When I arrived in Los Angeles 10 years ago, I learned about a core group of musicians who played, DJed and performed in Echo Park, downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood. The neo-psych scene was in full effect and bands such as The Warlocks, Darker My Love, a young Imaad Wasif and DJs like DJ Short Shorts and Clifton Weaver played often. I didn’t meet Weaver in person but learned about him through his mixtape column, “Clifton’s Corner,” via the vintage music enthusiast website Aquarium Drunkard. You can catch Weaver, also known as DJ Soft Touch, every Saturday night at Funky Sole, the vintage funk, soul and R&B party that has gone down weekly at the Echo since 2008.
We spoke about his youth, what it took for him to become a working DJ and how Los Angeles has evolved around him since the late 1970s.
Are you originally from Los Angeles?
No, I was born in St. Louis and my dad got a job offer out here in Southern California. I grew up in Long Beach, and I’ve been living in Southern California since ‘79.
How has Los Angeles changed since you were a young person?
It’s changed a lot. I wouldn’t know where to begin because I’ve seen it change so many times. In the last five years I’ve seen massive changes. From a cultural perspective, it’s become more homogenized. I went to high school on the edge of L.A. and Orange County, and I went to college in Irvine. I was always excited to go to L.A. when I was going to UCI because it was very different from Irvine. We always used to joke that Irvine was a “beige wonderland” because there were all these housing associations that made sure everything looked uniform…
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