DJ MrChad - Is It The Chad-
Author: Darryn King
Friday, 10 August 2007
You got your start in DJing in an unusual way: as ‘musical coordinator’ of a NYE street party when you were 13. How did that come about-
Our street used to have a massive party every year. I think I was in the right place at the right time. I dashed home and got my one ’80s compilation (I think it was the one where the tracks were written on a girl’s bare butt cheek) and one of my dad’s Beatles tapes and headed back. There was a ‘home stereo’ set up which I used as my ‘decks’. I’m pretty sure that’s when I got the bug.
You like to mix it up when it comes to genre, playing pop, funk, soul, hip hop, rock and whatever… But is there one particular genre that’s exciting you at the moment-
This year I’ve thrown myself into the whole rock genre. I’ve done after parties for a bunch of bands like the Strokes, Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys and it’s been awesome being able to rock out. I’ve actually found that the kids that go to these gigs are much happier to listen to good music and not chin-stroke like some club goers.
My main focus though is the deep-funk scene. Bands like the Bamboos, Breakestra, Cookin’ on 3 Burners and labels like Daptone and Freestyle are producing music that is infectious, understands and pays proper homage to its roots and, most importantly, makes dancefloors move in ways that get me wet all the time. Every time one of these bands tours, the venue is packed with music lovers whose only care is to have a good time and enjoy the entertainment. In a city where being ‘scene’ is so prevalent, I love being surrounded by people at a concert whose energy is the same as mine. It’s like one big funk mosh.
When you’re doing a set, how much room is there for spontaneity, and responding to the audience with your music choices-
I have never planned a set in my whole life. In fact, I don’t get that at all. I have a firm belief that most people don’t want to be educated on the dancefloor. They want to have fun. That doesn’t mean you have to play hoary old retro tracks but at least something they can relate to – a hook, sample or version that they can recognise. That may explain why I get so nervous before a set - I never know what I’m going to play!
There are clubs where you can go and hear cutting edge stuff and they are obviously essential to the music scene, but most of the time people need to be able to relate to what they hear in order to dance to it.
You’ve performed at everything from the Xbox launch party to the ARIA Awards after party… Was there one performance that was particularly memorable-
I remember little things. Like playing a track that I don’t think people will like (that happens a lot) and it suddenly blowing up is unforgettable. I dropped the Kid Named Miles version of Ring of Fire at Melt a couple of weeks ago and it was the biggest tune of the night!
It’s not just hot parties and clubs where you bring the beats - you’ve also played several weddings! What sort of vibe and setlist do you go for when it comes to a crowd like that-
Weddings are weird monsters. I’m lucky in that most of the weddings I do, are for good people with good taste in music. I always play a big mix of music, usually with loads of soul and ‘memory lane’ style pop and a good dash of my hand-picked kooky covers.
And is it true that you played at Shannon Noll’s wedding-
Yes - I was the DJ for Shannon Noll’s wedding. And yes – I had to play What about me- It wasn’t fair. The poor guy had broken a leg, and sat on a chair for most of the night but I’m sure he still had a great time.
WHO: DJ MrChad
WHAT: Live Green @ Victoria Park
WHEN: 10am - 4pm, Saturday 25 August