DJMag.NL Interview “MY FIRST GIG”

Amsterdam – January 12, 2017

MG/DJ Mag NL: Where was it?
“My first DJ gig was in the early 1997 in a city near to Porto (Portugal). As far as I can remember, the venue was called Fábrica Bar. It was a small club, was not a known techno club or anything. Didn’t have any big expectations, but the place was not hard to fill, so, with a bunch of my friends and a few more people, it ended up being a great night actually.”

MG/DJ Mag NL: How old were you? Were you nervous?
Who supported you (family, friends?)

“I was 22 years old at the time of my debut, I was super excited and… Whether I was nervous? Of course! And I am still sometimes. You can not imagine how nervous I was, especially because at that time I had already some friends, other artists and ravers supporting and pushing me, even before my public appearances – many of them I knew personally. So, I suspected people would be paying extra attention to me and that worked as a challenge – didn’t want to get the crowd disappointed.”

“Fortunately I had got a lot of support from many friends – even after the first gig, but undoubtedly the most important encouragement was from a friend saying to me – “Believe yourself and let it flow”. A couple of months later he became my booking agent for several amazing years at Dream Work Agency (Portugal). A very special thanks to Nelson Branco who always believed on me and my work.”

MG/DJ Mag NL: Did you have a mentor and if yes, who?
Were your mentor, friends, and family at your debut? Or maybe some girl/boy you wanted to impress?

“I never had a mentor but I was strongly influenced by other artists – I’m a self-taught artist. Besides that, I also had a considerable entourage following me during my first public performances once I knew many people around Raves, so I had no lack of support.
I was not running to impress someone especially; I just wanted to impress myself and everyone else that loves good music.”

“My family was not a big fan of this genre because this was a completely unknown world to them. They have never really understood the DJ scene, so none of them were in my debut. Only few years later they realized how important it was for me!”

MG/DJ Mag NL: Did you prepare your set into detail before, at home, or did you just start and went along with the vibe?
“Actually I had prepared a set at home. But after playing the first 3 or 4 records the audience started to get wild as well as I was getting confident on decks. So, I noticed that my previous selection was no longer useful for that moment. As my bags were always composed of my preferred vinyl records and all the weekly news, was not difficult to follow the natural vibe of the crowd. At this point it taught me to choose each record according the situation.”

MG/DJ Mag NL: How did it go, the first gig? Were you happy and satisfied or disappointed?
What type of audience? Did you make terrible mistakes?

“I loved to perform in a real club for a real audience. Contrary to the initial predictions the club was filling up, so when I started I already had a well-composed dance floor, which made my job it easier. However I was still feeling nervous, but quickly became a healthy adrenaline, so I kept myself focused and let my set flow. The spot got packed full and I was giving them exactly what they liked and what they wanted.
Was a great party, everything went well and in the end I was really happy and that was a confirmation that going through djing would be my way. That first gig went fine. So, it all started. Eventually I got more bookings that worked out around Portugal and even abroad, so I grew and got better known.

Four years later, a memorable moment in my career was undoubtedly the nomination by the Portuguese magazine Dance Club for the “Portuguese Dance Awards 2001” on the “National New Talent Techno DJ” category. I was surprised with the nomination but even more with my winning of the prize once all other finalists were good professionals as well.”

“The audience at that first night was a special crowd, a mixture of people, especially many unexpected ravers from the north of Portugal. Mostly true music lovers; I could feel the wildness around me to know that everyone had lots of fun. The crowd was simply amazing.”

“I don’t think that I’ve made big mistakes that night, but of course I was still having some flaws! And I still have them sometimes, but as far as I can remember, I managed to fix them. But actually there is always something you can’t prevent during each set.”

MG/DJ Mag NL: What did you learn for the second time and every time after that?
“I’ve learned not only that night but on every gig I play that it is important to love and believe in what you do. If so, then you’re spreading that magic to others and everything comes naturally. As an artist I keep myself constantly to evolve and try to get even further.”

Original Dutch interview on DJMag.NL by Marceline Geelen aka Marcelineke