The Story Behind The Phenomenon


4-time world-winning scratch DJ, phenomenal producer, and a wizard behind the decks. There are loads of methods to explain DJ Journey. This spring, he’s again on STUDIO with a brand new EP known as “夢 Yume”. As at all times together with his distinctive strategy, he showcases his turntablism, hip-hop, and bass music background.  For this EP, he dove into analog sounds, experimentation, and a visible dream world.

To get thus far, DJ Journey needed to work laborious. From inserting final at his very first scratch competitors to profitable 4 occasions 15 years later, he is aware of what it’s to beat challenges like no different. At present, we discuss in regards to the technique of his newest EP, his inspirations, and the way scratching, producing, and DJing go hand in hand. 

Dj Ride 夢 Yume
Dj Journey – 夢 Yume EP

Hello DJ Journey, congratulations in your EP on STUDIO! I’ve had an opportunity to hearken to it already, and there are a lot of completely different sounds on there. Are you able to inform me what impressed you to make that venture?

If I hearken to the EP myself, I can’t even outline it. One of the best ways to explain it could be a journey from 75 BPM to 180. I prefer to discover this fusion between my hip-hop roots and bass music. All manufacturing work I do is at all times difficult myself to combine my roots, previous, current, and future. Because the starting, I attempted to combine hip-hop and drum & bass. And now, if you happen to go to hearken to somebody play bass music, you hear these genres being blended, which is cool to see. 15 years in the past, you didn’t have that. I bear in mind searching for tracks with that form of fusion, however few producers have been doing that. On this EP, I attempt to combine beats, drum & bass, half-time… I believe it’s one in every of my finest works thus far. It was a problem to attempt to make all the things cohesive, however I’m 200% proud of the way it got here out.

You stated defining the EP is tough, however I need you to strive. Are you able to inform me in regards to the inspirations behind it?

The title of the EP is 夢 Yume. I appeared for Japanese phrases that sounded good and had some that means behind it. From a visible perspective, I like the Japanese characters’ design. 夢 Yume means “dream” and “imaginative and prescient”. The primary observe is named ‘Void’ as a result of I believe it differs from the tracks I did earlier than. I attempted to vary the bpm all through the observe. It begins with one bpm, after which there’s a drop, and the bpm drops as properly. There are additionally components one and two in that observe as a result of the observe was made throughout two completely different Ableton Dwell periods. It’s two completely different beats mixed. The second observe is named ‘Japan222’ as a result of I began it in Tokyo. I’m unhealthy with names, so typically, I exploit random numbers and names when engaged on a observe. The third observe is named ‘Tunnel’ as a result of it actually jogs my memory of driving by a tunnel. It has this journey form of vibe. The final one is named ‘ANALOG’ as a result of I used a number of analog stuff on the drop. A number of the synthesizer sounds are saturated as a result of I exploit loads of analog layers of my machines.

Apart from producing bass music, you’re a four-time world-winning scratching DJ. What’s the distinction between DJing and producing, and scratching?

Again within the day, I began utilizing turntables and vinyl. This was earlier than I used my laptop computer, Serato, and all that stuff. I believe it helped me loads with making an attempt out new stuff. I nonetheless attempt to put a few of that analog sound in my productions. I like having this scratching and turntablism background. Once I’m bored of manufacturing, I can return to that. It’s like having three completely different tasks to select from. I’m a producer and a DJ, however turntablism is a totally completely different league. It was good to be again to the DJ battles as a result of I wanted that to take a breath and get away from manufacturing a little bit bit. Generally, it’s a must to create far to get inspiration and begin producing once more. Despite the fact that DJ battles and competitions may be traumatic, it’s a refresher for my profession. I’ve been producing loads these previous years, and I wished to pause for 3 or 4 months and simply concentrate on scratching as a result of scratch is my major instrument.

What I like about turntablism units is that they’re form of uncommon. I can’t do one hour of scratchy routines if I am going to a membership. I can scratch on some tracks, and I at all times do on all my units, however there’s some actually particular and extra hardcore technical stuff that I can solely do at my studio, recording a video or in scratch championships. That was one in every of my major causes to enter these competitions. I missed battling and being with my turntablist neighborhood once more. Assembly with the worldwide neighborhood is nice. Due to COVID-19 and the lockdowns, some world finals have been solely on-line, so there have been some folks I hadn’t seen for about six years or one thing.

You gained two world titles final 12 months as Dj Journey. How was that?

It felt superb. I’ve gained different world titles within the ‘present’ and ‘workforce’ classes with my good friend Stereossauro, a extremely good scratch DJ and producer from Portugal. I at all times wished to take part solo as a result of it has one other that means to me. Successful solo is harder as a result of it’s a must to do all the things your self. I additionally had some unfinished enterprise with the solo class, as some years in the past, I positioned final. This was a extremely good alternative, and I nonetheless have a number of concepts. Some folks ask me why I hold getting into battles as a result of I’ve 15 years of scratching expertise, however the reply is basically easy. I  nonetheless have concepts I need to current, stuff that I can’t do within the membership, so I need to use the world championships and occasions like this to current the stuff I apply alone in my studio. 90% of scratch occasions are championships. There are some jam periods, however not loads. The neighborhood is basically robust worldwide, although, and we additionally put up a number of movies, which is one other one in every of my tasks. It’s known as ‘Scratch Places’. I search for good locations, take my setup, and report small movies the place I’m scratching and freestyling in uncommon, lovely, or deserted locations.

How did you give you the ‘Scratch Places’ venture?

I made my first video in 2018 in a cathedral right here in Portugal, and it’s nonetheless one in every of my favourite movies. My editor on the time used a drone and very nice cameras. It’s a very nice solution to present scratching and turntablism to a wider viewers. It’s a video my dad and mom and buddies can watch and luxuriate in. Generally, the extra technical stuff or battle stuff may be too hardcore for some folks. With these small movies that I’m doing, even people who find themselves not into scratching or turntablism can take a look at the video and be like, “That is in a pleasant place,” and so they can benefit from the instrumental. It’s additionally one other solution to produce cool content material for my social media as a result of, these days, it’s tough. These small movies are a solution to present what I can do with my scratching and turntablism.

You stated you had some unfinished enterprise on the planet championships since you positioned final some years in the past. It’s very inspiring that you simply didn’t quit and saved pushing. What wouldn’t it be if you happen to may say something to your youthful self?

Maintain practising, and don’t waste an excessive amount of time on the web, haha! No, I believe I handle my time properly, however I’m not probably the most prolific man. I’m actually centered on my craft, however typically, I have to step again and luxuriate in life. I’m happy with the 17-year-old man. If I may return in time, I wouldn’t change that a lot as a result of even when I spend loads of time on the web, I study one thing new each day there. I nonetheless watch tutorials, and I realized a lot stuff on YouTube… It’s a blessing and a curse. I believe everyone seems to be hooked on the web, but when you should use it to your personal good, you’ll be able to study loads.

In your social media, there’s a put up saying you nearly missed the World Championship in Poland. What’s the story behind this? 

There have been two issues. The primary one was that I solely had one month to apply as a result of I made a decision to enter the technical class after I knew that I had gained the Get together Rocking one. I used to be not 100% positive if I wished to enter the technical class as a result of it’s actually completely different from social gathering rocking. However profitable was a lift for me, and I began to dream about, “What about if I additionally entered technical? There’s an opportunity to win two world titles in like two months!” It was a loopy thought. The second factor was a gig with DJ Kentaro in Japan. I had one month to arrange all the things and a few gigs in Japan, so it was actually traumatic. I used to be going to mattress at 9 a.m., and even on the day earlier than the world finals, I used to be ending stuff at my resort. I attempted to push myself as laborious as I may do it. It was hardcore, nevertheless it was value it ultimately.

What helped you to push by? What saved you motivated?

The principle drawback was time as a result of I had the concepts. I knew what I wished to do and had every bit of music I wished to make use of on the world finals. My major drawback was time to apply. I bear in mind the day that I needed to journey to Poland rather well. I slept for 2 or three hours and wakened at 10 p.m. I practiced until I needed to go to the airport. What saved me going was that I noticed that I had an opportunity to make historical past, which impressed me. How far I can push myself, even when I’ve restricted time? I don’t advocate doing this, nevertheless it turned out nice for me.

What obtained you into scratch battles initially?

The soundtrack of my childhood was hip-hop. The DJ was the one I favored probably the most; the scratching was very futuristic to me, and I wished to make use of that as an instrument. One in every of my goals was to be a part of the hip-hop tradition, however I couldn’t rhyme and wasn’t good at graffiti or dancing. Then I assumed, “I’m good with machines. I at all times had a powerful power pushing me to machines and to supply. I actually prefer to construct stuff. Once I was younger, one in every of my hobbies was constructing legos and robots, so for me, it was pure to enterprise into scratching and DJing. Even these days, the setup is futuristic to me… The mixer with the vinyl… It’s a mixture between the previous and the longer term. 

I grew up in Caldas da Rainha, an hour from Lisbon. In my hometown, there’s just one extra man doing what I do: Stereossauro, my finest good friend. I obtained into scratch battles as a result of I wished to indicate folks my work. The battles have been at all times in Lisbon and Porto. The championships are a mix of all the things: showcasing your work, having the chance to fulfill your heroes, and having to apply. You should be actually particular and work actually laborious in your craft. 

Who or what impressed you?

Again within the day, one in every of my inspirations was Combine Grasp Mike from Beastie Boys. I bear in mind the observe ‘Three MCs and One DJ’, the place he was the primary instrument of that observe, and he did the beats, scratched the results, and did the kick and the snare. There’s a documentary known as ‘Scratch’, DJ Shadow, Afrika Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Flash. That one influenced me massively as properly.

In April, you have been again in Paris for WORMS. You’ve additionally performed at STUDIO Invitations a few years in the past. How was it to be again?

It was actually nice to be again and to hang around once more with all of the STUDIO crew. They’re constructing one thing actually particular and it’s nice to be a part of it. Can’t wait to see the total video and to share a few of the highlights of my set with those that couldn’t be there.

Interview carried out in March 2024 by Annelies Rom.

Due to Tomas for the nice interview. You possibly can stream/obtain the primary single ‘Void Half I & Half II” from his forthcoming Yume venture on STUDIO right here.

You can too hearken to Dj Journey’s Adrenaline visitor combine right here.

Don’t neglect to comply with Dj Journey on socials to seek out out extra about his upcoming work.

Dj Journey


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *