Dry Your Eyes Mate

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It’s been a hot minute since my last internet ruck (is there an actual name for these? It’s separate from Trolling really as it’s a continuous argument…what about ARGU-NETS?) Anyway, we digress, already! So, as per my usual drill, I can’t punch these people in the face, so I write about it.

At the weekend we held a DJ Competition to find a new resident DJ for Kinky Malinki. We had received plenty of entries and we whittled it down to seven DJs. Each DJ had answered a few questions to get a bit of an idea of their character too, as we were interested in taking on a DJ that was fun and professional to work with, especially if we’ll be working with them for a minimum of twelve months.

Each DJ had fifteen minutes to do their thing. Admittedly not a lot of time, but the idea was to create a live club environment, which we did in the new Glass Room in Pacha. The thought process was that if they handled themselves well under that pressure, then they’ll do well, full stop. Paul Kinky, myself and a randomly selected person (who was called Jade) from the KM FB group, were judges.

We had our score sheets, we had a klaxon, we had a countdown clock, we had one of our residents, Billnick, to add up the scores, as he’s an accountant by day. Paul Kinky hiked up his jeans Simon Cowell style, I took a large gulp of water, as I actually felt a bit nervous for these guys, then Billnick let off the klaxon to signal the start of Kinky Malinki’s Search For A DJ Factor’s Got Talent 2013.

First things first Paul would not let me score people for their fist pumping and heart shape making ability. I was obviously a bit peeved at this, but we settle on scoring them on Tune Selection, Mixing Skills and Crowd Reaction. I won’t go into a blow by blow account, but there were solid efforts from every entrant. A variety of different angles were taken, on both musical style and the way in which they’d tackle the fifteen minutes. One entrant went for three tunes, perfectly mixed with an accapella thrown in for good measure. Another came at it in an DJ EZ style and bashed through a myriad of tracks in his allocated time. Everyone had their go and it was time for Billnick to quickly round up the scores. We had a bottle of champagne ready for the victor. A young guy called Dom Decyfa won. Definitely a worthy winner, but it’s worth noting there was only about ten or so points between the first and last placed DJs, so everyone could hold their head high……for now.

Get up Monday for the day job and do the whole ‘scan every social network for any tasty morsels’ and I see one of the entrants having a whinge off about the winner, alluding to the fact that he shouldn’t have entered the competition because he already had DJ sets elsewhere. Let’s get this straight. We never said you couldn’t have gigs. Whether you’d played with yourself (in all senses of the word) or played regularly, we didn’t care. Anyway here’s his first comment.
NOOB1

I took that in and had a word with Paul Kinky about it. He was understandably annoyed, but Paul and I are chalk and cheese and he wouldn’t be likely to comment online, so I felt the urge (as I always bloody do) to comment back and make a bit of a stand against someone that I felt had not accepted defeat gallantly. I went back with this…..
NOOB2

It went back and forth most of the day as he was digging a deeper hole for himself. It appeared that he felt that he was owed a DJ career. He has had some tracks signed to Grant Nelson’s label, so he is already on to a start many new DJ/Producers would dream of. Hell, I’d love to have a track signed to Grant’s label and I even mention that in our messages. The bottom line is he didn’t win. Why was he not able to just take that on the chin like a man? Like the rest of the DJs. They may have felt a tad miffed at not winning and that’s totally understandable, but why take to social media to start venting if you have nothing to back it up but a big gob?

Maybe it’s fair for him to vent. Freedom of speech and all that jazz, but to continue to argue with me baffled me. Not because I feel I have a position of importance, but more because I know this DJ game is hard fucking work. I’ve tried to keep my head above water in the London scene for over fifteen years. There are several DJs I’ve seen maintain a similar level of commitment and experience in that time, people like Raymundo Rodriguez, DJ Blush or Mark Radford and they would all back me up that it’s messy, brutal and full of back stabbers around every corner. Big BOO HOO, life is tough, but it’s also what you make of it, and those three have taken their opportunities, even if they’ve had plenty of knocks too.

Why has Raymundo achieved what he has? Do you think it’s because he’s a massive wanker? No it isn’t. He gets things done right and with integrity. This Luke guy mentions arse kissing in his tirade, but there is a big difference between being a decent person and then rimming someone on the regular. Funnily enough you could always ACTUALLY be genuinely nice, feel free to try it, even I’m nice sometimes…..nah, seriously, I am.

Let me ask this question to anyone reading. Why do you think this guy has no gigs? Is it because other people are beating him to it? Or is it because he’s not applying himself in the right manner?

The conversation did descend into me telling him to basically dry his eyes and go and get a hug off someone. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll keep saying it: The journey of a good DJ is not an overnight one. A lot of people may think it’s much easier these days, which I tend to agree with. Maybe you can fast track to the upper echelons quicker, you still need to stay up there and if you’re a total prick, you’ll get found out and then you get yourself stuck in a lonely world of fake friends and travelling the world with a bottle of Grey Goose to help you wipe away your feelings.

The moral of this story? Have some integrity……and maybe try and not be a prick.

And if you’ve read this far and want to read a few more of his replies, see below:-

NOOB3NOOB4NOOB5

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20 Comments

  1. To the gentleman that feels hard done by this is a message for you….The game is hard and in this day and age there are far more DJs compare to my day. Back to basics and remember it’s all about the love for the music and if it was meant to be it will be.

  2. If we don’t moan on social media what do we do? Kick a cat? Actually I think be should have kicked a cat, I hate cats. They’re a pointless animal. Evil as well. Fucking cats!

  3. Dom the WINNER of the comp plays a weekly slot on a friday at source bar in maidstone.
    may i point out that the night is an urban and commercial night!
    so for him to now be apart of the kinky Malinki team and playing house music like he has all ways wanted to is a massive step for him.
    at the end of the day the better dj won because he is good at what he does not because he works at source!
    also source is a club not a label so i say well done to him and by winning the competition i hope he gets noticed and becomes a bigger dj.

  4. It’s the same with any type of competition where judges are involved.
    You always get someone saying “they only won because blah blah”.
    Knowing the kinky team I know full well that the judging would of been more than fair.
    Personally I find people are more likely to book you if you’re professional, polite and friendly. If you whine like a baby it does you no favours.
    Well done Dom

  5. Wow, I didnt even know about this… Haha I did wonder why I got deleted soon after being added…

    My response is this… Yes I work at The Source Bar and yes it is one of the most respected and sought after places to be on the DJ roster. However I DJ there ONE night for a very modest amount, and I, along with the Obsession team have built it from ground zero, and guess what… I DJ MULTIPLE GENRES on this night. Yep, you heard it, I DJ from RnB, Hip hop, Dubstep, DnB, EDM and of course my beloved house music.

    Now to the big bit… I am promoted on this night as a multi genre (if anything more sliding toward Urban) DJ. I have never yet DJ’d on a Saturday at Source Bar, which obviously is an aim of mine. I have promoted and grafted over the last two years to even include deep and tech house into the Friday nights, which I coined #PowerHour, as it used to be an hour of me smashing out house music, which has now been extended to two hours for all that can handle it. As well as this, in the pursuit of being accepted as a credible house DJ, I left for the sunny shores of Malia (Not Ibiza) over the summer season to DJ at Zoo Bar Malia, a renowned venue known for only playing HOUSE music. Due to this i even missed out entering the Movida Corona UK competition, of which I reached the national finals last year (and was beaten).

    I have worked tirelessly to even be recognised as a House DJ, and yes there have been moments that I feel are unfair, but after perhaps a discussion or rant in private, you have to move forward and learn the harsh lesson/s.

    Greed has nothing to do with the determination to succeed. The only greed I have is the hunger to succeed quicker.

    Thank you Grant Richards for this article, as I feel there is a lesson for all, including myself, also thanks for all the support everyone has shown.

    To round off, have a cheeky listen to my soundcloud and make your own mind up:

    http://www.soundcloud.com/decyfa

    – Decyfa

  6. Dom, Succeed / Success…..

    There lies what I see as the problem with today’s wana-b DJ’s !!

    It never seems to be about the LOVE for the music or the Scene. In my eyes, if you wanted to be a House DJ and it was for the LOVE of house music, you would not be playing RnB, or at least not the current sound of RnB, which is so far removed from what ‘Rhythm and Blues’ was!!

    It just all seems to be about the ‘DJ Fame’. Kids are becoming DJ’s to be famous and be rich, not for the unique chance to play music they live/breathe/love for others to enjoy. Yes, in turn if you are good and get recognised, it will lead to payment and even possibly a career, but you should not start out wanting it to be your career.

    What would you class as you succeeding??

    I never came into the music industry to be a DJ or Record Producer. I never set out to have a UK Chart Hit, or to be signed to the labels I have been, and DJ’d where I did/have. It has always been about the love of the music, the all consuming passion for the scene. Any success I had came organically as my passion grew.

    Even with making/producing music, I never sat in a studio wanting/needing to make a HIT. I just made what I loved, the sound I loved and thankfully others liked it to.

    OK, it is very different with music now, from the buying point of view of things (If you buy music, not illegally download it). Gone are the days of kids rushing to the record shop to hear/buy the latest hot track. This is where the music love was nurtured and grew. The music buying family, the same faces every week in the shops, and at the clubs. Kids wanting to know how a certain record got that certain sound on it, where the sound came from, how can I get a sound like it. Same with DJing, there was never an ‘End-Goal’ for me, there should never be when you are lead by passion. You should be thankful you found what you are so passionate about, and embrace it and learn about it, learn about the people who bought about the sound, the history of it.

    This isn’t a knock at you, just me picking up on a few things you said. It is more the scene as a whole really, where it all seems driven by fame/greed hungry kids, all fighting for he same few DJ slots, all playing the same music, without much knowledge or thought about stepping outside the box, or playing something other than the Beatport top 20 !!

    You know, Back in my day………. 🙂

    1. Well, I see your point but without going on I began DJing grime on vinyl and doing those very same runs to the record shop. Developed into a Hip Hop/Rnb DJ throughout uni, when I began to get exposed to Progressive House. This then developed over time to getting my set at Source Bar 2 years ago and so developing my knowledge and appreciation of the grand genre of House. I haven’t really gone for fame in the greedy sense of the word, more the recognition to have the crowd you only get with house music. I’ve sat through Pump the Volume and How Clubbing changed the World on more than one occasion learning the roots of house and even managed to bang out Ultra Nate ‘Free’ in my winning set just because that is what house music is – Music to let go to and It never goes out of fashion to track back through some classics.

  7. I think you make a good point there Mat. I had regular (not resident) gigs with Kinky Malinki in their early years at Pacha and El Divinos but never saw it as anything other than having fun playing my favourite tunes in an effort to get the best possible reaction form the crowd…that and to promote Ultravinyl Records artists (including a fledgling Mark Knight!) It was never about the fame but the more gigs I got, the happier I was.

    However, had I have taken the DJ part of my music career more seriously (like Dom is doing) perhaps I would still have one in the studio. Music production and sales is now a loss leader for the performance boost it can give to DJing (as Luke is aspiring to) The last gig I played for KM was way back 2004 because DJing unfortunately didn’t fit into my new non musical work regime and I wasn’t getting regular enough gigs to provide a working wage.

    But listen up Luke. Grant is right, whinging about it is not going to get you the gigs you want. Take it on the chin. Put your efforts into producing better tracks and given time, the bookings will come. Don’t give up though! There are some excellent, well known DJs who have hung up their headphones because this is such a difficult industry in which to just earn a living wage. I don’t hear them moaning about it though – well not all the time anyway! 😉

    1. I really should read things all at once.. Id agree with Alun with this… My love for house is tied in with my love for the industry.. Interest in the business and well as the performance. Especially having a radio show I learnt to appreciate the commercial value of tunes (Which helped me DJing picking out the correct sound in tunes even if not commercial releases). But also kept me well in the knowledge that the money is in performance for these artists, not necessarily making the music.. thats the fun part.. Aside from that its business.
      Very organic thing…

  8. You make a good point Mat. I played regularly (not as a resident) for Kinky Malinki during their earlier years at Pacha and at El Divinos. Not for the fame and success but for the fun of playing my favourite tunes, getting the best possible crowd reaction and hopefully promoting our label Ultravinyl Records (RIP) and it’s artists… including a very baby faced Mark Knight!

    However if I HAD taken the DJ part of my music career more seriously (as Dom is doing) then perhaps I would still have one!
    Unfortunately music production became a loss leader for DJ promotion so I can empathise with Luke in that he is talented but obviously struggling for work.

    But I agree with Grant. Whinging will get you nowhere Luke. Take that energy and plough it back into making better tunes in the studio. Keep at it and the bookings will come. Just don’t give up. Plenty of talented and well respected DJs are hanging up their headphones but you don’t hear them banging on about it… Well, not every day any way 😉

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