Track Master Scott has been spinning house music at clubs, parties, and events since 1985. As the face of Park Avenue Promotions, an on-the-ground fliers distributor, Track Master toes the line between artist and promoter. For his own events, he often serves as both. His goal has always been the same: to get as many people as possible on the dance floor. Since December 2013, Track Master has hosted “The Track Master Scott Show” on WHPK, where he spins house mixes live on air. His trademark sound is a lion’s roar. The show airs on WHPK 88.5 FM every Friday, from 4am to 6am.
How did you start off as a DJ?
In my household, house music was not “house” music. It was just parents’ music, and that was something I was trying to get away from. My mother played Aretha Franklin, James Brown…she played it, and when she had her girlfriends come over, I played the music. It was like, “Hey, come here, play the music!”
The thing is, we had a tip jar, or something we could put money in. By me playing music, every time I heard a drop in the glass, I thought, “That’s more money.” So I just kept playing more music until everybody was like, “We give up. He played all our records.” The music I played was jazz and blues—one of my mom’s girlfriends liked blues, and one of her other friends liked jazz. And if they danced, it was cool. She was dancing, and her friends were dancing, and it was basically like she was teaching me how to get the women on the dance floor—for some money! So, that’s what I’ve been doing.
About how many hours per day do you spend DJing?
Not much. That’s the weird part, isn’t it? Once I leave WHPK, it’s like, “Well, what do you do now? Well, I’m back in the reality-world, so I gotta get ready to go to work.”
Tell me about Park Avenue Promotions.
Sure. So Park Avenue Promotions was founded in 1983 by three cats. I can only name two because I forgot the first one, but Steve Door and Keef Edwards were the original promoters. Steve Door was the vice-president and Keef Edwards was the president, and I was one of the guys that was coming in and passing out fliers and hanging up posters.
How that came about was I had just come out of Chicago Vocational, and I had nametags—my major was Plastics—so I used to make nametags and buttons. As you can see [points to button], Cavaliers for life, you know. We used to make those back in the day. I had a long trench coat, and I had nametags on it with a lot of sayings on them, and when [Steve Door] saw that, he was like, “Wow.” He gave me a flier and said, “You’re like a walking promotion! How’d you like to be a part of Park Avenue Promotions?” I was excited. And then I thought about it and was like, “Well what do y’all do?” He said, “We are the number one promoter company from the South to the West Side.”
We would hang from the South to the West Side, then come back south, and hand out posters at whatever high school was open. It was Thanksgiving night just a year out of high school, and I was on my way to a Lil Louis party when I bumped into Steve Door. And after that, the party started going—I was just a promoter then. As time went by, they had a battle of the DJs come up, and I promoted that. My group didn’t know I spun, so I, uh, tricked them [laughs]. I took them over to my grandma’s house and they saw I had turntables and all that, and they wanted to enter me in the battle of the DJs. So I took first place as a graduate of CVS, but I had to disqualify myself because it was only for the high school students.
The next thing you know, that’s how we started throwing parties. From there, I just took on that job, and some years later, I became a DJ through Park Avenue. And then I started my own group. They [Steve Door and Keef Edwards] retired, and I just kept the name going.
So it’s your group?
So now it’s my group. Shouts out to Steve Door and Keef Edwards, though. Those cats were on the ball.
Do you promote yourself?
Yes I do, most definitely. I am overrated when it comes to promoting myself [laughs]. Listen, I promote me before I promote anybody else, that’s mandatory. If I’m spinning with these cats, I’m still gonna promote me. I do Facebook, Myspace, then I like to interact with the people as well. You know, I’m a public person as well. I like to hand them a flier.
What made you pick Track Master Scott as your name?
Oh, wow. Now that’s the question you want to ask me. Another person I gotta give shouts out to: my teacher, Terrence “Treacherous” Witter. He was a freshman at the time I was in my senior year. He taught me how to pitch bend, or find the beat, and keep it purposely on beat. Now the record that he made me use, and I don’t play this record no more, goes back to Jesse Saunders. He made this record called “Funk You Up.” He made me practice this record every time I went by his house. So what we would do, every day we listened to this record “Funk You Up.”
I started doing remixes, so I took “Funk You Up” and started playing it with other records. And Treacherous looked at me, and he was like, “Track. Your name is gonna be Track.” And I was like, “Nah, my name is gonna be Track Master Scott.” Because Track Master Scott is almost close to my government name, Tremel Mauricia Scott. And so Track Master Scott sorta fits my initials, TMS. So that’s how I became Track Master Scott.