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/ DJ 720

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How and when did you decide to implement music videos into your set?
NYE 2011 was the first time I did a live video set. 8 to 10 months Prior to that, I was researching and asking questions and building my library. I took my time and looked to see if video mixing was feasible. I didn’t jump into it when it first came out. I watched my homie DJ Blake do it for years. I then decided to get into the video realm and invested in a MacBook Pro. The rest is history.

How much time does music and Djing in an average week?
 Too much time (lol)!! whew, maybe 4-5 hours between work and gigs. DJing has been slowing down since I’ve been trying to do video at more venues.

Does the popularity of EDM make it even easier to read a crowd?
I would say yes and no. Yes it does make it easier since EDM has influenced popular music and a majority of the big songs out now are sampled or produced by big name EDM artists/producers. I also say No because of the popularity of this genre does create a backlash and depending on the crowd and event or venue, you’re not going to drop every big room anthem to get a crowd hype. EDM always drops new tracks on the daily, so when I want break something new and  underground to a top 40 crowd, it can go sour real fast if I don’t play it at the right time. On the flip side, if I’m playing to a festival crowd, dropping that new radio banger just might not work either.
 
As a DJ, it is my job to read the floor, decide if the crowd if feeling it or not. Even before hand, doing some homework on the type of event or venue doesn’t hurt either. I think it does help DJs expose a bigger variety of music to the crowd if you play it right and sprinkle enough familiar tracks or samples if it’s a remix to make the crowd feel comfortable.

How do you balance challenging a crowd with catering to them?

 This goes back to my answer in the first question: play the right song at the right moment with aspects of familiarity in it. Be it a remix, a blend/mash-up track or a bootleg that you produced, I would use those tools to help me. Playing open format also helps me out a lot.  

Last words, plugs, shouts.
 Thank you Kalani for always giving love and voice to DJs on the island. To all my KHR, OBC and 808 all stars fam. Shouts to all the Hawaii DJs holding it down and pushing themselves to show the world we got talent on this island.
 
Crazy Sexy Ghoul October 19th!! Glue every 3rd Friday at Nextdoor!! Crush every 4th Friday at Bar35!! Fridays at Hulas Bar in Waikiki!!

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/ DJ Zane

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(READ MORE ON DJ ZANE IN THIS WEEK’S EDITION OF “ON THE RECORD” WEDNESDAY AT HONOLULUPULSE.COM)

Talk about your friends and support system and how vital they are to the success of Asylum and your creative music visions.

I consider myself to be very fortunate to have the friends that I have. The friends I had when we opened the club are the same friends I have now. I consider myself forunate to be surrounded by friends who are as exicted by this venture as I am. Asylum was built on friendship and a vision, and our business was built on our friendships. At the end of the day, my friends inspire me. They tell me what’s good, they tell me what’s bad, and at the end of the day I’m playing for my friends.

Talk about the bonds you have built musically outside of Hawaii.

Asylum’s given me the opportunity to meet amazing artists who are all masters of their crafts. Artists who are ahead of the game, who charge thousands of dollars for billing elsewhere. They come here, and continue to come here. Must be the aloha spirit.

Most successful people, in any business or industry, have high expectations and have to be a little brash or demanding at times. Would you agree?

Not necessarily. Successful people acknowledge that they are only as strong as their support system. I’m fortunate to have a great group of friends who continue to uplift and support me. While it does take a firm hand, sometimes, to get the job done, my motto is “Under promise and over deliver.” As long as I continue to deliver the bring best electronic music available, I know I’m doing my job.

Best Honolulu nightclubs that should have never closed?
The Wave, duh.

Why have you never lost faith in Hawaii’s music scene?

Because Hawaii produces good music.

Talk about the last time an artist of stature gave you some good advice.

I once asked Juan Atkins, who was one of the first guys to start making techno back in the 80’s, if he had any idea that what he was doing back then would evolve into what it is today…his response to me was…no fucking idea…I just was having fun. That’s what it’s all about for me.

Real Talk w/ DJ JK

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Looking back at your win Wednesday, what do you think set you apart from the other finalists?

I think starting off my set with the haka really showed my culture and got the people pumped so I think that’s what set me apart.

What is the first thing you did after you won?

The first thing I did after I won was take pics and party up top.

How do you hope to make an even bigger impression at LF?

Well the battle only gave me 15 minutes to show what I got this time imma have more time to kill it.

What is your personal Love Fest moments/memories?

I remember the last love fest I went to I was in the crowd at the main stage and a remix to song, “Use Somebody” by Train was playing and at that moment everything just felt right. It was a great time.

Props, Plugs, Praises.
I thank God first of all .. I’d like to thank my family and friends for all the support… Jimmy taco 102.7 da bomb for giving me a shot .

Ill Talk w/ @crazearoni #LoveFestivalHI

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[Be sure to peep the write-up on DJ Craze at HonoluluPulse.com in my column “On the Record”]

You played the Love Festival 10 years ago, welcome back. What do you remember about that whole experience and all of your past gigs in Hawaii?

Last time I was at Love festival was special cause it was one of the last times I spun with Roc Raida (RIP). Most of the gigs that I’ve done in Hawaii in the past couple of years have been amazing …. Cant wait to get back there!

What have been your proudest achievements in 2013 so far?

So far in 2013 I’ve been happy with the releases we’ve put out on Slow Roast. I’m also happy with the way my new project with Klever “Cafe’ Con Leche” is coming along.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tmh_kS-d0XE%5D


How much has just the fact that you really love and enjoy what you do played a key role in your longevity and growth?

I think doing what you love is the most important thing in life and your career. If you love what you do it’ll never get old and in a business like this you always gotta keep it fresh and love what you’re doing.

When are you at your creative best?

I’m at my creative best when I’m in the right frame of mind …. relaxed …. and a ‘lil bent on that greenery.

When was the last time you felt a sense of joy from teaching or supporting someone else’s creativity?

The last time I felt good about supporting somebody’s creativity was when me and Klever were working on Scratch Nerds 2 …. Me and Klever keep pushing ourselves to be the best at what we do.

The popularity of trap music seems to have picked up where dub-step left off and similar to dub-step you have those who love it and those who hate it. What attracted you most to the sound?

What most attracted me to Trap was the hip hop vibe of it. Before I was battling, spinning DnB, spinning club/house music I was a hip hop boy. Trap made me fall back in love with the 808s and minimalism in club music.

What gets you hyped when you’re booked to play a large festival (10,000+ are expected at LF) opposed to a club party of a few hundred. Does your approach change given the larger crowd?

I get amped when I play larger crowds cause the vibes are more intense. You really do feel the “love” and theres nothing more amazing than killing it in front of that many people!

Shouts. Plugs. Praises?

Shout Outs to Slow Roast Records: Kill The Noise, Klever, Brillz, Codes, ETC! ETC!, Louie and all the people that felling what we doing …. Ssslllooowww Rrroooaaassstt!!

Real Talk w/ @Osnizzle

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(Check out the feature on DJ Osna, here )

Party people dig my DJ sets because…
“I’m different Yup I’m different”

Someone wouldn’t like my song selections if they are…

Sober!

The kinds of crowds I enjoy playing for most are…

MOKES…. And drunk Haoles, they dance the best.

How do you balance working in the studio, DJing etc. What is the key to keeping that balance?

Easy, Studio Sun-Thurs & DJ Fri-Sat. The key is getting a secretary for your schedules, calls, emails and a manager to handle everything else. BOOM!

In a 24 hour period of time (or over the course of a week if that paints a better picture) , how much time is spent doing music?
If I’m not sleeping I’m doing music. Which means 12 hours of sleep and 12 hours of music ha!


DJing is a hobby more than a passion. True or False.

False Crack!

In your opinion, if they’re not jocking or a friend, does the average club crowd care who the DJ is if is not a headlining, world famous DJ? Besides the financial side, is that one reason why you prefer to save your services for non-club gigs?
Average club crowd, No. The average person that walks into a club doesn’t go because of the Dj, it’s usually for people, alcohol, location.
Imagine your favorite DJ or artist played every week, how much times would you go to see them knowing that they’re always playing? It takes away from that special moment where it doesn’t happen often. Why is someone gonna pay $50 to see DJ so & so play at Aloha Tower for a big concert when you can see them spin weds-sat in Waikiki for $10. Hawaii’s “Club” scene mostly consist of Bars rather then night clubs so I prefer not burning myself out until the right opportunity presents itself. For now I’m focused on taking my Dj skills to big venues with big crowds.

Would you ever enter a DJ battle?

I’ve helped out a lot of DJs that won battles before and the preparation going into a battle is hectic and time consuming. Sometimes the prize for these competitions aren’t worth the hassle. But if you know Osna then you know my name goes hand & hand with “Battle” so it’s only a matter of time before I get into it!