INTERVIEW : ?UESTLOVE
He needs no introduction, really, but here’s one for posterity. Ahmir, aka ?uestlove, casually won a Grammy a few days ago, and continues to prove himself to be one of the friendliest, most hard-working people in music. He was raised in it, steeped in it, and continuously stirs it up with playfulness and authenticity.
He’s taking the decks tonight at Q-Tip’s weekly residency in Liberty Hall at Ace Hotel New York, so we decided this was a good opportunity to chat him up about his dad (a doo wop innovator), the importance of Twitter, and what makes Ace NYC a good place for musicians.
You’ve been named one of the 50 Top Tweeters in Music by Rolling Stone —- I follow your Twitter feed, too, and am curious what role it plays in your creative collaborations with peers on one end, and fans on the other end.
Well, this is probably the quickest and most viral way to communicate. I imagine if Twitter existed in the 90s then I woulda broken more bread with artists and the like. Actually my website Okayplayer was the OG Twitter, in which my entire life was on display. Main difference, of course, is now when I need to holler at Puff or Tip or a hotel I can Twitter em.
Holler at us anytime. We like hearing from you. You’re a busy man — you’ve done a couple of shoe collaborations — what other dream collaborations do you have for fashion?
Eh…Even though I make a majority of my clothes, I don’t have aspirations for the fashion world just yet.
Your dad was Lee Andrews of Lee Andrews & the Hearts, a 50s doo wop band. How has growing up around East Coast doo wop affected your music?
Growing up backstage at Radio City and Madison Sqaure Garden has effected my entire life. Up to age 8, all I knew about was cats from the 50s playing poker, dividing soul food, laughing at old dance steps. I thought oldies music was contemporary music.
We often wish it was. We’re stoked that you’re spinning tonight at Ace NYC —- you were here recently, too, for the KEXP broadcasts, and have said it’s a hotel for musicians and artists. What makes it feel like that to you?
The turntables in the rooms are what attracted me to the Ace. I love the atmosphere. Despite the hipster popularity, it’s still under the radar. Not to mention the sound system in the basement is, bar none, my favorite system in New York.