Artaz “DJ Pierre” Wilkins (pictured) is only 23, but he has been DJing and producing Baltimore club music long enough to feel a little jaded about younger generations. “It’s different, now, I can definitely tell you that, from when I was DJing high schools to now,” he says, lamenting a shift in tastes toward hip-hop and away from club music. “They wanna hear all this hood music.”
Still, DJ Pierre has persisted with the club music he first started spinning as a high school student, which grabbed the attention of K.W. Griff and the late DJ K-Swift, who first gave his tracks airplay on 92Q. DJ Pierre’s biggest claim to fame is a 2013 video for the single ‘This That Shit Right Here,’ featuring the producer rapping and dancing to his own track, which racked up more than 40,000 hits on YouTube. Later in 2014, he’ll be vocalizing more on new tracks he’s working on for the “This That Shit” EP.
This week, Pierre releases a new mix CD, “Volume 10: Back To School Edition,” via his website (djpierreonline.webs.com). In recent years, he has frequently uploaded short mixes to Soundcloud. It’s an effective way to gauge enthusiasm for different tracks. And it’s why a 45-track disc like “Back To School” is packed with the songs that the most amount of people want to hear. “I can see when people comment and what they like,” he says. Rod Lee’s ‘Go Hard’ has emerged as a listener favorite, along with Pierre’s own ‘Y’All Want This Party Started,’ which samples vocals from Lil Jon and synths from DJ Mustard.
He is busy setting up a release party for “Back To School” and backing up all his files so that he doesn’t lose another mixtape like he did over the summer. “‘For The Streetz 3’ never worked out, my laptop crashed,” he laments.