Real Talk w/ DJ Dawn #Part 1


– There are DJs who take a short break from the scene then have the hardest time getting gigs again. For yourself, how important is being and staying relevant in the scene?

I guess it depends what your goals are. For me, I like spinning occasionally and enjoy taking breaks so it doesn’t “feel like work”. When it starts to feel like work, I stop. It makes no sense for me to do something that I don’t enjoy doing. I never really had a problem getting gigs even when I took a long break from the scene. I’d actually turn down a lot of gigs because either I didn’t want to spin, or I was too busy to play the gig. I can never stay away from the scene for too long. It’s like having an itch that can only be soothed by playing music.

I think paying your dues doesn’t exist as much as it once did. What’s your take on paying your dues? Do you think DJs today have it easier so to.

Even though I spin with a Traktor S2 controller now, I still consider myself “old school.” There are programs that can “sync” songs for you so that it basically mixes on it’s own. I think that’s actually a great feature to have IF you already know how to DJ. Back when I started spinning, we didn’t have Serato, Traktor Pro, or any other music programs. We just used 2 turntables and a mixer. It was strictly vinyl and had to lug around 50 pound record bags and spent hours searching for that right 12” record online. We would sometimes have to wait weeks for it to come in. One single would cost anywhere from $6 for a domestic to $13 for an import plus shipping. I used to order records internationally which shipping would cost an arm and a leg. It’s so easy to just hear a song and “Shazam” it and download it that same day. I remember using round stickers to hide the titles on my record to prevent other dj’s from stealing my songs.

How would you compare the dance music scene today to when you first started. What makes it better today? What makes it worse?

When I first started, the generation I came up with was young, carefree and had no worries. Like in every party scene, as we got older, we attained more responsibilities and partying was no longer a priority. The younger generation probably feels like they’re having the time of their life and I know because I’ve been in their position before. The dance music community used to be smaller and underground compared to today where the music has turned mainstream and now the community is massive. For promoters, this is a great investment for them. There’s more money involved in the parties they throw and I feel like they’re more extravagant and flashy in comparison to the parties I used to go to.

– Talk about the new Friday night party “The Cut”.

“The Cut” is a private party held every Friday from 10pm-4am at 746 Ilaniwai St. This member’s only party is the result of myself and a group of friends coming together, with a common goal in mind. Have fun while listening to great music and hanging out with good people! We all felt like the clubs and bars on Oahu that our friends currently frequent don’t have an identity to them, and lack that special ambience & feel when the lights go down and the music turns up. We felt like we could put together an event that would really shake things up on Oahu and provide an attractive alternative for people with a love for House & EDM music.

This party features some of Hawaii’s best DJ’s including myself, spinning live every week. Because this is a member’s only event, attendee’s need to either be with a member or obtain a membership themselves in order to gain entrance to the party. We look at this event as a music sanctuary and safe haven, a place where our friends and people in our social circles can just be themselves, dancing, mingling, and sharing the one commonality that brought everyone together in the first place… a love for House & EDM music! For more information on obtaining membership to this exclusive members only party, please email
Instagram: DJDawn

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