ArtistWorks Blog

Student Spotlight: JB Wizardry, Skratch

Justin, aka JB Wizardy, is from Norwich in the UK. He started scratching records on turntables after being inspired by the critically acclaimed Scratch documentary which came out around 2002.

As he puts it:

“I was already into music and had a drum set, but after I saw that Doug Prey movie I said to myself - I need to do this. So me and my buddy went halfs on DJ equipment, but he eventually did not get into it like me and broke away from it.“ - JB

So JB gets the mixer and belt driven turntable - which is not optimal for scratching records. It took him two years just to get the basic techniques down. Equipment issues aside, he also didn’t know anyone else into it, especially after his one friend abandoned the idea.  

Thankfully, he had already learned the basics from Qbert's old tutorials that came out on DVD. Then in 2011 he saw that Qbert was teaching online at ArtistWorks, so he signed up to see what it was all about. As he soon discovered, it was a great place for DJs like him to connect and learn new ideas. And as it turns out, JB was already scratching at an advanced high level - which was confirmed in his first Video Exchange with Qbert.

JB sent in a short video demonstrating a scratch combination he was calling the “Screamer Skratch”.

In his response video, Qbert explained what JB was doing and broke it down for anyone else who wanted to try it:

That was back in 2011, and JB kept submitting videos - often coming up with new ideas and combinations for Qbert and other students to try. He says it’s helped a lot:

“To be honest I didn't feel advanced at the time and found a lot of DJs intimidating before I joined. At ArtistWorks I found a great base for like-minded people that wanted similar goals and to progress, I admire that. Q has been a big help towards my progress.” - JB

And progress he did. In his video responses Qbert would often give JB new ideas and combinations to work on.

JB would later go on to win several battle badges for his demonstrated excellence in various contests Qbert has hosted among the students.

chirp battle winnerox flare battle winner

The biggest badge of honor came in 2015 when Qbert chose JB as the 2015 Valedictorian of the Skratch school. This was after JB submitted the best one minute video for the annual Valedictorian title. In his comments on the video Qbert wrote: "I love this guy's style!!! SO unique!!! Listen to all the funk and those nutty rhythm changes!!!".

JB was thrilled and grateful upon hearing the good news. Here's what he wrote in the comments on the video:

“Thanks to Q and the students here I’ve been able to progress, so I want to thank you all for the support you guys show me. Remember no one gets there alone!” - JB

Since then his passion for scratching has only increased and has helped him in more ways than one. 

“I understand myself more from doing this. To me, it’s the best way to express and release energy through a positive outlet. It’s hard to say where it will go in the future but I know there is still a lot to be discovered.” - JB

JB’s next goals are continuing to progress into new patterns, and taking his drum scratching to the next level. Good thing he knows exactly what to practice in order to get there. We’re very proud to have been able to help him achieve such wizardry. Only time will tell how far he takes it. 

jb wizardry

JB Wizardry studies skratching online at ArtistWorks. Do you want to reach the next level? Click here for free sample lessons! 

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