The smooth Jam 88.3 DJ talks about his radio career – and the doors that it has opened
He goes by the name Lambert who favors the hip hop, melodic progressive and electro-funk house, minimal, indie and avant-garde rock. For Lambert, it’s all about the music and his intuitive approach to his work as both a DJ and host that has earned him solid reputation in all corners of the metro. “The best thing about being a DJ is making people happy. There is nothing like putting a smile on someone’s face, and to play music that people enjoy,” beamed Lambert.
Luke Jickain caught up with DJ Lambert to find out what is like being a ladies man kind of radio personality, how to connect to people, on keeping it real, going back to his roots, learning his other passion and what the future holds.
Welcome to MNL Online. So Lambert, how long have you been a DJ?
I want to tell you the truth but I just want to keep it to three years.
Okay, three years…
Thank you. [Both laugh.]
But how did it all start?
It was actually by accident because I never wanted to be a DJ. It wasn’t my plan but my cousin was a good friend with, well… she was good friend with other DJs and you know she’d always say, “Hey, why don’t you try out? Like, okay, let me try it out.” From then on, it just worked out…
That’s actually good for you.
Yeah, yeah! [Smiles.]
Who were your influences? Who did you listen to growing up?
I was influenced by several radio stations. I used to work at a pop station so all the music that I got were all hip hop and pop. But after I transferred to the indie/alternative station, that was where I discovered more about the different genres of music and that was when I began to appreciate all the other genres. So yeah, it’s really about where I was stationed.
What is so fascinating about radio?
It’s really the awesomeness of having things live and connecting to people. You fuck up, and then you fuck up. You put up a great show then you have one. You are only as good as your last board work. That’s why you gotta have a show prep. Plus, the challenge of putting up a great show and entertaining people without knowing who’s tuned (or tuning) in.
What makes you say, “Damn, that’s a good track!”
When my soul gets an erection! Try to take a listen to Johnny Stimson‘s “So. Good”.
Share us your Top 5 most played songs on your playlist.
“By Your Side” by Great Good Fine Ok, “I’m Callin’” by Tennis, “Make You Mine” by Breakbot, “Oh Wonder” by Shark and “Tessellate” (Alt-J cover) by Ellie Goulding.
Being a DJ, I’m sure you have interviewed a lot of well-known artists. But who is your dream guest to appear on your show?
I would want to have Conan O’ Brien on the show. I think that would be a really fun show.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside work?
No bullsh*t, but I still listen to music. It has become a passion somehow. I find myself when I sit down and start to search for music, I’ll end up five to six hours just looking for (new) music and you know when people don’t even know the music yet, that’s somehow what I’m trying to do like spread it out. Hey! Listen to this!
What kind of music do you listen to when you are not working?
I listen to a lot and if I get tired listening to this certain genre, I usually go back to my roots. Hip hop! That’s what I listen to. So yeah, Jay Z.
Ah, old school hip hop?
Yeah, the old stuff.
Which character on current TV that most resembles your personality?
Okay, that’s the thing. I don’t watch TV, man.
You don’t watch TV because you are on the radio?
No. Just a personal choice.
Say you have all the money in the world. What job do you consider doing?
Oh, that’s a good question! I want to have a resort nearby the beach and then there is a record store nearby. I think that would be nice. If money doesn’t matter, definitely it’s music all day long and then you will just be there by the beach and you are having the rooms rented and then you can throw parties. That’s the LIFE!
Still a DJ, I suppose.
Of course, I love my job! That’s why I’ve been here for “three years”. [Laughs.]
What are the perks of being a DJ?
I don’t know if you call them perks but we have free stuff like band merchandise, which I appreciate a lot. We get concert tickets sometimes. We get to meet the people we interview so that’s always a big thing. Also, when there is an international artist that we wanted to promote, we get to speak to them directly. It’s really fun talking to them and finding out how they do stuff. It’s huge!
Can you say that one of the perks of being a DJ is you became a smooth talker – you get your way around like in arguments or in sticky situations – probably even get yourself a discount at your favorite stores. Yes?
Honestly, I don’t play that card and since I’m on the radio, they don’t know me. But yeah, I try to use my charm to get discount anyway but I don’t say I work on the radio. I’d be like, ‘Hey!’ So it’s just like the natural charm or whatever. [Laughs.]
How about on the girls? Are you the ladies man kind of radio personality because I see you with a different girl every time.
Oh, you are calling me out. [Laughs.]
I did my research before the interview.
Oh, is that why we were hanging out the other night?
Yeah, friendly. I’m a friendly guy. Just like you. [Laughs.]
For our young readers out there, what are the ways to smooth talk?
Fake it till you make it. Don’t talk about yourself. Just ask questions. Be interested. Put your phone down. Show that you are interested.
But how can you be interesting as a person…
It’s more of like, if you stick on that friendly line and instead of crossing to that flirtatious line, I think you are safe because you know somehow, ‘Hey I don’t try to hit on this girl. It’s more of like, hey what’s up?’ Be friendly. I appreciate knowing people not just for their looks but more of what they do, how they do stuff, you know, how life is. That’s how I learn. Maybe. [Laughs.]
If you weren’t talking to us now, what would you be doing?
Flirting. I mean, searching for music online.
What’s your best night out?
The ones that I don’t remember.
What’s the best cure for a hangover?
I heard it’s banana milkshake but I’ve never tried it after a hangover. I’d go for cold water and a workout.
Say a party’s flagging. What are your go-to / recommended records?
If it’s a party in my pants then you can’t go wrong with some classics – Al Green, Barry White, Bill Withers, James Brown, or Isaac Hayes. Maybe a Shlohmo, Flume, XXYXX, and Slow Magic combo. But seriously, I’d base it on the crowd. Get a little read of what they are into. For starters, maybe Disclosure’s “Settle” (because everyone knows about it), or the self-titled Jungle album.
Do you have a favorite joke that you can tell (or always tell) on the radio?
I don’t have a favorite because I don’t like repeating jokes. It sounds scripted and I have the fear of getting the mandatory laughter. I like keeping it real and get the genuine reactions on air. But sexual innuendos, pranks, sarcasm and a lot of bullsh*ts works for me.
What’s one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
Ladies, I am not a player. [Laughs.] I’m continuously learning how to cook. I really enjoy doing it – experimenting on recipes and trying my own combination of ingredients. I play flag football too.
Is there anything you would like to promote to our readers?
You can catch my show on Jam 88.3 from Monday to Thursday. My partner is Jobim. It’s called The Joint, which airs from 6PM-9PM and then during Friday, I do ‘90s alternative show from 3PM-6PM.
Finally, what does the future hold for you?
At “27,” I still believe that there are so many things to explore, learn, play, and create but so little time. But in the near future, I’m looking into creating an impact that would shift the music cycle, or produce music and film.
Photography by DARREL POBRE
Style by JEAR DE MCCUTTAC and GRACIE MILLAN
Styling Associates VINCE ABARRA and TIM DIAGONE
Make up by RUTH TUBON SPENCE
Hair by JOHN PAUL STEVEN