DJ Tony Skratchere began as a breakdancing B-boy in the late 1980s, progressed to skating and graffiti in the 1990s, and then settled into his current role as a master of the turntables in the early 2000s.
Throughout it all, Skratchere, also known as Ben Hebert, has revolved his life around his two real passions—music and hip-hop culture.
“I’ve always been an avid music collector, and I’ve always been a big music fan,” Skratchere says. “The philosophy of hip-hop is not just rap. It’s rap, and graffiti, and breakdancing, and DJing. I started collecting records and bought my own set up, and it grew from there.”
Skratchere quickly made a name for himself as one of the premier turntablists in the South, going so far as to bring the DMC Championship to New Orleans in 2009. He soon became friends with DJs like Shortkut and Rob Swift, who were hugely influential on Skratchere when he was first starting out.
Last summer, Skratchere started a popular subgenre of New Orleans bounce music called “Yacht Bounce”—remixing soft rock (“yacht rock”) with bounce beats—which he will work into his Voodoo set.
“I want people to have a multifaceted experience,” he says. “You can listen to my stuff and you can dance, or you can just watch me the entire time and be entertained at what I am doing to the music. In a shorter set I tend to be moving the entire time, so it’s almost like it’s performance art.”
Tony Skratchere performs with DJ Quickie Mart Friday, October 28 at 1 p.m. on the Le Plur Stage.