Exclusive Interview: the DJ Experience

 June 2018

 

Music is a key element of practically any event – it sets the mood and when done right, it can really amp up the atmosphere. Whether it’s a curated digital playlist, a performing band or a live DJ, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to get the music to resonate with the audience.

 

We recently produced a couple of pop-ups for Ray-Ban at the new All Points East festival in London’s Victoria Park, promoting Ray-Ban Studios and the eyewear brand’s inextricable association with music. Take a look at our case study if you haven’t already – inside we held intimate mixing deck workshops for the public to experience for free in between the main acts’ sets on the adjacent East stage.

 

Our Senior Marketing Executive Katrina, spoke to the DJ, Kieran Wilson of London Sound Academy, afterwards about his experiences of the industry and teaching others about creating good music.

 

 

When did you first become a DJ and what attracted you to it?

 

I first got into DJ’ing when I was 13 years old, although, I always had a huge love for music. My dad was a DJ too and the best memory is probably watching him play the records and getting ready for the gigs. It was official - I was hooked. I just knew I was destined to carry on the tradition. 

 

What do you like most about teaching music?

 

I find teaching DJ’ing really rewarding. It is amazing to have someone come into the studio with no experience of DJ’ing, just a passion for music. It's great watching them go from a complete beginner to taking them through to playing their first gig.

 

Can you describe your average day – what does it involve?

 

Average is never really that 'average' for me as I experience something new every day. I wake up and head to the studio where I teach for London Sound Academy. Once I finish, I continue researching fresh and old music for my upcoming gigs or work on the record label I developed, focusing on all forms of bass music. I do often play around the world, like most recently in Frankfurt. Getting stuck at the airport to get back home wasn't fun, though it's part of the territory! 

 

Has your experience of music production changed much over the years?

 

The main thing I have noticed is the accessibility in creating music. It is now a lot easier to produce than ever before! It wasn't that long ago when we had to spend hundreds, if not, thousands to build a system to produce. Nowadays, you can produce anywhere you like, even on the airplane... as long the laptop has a full battery...! I am quite lucky because London Sound Academy does not just offer lessons for both DJ and Production, they help everyone even myself. I have witnessed a lot of students who have come in with zero experience in music, only to find themselves winning awards around the world! 

 

What are the biggest challenges in your industry?

 

I’d say one of the biggest challenges a lot of people face in this industry is the fact it has become more accessible as I mentioned before. Whilst the accessibility is there, it adds on a challenge. There is a lot more competition making it harder to stand out. I've found the key thing to achieve is consistency, so staying active is not just making new music but playing gigs, ensuring you have content as well as being active on social media because it’s the most powerful way to engage with people. Who doesn't love a bit of a challenge now and then anyway?

 

 

What were your thoughts about the event and how did it exceed your expectations?

 

All Points East festival was amazing! The festival definitely exceeded my expectations and they had some incredible acts.  Unfortunately, I missed Black Madonna’s set but I did manage to catch Mr.G! His dancing? Legendary!  

 

 

If there are three musicians or people in the industry you could have dinner with, who would they be and why? 

 

Oh, come on! Only three?! It is a tough question to answer because there's so many people I'd love to invite! I'd have to say Artwork, Jimmy Lovene, Dr. Dree & DJ EZ (does four count?).  

 

Artwork because he has been so influential when it comes to UK dance music, it wouldn't be what it is without him in my opinion and quite frankly, he is hilarious! I imagine he has so many stories to tell. Jimmy Lovene & Dr.Dre both amaze me with the way they transcended from making music to becoming two of the most successful businessmen in the industry. And finally, DJ EZ because he's probably my biggest influence as a DJ and an absolute wizard behind the decks. 

 

What would you like to do more of or see more of in the entertainment sector in the future?

 

I’d like to see my side of the industry go back to its roots in terms of equality. Dance music has always been about equality and inclusion regardless of gender, race or sexuality but that's sometimes not always represented well, unfortunately. 

 

There’s definitely been more support of female DJs coming through and having a massive impact on the scene. Talent and good music comes from everywhere and it should be fully embraced, Look at Defected Records, they've really summed what it’s about - ‘In our house we’re all equal!’ 

 

 

With thanks to London Sound Academy (www.londonsoundacademy.com)

Find out more below:

Ray-Ban x All Points East
Time to Be Heard: A Guide to Sound at Events
Back to Insight