Describing his sound as “#FeelGoodSound,” Hapa Perdue (“DJ Hapa”) is known for playing a multitude of genres and blending it all together to create a unique soundtrack. His list of clients includes top brands such as Ducati, Ferrari, Red Bull, Samsung and The Grammys, just to name a few. He’s shared the stage with artists as diverse as his musical selection: from Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire and Macy Gray to The Far East Movement, Diplo and Chromeo. In 2015, Hapa created a group called Phil N Good, where he is co-producing remixes and original tracks accompanied by live instruments — he’s also the first resident DJ on the Emmy award-winning KTLA Morning Show in his home city of Los Angeles. Hapa has performed for Microsoft events and received his Surface Pro 3 from the company last year.
I first met Hapa last December when he graciously met me on the steps of my office in Redmond on his way to Seattle for a gig. Upon sitting down for coffee, he showed me a couple pro tips on a fun new DJ app, MeeDJ, that was intuitive with touch and easy to mix tracks on. He was a natural at teaching how to use the interface and make music with touch. Just as fun was the emblazoned sticker-like taping of his name across the back, which gave it a distinct and unique personal touch that characterizes so much of Hapa’s creative work.
Let’s hear more from DJ Hapa on his passion for taking people on a musical journey across platforms:
Can you give us a brief introduction about yourself?
In a nutshell, I sit at the intersection between DJ Culture, education and technology. I’m a serial entrepreneur and also definitely consider myself a true curator of music and culture.
Let’s talk a little bit more about what you do. What are the applications that you use to DJ and create music and content?
I’m at the forefront of several super-progressive applications including MeeDJ, a consumer app that gives the user pro-like features and tools and allows them to create and share their own mixes through OneDrive. The project was born through a Microsoft incubator program, App Campus, and to date has over 1 million installs. Beyond that, on the pro side, I am a huge fan and user of everything from Serato DJ, Traktor and Rekordbox to Ableton Live.
You’ve been using Surface for a couple years now. What was your first experience with Surface?
Funny enough, the first time I used the Surface Pro 3 was during my performances out in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. I was a bit skeptical at first with how the Surface would be able to replace the laptop, but after that trip became a huge fan. The portability of the Surface is amazing and the thing was a workhorse!
What do you like most about your Surface?
I love to see people’s reactions to me having it in the booth. Since it has the form factor of a tablet, people are surprised to see me using it – and especially TOUCHING it! I use touch on a daily basis and don’t know how I would live without it. Sometimes when switching to other devices, it’s common for me to still try and touch the screen. I’ve been able to design a few different performance templates with it and use it with multiple devices to even give the audience a way to interact with me when I am performing. The best part is being able to switch between the keyboard and tablet mode. I also love the pen for taking notes as I’m big on physically writing notes down.
What’s a project you’ve done that you’re proudest of?
I’ve been blessed to have reached many milestones throughout my career, but the things that I am most proud of is being able to use the platform that I have to help other people. I help run the largest DJ school in the world, being able to give education and access to passionate music lovers who want to express themselves. I also am really proud of the work we’ve been able to do with the Epilepsy community to help spread awareness for the disease close to my heart.
Tell us about a recent or cool side project you’re working on that you’re really excited about?
It’s not exactly a side project, but I’ve started a DJ-led band with some of my producer friends and other talented musicians. The name of the group is Phil N Good and we’re definitely picking up momentum and traction with some of our recent releases and remixes this past year. We just finished up a record honoring the great Sergio Mendes in the spirit of the 50th anniversary of his hit, “Mas Que Nada” and the Summer Olympic Games.
Twitter: @djhapa / Instagram: @djhapa / Facebook: djhapa / djhapa.com