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Meet Your Mardi Gras DJs: DJ Du Jour

  • Written by  Pez
  • Published in Features

VITAL STATS

NAME: DJ Du Jour 
PARTY: "I cannot wait to kick start Harbour Party, alongside Dan Murphy, Kitty Glitter, Kiesza and Lee Dagger." 
SOUND: "Hands In The Air, Uplifting, Vocal." 

DJDuJourThis year's Mardi Gras theme is "Passion." Tell us something you're passionate about that might surprise us. 
I studied exercise physiology and science at university, developing a vehemence for human movement. From there I moved into a daytime career as a rehabilitation and holistic well-being specialist, providing solutions to those with chronic health conditions.
My passion for making people move transcended my studies and led me to music, mirror balls, decks and dance floors…. That was decks…. Ha-ha!

Tell us about your first Mardi Gras experience.
In 2011 I won the Mardi Gras DJ Competition. I had never been to a parade or an after party before that year, and suddenly there I was; standing meekly behind the decks in the Dome. While the room wasn’t overly busy, I got a real buzz and a sense of pride at that moment; my first Mardi Gras experience.

How do you prepare a set?
Before each set, I become very focussed and start to visualise the gig; the crowd, the music, the lighting, the effects – I withdraw from noise and people. While I don’t plan my track listing, I will stand behind the decks at the start of my set with a few options as an opening track; from there I allow the crowd to direct me.
Throughout my set, I am constantly watching the crowd; how they respond, how they move, what makes them heave, throw their hands in the air, scream, shout and what makes them beg for more. Track selection and the journey evolve from that.

What track can't you get enough of right now?
Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud (Seamus Haji Remix). First time I heard this remix, it took me to heaven! 
What artist would we be most shocked to find on your iPod?
I actually LOVE rock music, so you will find Bon Jovi, Muse and even Australia’s own; The Superjesus – Sarah McLeod – absolute crush!

What's your wildest onstage memory?
Hmmmm, I’ve had a couple, but I’ll dust off a recent PG rated one. I was DJing at Melbourne’s Midsumma T Dance, where I stepped up on stage and looked out to a sea of 15,000 people. Halfway through my set, I remember unhooking my headphones from the mixer and stepping to the front of the stage and all I could see was hands in the air, fist pumping and 15,000 smiles looking back at me. At that point, I knew this was what I was made to do.

Mardi Gras is a celebration of diversity and pride. What should the gay community be most proud of?
We should be proud of what we have created; a community that has supported each other in times of need and in times of celebration. We should be proud that despite the hardships that we may encounter from society through marriage inequality and the like, we have achieved so much in terms of same sex family planning and the rights of non-biological parenting.
I am also proud that our community is knocking down barriers surrounding health, well-being and education with regard to HIV and debunking fear once surrounding that. We have much to be proud of.

Your industry has experienced such an evolution the last few years. What are both the best and worst changes you've witnessed?
This industry is constantly evolving and like any that is dictated by technology, it will continue to do so at a dynamic pace. This development means amazing overseas artists and tracks are more accessible, and that DJs constantly have to work on their craft to continue delivering memorable sets, which in turn makes the whole industry thrust forward.
The worst…. The lockout laws have killed the Sydney scene. Period.

Punters always have requests for DJs. What special requests do you have for your Mardi Gras audience?
Enjoy yourselves, create memories, be safe, smile, throw your HANDS-IN-THE-AIR – put ‘em high – we have so much to celebrate, be proud of and be passionate for!
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