A-Trak | Otherworld | 02.22.20At a time when the DJ sits firmly at the center of popular culture, A-Trak stands out as MVP. Very few share his mastery of turntablism while also sitting at the forefront of musical innovation, looking keenly to the future with history tucked in his back pocket. A true connector, the DJ (born Alain Macklovitch) hops effortlessly from colossal festival stages to sold-out concert venues and sweaty underground clubs, building links between hip hop and electronic music while watching genre barriers crumble.After spending years as Kanye West’s tour DJ and consigliere, he founded the celebrated record label Fool’s Gold in 2007 and developed the careers of artists such as Kid Cudi, Danny Brown and Flosstradamus. With its string of releases and events, Fool's Gold broke down bygone rules of the record industry, paving the way for a new wave of independents and helping North American fall in love with festival culture. As a Grammy-nominated producer, A-Trak’s seminal mix of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll” marked an entire generation’s introduction to dance music. Duck Sauce, his irreverent supergroup with Armand Van Helden, flipped the bird to chart-topping formulas and reached #1 in 12 countries with the ubiquitous "Barbra Streisand", electronic music's first true viral music video. He is just as comfortable churning out soulful house jams with Jamie Lidell (“We All Fall Down”) or Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt (“Push”) as he is crafting rap bangers with Quavo & Lil Yachty (“Believe”) or Cam’ron (“Dipsh*ts/Federal Reserve”). The common thread is an inherent funkiness, as well as a consistent sense of tasteful branding and design. That might explain the 3 VMA nominations that he picked up along the way.Not bad for a kid from Montreal, Canada who was once known as a 90’s turntable prodigy.