Interview: The DJ Experience01.03.19
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. 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. I 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?
I first got into DJ’ing when I was 13 years old, although I've always had a huge love for music. My dad was a DJ too and my best memory is probably watching him play records and get ready for gigs. It was official - I was hooked. I knew I was destined to carry on the tradition.
What do you like most about teaching music?
It's amazing to have someone come into the studio with no experience, just a passion for music. It's rewarding to watch them go from a complete beginner through to playing their first gig. I also experience something new every day. After teaching for London Sound Academy I can 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. It's flexible, so I often play around the world, most recently in Frankfurt.
Has your experience of music production changed much over the years?
The main thing I've noticed is the accessibility in creating music. It's 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. You can now produce basically anywhere you like. I've witnessed many students who have come in to LSA with no experience in music, only to find themselves winning international awards!
Dance music has always been about equality and inclusion regardless of gender, race or sexuality
What are the biggest challenges in your industry?
There's a lot more competition nowadays, making it harder to stand out. The key thing to achieve is consistency, so staying active is not just about making new music but playing gigs, ensuring you have content for social media since it’s the most powerful way to engage with people.
What would you like 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!’
If there are three people in the industry you could have dinner with, who would they be?
Come on, only three?! There are so many people I'd love to invite. Artwork's 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 Iovene & 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 (does four count?), DJ EZ because he's probably my biggest influence and an absolute wizard behind the decks.
What were your thoughts about the festival?
All Points East 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!