For our first #nighttiming feature, we had a chat with tonight’s DJ, James Norman aka Personify about music and got deep about his side project, mixology of all things. He’ll be playing records for us at DONNA Friday September 19th, starting at 10pm.

DONNA: Introduce yourself and give us a little background.

PERSONIFY: I’m James Norman…when DJing or producing music, I go by Personify. I’m 1/3 of the Little Big Things DJ crew (alongside Case Bloom and FROZ1) out of Philadelphia. I’ve been DJing for a little over 15 years now, and am a fan of all types of music. I started out primarily as a turntablist and hip-hop DJ, but quickly got heavy into playing funk, soul, disco, boogie, latin, afrobeat, house, and generally anything danceable as I started to lose interest in the direction hip-hop was going around 2000. Outside of music, I’m a big outdoors, photography, craft cocktail/liquor and good food enthusiast.

D: Where are you from? Are you still there?

P: I grew up in the southeast…Atlanta, Savannah, Nashville and spent my formative years in New Orleans. Went to college/grad school in Athens, GA and then lived in DC and San Francisco for a few years before landing in Philly in 2011. I’m actually moving to Brooklyn in November. Can’t seem to sit still!

D: Perfect segue to our next subject: Brooklyn or Manhattan?

P: Brooklyn…it feels way less hectic and has just as much too offer in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I love Manhattan too. But, after a day in the city, I’ve usually had my fill and am ready to retreat.
D: Donna is a cocktail spot after all, what’s your favorite adult beverage?

P: That’s a tough one, but a fan of the cocktail variety over anything else for sure. I’ve been playing around with mixology at the crib for 5 or 6 years now, and have one personal creation in particular that I default to these days. It consists of rye whiskey, a splash of spiced rum, John Taylor velvet falernum, Domaine De Canton, a splash of Dolin dry vermouth, and a dash angostura, black walnut and Aztec chocolate bitters. It doesn’t have a name, but it’s definitely been my favorite cocktail for the last year or so…

D: Favorite Adult Beverage themed record?

P: Oh man…that’s another tough one. Back in 2009 when every rapper out was on Patron, my homie KAP10 (SF/ATL) and myself made a mega-mix of adult beverage themed songs and samples, Beer Me That Disk. I have to say that all the old St. Ides commercials we dug up for that mix are some of my personal favorites…especially the ones from Kool G. Rap and Snoop Dogg & Nate Dogg. There were so many good ones…Wu-Tang, Ice Cube, Geto Boys, King Tee, Biggie,DJ Pooh & MC Ehit, Cypress Hill, EPMD, Eric B & Rakim. You could never pull that off today! Also a huge fan of Tha Alkaholiks “Only When I’m Drunk” (another throwback)…probably a toss up between that and Kool G. Rap’s St. Ides commercial. And yeah, it’s probably cliche, but love Snoop’s “Gin and Juice” too.


D: Recommended Listening?

P: Fela Kuti’s discography…any and all of it, but particularly partial to the “Expensive Shit” LP. “Water No Get Enemy” is about as perfect as a song can be.

D: Ahh, Fela has some notoriously useful songs if you know what I mean.


You can find personify online ☞

twitter: @dj_personify

#nighttiming Drinks and Records with Personify - Posted 9/19/14

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