The New Orleans' DJ remembers when scratching became music.

tony skratchere photo

Today, Lauren Keenan continues her series of video features on New Orleans' DJs, this time with Tony Skratchere. Here are her notes from the shoot.

Ben Hebert, better known as the DJ Tony Skratchere, has been scratching records for as long as he can remember. He’s always been fascinated by the distinctive sound, but his road to becoming a DJ didn’t start with just records. Our conversation touched on his introduction to the world of hip-hop through breakdancing and graffiti, the influence that movies such as Beat Street (1984) and Breakin’ (1984) had on him, and how they led him to discover his true calling as a DJ.

Skratchere made his name as a battle DJ with turntable skills--skills that young DJs aren't acquiring as they once did because only a small remaining percentage of DJs actually scratch. It's not that they don't want to, but virtual DJ software has made them unnecessary. Skratchere has always taken advantage of the technology that’s at his fingertips, incorporating it and using it to improve his art, but he still appreciates the physicality of turntables and scratching on them over using a laptop.

In today's video, he talks about scratching, hip-hop, and the music that drew him into the DJ world. 

Also in the series: Brice Nice