What do a marketing strategist, an occupational therapist and a paper and pulp account manager have in common? By night, they transform into SUPERSTAR DJs.

PHOTOS LOGAN DAVEY / SUPPLIED

Chantelle Laurent

WHAT’S YOUR DJ NAME?

DeepC

WHAT’S YOUR DAY JOB?

I run For­mu­la One Results, a strate­gic mar­ket­ing ser­vices agen­cy in The Mount.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE MUSIC YOU PLAY?

Main­ly funky house on vinyl only, but my col­lec­tion also includes dance house, pro­gres­sive house and deep house.

HOW DID YOU BECOMEDJ?

I’d been trav­el­ling for a few years and devel­oped a love for the house music scene. On my return to Cam­bridge in 1999, I bought a ‘DJ in a Box’ kit. Beat mix­ing on vinyl is real­ly hard, so I enlist­ed the help of Fra­no Long­man (DJ Elixir) to teach me. We became great friends, and end­ed up play­ing mass­es of bars, clubs and par­ties in the North Island. I became the res­i­dent DJ at Bud­dha Lounge in Tau­ran­ga too, when it opened in 2004.

DO YOU HAVE A MUSICAL BACKGROUND?

Yes, I have played the piano since I was eight. At high school I played sax­o­phone, and have been part of the cho­rus in musi­cals. As a late teen, I was an aer­o­bics instruc­tor too — the per­fect job for some­one who loves dance and music!

WHAT’S THE BEST GIG YOUVE EVER DONE?

Fra­no and I organ­ised and ran a cou­ple of New Year’s events back-to-back, on pri­vate farm­land in Raglan and near Coroglen. Both events had around 400 peo­ple and ran for three days with every­one pitch­ing in with sup­plies; we just had a small cov­er charge to fund things like por­taloos, gen­er­a­tors, a big mar­quee, and chiller trail­er. As the organ­is­ers, we just played what we want­ed, when we want­ed, and had the most amaz­ing time.

WHAT WAS THE MOST DISASTROUS GIG YOUVE EVER DONE?

A wed­ding and a busi­ness awards’ event — nev­er again! Despite the organ­is­ers know­ing what I play, I still had to deal with drunk, rude wom­en demand­ing Brit­ney Spears. This was dur­ing the days before elec­tron­ic DJ gear, so what I had in my record box was all I had to play – but try explain­ing that to a drunk­en lar­rik­in who’s set on tak­ing over the gig!

DOES DJING TAKE UP MUCH OF YOUR TIME?

Before kids, I used to prac­tise every night after work, and play gigs all week­end. Since I’ve had chil­dren, it’s very much a hob­by. I start­ed a Face­book group called The Vinyl Appre­ci­a­tion Soci­ety. It’s an oppor­tu­ni­ty for a few of us to meet up now and then, be vinyl geeks, and throw the odd par­ty for us to share our music with friends.

WHAT’S COMING UP?

A cou­ple of for­ti­eths, and Sundaise in March. Plus anoth­er Vinyl Appre­ci­a­tion event soon too. It’s all about bal­ance: my kids come first, then I need to make a liv­ing, then wind­surf­ing when it’s windy, hang­ing out with friends, main­tain­ing my home and, when I have time, spin­ning some vinyl. It’s some­thing I will always love and con­tin­ue to dab­ble in.

KATE FOOT

WHAT’S YOUR DJ NAME?

Shekay

WHAT’S YOUR DAY JOB?

Occu­pa­tion­al ther­a­pist.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE MUSIC YOU PLAY?

Deep and tech house, as well as tech­no, elec­tron­ic, nu-dis­co, funk, soul, dub and down­beat. I can play a vari­ety of styles depend­ing on the gig I’m booked for.

HOW DID YOU GOT INTO DJING?

I went to a fes­ti­val in 1999 in Takaka, Nel­son, and fell in love with dance music. A few weeks lat­er, I heard live beats com­ing from a booth set up by Wellington’s under­ground alter­na­tive radio sta­tion, Radio Active I intro­duced myself, and that was it. I was in!

DO YOU HAVE A MUSICAL BACKGROUND?

I grew up play­ing clas­si­cal piano music, and played tim­pani (ket­tle­drums) in the orches­tra at col­lege and dab­bled on the drum kit and trum­pet.

WHAT’S THE BEST GIG YOUVE EVER DONE?

Burn­ing Man in the Nevada desert. I played at The 7 Dead­ly Gins bar, which is organ­ised by the crew I camped with. It’s known for being one of the best bars there, with an incred­i­ble vibe and the best gin and ton­ics I have ever tast­ed. I also played at the Alti­tude Lounge (erect­ed on scaf­fold­ing) with a fan­tas­tic look­out over the fes­ti­val. The view was breath­tak­ing — it was sun­set, and a moment I’ll nev­er for­get. The fes­ti­val was a trans­for­ma­tive expe­ri­ence, and to play there was a real hon­our.

WHAT WAS THE MOST DISASTROUS GIG YOUVE EVER DONE?

The first show I ever did on Radio Active in 1999 was pret­ty chal­leng­ing. It ran from 11 am to 6 am, and was used as a train­ing ground for new DJs. I was quick­ly shown how to load a CD and the ads, and do a voiceover. Then I was on my own! I stum­bled through the five hours and it took me a mon­th to build up the courage to do anoth­er show.

DOES DJING TAKE UP MUCH OF YOUR TIME?

When I’m play­ing out reg­u­lar­ly or hold­ing down a res­i­den­cy, it doesn’t take long to pre­pare as I have a lot of cur­rent music on my playlists. But if I have a spe­cial event on, I spend hours search­ing for music and com­pil­ing playlists as it’s always more fun to play fresh tunes. It’s a labour of love though — I enjoy it, so the time flies.

WHAT’S COMING UP FOR YOU?

I’ve recent­ly moved from Auck­land, where I was large­ly play­ing in bars, clubs and restau­rants. Now that I’m liv­ing in The Mount I’m keen to play more day­time sets and out­door gigs — fes­ti­vals, mar­kets, food truck nights, that kind of thing.

SCOTT COLE

WHAT’S YOUR DJ NAME?

Big North­ern Bloke

WHAT’S YOUR DAY JOB?

An account man­ager for a Swedish equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­er, ser­vic­ing the pulp and paper Indus­try, trav­el­ling to Aus­tralia, Viet­nam, Thai­land and Chi­na.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE MUSIC YOU PLAY?

Deep house, under­ground, funk, soul, rare groove, UK garage.

TELL ME A BIT ABOUT HOW YOU BECAMEDJ

I was a bed­room DJ back in the eight­ies where I grew up in Mid­dles­brough, Eng­land; I was a mas­sive hip-hop fan. I set up a month­ly hip-hop gig with a mate in a local night­club on a Sat­ur­day after­noon (there was no alco­hol, so we could get school mates along). It last­ed a few months and was a great expe­ri­ence even though we were crap DJs at the time.

Then I went to uni­ver­si­ty, and played in the stu­dent union bar, where I sub­ject­ed every­body to Jack Your Body at least once a week!!

HAVE YOU GOT ANY OTHER MUSICAL BACKGROUND?

I played gui­tar for a while until I chopped off part of my left index fin­ger. The­se pho­tos of me DJing are the last I have with my index fin­ger still intact!

WHAT’S THE BEST GIG YOUVE EVER DONE?

A week­ly under­ground gig at Har­ry Limes in Portsmouth; a great crowd, 500 bounc­ing dancers every week. No one didn’t dance.

WHAT WAS THE MOST DISASTROUS GIG YOUVE EVER DONE?

At a pri­vate, hap­py hard­core, ware­house par­ty just out­side of New­castle in the nineties, I was the warm-up DJ. The main act arrived with all his gear. After an hour sort­ing out who does what and when, the main DJ and his crew went to set up, and when they opened their turntable car­ry cas­es, they found that some­one had swapped his turnta­bles for bricks!

DOES DJING TAKE UP MUCH OF YOUR TIME?

I haven’t played out for a while, but when I do, I aim for once a week or twice a mon­th.

I spin at home in my studio/man cave every day, cre­at­ing and pro­duc­ing tracks too.

WHAT’S COMING UP FOR YOU?

I just want to be able to keep buy­ing vinyl to feed my addic­tion! Hav­ing said that, I have acknowl­edged and start­ed to embrace the dig­i­tal DJ domain, and am now able to use the soft­ware and hard­ware pro­fi­cient­ly. In doing so, I’ve made myself more flex­i­ble. I don’t put myself for­ward for wed­dings or Christ­mas par­ties; I just like play­ing what I know and love. I don’t use the mike, I don’t scratch mix, and I don’t do requests!