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DJ Classic Roots chasing a dream

Wednesday January 16, 2013
Photo by Day Vid Z Photography

Dressed in his regalia, Classic Roots (Josh DePerry) stands in the Spirit Garden at Prince Arthur’s Landing in Thunder Bay, ON.

Electronic dance music (EDM) deejay Classic Roots, also known as 24-year old Josh DePerry, is packing up his equipment and cardigans this month.

The Long Lake #58/Red Cliff band member is making the move from Thunder Bay to Toronto in search of bigger things.

During a packed going-away party on Jan. 12 at a local club, fans and friends bid farewell to deejay Classic Roots, whom Walleye Magazine recently rated one of the three best deejays in Thunder Bay.

Classic Roots has been a well-known social nightlife figure in the city and surrounding areas for the last two years. He has been both a producer and a creator of EDM.

Classic Roots feels he has been involved with music in one way or another all of his life.
“I started doing hip hop music when I was 12,” Classic Roots said.

He credits the hip-hop genre as a big stepping-stone along his journey towards the EDM.
“I started producing music six years ago, but I began creating my own two years ago.”

Classic Roots has released an EP entitled Addiction that was well received in the city of Thunder Bay. He considers releasing the EP to be his greatest accomplishment so far in his musical career.

“Completing that EP and then seeing many people supporting what I do was really great,” he said.

The video for the song “Scream,” which was featured on Classic Roots’ EP, was directed by Thunder Bay locals Jason Spun and Uriel Lubuk. Scream came out in the summer of 2012 and has received over 15,000 plays on YouTube.

Although Classic Roots has spent countless nights playing music for people in Thunder Bay’s bar and club scene, he abstains from both drugs and alcohol.

“In a way, music is my drug. I’m there for the music so people have something to dance to and feel good about,” Classic Roots once said. “I know what it’s like to be affected by drugs and alcohol, it can ruin many lives.”

The cultural teachings Classic Roots takes with him where he goes are having self-respect and also learning from past mistakes. Along with pursuing his musical ambitions, Classic Roots also hopes to participate in powwows in southern Ontario. Powwow dancing is something he has been involved with. He wants to help keep the Anishinabe culture and heritage alive.

Classic Roots considers himself a bit of a role model. He said that it was important for First Nations youth to have positive role models because “people need someone to look up to.”
Classic Roots’ personal role model is the late American civil rights leader Malcolm X.

Although he does tribute listening to various genres of music as his inspiration, one of his major inspirations and role models for music is EDM deejay Steve Aoki.

“I want to get to where he is now one day,” Classic Roots said of Aoki and his international success in the genre of EDM.

“I want to go on tour,” Classic Roots said about his future goals when it comes to music. “I also want to network with new artists in Toronto, and hopefully complete another EP.”

Although he is nervous and excited about his upcoming new life in the city of Toronto, Classic Roots is very hopeful and happy that he is pursuing his dreams.

“Keep pushing (for your dreams)” he said. “Never give up on them.”

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