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In conversation with: DJ AKI

“From Detroit electro to old school gabber”

Bringing an electrifying energy to the dance floor, DJ AKI is pioneering a sound like no other. Get ready to go hard or go home, because his cathartic tracks will make you move – like really MOVE. The unapologetic style breathes unpredictability, and we can’t get enough.  Luckily, Glamcult got the chance to catch up with DJ AKI to talk about his favs on the scene, his rituals, and manifestations for the rest of the year.

How are you today?
Today is quite gloomy, winter’s hitting a little too early for my taste. Been enjoying my day tho listening to new jams.

How do you describe your DJ style?
I would say I can’t put a label on what I play. From Detroit electro to old school gabber. Maybe that’s a good way to put it, electrogabber!

What’s your main source of inspiration?
My parents and friends. I’ve been hanging out with a lot of “young and upcoming” kids from the experimental scene in Amsterdam, they have been inspiring me since I moved here. My parents have been putting me onto jams since I was a baby. They brought me to a George Clinton concert when I was 6 years old.

What do you like to do before your set to get in the mood?
A good meal always does me right. Vitamins or whatever. You never know how long the evening will be, so you better eat while you can

Which other DJ’s or music artists inspire you the most?
My friends at the moment mostly, I’ve started playing in Amsterdam more cause of my friend he goes by MYNRGY. First gig we did was unplanned and went smooth like butter, so we knew something special was cooking. Also my two homies who go by KEY/GEN have been surprising me with their live sets.

Yeah they’ve definitely been on our radar as well! How does your work interact with the communities you’re in?
My homies started up a community/platform called kruispunt. Through the events they host I get to meet a lot of new artists and people in the scene. They also helped me get a few gigs and promote my shows.

Would love to work with the boys of HABIBIBASS. They are a small electro label from Leipzig, Germany. Bounce operators vol.2 is filled with instant classics.

If you could change anything about the industry what would it be?
The constant looking at the DJ at a rave. Not a lot of people know this but the DJ wasn’t always the focal point of the party. It was about dancing. Nowadays the crowd is less interactive and more focused on the DJ.

Besides DJing, what do you do in your daily life?
I’ve been making art, painting walls. I’ve always been dreaming but I’m really getting back into it. Doing airbrush T-shirts soon!

What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?
I think my gig with Malcolm (MYNRGY) at garage. Crowd popped off! S/o my two homies from kruispunt. Lots of love from the people that evening too ❤️.

What is your favourite song at the moment?
Sending all my love out – (Detroit in effect Remix) by Emerson.

What do you think is the most overrated / overplayed song?
A lot of people have just realised what techno is and started DJ as well. Any techno in general feels kind of outdated – rhythm wise. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing an industrial techno track through my set, but a whole set of four to the floor got me yawning to be honest.

What is the most underrated music scene in your opinion?
Definitely Chicago juke. I think a lot of people think it sounds too unmixed and rhythmically complicated. I beg to differ. It’s one of those genres you can chill and go ham to at the same time.

What makes someone in the crowd stand out to you?
If they look me straight in my eyes from the other side of the club. And try to tell me with their eyes they are enjoying your craft.

What’s something that you can’t live without?
Music and dancing.

What advice would you would give young DJs trying to break into the industry?

Try to figure out why you are making music. I came across this feeling of disgust going to a music academy for 3 years. Because I didn’t want to sell myself like a whore to the music industry. Take your time, start playing locally and have fun. Also know your worth. Don’t back down from asking what the budget is.

What are you manifesting for the rest of 2022?
Small EP on the way, collaborative efforts, and dropping some clothing soon. Yeehaw!


Words by Ella Paritsky

Images courtesy of the artist