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Behind The Beats: DJ Dom De Sousa

Musicality is in this man's blood. With an ever growing legion of fans around the world, DJ Dom de Sousa has been tearing up the decks at a wide range of different venues and events over the past few years. caught up with this Sydney native to chat for our behind the beats series.

When did you start DJing - and what or who were your early passions and influences?
I started DJing way back in 2008 when I was 19 years old. I really just wanted to make mashups, you know - when you take the vocals from one song and put it to the backing track of another. I thought only DJs made mashups, so I took it upon myself to save up for a set of CDJs and a mixer. I later found out you don’t need to be a DJ to make mashups, but DJing was really fun so I stuck at it.

What do you personally consider to be the defining moments in your artistic career?
This is a good question actually, because one of the main defining moments in my career was actually the very beginning of my career. I know that sounds a little farfetched, but hear me out. The very first night I ever DJed in public was actually in the “So You Think You Can DJ” competition at ARQ Sydney, which launched my career and put me on the map as an up and coming DJ.

Aside from that it would have had to have been being booked by Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras to play back to back in the Royal Hall of Industries with DJ Adam Love, that was a dream come true for me.

What are currently your main challenges as a DJ? What is it about DJing, compared to, say, producing your own music, that makes it interesting for you?
Anticipating trends, I want to keep my sets as current as possible - even if that means taking risks and educating a crowd on new music that I think will become popular.
DJing is usually done with an audience and you get instant feedback, so I’d say that beats sitting at home making music on a computer.

The process of building a set is unique to every DJ - how do you approach the task?
I build as I go, generally I won’t pre-prepare a set which I find works really well for me as I can tailor what I play to the audience.

What makes you decide to play a particular record during one of your sets? Do you pre-plan - or select on the fly?
90% of the time it’s on the fly, the way my mind works tells me there are far too many variables to take into account when pre-preparing a set. Some of the things I would be asking myself if I were to pre-prepare a set would be:
- Who are you playing to?
- What time slot am I on?
- What’s the DJ before me going to be playing, and what am I going to do when they’ve already played some of my key tracks?
- Where am I playing?

Is there a criteria other than pure subjectivity, for selecting what to play at a gig?
Definitely, you have to tailor what you play to suit the main demographic of your audience - Even if that means playing more Britney…Haha.

What has been the weirdest thing that has happened to you at a gig?
Depends on what kind of weird we are talking about here.

I think probably the strangest thing that’s happened to me at a gig was somebody was having a little too much fun and didn’t want to leave the dance floor, even if it was to go to the bathroom and do a number two.

What are you current 5 favourite tracks?
Feel Good - Blonde Feat. Karen Harding
Easy Love - Sigala
I'm In Love With You - Mark Zorin
Hold My Hand - Jess Glynne
Powerful - Major Lazer Feat. Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley


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