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DJ Skilla
By: Steve McMinn
Date: 2006-01-31 15:39:34
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We recently caught up with Vancouver’s DJ SKILLA, who after only one year behind the decks already has residences at two of the hottest club nights in the city!

After only one year as a DJ you have already become quite popular, does this surprise you or did you of course expect this to happen?

I’m quite surprised at where I am DJ-wise. I mean, I knew I could play for crowds sooner or later but not after 1 year - the learning curve wasn’t so difficult for me. It took nights of practice, understanding the music and what tracks work in your arsenal. I also make mixes for the masses, every 2 weeks.. - great promo and practice!

What was the most challenging part of learning to spin?


What clubs, events and DJ’s inspired you to pursue playing?

If I can name one thing that inspired me.. it was and still is the MUSIC.

PASSION parties at the Rowing Club back in 2004 played a big part as well. I was a promoter at first, then I guess I got bored with flyer handouts and the music inspired me to spin..

BELIEVE parties @ the Red Room continue to inspire me.

DJs who played a big part in my development, whether it be by example or encouragement were:

Scott Audio, Johnny Omega, Eyespy, Ralph D, Christian Alvarez, Nicky Delgado

Oh, and my fianc?e kicked my butt into gear when I didn’t have the juice to practice.. haha.

I’m quite surprised at where I am DJ-wise. I mean, I knew I could play for crowds sooner or later but not after 1 year - the learning curve wasn’t so difficult for me

Where was the first place you played and how did it go?

First time.. hmmm..I played on my own night called Release at Vibes lounge. It was great! People were dancing, drinkin, singing, rockin.. now to think of it.. my track selection was less to be desired.. but it was a great learning experience.

When I first moved here from Toronto 3yrs ago, the club scene did not seem as strong. I have noticed a real increase in quality in both the talent and promotion side of things. What are your thoughts on this?

Vancouver is a smaller city so you’ll never get that same impact from major metropolitan areas such as Toronto or Montreal. What I love about Vancouver is that it’s still growing and educating itself on music and nightlife entertainment. It leaves room for more ideas, more talent.

I also feel that Vancouverites work harder to be something more than average.

It’s like we gotta prove something to the world and to each other and we’re doing it on a constant basis....this drive definitely keeps the industry fresh.

Describe the funniest/scariest/craziest thing you have witnessed from the DJ booth...

Aside from the "spill drink on equipment" incidents.. I once had a turntable tone arm crap out in an important gig..I didn’t know how to use a CDJ but I had to work with it.. it was nerve-rackng but everything turned out fine.

Who do you feel are the top DJ’s in Vancouver right now?

I pick these guys cuz they’re not only wicked DJs, but they produce world class tracks:

Nicky Delgado, Tyler Lewis, Christian Alvarez, DJ Timeline, RC Lair, JAY TRIPWIRE

Apart from Niche Fridays and Believe Saturdays, what other nights/places do you recommend?

Midweek Hump Wednesdays @ Tribeca, Ginger 62 Saturday, Colour Sundays @ Shine

Any up and comers (besides you) we should be on the lookout for?


Which of your record(s) get the most play these days?

Let’s Dance ( 2001 white label remix) - David Bowie ....60% of the time, it works Everytime...

On your site, there is mention that you may be producing some tracks soon. Are you planning on releasing anything in the near future?

I have a track out called "The LIFELINE" under Cherry System.. I’m still fine-tuning it.. knowing me, I’ll never be happy with the damn thing..

I’ve included the original mix as the last track in my JUXTAPOSE album B mix.

You can catch DJ SKILLA at Niche Fridays - Bar None -1222 Hamilton St, Yaletown and Believe Saturdays at The Red Room - 398 Richards St, Gastown.
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