If you’ve ever been lucky enough to attend a star-studded LA afterparty, chances are it was DJ William Reed behind the decks. Whether he’s spinning tunes with Calvin Harris and members of Sex Pistols, or hosting his radio show alongside Snoop Dogg, LA Weekly’s Best DJ of 2017 is a busy man. Taking all that into account, we were lucky enough to catch up with William for a quick interview on his upbringing, his inspirations and what the future holds for ‘one of the most fashionable men in town’ (AZ Republic):
Hey William! How’s it going?
Hi, thanks for having me. It’s 75 and sunny in LA today so I can’t complain.
How did you first get into DJ’ing?
I had just recently moved back to the States from Germany. My longtime friend and collaborator DJ Mykill and I were invited to DJ a high school house party. I don’t think either of us had any prior experience. We grabbed a couple of Sony Discman—this was in the late 1990’s, mind you, a Radio Shack 4-channel mixer, a crate of CD’s and a strobe light from Spencer’s. The rest is history.
What inspires you in creating a new piece for a set?
That’s a great question. And there’s no single answer. It’s always changing. New music, travel, a recent experience. All of these things are inspiring. But the biggest inspiration is the crowd and mood of the venue I’m playing. When I walk in I pay attention to who’s there, what song is currently on and the mood. Then I play off that.
What’s it like having performed alongside some of the most legendary musicians like members from The Ramones, The Smiths, and The Sex Pistols?
Amazing to say the least. When I’m playing alongside members of some of the most influential and iconic bands of all time it’s truly both exhilarating and humbling at the same time.
You were born in the States but grew up in Germany, what was that like?
Incredible. The best thing to happen to my early development. Being exposed to foreign culture and music was such an eye opener. I’m so grateful for the experience and encourage others to travel at every opportunity.
You’re famous for the global online Balcony TV show, can you explain how you got involved with it and what it’s like being a part of something that has such a big audience?
I had just moved to Los Angeles and heard some racket on my rooftop. I was trying to work but was too distracted by the sound of a soundcheck. So naturally I went to investigate. I met the producer and the crew and we just clicked. The rest is history.
You’ve been named LA Weekly’s Best DJ, how does that feel knowing that this along with many other publications are taking notice to all your hard work?
It’s truly an honour and humbling to say the least. Especially in a city with so much amazing talent. It’s also nice when your hard work has been noticed.
What’s next for DJ William Reed?
I’m a bit of a workaholic. So naturally have a few things on my plate. Including some new events and themed parties, a new EP in the works and a new radio show. I’d also love to open my own venue this year.