It seems like every person I’ve met in the past few years tells me they’re either a photographer or a DJ.
No doubt this is partly due to living in a city, but it can also be attributed to the availability and affordability of digital devices that allow these individuals to pursue their craft.
Still, good DJs seem like they’re a dime a dozen nowadays, which is why I’ve recently been wondering: can any asshole with a computer and the right mixing software become the next Pete Tong or Derrick Carter?
Brazilian superstar DJ/producer Ana Paula doesn’t think so.
Now in the second decade of her DJ career — and experiencing global success on a scale most aspiring DJs can only dream of — she agrees that producing your own tracks instead of playing other people’s music is one of the biggest things separating a true artist from the DJ wannabes.
“Producing your own music gives you freedom in choosing your sound and the personal emotion you want to express,” she explains.
She should know. As a career DJ, spinning is the only job Paula has had since she graduated from high school, and she’s become so popular she even gets to add special clauses to her contracts now. “It’s typically for the technical equipment I like to play with,” she explains modestly. No bathing in Evian for this girl.
Paula has performed at almost every major electronic music festival or event in the world and played for rock-concertsized crowds, including 25,000 fans at La Grande Danse during Montreal’s Divers/Cité in 2007. This summer she’ll be headlining here at Rapture: Ignition’s Pride party as well.
As an out gay woman, she is a bit of a unicorn in an industry still dominated by men. Has being labelled a gay DJ hurt her career?
“Actually, I don’t like labels,” she says. “Music is art and art is for everybody. It doesn’t matter if you are straight, gay, young or old.”
When I told her the Hot Gay DJ competition would be taking place the same weekend in August as her next Vancouver performance, she had these pearls for the eight contestants still in the running: “Make sure to be faithful to the sound you like, share love and happiness through your music, and good luck.”
Mirateca Arts has already found us Vancouver’s next gay top model — three times. With no fresh faces
left in town, what’s a producer to do? Discover Vancouver’s next hot gay DJ, of course.
Terry Costa’s latest initiative pits nine aspiring and established DJs against each other in search of the Hot Gay DJ title.
Oasis, Score, 1181, J Lounge and Celebrities were the places to be on June 3 as each took a turn hosting round one of the competition. The nine DJs were given a chance to impress the different crowds and, for a $10 pass with proceeds benefiting local gay charities, audience members got to cast their ballots.
DJ Kristen C and DJ Christoker won the popular vote that night, with a tie for first place. DJ Mitch Bederman dropped out immediately after, leaving eight DJs to face off during the Vancouver Pride weekend finale on August 2.
I interviewed all the contestants and watched them spin and interact with their audiences.
(Audio files via hotgaydj.com)
STAGE NAME: DJ LISA DELUX
Been DJing for: 11 years
Producer: Yes, including remixes, mashups
All-time favourite track: “Vogue” by
Predicts this summer’s hottest track will be: “Uffie” by Add Sub featuring Pharrel Williams
You may recognize her from: Past and
Most interesting proposition from a fan while DJing: “A $100 song request. If that happened every time people made requests, I would be a very rich woman.”
Why she should win: Delux has the technical skills, the production ability, the fanbase and the dedication and ambition to win. She is an artist and it shows.
|Listen to DJ Lisa Delux:
STAGE NAME: DJ JEFFERY MICHAEL
Been DJing for: 4 years
Producer: No, but will be shortly
All-time favourite track: “Destination”
Predicts this summer’s hottest track will be: “Rock to the Beat” (Club Mix) by Darius and Finlay featuring Nicco
You may recognize him from: Celebrities
Most interesting proposition from a fan while DJing: “A cute boy asked me if he could blow me in the DJ booth while I mixed. Keeping things professional, I said no.”
Why he should win: He’s already established himself in the gay hotspots around Vancouver and will take a big part of the popular vote. He also has a face made for posters, right?
|Listen to DJ Jeffery Michael:
STAGE NAME: DJ MARTY FUNKHAUSER
Age: 34, 28 on Manhunt
Been DJing for: 9 years
All-time favourite track: “Chacaron” by
Predicts this summer’s hottest track will be: “Touch” (posr remix) by Shina Rae
You may recognize him from: his “tireless
Why he should win: Funkhauser has found his sound in a way no other Hot Gay DJ hopeful has. Walking up to Oasis on June 3, I could tell it was him spinning before I even reached Davie and Thurlow.
|Listen to DJ Marty Funkhauser: (click here to listen if you can’t see the player below)
STAGE NAME: DJ MARC TATTOO
Been DJing for: on and off for 26 years
Producer: Yes, but doesn’t play music he’s produced himself regularly
All-time favourite track: “Acid Eiffel” by Laurent Garnier
Predicts this summer’s hottest track will be: “Pretty Mess” (Tracy Young Club Mix) by Erika Jayne
You may recognize him from: Celebrities, Flygirl events, Big Roger events, Vancouver Pride gigs
Most interesting proposition made to you by a fan while you were DJing at a gig: “The most interesting was when I got offered, while playing in a Parisian club, to sign a hot guy’s bare naked bubble ass.”
| Listen to DJ Marc Tattoo:
STAGE NAME: DJ CHRISTOKER
Been DJing for: 4 years
Producer: Yes, just completed a remix of “La La Land” by Joey Negro featuring Tara Macdonald
All-time favourite track: “Spin Spin Sugar” (Armand’s Dark Garage Mix) by Sneaker Pimps
Predicts this summer’s hottest track will be: “Could This Be Real” by Sub Focus
You may recognize him from: DJing in the 2008 Pride Parade behind a mini-school bus with a flatbed trailer full of partiers
Most interesting proposition made to you by a fan while you were DJing at a gig: “This one girl who is infatuated with me came up to me while spinning and yelled in my ear, ‘Whatever Chris baby, you can do me doggy style so you can watch gay porn!’ In an alternate reality where I slept with girls she’d be first in line.”
|Listen to DJ Christoker:
STAGE NAME: DJ RIOT
Been DJing for: 4 years
Producer: Yes, including remixes and original songs.
All-time favourite track: “London Town” (Foamo Remix) by Man Like Me
Predicts this summer’s hottest track will be: “ADD SUV” by Armand Van Helden
You may recognize her from: Le Disko on Fridays at Oasis and Nawtybox every third Saturday at Lick
Most interesting proposition made to you by a fan while you were DJing at a gig: “To play a request in exchange for sex.”
|Listen to DJ Riot:
STAGE NAME: DJ VICTOR CHENG
Been DJing for: 22 years
Producer: Yes, including remixes and mash-ups.
All-time favourite track: “Bottom Heavy” (Original Mix) by Danny Tenaglia
Predicts this summer’s hottest track will be: “Opulence” (Victor Cheng’s Re-Edit) by X-Press 2
You may recognize him from: WinterPride Vancouver 2009, Avalanche at Celebrities
Most interesting proposition made to you by a fan while you were DJing at a gig: “Just a few months back, playing a gig in San Francisco at The End Up, a guy came up to me at the DJ booth and asked me if I was Victor from Taipei and Vancouver and where I was staying. He then proceeded to put his hand down my pants and try to grab my ass. I moved away.”
|Listen to DJ Victor Cheng:
STAGE NAME: DJ KRISTEN C
Been DJing for: 5 years
Producer: Not yet, but soon
All-time favourite track: “For The Kill” (Scream’s Let’s Get Ravey Remix) by La Roux
Predicts this summer’s hottest track will be: “Fuski, Dodge” by Pornstep featuring The Highbury Whores
You may recognize her from: Lotus Sound Lounge and West Bar
Most interesting proposition made to you by a fan while you were DJing at a gig: “Taco party… ’Nuff said.”
|Listen to DJ Kristen C:
For more info, check out hotgaydj.com.