A-TRAK


Panels

Access 2019, Industry 2019

About

A-TRAK

At a time when the DJ sits firmly at the center of popular culture, A-Trak stands out as MVP, a passionate leader who holds together all facets of the craft. Very few share his mastery of turntablism while also sitting at the forefront of musical innovation, looking keenly to the future with history tucked in his back pocket. A true connector, the DJ (born Alain Macklovitch) hops effortlessly from colossal festival stages to sold-out concert venues and sweaty underground clubs, building links between hip hop and electronic music while watching genre barriers crumble.
After spending years as Kanye West’s tour DJ and consigliere, he founded the celebrated record label Fool’s Gold in 2007 and developed the careers of artists such as Kid Cudi, Danny Brown and Flosstradamus. With its string of releases and events, Fool's Gold broke down bygone rules of the record industry, paving the way for a new wave of independents and helping North American fall in love with festival culture. As a Grammy-nominated producer, A-Trak’s seminal mix of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll” marked an entire generation’s introduction to dance music. Duck Sauce, his irreverent supergroup with Armand Van Helden, flipped the bird to chart-topping formulas and reached #1 in 12 countries with the ubiquitous "Barbra Streisand", electronic music's first true viral music video. He is just as comfortable churning out soulful house jams with Jamie Lidell (“We All Fall Down”) or Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt (“Push”) as he is crafting rap bangers with Quavo & Lil Yachty (“Believe”) or Cam’ron (“Dipsh*ts/Federal Reserve”). The common thread is an inherent funkiness, as well as a consistent sense of tasteful branding and design. That might explain the three VMA nominations that he picked up along the way.
Not bad for a kid from Montreal, Canada who was once known as a 90’s turntable prodigy. As a teenager, he won every DJ battle known to man, starting with the 1997 DMC World Championships and holding a record-breaking 5 titles by the time he was 18. Meanwhile, as his older brother Dave morphed into the lead-singing lothario in the acclaimed electro-pop sensation Chromeo, Alain grew from a nerdy teen who created an elaborate scratch notation system to a bona fide style icon and one of the most recognizable figures in the DJ scene. He has appeared in TV campaigns for Adidas, Grey Goose, Mountain Dew and Cadillac and graced the covers of Billboard and Complex.
In a lot of ways, A-Trak created the image of the modern multi-tasking DJ – equal parts maestro and entrepreneur. Now based between New York and Los Angeles, Alain’s interest in the lifestyle of his generation has certainly made its mark. As one of the first blogging DJs, he was also a long-time contributor to the Huffington Post and ran his own travel website for five years (Infinite Legroom). Through Fool’s Gold, he cemented his reputation as a cultural curator: he personally books the label's legendary events – most notably the Day Off series – which are like a knighting ceremony for new talent. Artists like A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, Action Bronson and Flatbush Zombies all got huge early exposure on his stages. FG also has its own clothing line and a beautiful Brooklyn storefront which doubles as an art gallery.

A-Trak’s latest endeavor ties the loop around the twenty-plus years of his career: Goldie Awards, a new championship for DJs and producers, one that reflects the evolution of the craft. The battling scene was Trizzy’s stomping ground in his early years, and the task of updating it for the current musical landscape is one that only he can achieve.

It is the accumulation of all these projects that defines who A-Trak is: someone who cares as deeply about #RealDJing and the lifestyle of his Fool’s Gold audience, as he does about redefining the very role of the DJ and of independent companies.

Testimonials

The Winter Music Conference represents a chance for Beatport to connect directly with our customer community. Having a strong conference means we have a platform to embrace the entire spectrum of electronic music culture. We are proud to support the resurgence of this great event.


Jonas Tempel

Beatport, Co-Founder

Miami has always been a place I’ve considered home and WMC was essential for me and the label in many ways. From showcasing our new music to keeping up with all the new artists and releases. It was the official kickoff of the year and I’m happy to see it thriving again.


Louie Vega

DJ/Vega Records

I feel fortunate to have been part of the first-ever WMC. Over the 35 years, it has grown to give us an international forum where we exchange music and ideas. As an attendee and host of many of the award shows, I am proud each time I see new young talent emerge and then become world-renowned. We all have so many Winter Music Conference moments of hearing a seminal breakthrough record for the first time as well as a new DJ with star quality. Magical moments in my career.


Daniel Glass

Glassnote Records

I’m so glad to see WMC rebooted with such thoughtful content and first-class curation. It’s been a long time since the industry had a must-do American event and this is it. The reborn WMC!


Patrick Moxey

Ultra Music

If you want to know about our industry from the people that make it happen then go to WMC. It’s an accelerated masterclass in all things dance music.


Carl Cox

DJ/Intec Records