beat juggling or mixing or acapella challenges. but as a #30days challenge. Definately the school has been an influence.
Can you tell us about your work with Tableturns and Open Faders?
Coming at the midst of the golden era of turntablism in 1997, a monthly open turntable event debuted at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in the Lower East Side of New York City. At the time, a few familiar battle crews would come and hone their skills along with local amateur tablists from the area.
Fast forward 20+ years later — With the advent of social media, many turntablists and turntable artists became used to displaying their skills over the internet. Scratch and beat juggling videos from the bedroom became the norm.
To help expand on the culture, boost progression and get folks into a community setting, TableTurns was officially reestablished with Doug’s (Sugarcuts) blessing in the winter of 2017 by DJ Roli Rho of the 5th Platoon along with DJ dueL from the Rhythm Method DJ Battles of the mid 90s. The event aims to bring back the ‘learn from your peers’ objective for today’s promising generation of tablists.
More at: openfaders.com/tableturns
Open Faders is a collective of DJs and turntablists based in the Northeast. Hailing from cities all along the East Coast, we aim to combine old-school philosophies with futuristic vision and flair.
Open Faders is not a crew but a community. Our mission is to preserve turntablist culture and promote the art of sound manipulation. We don’t believe in scratching as a “lost art.” We are creating spaces for people to love and learn the craft together. Through open forum experiences, individuals of all skill levels are inspired to embrace and hone these techniques.
More at: openfaders.com
Where can we find you online? Please include links and promote yourself as much as you want.
Anything else you want to add?
I teach the basic arts of beat juggling. The foundations to make a routine.
For more info please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is your favourite scratch sound / tool / record?
Gag-Seal Breaks by DJ Qbert.
What is your favorite scratch technique?
Who is your favorite DJ?
There are so many! Just to name a few: Z-TRIP, Craze, A-Ttrak, all of The Beat Junkies!
Do you have a favorite track by another artist which features scratching?
I love The X-Ecutioners Album ” Built From Scratch”
Any Dilated Peoples and Jurassic 5.
That’s a wrap!
Thanks Roli! Thank you for sharing your experience with us and for everything you do for the community, art and culture! I was so humbled to see you sign up to the School as someone who has been part of the art form way before I even touched a turntable. I love your openness to learning, continued growth and expansion and for how you share the art with others. Respect!
Thank you for being part of our Supa Scratch Crew. Looking forward to seeing your continued progress and videos on Instagram and inside our School.
About 100 Days of Scratching
100 Days of Scratching is a project I started and completed (see here) and have been encouraging my students to do the same – as a way to get in the habit of daily practice, documenting progress and connecting with others.
Roli joins fellow School of Scratch Students aka the Supa Scratch Crew: Andrei, Jaden, Molino, Jamie, Jerry, Alina, Toby, Jay Rakim, Vanessa, Julian, Crystal, Smallimus, Allexia, Thomas, Ashley, Adam, Erick, Magnus, Roly G and Denise who have all completed the 100 Days of Scratching project. What an amazing crew of creators!
Wanna take part in the 100 Days of Scratching Project?
You can take part in the 100 Days of Scratching project and join our group of supportive DJs here:
Happy Scratching! 😀
– Emma Short-E