By Brittney Nadler
Carlos Hernandez is a University of Illinois grad whose college experience helped him turn his passion for DJing into a reality. He goes by Epilep[c] when he’s performing and helped start the group Certified Dope, which performed at Canopy Club on Thursday. Hernandez helped the crew set up and worked hard to promote the event, despite the fact he isn’t even in Urbana right now. The Spread got a chance to talk with the young DJ about getting started, planning Thursday’s event and looking forward to what lies ahead as a recent graduate.
The Spread: How did you get started in the industry?
CH: I started when I got to U of I – freshman year in 2008. I had really been into DJing before then but hadn’t really played or anything, I had just seen some things on DVDs or on YouTube or just on TV, and just got really interested. It wasn’t until I linked up with my friends and we kind of started a hip hop club, or joined the hip hop club that was already existing, and me and a friend just started doing a tag team DJ duo. We were called The Ruckus and we played for a few years on campus, and since then I’ve been DJing. Lately it’s been on and off since graduation, but I’m still involved with music. I do a little bit of social media, blogging, promotions, and event coordination.
TS: How many shows have you been in?
CH: I’ve lost count now, I literally started my freshman year. Now if I had to give you a number, I’d probably say around maybe 15.
TS: How did you help set up last night’s Luminox Blacklight Party at Canopy Club?
CH: I kind of started Certified Dope with a few DJs around here, DJ Belly and DJ Mellow, and since I’m kind of far away, I’m just helping with the booking of artists and the social media and the graphic design, so on this one it was more on Mellow, he played last night. He actually contacted Luminox’s people and I designed the poster and just helped promote whatever way I could. I’m not in Urbana currently, I’m back up in Chicago.
TS: What are you doing now and what are your plans for the future?
CH: Right now I’ve got a job with my local health department doing Obamacare stuff actually, so like helping people get insurance, so it’s been kind of crazy with the whole thing. I mean, I’m sure you’ve seen it on the news. I’m just getting my bearings, and as a grad, just trying to get my life together – come up … in the industry.
Check out Certified Dope on their Facebook page for updates on upcoming events – “bringing you the hottest hood anthems.”
A message to all reading: “Keep looking out for Certified Dope because it’s definitely going to keep doing its thing in the future in Urbana and even across the Midwest, hopefully.” — Epilep[c]