Interview w/Julian Cortez aka Phat Rabbit of Square Pegs [Charlotte NC)

Aloha friends...as many of you know I just wrapped up a really fun show in Charlotte, NC.  As a follow up to that I thought I'd pick up where we left off on last years tour related interviews and catch up with some of the awesome people that bring me around the planet.  Check out the interview of Julian Cortez aka Phat Rabbit of Square Pegs in Charlotte, NC. Interview and words by the one and only Kelly Ross / Agent 137.

These Are The Breaks

Tell me about the beginnings of Square Pegs and how you became a production company:

Square Pegs have been together for the last 2-3 years. I started it with Dat Boy Fletch and we have two other DJs affiliated (Mac & Mad Monk). I made a decision 5 years ago after living in Fayetteville to move to Charlotte. I thought I would be going to breaks shows every weekend and that turned out not to be the case. To make up for that I partnered up with Fletch and started a monthly called "Bump" at Crown Station.

Square Pegs is a different focus on breakbeat a "be there or be square" branding. I have been djing for 25 years now and breaks are my love. We wanted to bring the focus back to breaks because it seemed like every time I went out it it was all house. Even at the house events when someone would drop breaks its so damn funky ALL the girls would start to shake their assses.  There are a lot of big name guys out there playing breaks too. When they pepper it in, it just explodes.

What is the Wes Smith connection?

I have heard about Wes now for a few years now. His progression in the last 2 years has been EXPLODING. Square Pegs had been doing some really greats shows and we decided to move the bookings up a notch. Wes had always been in the conversation because of his diversity. He makes it funky on some stuff, his Punks stuff is super bassy and he knows how to read a crowd. He may take it left or take it right - to me that's a smart DJ/person.

These Are The Breaks 2

What's next for Square Pegs?

June 10th we are bringing in DJ Icey - fortunately, we have been able to reach out to the younger crowd. Icey is notorious for doing that as well - he is still touring to Chicago, Texas, Florida and really all over to big crowds because of his ability to keep current.

Any final thoughts?

I don't like the arrogance of some DJ's/producers, in fact, we have passed on booking a bunch of people because of their arrogance. We booked Wes for a reason and we really appreciate him coming to Charlotte for the Square Pegs show.

Related Links: [Event Info : These Are the Breaks]] [Square Pegs : Facebook] [It's Wes Smith Yo!]

Artist Spotlight: Omega Squad

Who is Omega Squad and how did you became the "Squad" -  Skandar Rassas and myself (Brian Millar) make up Omega Squad, we met 11 years ago at a house party and became best friends instantly.

Skandar: Brian was into UK hard house back in 2008 when the digital format was coming up. Since he had built a reputation and played guitar in hardcore bands it was hard for him to abandon his brand and the reputation he'd build in the hard house scene where he was already producing hit tracks with Jon Bishop. We started playing parties together, each of us playing our own styles, and after many years of playing & producing events we finally decided to come together as a duo. Now we have spent 3 years as Omega Squad and each of us brings something different to the table. We manage to go all around the world of breakbeat and it works really well.

Omega Squad

How do you choose your DJ sets?

What works for us is variety and a flow that makes sense to the dance floor. In every genre you have the heads but then there are people who are just out to have a good time and not think too much about it. We play for people who don’t necessarily know exactly what they are listening to, but know they really like it. We range from booty to techy to electro to trancey anthems, which has even worked well in Mexico at an all techno party. Omega Squad logo

Tell me a little about Wiggle - your bimonthly residency:

We are trying to concentrate on a local event and to bring in quality talent. The focus is exclusively breakbeat which is unique to San Diego. Wes Smith (of Juice Recordings) and myself have lunch every week and discuss the logistics. We have each had a series of events and successes so we all bring experience to the table. We usually have 4 acts per night starting with someone local that deserves the chance and then add guests from out-of-town with Omega Squad and Wes Smith as the residents.  We market to all the different scenes and when it is show time, both the crowd and ourselves get loose and have a good time.


Tell me about the production side of Omega Squad:

Brian is the writer and Skandar sits in on sessions and gives input, then we perform together as a team. We have had 5 releases on both Diablo Loco & Juice Recordings, all of them making it into the Beatport Breaks top 100, and our first original track “Shake" went all the way to #16.

What about breaks production from the production side?

As the entire EDM scene has come up Breaks has gained a much wider audience along with it. The scene is not going anywhere anytime soon, people will always want to go out and have a good a time.

Tell me about your newest release:

“Get It On Up” on Juice Recordings - it’s the one Keith Mackenzie and Wes Smith both played when we were in Miami for Winter Music Conference. We also have releases coming out in July and August.

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Details below:

Get It On Up, the third single from San Diego’s Omega Squad is available now at Beatport!

“The third effort from Omega Squad on the Juice imprint is a fast forward trip into the San Diego based duo’s sonic versatility. “Get It On Up” leads off the breakbeat assault with a booty shaking 808 and set of twisted trap influenced synths. Wes Smith keeps the vibe smooth like butter hitting pancakes after a trip through the Mexican desert with his Short Stack Rebump. Cover art elements delivered with care by Sumo Fish.”

Thank you, Omega Squad - it was a pleasure. Good luck on your latest releases, I look forward to hearing and playing them on a dance floor nearest me soon.  All the <3!