Malik Tuck — better known as DJ Leek — will be walking across the stage to graduate on May 6, but the DJ who was voted one of Ohio State’s best stopped by for a quick Q&A before commencement.
So when did you start DJing? Do you remember anything from your first set/gig?
I started DJing in high school off of my computer and some small speakers at a party. Not really mixing as much. More just song selection. Tjis is pre iTunes music and Spotify. My first gig was at Big Bar on a Thursday night which actually a lot of people came out but I had no idea what I was doing because the club had turntables and I had never used them. I just knew what songs to play so I didn’t really mix as much.
Do you remember any songs you kept in rotation when you were starting out?
Say Aah Trey Songs haha and most likely some Drake. He had just dropped Take Care.
And how exactly did you get into it? Did you have someone you knew who was already a DJ or did you just start experimenting?
I used to mess around with this program called virtual DJ. I just loved the sound of songs being mashed. Then one night I jokingly tweeted at Big Bar that they should have me DJ there. I was contacted by the DJ there who is now like my best friend and I went and shadowed him for like months and then took over gamedays. Rest is history.
That’s actually a crazy path to be honest! So you went from just messing around with virtual DJ in your bedroom to playing gamedays, and you played at Ugly Tuna May 1, right?
Yessir! There’s obviously way more but that’s a good summary.
So how was that? We know Tuna is basically a campus tradition and with the news that it was closing, that had to have been a special set. Can you tell me what it was like?
Very nostalgic. Just knowing it would be the last time and knowing I’d be one of the last to play there is something I’ll be able to say forever. The crowd was very interactive and with it being senior crawl everything was just amplified.
I bet, man. I can only imagine the environment last night must have been different from just about anything you’ve done before. Are there any songs you keep in your sets as as a sort of reminder of where you came from? Do you keep that throwback Drake in your mixes?
Not necessarily man. I try to just feel out every set.
That’s probably the best way to go about it, so you can really feel the crowd and go with them, right? Are you graduating this semester?
Exactly man and yup I’ll be walking Sunday.
Congrats, man! So you held it down as a student and DJ and now you’re graduating. What does the future look like for DJ Leek? What are your career plans?
Looking to continue building my personal brand. Learn how to produce possible and I’ll be moving out west next year to keep pursuing my career. Hopefully Arizona.
Why Arizona? And where do you draw inspiration from?
I went there for the Fiesta Bowl and fell in love. And everything honestly. People. Traveling. All music for the most part.
That’s dope. Do you know DJ Chang? And also, would you be down for one final DJ battle with him to determine who is truly the best DJ at Ohio State before you graduate?
I do yeah hahah. And hell yeah I would. That’s if he’d be down.
Well then, I definitely know what I’ll be looking forward to!