The Music Development Agency: Is Clem Lee your birth name or your stage name?
Clem Lee: My name is Clem Lee, I actually went by Clem Deez, but I changed my name because I was doing a lot of business as a label head. People knew me as a music person and it kind of naturally transitioned to going by my birth name.
The Music DA: What Does OKNF stands for?
C: It’s pretty funny OKNF stands for, Only Killers No Fillers, and I found this in a mix. I was listening to a guest mix and I was about 2/3rds through and someone had commented Only Killers No Fillers, talking about the track selection. It’s something that really stuck with me, that resonated forever and I was like if I’m going to do something I’m going to do it right and I wanna make sure everything we put out is consistently quality [material]. Originally the label wasn’t called OKNF it was called After Hours Records, but just because no one could find us and there was a lot of other labels called After Hours, I wanted something completely unique that would just if you google it, it would be the first thing that came up, so we eventually switched over to OKNF Collective.
The Music DA: That’s awesome, that’s something I really paid attention to. I did not hear any fillers, banger after banger after banger. How did you get your start as far as DJing, when did you decide you wanted to be a DJ?
C: I started DJing in college. I started really getting into the music scene then because I was getting better equipment and I just really had heard the music for the first time. I started DJing frat parties charging them some money and after I graduated I decided I wanted to really pursue this as more than a hobby. Through time, dedication and working with awesome artists we have really been able to progress.
The Music DA: What were you using then? What was your first equipment?
C: Like most people I think it’s going to be the Numark Mix Track Pro. $250 with a built in audio interface, it’s perfect for pretty much any beginner.
The Music DA: For the start of 2018 you’re off to a strong start, we see you’re busy. What’s some goals for yourself as a DJ and your label?
C: So in 2017, I was able to do a small US tour hitting 5 cities originally. I guess my goal for this year as an artist is to get more festival booked and international bookings and for the label to become more of a household name and be influencers in the scene.
The Music DA: What is your favorite club in New York City, if you could say I would allow myself to play here three nights out of the week?
C: It used to be simple, it used to be Output hands down, but New York’s underground scene is thriving. There’s places that have parties once every six months the venues you don’t really know about. It’s hard to say because it’s constantly changing and there’s places that might not be legit venues, but they’re throwing great parties with awesome artists so it’s hard to say but I’d say it’s the underground scene as a whole.
The Music DA: Something I noticed on your page is you’re a fan of [the book] Outliers. How many hours would you say you’re in and how much further do you think you have to go before you’re 10,000 hours in?
C: Obviously, I’d like to say I’ve put in my 10,000 hours but maybe a third of the way there…I’m not stopping.
Head to TheMusicDA.tv to catch Clem Lee’s DJ Series performance.