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Why are we fascinated with UK-Based DJ, Emma Holmes aka Short-E? Exhibit A:

On top of that, her “School of Scratch” is making mad noise. Pun intended.

Ever dreamed of mastering Turntableism but don’t know where to start? Technology enables the how-to’s into your own homes. Emma breaks it down like no other.

How would you describe yourself in less than 140 characters?

Funk loving Scratch DJ, tutor, teacher, mentor, coach, surfer, skateboarder, free spirit, flowing, loving, deliberate, creative, traveller.

What inspired you to DJ and to become a Turntablist? What is your background story?

My friends at college introduced me to mixing initially.

My brother who was living at home had also bought turntables and independently we were both exploring what was possible on the decks.

I took a trip home. I remember as clear as day, being in our kitchen where he had set up his turntables and mixer, watching him casually scratch some seriously funky rhythms using the “Forwards”, “Chirp” and “Transform” scratches over a beat.

My mind was completely and utterly expanded beyond belief! I felt an inner part of me instantly come alive and I knew I HAD to do that. I fell in love with hip hop and scratching and decided there and then that I HAD to learn how. It felt like a direct call to my soul. It wasn’t a case of simply wanting to, I knew I HAD to. Almost like I had no choice. It sucked me in and pulled me forward. I wanted to, more than anything else you can imagine. I was determined. 

I had a go at doing the basic scratch techniques, copying what he was doing. I sucked and I didn’t care. I had decided that this was what I was going to become great at. Cheers bro!

I was inspired by DJ Qbert, D-styles, Babu, Flare, Prime Cuts and everyone that was scratching back in 2000.

What is your go-to gears when performing and at home? What’s in your bag while on tour?

My setup at home is:

  • Technics 1200 MK2
  • Rane TTM 57sl 
  • Shure M447 Cartridges + Stylus
  • Tablecloth & Butter Rug Slipmats
  • Sennheiser 25-1 Headphones 
  • Apple earpods
  • Macbook Air
  • Serato Scratch Live

When I travel these days I take:

  • Numark PT01 Scratch Portable turntable with a Jessie Dean JDDX2R fader and a couple of 7”s.
  • Minirig speaker.
  • Bose QuietComfort 25 noise cancelling headphones for flights.

I keep it simple!

What propelled you to start “School of Scratch”? 

DJ Angelo got me to make a tutorial for one of his fans in hamster style (my natural fader style) and it started to really get some views. I never intended to teach scratching and it turned out that people liked the tutorials more than my scratching, so it was a bit of a pivot moment. I discovered I could break things down in a way that people could really grasp and learn, I feel in part because I really struggled to learn scratch techniques and needed it broken down very simply, so I know what that feels like and keep it in mind when I teach.

I thought it would be fun to set up an online school to help people learn how to scratch, simply and effectively, demystifying the art and to  simultaneously create a business around something I love and am passionate about.

You also offer life coaching, would you have been a therapist in another lifetime? And if you had a self-help book, what would be the title?

No, I would still be a coach. What I love about coaching is it focuses on creating the future, whereas therapy tends to work with what has happened in the past. Both have their place. I personally like drawing a line in the sand which effectively says “given everything that has happened, what do I want to create”. Every moment can be a fresh start. it is very freeing. I love seeing what my clients make happen for themselves when they focus on creating their future. As for a book title –  “Be Deliberate”.

What is the best advice given to you during your career and by whom?

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagine.” – Henry David Thoreau

What do you have in store in the near future? 

I’m supporting my School of Scratch Students in our online community at https://schoolofscratch.com

Creating new scratch tutorials for my students.

Launching a couple of new courses at courses.schoolofscratch.com

Working with private coaching clients who want to create awesome in their lives via emmaholmescoaching.com

I’ll be in LA in August 2017 assisting the 5th annual Into The Fire Women’s Surf Retreat.

Then in Hawaii in November 2017 assisting the first ever Men’s Into The Fire Surf Retreat.

Both of the retreats are run by the wonder duo Gary Mahler (garymahler.com) and Karen Pery (karenpery.com)

Scratch inspiration flows out of the surf and being in nature.

I’ll be bumping into students and DJs on my travels I am sure.

Check out her amazing set:

Here’s a sample of her lessons:

You can follow Emma on Twitter. Or join her on School of Scratch.

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