By Esther Sanchez
As a music writer, I have met a lot of local Hip Hop artists, producers and DJs and during our conversations, one name that comes up frequently would be that of CVMA nominee Paul Gore, AKA DJ Smoke 1. The Coachella Valley native is well respected for his skills as a producer and DJ. He is also known for being a smart, kind, family man who carries himself with class and professionalism. His calm demeanor and humble nature may fool some people into thinking that he is a musical passivist, but on the contrary, when it comes down to battling, the title winning, Smoke 1 is a force to be reckoned with. His style is fresh and original and his skills are well defined. He is also one of only a handful of local DJs that has master of the dying art of spinning and mixing vinyl records.
Gore: “My first turn-tables were pretty inadequate but I had to have them. I was about 15 and I found one at a thrift-store. The other one belonged to a friend of mine and I think I traded him half of the stuff I owned for it. I used them constantly and with dedication, all the while begging my parents for a newer, better set but we weren’t exactly rich so I had to wait. As I got better and better, my parents took notice and probably realized this was more than just a phase and something worth investing in. When my birthday finally came around, they got me my turn-tables. Still the best gift I have ever received.”
Gore’s skills are the product of many years of practice, determination and passion for all things Hip Hop. Gore: “I have been an MC and a break-dancer. It was when I was about 15 that I was exposed to the underground music scene that was happening at the time. I ended up at a DJ battle in a back-yard. I was there breakdancing with my B-boy crew at the time. It was a two on two battle between DJ Tyco and DJ Decepticon vs DJ Day and Myke B from INL Crew. Witnessing that battle completely changed my life forever. I will never forget the rush that I felt. I have never looked back since.”
The La Quinta High School graduate, impressed by the showmanship and style of the guys he looked up to in the DJ game has funneled that passion without fail and can now be easily thought of as not only their peer, but their competition. And he has no plans on getting comfortable anytime soon. He has been working as a producer with his friend and local MC Larry Shaw on a musical venture that he is very excited about. Gore: “I knew I wanted to work with an MC that has a particular style. I wanted the subject matter of the songs to be intelligent and relevant and I wanted the writing to be good. That is what we have with this project and I am excited about debuting what we have come up with so stay-tuned.”