DJ Quest (Questosahn),
Turntable Artist / Scratch Music Innovator
Is considered one of the most skilled and reputable DJ and innovators in the field of turntablism. Born in in El Salvador, Quest moved to San Francisco's Mission District in the early 80’s where he was introduced to the sounds of Hip Hop, and Electro-Funk; from Run DMC, Newcleus, Furious 5, Soul Sonic Force, Ice T, Kraftwerk, Kurtis Blow, Egyptian Lover, Mantronix , Art of Noise and many more... For Quest, this new found culture triggered a life long musical obsession and exceptional interest in scratch music.
Within his early years, Quest studied the top Hip-Hop DJs in the country and attempted to emulate the styles of some of his idols -Joe Cooley, Cash Money, Mr. Mixx, Aladdin, Jam Master Jay, Scratch, Jazzy Jeff, Cheese, Mix Master Ice, DJ Mann -all who were performing traditional Hip-Hop as DJs & MCs --as well DJs of the Miami-bass era; Eddie B, Debonaire, Slice, Magic Mike to name a few. Plus other legends of the west coast; Tony G, Unknown DJ, Evil E and Battle Cat.
The Combination of all these different schools of scratching gave DJ Quest an advantage by having the exposure to techniques which he would later combine and use to bring power scratching to the battle scene helping in the process to make the Bay Area home of the top scratch DJs in the world.
In the mid ‘80’s, Quest began rocking house parties along side DJs 2 Fresh and Polo G, also out of the Mission district. And in the early '90's took his skills to the stage -DJing for various rap crews and competing in local DJ battles. Consequently, it was inevitable that Quest would compete in the DMC and New Music Seminars' Superman battles, and regardless of never taking any national titles, the battle training provided the foundation required to attain the dedication and discipline for mastering the craft.
Quest eventually hooked up with another Mission DJ - Eddie Def and DJ Cue -out of Daly City and created an early version of a DJ band, “The Bullet Proof Scratch Hamsters/Space Travelerz”. Their biggest contribution came in 1992 with the release of "Hamster Breaks Vol. 1" and "HB 3.5" (in '96), the first records of its kind arranged specifically for scratch and battle DJs which set off a wild fire-like effect and opened up a new market for battle breaks. The group later added new members DJ Marz and MC Eddie K and branched towards new areas of showcasing and production.
Quest, is also known for coining the term 'Hamster Style' which refers to the reverse set up of the turntables into the mixer. Today the term remains popular and it's recognized by DJs world wide and every competent battle mixer has adopted the 'Hamster' feature (the reverse switch).
In '96, he expanded his musical horizons by teaming up with percussionist Albert Mathias and bassist Andrew Kushin to form the experimental Jazz/Hip-Hop group Livehuman. The trio went on to self produced recordings for Fat Cat Records (UK), Bay Area’s Hip-Hop Slam, Matador Records and their own label Cosmic Records.
This new direction brought unlimited opportunities for Quest to display his skills through-out the US, Australia, Japan and Europe. Highlighted performances include the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Transmusicales Music Fest in Renn, France and DJs for Life conference in Birminham, UK.
Aside of his solo and group expeditions, Quest has performed with artist the likes of Quannum artist - Latyrx, Mike Pattons' Peeping Tom, Apostle of Heavyweight Dub Champion, Deltron3030, The Bomb Hip-Hop, Future Primitive Sound, Hip-Hop Slam and Gurp City artist. With a series of presentations ranging from concert halls, clubs and festivals to workshops.
Over the years, Quest has kept up production on break records and mix-tapes under 'Breaks Ahead' (a partnership label with long-time collaborator DJ 2 Fresh). Additionally, his scratch solos have been featured on recordings by artist including Dan “The Automator”, Blackalicious, Rob Swift (X-ecutioners), Z-man (One Block Radius), TOPR, MC Eddie K, Sacred Hoop and Wide Hide Records. Quest, is also a featured artist in the Doug Pray directed documentary
“SCRATCH” (Palm Pictures).
Presently, Quest is sharing his knowledge with his Quest School of DJ Arts, in collaboration with The DJ Project, a non-profit community based- organization which offers arts entrepreneurship programs that use music to engage young adults with a range of industry related subjects from DJing to audio and event production. In 2012, Quest wrote 'The Beginner's DJ Guide'. A hand book created for new enthusiast of the artform as an introduction to the fundamentals and roots and awareness of the true art-form of DJing among the general public.
In recent years, Quest has been dialing-in his composing skills and continues to record 'scratch' music. Some of his recent titles include "Scratch Breaks" 1 & 2, "Scratch 101", "BreakFast Breaks". Plus two full length albums"Questolous" and "Cosmic Parasite", and a megamix containing classic and obscure electro "Elektro Flexx".
He continues to creatively expand by working on his craft, teaching it and studying it. Quest style on the turntables is an innovative and unpredictable, aggressive-funk, distinct and raw with complete freedom of expression through this medium advancing the fine-tuning of the turntable as an instrument and the evolution of scratch music.