People often ask me what made me want to become a DJ. They are also often curious about my desire to travel and one of the most common questions overall that I get is whether I always wanted to be a DJ. Have I known my whole life that this is what I wanted to do?
The truth is no. That said, I do usually tell people that I always wanted this career path. I’m talking about music when I say that, but they assume from that that I always wanted to be a DJ, but that is not quite true. When I was younger and up until high school or so, I actually wanted to be a singer. Whenever you see a band playing live, the lead singer gets all the attention. And that’s what I wanted. I wanted the attention. This was back when DJs were not yet the focal point of a music festival. When DJs just played music and nobody really paid much attention to them.
But back in the 90s that started to change. I watched a movie and I would like to tell you what it’s called, but I can’t remember. It had the actress who played the foreign exchange student in American pie. I want to say her name is Shannon Elizabeth but I am not sure. Anyway she was in it and a whole bunch of people I’d never seen before and have never seen again in a movie. In short it wasn’t a great movie.
But it involved a group of friends who went to a rave. One of them went for the first time and being at the rave changed his life. I know that feeling, because my first rave was a special experience too.
But what really got me from the movie were the DJs.
It featured several DJs, but only one was really famous. That was John Digweed. Now, he is not my favorite DJ by any means, but seeing him and the other DJs in the movie really left a lasting impression on me.
The crowd really loved the DJs and they controlled the atmosphere of the crowd. The music they played ensured that people had a good time. And if they played bad music people did not have a good time. I loved that you can have such an impact on people’s moods as a DJ. And that is when I change my mind. I no longer wanted to become a singer. I wanted to be a DJ instead.
From there, I got myself a set of turntable record players and started practicing. This is before the Internet was huge and before YouTube, so I couldn’t just watch videos like you would do today. Instead, I rented books at the library and tried to follow from them. That didn’t work too well.
So what I did is just went to club and befriended some DJs and learned from them. Eventually I started to get some smaller gigs that then lead to larger gigs. I also got some better equipment. It was around this time that I really got an interest in traveling.
I started dating a girl who had done a lot of traveling and her stories maybe want to see the world. I also started to watch a lot of movies about traveling and that really gave me the travel bug. Plus, my girlfriend got me into international bands, like Le Zoo, Yvon Krevé and Le Partisan. Yes, they are all French. And yes, my girlfriend was French.
I was starting to make more money from my DJing, but I gave it all up when I started to travel. At some point on the road, I realized I could use my DJ skills to make money while I travel. I would never be as big of a DJ, because it takes time to establish yourself in a location, but that was a sacrifice I was willing to make to see the world. That is how I got you where I am today.