DJ Jazzy Jeff Talks Fresh Prince Reunion Tour, New Records and Globetrotting Adventures
Published Nov 15, 2013Twenty years after their last studio album, 1993's Code Red, Philadelphia's DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince are both keen to get the old band back together. Although Jeff Townes and Will Smith haven't been able to nail down dates for a reunion tour of their Grammy-winning rap group, Jazzy Jeff says it's an idea that been given serious consideration.
"Oh, Will definitely wants to do it, and so do I," Jazzy Jeff tells Exclaim! while in Toronto as a performer and judge for the recent Red Bull Thre3style. "It's just a matter of finding the time. He's busy filming, and I'm busying touring and recording, doing my thing."
Jeff's thing includes Vinyl Destination, a must-watch video series in which he documents the ups and downs of the life of a globe-trotting DJ. From Tokyo to Moscow, Madrid to Cape Town, music has brought Jeff to every corner of the atlas — and he's determined to shine light on the way music is played and received elsewhere.
"People think America is so far ahead when it comes to the party and club scene. We're not," Jeff says. "Travelling opens your eyes to so many different styles of music and culture."
Travel isn't all record collecting and Instagram opportunities, though. There are drawbacks, like lost luggage, crazy baggage fees and suspicious meals. "Let's just say some guys I travel with are more adventurous when it comes to what they'll eat," he says. "I draw the line at, like, horse."
In addition to his constant touring and Summertime mixtape series, now four volumes deep, Jeff hasn't stopped producing.
Jeff's latest artist, Toronto R&B singer Ayah, already has an album in the can and ready to go. The duo's Back for More mixtape was released in 2011 to critical acclaim.
"It's done," Jeff says of the Ayah record, "We're just waiting for the right situation to put it out."
On November 5, Ayah posted a new video for the song "Better Run," by Merna, prefaced by the curious message: "Merna killed Ayah." Watch the clip below, followed by footage of Jeff rocking the Thre3style.