Collector Interview: DJ Prestige

Posted on June 29 2017

Next up in our interview series is Jamison Harvey aka DJ Prestige. Fine purveyor of funk, soul, jazz, hip hop, reggae and other assorted funky treats on and spinning records in a city near you. Husband and father, beard enthusiast, Liverpool FC supporter, and coffee addict.

Jamison aka DJ Prestige uses a custom set of 7" BPM record dividers from 70 BPM to 150+ BPM to keep his 45s order. Jamison explains he uses the BPM dividers for "my "go to" 45 RPM shelf, which is mostly funk + soul, organized by BPM. I have a ton of boxes, cases, and bins for specialty 45 rpm records, but this shelf is my daily grab and go for my 45 rpm gigs, which are basically what I spin out these days exclusively."

Size of your collection:

No idea how many records I have. 25+ years of collecting and DJing have left me with 50+ crates/ shelves of LPs and 12"s, plus thousands of 45s. The collection grows every day. It is an ongoing process.

Current top 3 albums:
So many good records come out all the time, it's hard to pick three. Here's three I have been into lately:
Damu The Fudgemunk Vignettes Redefinition Records 2017, V/A Soul Slabs Vol. 1, Colemine Records (I was privileged to write the liner notes on this Record Store 2017 release), Nat Birchall Invocations Jazzman 2015.

Favorite or biggest music genre in your collection:
Jazz. I like to vibe out to different types of jazz when I'm in my studio/record room writing, lounging, or spending time with my family. Although, I am very partial to good reggae, latin, african, brazilian, quality hip hop, and soundtrack records. I do like to mix it up, but jazz always is my number one. All kinds: straight ahead, jazz funk, soul jazz, free jazz. Such a great genre.

Best party album: I like to bump Curtis Mayfield Live! if we have some guests over. Also, any JB's or James Brown will always get people moving if I want to kick it up a notch.

Best album to listen to alone:
Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson Winter In America

Last record you purchased:
Dexter Story featuring Kamasi Washington: Wejane Aola 7". A cover of the Tilahoun Gessesse Ethio-funk classic, updated for today.

Album you're in search of:
There is always a huge list of records I want, but I will find a copy of Dorothy Ashby's Afro-Harping in the field. I won't buy one until I find it at a flea market or yard sale. Records find you, you don't find them. So Dorothy, I've put it out in the universe a bunch, still waiting for your record to find me.

Give us a breakdown of your collection: how much is used vs how much is new?
Mostly used, but I do buy vinyl on the regular, so that includes new releases. Also, Flea Market Funk has been around for 10 years, so that's a lot of newly released promos. I play mostly 45s out, so I am constantly buying 45s (2 or 3 days a week) either online, at my local shop, or wherever I can get some digging in.

How long have you been collecting records? How did you get into it?
I started collecting vinyl as a teen, but really got into it heavy in the 1990's, and went full bore in about 1997 when I started to DJ proper. My father had a small record collection, so I got the bug from him. I use pretty much every record I buy. Whether it's for a mix, playing out, or just listening alone, I try to use them as much as I can. A record does no good sitting on a wall not being played. They are meant to be heard, touched, and shared. Where do you hunt for vinyl? (one or two physical places would be great if you have spots to share) Iris Records in Jersey City, NJ. Any flea market, stoop sale, yard sale, or curb people are getting rid of records. I just hope I get there first.

Where do you listen to vinyl?
I have the third floor of our house as my record room/ studio/ lounge. My main shelf (an old Ikea Expedit 5 x 5 from 20 years ago) has the meat of my funky LPs, 12" hip hop singles/ LPs, Latin, Soundtracks, Reggae, and compilations. They are organized by genre, then alphabetical order. I have several other shelves (a 4x 2 Kallax) that houses new acquisitions, an older, home made shelf I got for free that has all my rock and psychedelic rock records, and many metal milk crates from Tuscon Dairy from the 1960's that hold a lot of my oddball stuff: comedy, DJ tools, spoken word, etc. That's more for production/ mixes. I need to know where the sound bytes are as much as the records I use to make mixes with.

Anything extra you want to share about your collection, set up, turntable, your equipment, listening room, plans for the future, etc?
My collection is by far not the largest, most expensive, or greatest collection. I DJ for a living, so I have bought (and still buy) music that is relevant to what I need, as well as music I can enjoy at home. If I want to spin a Nigerian boogie record next to some current disco, or rock doubles of a known hip hop sample, I try to stay in my lane: which is only play good music. That usually means music that makes people feel good, music you most likely won't hear on the radio, and most of all, music on vinyl.

My studio set up is really simple: 2 Technics 1200's Pioneer DJM-450 Mixer 2 Shure M447 Cartridges with Technics headshells and Shure N447 Styli Mackie 8 Channel Board with F/X 2 KRK Rokit 5 Monitors Pro Tools MBox for recording Super outdated Mac Powerbook Pro for recording I do all my mixes and a podcast Live From Greenville Studios (which is coming back soon!) in my record room/ studio. My plans for the future are to just keep buying more records. Always a student, always learning, I want to learn and share vinyl records as much as I can in the short time we have on this planet.

Twitter: @fleamarketfunk
Instagram: @fleamarketfunk