Ruling the Decks

Ruling the Decks
Recognizing, supporting and developing the Canadian DJ industry is the stated modus operandi of the Stylus Spinfest, a "DJ festival" happening in Toronto from May 29 to June 1, now in its fourth year. "The DJ sets the tone for the mood and soundtrack of people's lives," says director David "Click" Cox, who makes up the Stylus Group along with fellow director Nigel Ong and founder Mike Zafiris, who started the critically important Flavor Record Pool.

Seminars and panel discussions featuring a trivia gameshow and a one-on-one interview with mixtape mogul DJ Drama will all culminate in the 2009 Stylus Awards being held at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on June 1. While widely respected veteran DJ Starting From Scratch -who won five awards at the inaugural Stylus Awards ceremony - is ineligible due to his role as official show DJ, there is still a substantial wealth of talent behind the decks up for hardware. Toronto DJs Wristpect and Jester lead the way with five nominations each.

In total, over 20 awards will be handed out, recognizing turntable excellence across the entire country from the campus to the club and spanning genres from hip-hop to soca. "In Canada, urban music artists need these DJs more than anything because its one of the main resources to get heard," says Cox. "We set up this awards show to credit these DJs and create an avenue for the urban music community to celebrate what we have in our own backyard."