Behind The Decks With: Santonio Echols

Santonio Echols

Industrious DJ and producer Santonio Echols has been at the top of his game for the last 28 years and is seeking to continue his ongoing streak of quality material in 2016.

One of the first generation of Techno producers to come out of Detroit, Santonio Echols has made a big impact with remarkable productions like: ‘Soul Invasion’, ‘Warpaint Remix’, ‘Gracious Groove’, ‘Jazz Intrusion’, ‘Retrospective EP’, ‘Sinner Man EP’ and ‘Gonna Change Remix’, whilst also putting his name behind his new radio show series ‘Detroit Podcasts’.

Grabbing the attention of the Detroit scene with his highly original House and Techno inspirations, Santonio has been part of the legendary Reese & Santonio duo, whilst also boasting collaboration with the likes of: Nikolaos Moiré Patterns, Clemens Neufeld, Oliver Lieb, Combinator, Jonas Asp, Duane Evans, Orlando Voorn, MoBlack, Dj Deep, Greg Stafford, Claude Young, Blake Baxter, Eddie Fowlkes, Raquel Roberts, QuWonna Toney, Mike Anderson and Robert Doubledee Mills amongst others.

Aside from being a very well respected producer, Santonio Echols is also a seasoned DJ, so we’ve had the pleasure to sit down with him to have a chat about his DJing career and share his vast experience with us.


Hi Santonio, thanks for taking the time to talk to us about your DJing career. How did you fall in love with DJing?

At a young age… Going to different venues following DJs in Direct Drive, Charivari etc…

When did you start in the DJing business?

Early in my career even before I started producing music – I had to be around 18 or 19 years old.

Who were the DJs you looked up to growing up?

Eddie Fowlkes, Al Esters, Ken Collier, Jeff Mills, Mike Grant and many more.

What kind of sounds do you relate to the most when behind the decks?

House, Tech House and Techno.

How would you describe your sets?

Motivating and uplifting.

What’s the role of a DJ in your opinion?

Simply put – to work the crowd.

Do you see any changes between the old-school and modern DJing industry?

Yes… Those who never used or played with vinyl will never experience how to use and manipulate a record – it takes away from learning the fundamentals of a DJ using technology today.

What kind of thinking process do you go through when coming up with a set for a particular gig?

Once I figure out what type of venue it is… the rest is simple, it’s all in your selection of music.

What makes a good set in your opinion?

When you playing for the crowd/people instead of yourself and as I said previously, your choice of music.

What’s your DJing setup like at the moment?

Techniques 1200, Cdj Turntables

Where can we catch up with you behind the decks this year?

Since this year is just about… you can catch me in 2016, I’m preparing gigs in London, Paris etc… For more info check out:

Which kind of venues do you prefer to DJ in?

Festivals… but, wherever the crowd is, it doesn’t matter.

How do you think will the role of the DJ evolve in the years to come?

Back to the beginning, resorting to vinyl lol

What tips can you give to up-and-coming DJs out there who want to make it in this industry?

Learn, perfect and study your craft

Thanks a lot Santonio!


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