Real Talk w/ DJ Timo

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Was getting your own show at KTUH the first step that led to Djing in Chinatown? What were the steps that followed?

Music has been my passion since a young age, I always wanted to become a DJ even when I was growing up in Taiwan with the influence of my mom, she was also a radio host at one point. I bought my first pair of turntables back in 2004, and started to play around at home. I popped into Toogruvz one day in 2007 for some records, and Mark Chittom was working there at the time, we talked music and clicked right away. I applied to KTUH in 2008, and I fell in love with the radio and really excited to be able to share music that I love with people. thirtninehotel offered me a job in 2008, and Mark Chittom and Gelareh made me their resident DJ in 2009, and gave me opportunities to learn and grow, and many other venues and promoters in Chinatown started to book me. I also got to play at the Edition Hotel when they first opened and held a residency there for 10 months; the journey with Honolulu has been pretty amazing!

Talk about all the awesome things Djing and being part of Chinatown nightlife has provided for you?

Honolulu is not like other major cities in the world, we have a tight community, I enjoy playing music, making people dance and being part of the Chinatown nightlife, it has given me many opportunities to meet great musicians, fellow DJs and other like-minded individuals.

Is the entertainment at Bevy just live DJs? What other additions can people expect at Bevy in the near future?

We have DJs on the weekends, some great talented DJs on this island, and also special guests from out of town sometimes. We’ll be starting live music this spring on a regular basis, and would love to have some interesting and original stuff for the people.

On a professional level, does the responsibilities as a business owner take some of the time and energy away from music and Djing or have you been able to remained dedicated to both?

It’s definitely been a big challenge to be a business owner, many responsibilities and tasks to take on. The years of work experiences at thirtyninehotel come in handy and I’m still learning something new everyday thru Bevy. I’m trying to balance out my time for both DJing and Bevy, I actually started to have time to get into more music now days,and learning how to play guitar and start producing tracks soon. The good thing is I get to listen to my records nowadays when I’m doing work for Bevy.

Real Talk w/ Superstar Nikki

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First gig flashback, blew it or killed it?
My first ever big event besides the weeklies was at MUSHROOM MUSIC FEST in I believe 2010 at pipeline cafe.  It was amazing.  I actually had a bunch of my family there and it very hard to get my family to a EDM event so I felt like I killed it.

Who encouraged you the most early on?  
DJ TIDE, DJ SCARRD and of course G-SPOT.  TIDE and SCARRD are the one’s that came to my house and helped me set up my first set up, giving me instruction on how to DJ. They were the two people that when I was struggling to understand what I was doing they would help me… and without G-SPOT allowing me to plan parties and get to play I wouldn’t have had the chances the first couple years to DJ as much as I did and meet the people I have met over the years that have given me even bigger opportunities like Livewire and Pure Coalition.

What genres of music do you really which ones just make you want to puke?
Genre of choice right now is still HOUSE with a little trance mixed in there…  Over the last year music has progressed so much that there is a fine line now to what type of genre a track actually is.  Music nowadays can take you through so many emotions within just 5 minutes.  So, House is such a general description of the genre… because it could be progressive house, trancy house, electro house. I love them all and I’ll play them all.   Genres that make me puke would be the over played stuff on the radio.

Talk about some of your best and worst times during the DJ learning process?
Worse times I’d say were trying to find my genre.  Besides trying to match beats and figuring out how to use the knobs on the mixer.  I really struggled with what genre I wanted to play. This was in 2009. I was into groovy house music, but i loved every genre, trance, dubstep, breaks and D n B.  I wanted to play it all in one set.  So that the kids who came to our events could be educated in all genres..  DJ SCARRD was the one that pushed me to just take it one genre at a time.  He said it’s hard to mix it up when your first learning it’s going to take you awhile to get just 1 genre so just learn one at a time then develop your mixing skills more to blend other genres.  I really did struggle with this for the first year..  I played whatever I wanted I’m not even sure it was good but I did it anyways until eventually I stuck to just house music.  I would however watch what kind of house I played depending on where I was.. sometimes I’d play more deep house at for instance a BOAY party early time slot, or at night I’d get into electro house..  Best times I’d have to say is when my friends and other DJS give me encouragement and praises before, during and after my sets.    As thankful as I am for party-goers saying what a great set, when a DJ who has way more experience then you and that I heavily respect comes up to you and says what a great set.. I feel like jumping for joy..  DJs know what’s going on up there,  getting the crowd to love what your playing is what makes or breaks you as a DJ.

What’s the best thing about turning nervous energy into confidence?
Every time I play I get just as nervous as if I was playing for the first time in 2009..  I get straight scared right before I’m about to go on…  It doesn’t matter what time I play,  or if I play for 2 people or 2 hundred people I’m nervous, nervous, nervous…  But once I get going, feeling what the crowd wants, or if I’m in a mood playing out my emotions, the music just takes everything away…   by the end of every set I literally feel like screaming “HELL YEAH!!” Because I am grateful for every single time I have had a chance to play and for all the people and promoters that have supported me throughout the years.

Nikki

Real Talk w/ J. Holiday

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KW: Update people on what you’ve been up to. When will your fans get to hear new music from you?

JH: I had to learn the hard way about the politics of the music business, disagreements with labels, switching managers and I had to take some time to really study & learn about the business. (I) had to separate friends & family from the business. Before, I was focused on just being the artist. Now I’m well aware of everything that goes on and I’m better prepared this go around. I’m a much better businessman now then before.

I’m in the studio working on my 3rd album. I have a new team in place and we are all on one accord at all times. I’m going the independent route this time. Last summer, I put out a mixtape online “M.I.A the Lost Pages” so go check it out and let me know what you think. Hit me on twitter & Instagram @kingjholiday or on my Facebook page.

KW: How would you describe the state of R and B today on the radio and in pop music?

JH: R&B has never gone away. It’s just going through transitions like everything else. Today’s music has gone away from soul that we grew up listening to but those of us that can do soul music, we bring it because that’s what we feel. The feeling comes from within and it’s not mass produced.

KW: Will we hear EDM influenced tracks on your next record?

JH: Although I’m a fan of the EDM movement, that sound or style won’t be featured on the album. I’m more of a traditional soul singer. Now if someone wants to remix a song for the clubs then by all means lets make it happen. I appreciate the DJs that take pride in their craft and push the boundaries to infuse different genres & sounds. That’s a gift, much respect to them. 



KW: Are you friends with Ryan Leslie?

JH: I see Ryan in passing and have much respect for him. I’m trying to get him on my new album, maybe we can make that happen sooner than later.

KW: Along with Ryan Leslie, the Honolulu show will also feature DJ Rhettmatic and DJ Shortkut of the Beat Junkies. What are your thoughts on the mix of r and b, turntablism and hip hop that will be on display?

JH: I think it’s a great show set up. The fans are definitely in for a treat. Ryan Leslie and his band are incredible. I do my thing, I have something special for the ladies.

KW: Final thoughts on your career, upcoming visit to Hawaii or anything else you would like to say/plug?

JH: I appreciate my fans for being patient with me and I can promise you that the new music will be worth the wait.

Real Talk w/ DJ Silky #Part1

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– What would you call your biggest achievement so far in your career?

I could say it’s playing here, there and working with this person and that person, but really… I would actually like to say it’s the wonderful friendships that I have made all the world, and solid friends. Everything else can come and go, but solid friendships last.

– What would mean more to you; hitting #1 on Beatport or playing a huge American festival like EDC? Both are great accomplishments but which one would you savor more?

Hmmm… I guess hitting #1 on Beatport would probably mean more to me, and if I achieved that, I would no doubt be playing EDC anyhow!!

– Would you care to comment on Will.i.am stealing Arty and Matt Zo’s song?

I didn’t know anything about this. I hope this doesn’t sound terrible but I don’t even know who Arty & Matt Zo are!! I don’t usually pay attention to any mainstream stuff!

– What would your reaction be if an american artist of Will.i.am’s caliber stole a song of yours without gaining proper clearance?

At first I would be a little pissed, then I would think hold on, i’ve got people like this taking notice of what i’m doing, thirdly I would then think great, lets sue his ass.

– Creatively, what is your ideal environment to work in?

Well, I like to be by the beach, so I am actually bringing out my little keyboard and going to sit out by the beach in Hawaii and see how that works for me!

Real Talk w/ Aloha Got Soul

Aloha Got Soul at Hungry Ear Kailua-2


Are a believer that the type of music people grow up on tends to be what style you listen to as an adult?

Not at all. Growing up I listened to punk, emo and indie, which turned into jazz, then hip hop. From there everything opened up. I believe it depends on who you are as a person and what kinds of experiences you’re willing to have in life. Age is only one of many factors that influence what style of music you’re into.

Talk about how the mixtape came about and the responses?

Fitted reached out to me about two years back to do a mixtape and tee collab. It was the first full mix I ever made for Aloha Got Soul. I’ve been bumping it since 2011. Now that the mix is out, Hawaiian rare groove has reached a global audience, the mix is turning heads. Locally, I’d like to see a local resurgence in this type of sound, or at least a heavy interest in it. When Wax Poetics picked it up, for me that sealed the deal. Getting press from WaxPo was a dream of mine since day one. (link: http://www.waxpoetics.com/blog/dj-mix/hawaiian-salt)

What is the story behind “Aloha Got Soul”?

While living in Portland in 2010, I heard DJ Muro’s Hawaiian Breaks mix and instantly recognized “A Million Stars” by Mackey Feary Band. I played that track nonstop in 2004 but hadn’t realized it was local—but now that I knew, I needed to find more. The internet was my biggest source of information at that time, but almost everything I found online was in Japanese. For the sake of preserving this unique part of Hawaii’s musical past, I launched Aloha Got Soul in 2010 to document and share my findings. Moving back home to Oahu in 2011 has given me the chance to dig deeper and meet the artists who made this music—and take Aloha Got Soul to new levels.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eFh-zn2TCk%5D


Talk about the inspirations you gain from 1. playing music 2. listening to music 3. DJing.

Playing music is about seeing where the moment takes you and having a good time with friends. I take a lot of inspiration from life experiences in conjunction with what I’m listening to. Honestly, if the sun is out and the tradewinds breeze by as I listening with my headphones, I’m happy. Overall, listening to music helps me connect with the essence of life, that feeling of existing and enjoying what this world can offer. As for DJing, I’m inspired when people feel good hearing what I’m spinning.

There are music lovers who barely ever scratch the surface of their favorite genre let along explore unfamiliar territory. You seem to be a student of the game who enjoys the exploring aspects. How did you develop such a passion?

There are three types of music lovers: those who simply enjoy what they hear, those who enjoy collecting what they hear, and those who enjoy sharing what they hear. I’m a journalism graduate, so it’s in my nature to dig deeper to find and tell stories. But discovering such an obscure genre like Hawaiian black music helped push my passion further—no one else was really documenting this stuff, so I knew I had to give these artists their due, even if it’s 35 years late.

Talk about the best experiences as a DJ?

Best experiences as a DJ? Whenever people groove to the music.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI8kmuYazSU%5D