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Artist Spotlight: DJ Cobra on Illionaire

A fan favorite in the San Diego club scene, DJ Cobra’s music is a reflection of what popular culture enjoys, and his sound is constantly evolving with the times. DJ Cobra listens to the crowd, and spins what people want to hear, laced with precise execution skill.

In-the-know locals have raged with Cobra at FLUXX, Stingaree, Bar West, Intervention, and Ivy Nightclub over the years, and the party is just getting started. Outside the confines of the Gaslamp Quarter, Cobra, otherwise known as Andrew Bagg, is a prominent fixture in the international nightlife scene, from Hollywood to Las Vegas and the private estates of celebrity fans including Madonna and Paris Hilton.

Quickly following his 2009 debut album Iller, Cobra now introduces his sophomore album Illionarie, which includes over 300 samples and features Lil Wayne, Kid Cudi, Michael Jackson, Blue Oyster Cult and more. We sat down with Cobra to get the Insider scoop on the hot new tracks and upcoming shows in San Diego.

DiscoverSD: Congrats on the new album! Tell us all about the new Illionaire sound. 

DJ Cobra: It is a continuation of the previous album but the samples are much more intricate and inspired and influenced more by hiphop and R&B where the previous one had a lot of guitar samples

DSD: What are your favorite new songs on Illionaire?

Cobra: It’s impossible for me to say because I like to view the entire project as one body of work.

DSD: What artist / producer collaborations will we hear on Illionaire?

Cobra: Everything from contemporary artists like Lil Wayne and Rihanna to older acts such as The Four Tops and the Jackson 5. 

DSD: What was the moment when you knew you had to pursue the music industry? 

Cobra: I had to do it out necessity. I was spending all my money on music growing up so I had to find a way to get it for free. I joined my college radio station and then progressed to a commercial station shortly thereafter, and it kept evolving from there. 

DSD: What tracks and remixes are you most proud of to date?

Cobra: I have done a ton of remixes but I am most proud of Iller and Illionaire. Both projects are a true reflection of my diverse music tastes and nothing I have done has been more creatively challenging. 

DSD: How do you classify your style of music?

Cobra: Technically it is labeled "open format" which essentially means I am a jack of all trades. I'm not sure how I would classify my style other then it being a constant evolving reflection of what popular culture enjoys. 

DSD: What have been your greatest professional achievements so far?

Cobra: Awards and being validated by your peers is always nice but for me it was being able to take what was just a hobby and turn it into a career. I haven't worked a real job since I was 18 and being able to come home to a house I own, drive cars I bought or fund other investments and businesses with my DJ revenue is something I never imagined would be possible.

DSD: What producers and musicians are you inspired by? 

Cobra: David Guetta always has the most well mixed house songs. His level of perfectionism is unparalleled. Growing up my favorite hip hop producer was always DJ Premier. I love Kanye's willingness to take risks and try new things, Lil Wayne's work ethic and Bruno Mars's writing. So many other artists inspire me I could go on for days. 

DSD: In your opinion, what are the top five up-and-coming DJs and producers in 2011? 

Cobra: As far as house music producers I would say the guys who are having the biggest growth in 2011 would be Afrojack and Avicii. There are a ton of club deejays who have been making the transition into production. DJ White Shadow from Chicago just produced a bunch of songs for Lady Gaga's new album. DJ Ammo from Los Angeles did tracks for Black Eyed Peas last album and Clinton Sparks got signed as a solo artist to Interscope. I love seeing the growth in the DJ community and guys starting to make huge waves throughout the music industry. 

DSD: We love seeing you live in the party scene! In a club setting, it’s all about the performance. How do you interact with the crowd? 

Cobra: I am constantly interacting with the crowd. I don’t play for myself, I play what the audience wants to hear and based on the response I am getting to each song helps me determine the way in which I will play, so I am constantly engaging with the crowd.

DSD: What upcoming shows do you have this summer? 

Cobra: Tons of stuff. Chicago, New York, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa. Las Vegas, San Francisco, St. Louis, Phoenix and of course San Diego and Los Angeles. I am always adding shows which people can find at www.djcobra.com.

DSD: What makes the San Diego party crowd so unique?

Cobra: What is super unique is that San Diego never used to have a vibrant nightlife scene in terms of weekday nightlife. It has been amazing to see the exponential growth of nightlife unlike any other city over the last several years with industry nights popping up and there being multiple great options for high-end nightlife on any given night. 

DSD: What is the craziest experience you’ve had playing / partying in San Diego? 

Cobra: There have been many great DJ memories that come to mind in San Diego. The opening night of Fluxx, New Years Eve at Stingaree, the grand opening of Bar West, Warehouse, Intervention etc. But I would have to say the one that stands out the most just took place this summer. I performed at a ridiculous mansion in the La Jolla Hills for the DrinkCity launch party. The atmosphere and production of the event was just on another level. 

Love DJ Cobra? So do we! Catch DJ Cobra spinning his new Illionaire album live in San Diego this summer at Ivy Nightclub on July 23 and FLUXX on July 29. View the full calendar and get more album details at djcobra.com. Stay up to speed on all things DJ Cobra by following him on Twitter and Facebook.

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