An in-depth Q & A with N8
(updated 14th Jan 2007)
How did you find or develop your style of tunes?
I know what music I like and what sounds I like to incorporate into my sets, which is always changing, but when you're trying to get your break, you can't be too fussy. I more or less played what I was told to keep my job, which eventually moulded into a house early, hard trance later set. Although my direction of genre may have been guided, I've always loved house music and that set my basis. As for hard trance, the evolution of dance music away from typical hard house made that more appealing. However you look at it, it's certainly paid off, and it's always evolving. I don't belive you can keep playing the same sound and stay ahead of the game... it gets tired.
Do any big name DJ's influence your style?
I'm not really influenced by any DJ's styles in particular, although imitation does have it's place from time to time. I've been developing my sets for just on 2 years in Brisbane now, and I guess whatever style people think I have, has just ended up that way. You get comfortable with a certain style of mixing, and I often push myself to try things differently. Often it works, sometimes... not so much. You live and learn. That's what club residencies are for.
Do you generally have your set figured out before you play, or do you play to the crowd?
Every nights is always different in some way. Unless every song is a sure fire hit, you have to play to the crowd. Even then there's so many variables in atmosphere and expectations, you couldn't do it. Definitely direct my set by the mood of the room. I always take enough vinyl to play for well over 6 hours, so I've got pleanty to work with if I get spontaneous.
What's your opinion on requests?
Requests do help you gauge what direction some of the crowd want to go, and help you work out different sounds that will fire them up. On the other hand, it's not always appropriate to play certain tracks at certain times, and most clubbers become quite impatient, thinking you can just throw it on. I always listen to a request, but guage it's appropriateness to the room and the current mood.
Have you or do you plan to produce any of your own music?
I've put together a few remixes of my own sampling club hits in the past, and most recently used a lot more of my own ideas to take the Christian rock songs of Hillsong United in to a new forum. I've got a lot of respect for what they do on a global scale and just wanted to play my part... all unofficially of course.
What's been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight would have to be watching and noticing my timeslot and crowd change dramatically, especially over the years. It's very encouraging to see the fruits of your effort and notice your own improvement along the way. 2007 will be my 7th year DJing in The Valley and I'm at a stage now where I'm confident walking in to a room and knowing I can rock it. Perhaps a little too comfortable lately, so I'm really looking forward to my new Main Room sets. The Main Room ravers are used to a certain style of music which they won't get with me, so it'll be interesting to see what I can do with it.
What's your dream venue?
Any high profile venue, with a good setup and a large crowd waiting for a ride. I'm craving more recognition for the standard I've worked incredibly hard to achieve.
What do you enjoy most about DJing?
The energy you get back from the crowd when your mix is spot on and they're just loving everything you do. That's what keeps it so enjoyable. I feed off a crowd all night and it's unbelievably obvious if you're in my room.
What made you decide to become a DJ?
I always had a sizable CD collection, and one day a mate of mine asked if he could borrow them for a wedding he was doing for a youth organisation. Of course my music didn't go anywhere without me, so I went as well, and somehow found my interest initially, at a wedding reception. From there I blindly set out to see what I could do with my music and love of it.
How did you get into the industry?
Complete fluke. I was a regular at a club in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, and was chatting away with one of the staff members one evening about my interest, not at all expecting anything, and ended up with the name of the manager who was looking for someone. I worked out a deal with him to get me trained up and it all sorted itself out in about 3 months.
What did you think your career path would be, before you latched on to DJing?
I never really knew. Since leaving school I've studied Film & Television Production, Business Management and Financial Planning. I'm currently work in a completely different industry, involving territory management... it's been an ever changing path, but I'm getting fairly well settled in to my Weekday role at the moment.
What do you want your DJ career path to be?
I figure as long as there's a passion for the music and the scene there, I'll stay in it. I went through a period where I was getting tired of the music and scene and took some time away, rekindled my passion and came back with new ideas, new music... a new direction.
I'd definately like to get interstate and overseas just to know I've actually put what talent I have to proper use. If I get to a level and bottom out, I'll know I've reached the peak in my DJ career... but even then I doubt that would stop me trying.
A lot of people wonder how DJ's and nightclub staff deal with the time frame they work between?
Not DJing 5 nights a week any more makes it real easy, but it becomes just like any working hours really. You just move the sleeping part into the bit where the sun's in the sky and live while the moon is shining it's face. The body clock adjusts exactly the same as anyone elses, it's just set to different times. Managing your personal habbits to include sleep also helps. Personally I've got Monday to Friday... and then there's weekends, so I'm probably no different to the standard person these days.
What's the truest advice you've received in relation to your work?
It's not what you know, but who; Networking is the key! I don't think I've quite mastered this yet... I feel I've been stagnating lately. I'm ready to add bigger things to my profile, but don't live the lifestyle to meet all the right connections. Kinda Catch 22.