Head-Roc’s Mouth: Da Mixx Band and Show Turns It Out
An occasional feature in which esteemed D.C. rapper Head-Roc shares what’s on his mind.
Da Mixx Band and Show is one of the hottest and more successful what I call “classic” go-go bands operating in the mid-Atlantic. In its full complement, the band delivers a phenomenal live show showcasing around a dozen musicians, and it even boasts a horn section—a rare thing that was once a staple for go-go ensembles.
Known for getting party-goers out on the dance floor in droves, Da Mixx Band boasts a formidable local following. People are always telling me how the group turns it out, even at shows with bigger acts on the bill. That’s probably the main reason why Da Mixx band has such a hectic performance schedule.
I reached out to the band to learn how they navigate the local music industry during a time when go-go has suffered greatly from negative stereotyping, and consequently doesn't have a real home at some of the city's premier performance spaces. Dawayne Nutt, who represents the band, answered my questions.
Questions and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.
Head-Roc: Peace family, for those that don’t know, please tell Chocolate City and the world a little something about Da Mixx Band and Show.
Dawayne Nutt: Originally given the name by saxophone player Tonysax, DaMixx Band was formed in 2006 by formers members of 4Sho. DaMixx continues push the envelope in terms of what you can expect from a Washington, D.C. band. Over the past two years, the band has made some major changes, pulling in new members with prior experience playing with some of the biggest bands in the DMV including Rare Essence, Familiar Faces, Be’la Dona, Vybe, and Northeast Groovers to name a few. At any given time up to four vocalists can be singing lead on tunes. Definitely one of the things that sets this group apart is its vocal arrangements.
HR: Since Da Mixx Band is one of the more well-known and successful acts in the area, tell me about your experiences performing at D.C.’s top music venues. How is go-go generally received in the broader D.C. music community?
DN: There's no greater feeling than being on stage and experiencing that reception from your fans. The energy you get back from the crowd is crazy. We’ve performed at the biggest spots in D.C. including Nationals Park all the way to the smallest spots like Indulj, and each and every performance is amazing. D.C. is and always will be the go-go capital. Despite the effect the economy has had on folks' ability to come out as much as they used to, folks still embrace the music like no other. You look at events that pair national acts with D.C. go-go bands and folks only talk about the D.C. acts. It’s tough to follow up behind us. It’s always been that way and will always be. Nothing has that energy, and it’s ingrained in all of us. Chuck Brown planted a seed that will always grow in each and every one of us.
HR: Tell Chocolate City about your latest project as well as some of the folks you worked with to make it happen.
DN: This past year we released the single "Da Cookout" which featured Raheem DeVaughn and Killa Cal from Rare Essence. The track was produced by Stomp and Dwayne Lee and written by Tyreke Farmer, DeVaughn, and Killa Cal. We kind of made up the track on stage. Folks were feeling it and the dance step that we were doing, so we said, "Let’s take this one to the studio." We recorded the track at Reo Edwards' studio in about two weeks. Raheem DeVaughn laid his track at different studio. We put it all together and ended up with what some would consider the biggest homegrown song to be produced by a go-go band. You can find the track on iTunes, Amazon, and Go-Go Radio. We thank DJ Rico, Ezzy, Big John, Frisco, Chuck B, Deuce Juan, and all the DJs who have shown us their support by playing the track.
HR: What kind of support would you like to see from Chocolate City and the surrounding area?
DN: We just wish that our local radio stations would have embraced "Da Cookout" more. It’s a shame when your music can only be played during the go-go portions of their program. D.C. music needs to be in rotation. New York plays New York music. They get behind it. Our stations are too busy catering to outside music as opposed to pushing our own out there. They would rather we do a go-go remix to a track with a national artist than play a track produced by a D.C. band. Go-Go Radio, TMOTTGOGO, and PAPalace seem to be the only ones concerned with playing our music and they are all Internet-based stations.
HR: What’s the next move for Da Mixx Band? Shows? Parties?
DN: You can catch DaMixx each and every Thursday at Marygolds in Lanham, Md. Starting Sept. 30, we will be performing every Sunday at Fast Eddies in Virginia [ed. note: There are three Fast Eddies locations in Virginia. We'll update when we find out which one Nutt is referring to.] Also, we will be performing at Martini’s in Ft. Washington, Md., on Tuesdays very soon. We spot date on Saturdays. Big Parties include a Sept. 8 pool party with Suttle Thoughts; Sept. 22 at the Sheraton in Crystal City, Va.; Sept. 23 at Marygolds with Junk Yard Band for the first time; and Oct. 6 at Marygolds with Suttle Thoughts. For information and tickets, call (202) 380-2745.
HR: How can promoters, booking agents, and interested parties get in touch with Da Mixx Band?