Musicians are barely getting a slice of music industry revenue, largely eating off of live performances instead. For 'Tour Tales,' we dig into the rider requests, delayed shows, diligent preparation, and future of touring by talking with the multitude of people that move behind the scenes. Record executives, photographers, tour managers, artists, and more all break down what goes into touring and why it's still so vital to the livelihood of your favorite artists. What happens on tour stays on 'Tour Tales.'
Twenty-year-old DJ Killa Kam watched the birth of a star while deejaying for Flipp Dinero. But, before he was tearing stages down with the Cinematic Music Group/We The Best Music star, he was ready to quit deejaying all together.
"The last big artist I was deejaying for, when they got on, they straight dubbed my shit. They wouldn't take me on tour. I was like, 'Damn, I stayed with this nigga when he was coming up and he needed help.'"
After a hiatus, Kam returned in support of Flipp Dinero well before "Leave Me Alone" became a platinum-selling hit. For this installment of "Tour Tales," Kam discusses the FaceTime call with DJ Khaled that changed Flipp's career and much more.
It takes even the best DJ-artist pairings a while to get their chemistry right onstage. How long did it take before you and Flipp got good chemistry?
Maybe after the first week of touring with Tory Lanez on the 'Memories Don't Die Tour.'
Were there any mistakes you did early on with Flipp that you wouldn't do now?
Yeah (laughs). This one time, he's performing and I'm jumping. But, the thing was, if you jumped too much, everything shakes. It might've been a miscommunication between the laptop and the mixer I was using. But, I was jumping, he's performing, and the song was freezing. That shit was crazy.
How did you adapt to that?
I was like, 'Ohhhhh' (laughs). But, actually, some funny shit happened. I was going, '1, 2. 1, 2, 3' and it just froze. But, it kind of froze [at the right time] because I was able to go, 'Yo, yo, yo, chill, chill. Run that back.' That shit happened in like October.
Speaking of the 'Memories Don't Die Tour' with Tory, what was that backstage like?
The first week, it was kind of weird. It was weird because we didn't really know them. But, Tory cool as fuck.
What were some aftershow activities y'all got into on tour?
Tory used to have club dates. So, we'd be in the club with Tory. Being in a section with that nigga, oh my god (laughs). We were in Calgary and it was crazy. The girls were just flocking to him. I'm next to him trying to pick one like, 'Yo, what's good?'
Besides the strip club, we would try to find places to eat in every city. We try to hit a diner and see the city. Flipp also be reading. I was trying to read. But, I'm not going to lie to you, on the tour, I was on my Nintendo Switch a lot. Tory Lanez had a Switch. I'll go on record saying Tory Lanez sucks at Mario Tennis.
What was on the rider for Flipp?
Ramen noodles, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips. I told them to add some Nutella with the wheat bread because I fuck with Nutella.
You and Flipp were traveling around in a Suburban on this tour. There was one stretch where you did three shows in three days. What was that like?
(Laughs) It was four of us. It was me, Flipp, the road manager and a photographer. These are all people I've known for less than a year. It was four of us staying in a hotel room with two beds. We were arguing. Off top, we were arguing.
One of Flipp's biggest supporters has been DJ Khaled. Is there anything you've seen from the two of them, on the road, that could speak to their relationship?
I think I saw the process of how he got signed. We were on the road. Flipp's manager, Sav, knows Khaled and would play him Flipp's music. Khaled heard 'Leave Me Alone' and was like, 'Oh, this kid is fire. I'm going to fuck with him.' We were on the road and Flipp gets the FaceTime call from Sav and then, all of a sudden, Khaled comes on. Flipp was like, 'Whoa. Yo, I'm ready, big bro.' Khaled was like, 'I see you're in a zone.' Khaled was on [the 'OTR II Tour'] with JAY-Z and Beyonce, and was like, 'I'm coming to New York in a few days and I want to bring you out.' He brought him out two or three times, I believe, on that tour.
When we got off tour, he signed like two weeks later. When we were doing the BET Hip Hop Awards, we were at DJ Khaled's crib. I felt like, 'I'm deadass here.' He was mad cool. We were talking about music. When I met him, he was like, 'Congratulations.'
'Leave Me Alone' blew up while you were on tour. What was it like seeing that explosion of a song?
On tour, there was a different person bumping 'Leave Me Alone' every week. Odell [Beckham Jr.] helped that song go viral. He was dancing to it. One week, it was Westbrook; another week is Ty Dolla $ign. Another big thing that helped the song skyrocket was, remember when the [Golden State] Warriors won the championship that summer? There was this player [Jordan Bell] who had the song on his IG story and he was singing it. That helped it go crazy.
Would you say Flipp Dinero's star rose while on tour?
Bro, when he left for tour, he had 16K followers. I'm pretty sure he had close to 100K after the tour.
What are some words of advice Flipp has given you about y'all live show?
Flipp would tell me, 'The show is about [the audience]. But, the show is also about us, bro. As long as we have fun, they're going to have fun.'
As a DJ, your ear is always on new music. Who would you say is buzzing right now who fans should look out for in the future?
This Brooklyn rapper Najjee, one of my favorite rappers. Also NXGN, CBNT, Stvsh, Ballout Kirbo, 22 Love, and Rockstar Payso.
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