Ngāti Porou's DJ Spell makes top 3 of year's biggest online beat battle

By Micah Thompson

Photo / File

Ngāti Porou DJ, Haden Gilgen, better known as DJ Spell, has placed in the top three in one of the year’s biggest online beat battles with more than 37,000 live views.

A beat battle is a competition in which aspiring music producers share their musical beats. These battles have been an ongoing project of US record producer Kenneth Blume III, aka Kenny Beats, over the past 30 weeks on Twitch, an online social streaming platform. The competition attracts DJs and music enthusiasts from all over the world.

A Twitch streamer himself, DJ Spell was instantly recognised during the battles by his signature West-Coast G Funk style which draws inspiration from the likes of Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre.


A post shared by Krystel Diola (@justdiola)

He was even banned for winning too many battles because it was felt unfair for smaller talents of the community. But fans threw their support behind him with a #FREESPELL campaign to let him enter more battles.

Credit:   How I got banned from the Kenny Beats battle - SpellTV / YouTube

Two weeks ago, the winners from all 30 weekly battles were invited to participate in one final beat battle, 'GlitchCon'.

This morning, Kenny Beats hosted this battle alongside guest judge, Grammy award-winning mix engineer Derek Ali, aka MixedbByAli.

DJ Spell placed in the top 3, receiving 43% of the votes and making him first overall as far as audience votes were concerned. (Watch his performance here). However, Kenny Beats and MixedbByAli's votes decided the competition seeing him ultimately finish behind battle winner Matt Zara.

Despite not winning the competition, Spell, the DMC World DJ Champion remained optimistic and pleased with his performance.

"That was a win," said Spell in an online chat session with fans post-battle. "I know we didn't win the money, but that's all goods, we won.

"I've been in battles before and the worst thing after a battle is if you messed up and you didn't perform to your highest level. That is the worst feeling in the world.

"I was a little bit tired, but I did my thing, I put all my little tricks into that beat and I'm happy with the beat.

"I'm the people's champ and I'm happy with that."