Sibert, known onstage as Spinser Tracy, won the first DJ competition he entered, the recent Red Bull Thre3Style at the newly renovated Howard Theatre.
Tell me about your music background.
I'm from D.C., born and raised. I went to Wilson High School and got into music early, when I was 12. All through high school I was in the marching band, jazz band, and I went to Howard [University] to be in their marching band and did that for a while, and when I left Howard, I stopped doing music for a while. But then I got into a transition point in my career in looking for something different to do and somehow music popped back into my life.
How'd you first get into DJing?
I started going to check out some DJs, and I was in the club scene a little bit so I knew some DJs, and I'd always collected music. I actually worked for a spot that had DJ equipment, and they gave me some stuff. I went out and maxed out a credit card and bought records, a computer, speakers, all that stuff, and maybe 30 days after the first time I practiced, I had a gig.
How did you pick up on DJing so quickly?
I was a percussionist, so with DJs and the counts and bars and measures, that came easy. That's pretty much the key to learning how to DJ, being able to count bars and understand how music is made up, where the breaks are and intros are, stuff like that. It just came naturally.
What was your first competition like?
Traditional DJ competitions are strictly judged off technique, but with Red Bull Thre3Style it's more about party rock. Whoever can get the crowd involved, has good stage presence and song selection, and technique is just one factor the judges are looking at. I felt like I was the underdog going in, but I won.