There are loads of self-proclaimed DJs in China making money from the fact that music scene here is still in its teenage years. And while that kind of opportunism is to be applauded (that's the stuff that dreams are made of, right?), true respect is due the true veterans—guys with title belts and undeniable skills—like our friend Kunming-based English DJ. >>>
We recently stumbled across DSK's latest video, a trip through Kunming's parks set to a funky beat entitled "Check the Technique," and convinced him to let us showcase it on the Ctrip English YouTube brand channel.
We caught up with DSK in between lab sessions and asked him a bit about his time in China and the hard, hard DJ lifestyle he leads. Check out what he has to say after the jump....
China Travel: Who are you? What do you do? How long have you been in China?
DSK: My name is Nick X a.k.a. DJ DSK and I am a DJ, producer and events organizer. I have been in China around 10+ years.
China Travel: Why Kunming?
DSK: I was living in many countries around Asia and decided I needed to learn another language so I bought a book to learn Chinese and randomly stuck a pen on a map of China. It landed just above Jinghong in Xishuangbanna so off I went. I first stayed in Yuxi for a year then moved to Kunming. Kunming is a great city with beautiful weather, food and people and of course, my lovely wife and daughter .
China Travel: What are some projects you're up to?
DSK: Last year was a great year with so many projects on the Shanghai Expo and for the German Embassy. This year I am focusing on making an album, some videos, doing shows around and making a big Asia tour in September with Marc Hype and Jim Dunloop. This week I have shows with DJ Woody and his Technics in Technicolor China tour. I also DJ for a lot of well-known b-boy events like BOTY, Free Style Session, Circle Kingz etc.
China Travel: How'd you get into DJing here and do you have plans to stick around or blast off somewhere else?
DSK: My Dad bought me a Realistic mixer with no cross fader for Christmas around 1987 then I bought some secondhand belt drive turntables and that was it. Then I saved up and got better and better equipment, I was selling mix tapes at school, doing some house parties, then onto clubs, bars, etc. I have always been heavily into turntablism and so was always practicing scratching and juggles.
Around 1997 I got fed up as I was trying to make beats and DJing, but house music got really big in the UK and the hip-hop scene was in a bad way so I sold everything and moved to Asia. At the time I was studying freestyle martial arts and Bruce Lee was a BIG hero of mine so I headed to Hong Kong. I had some records with me when I traveled so I managed to DJ here and there and also started to get work teaching people how to scratch and mix as turntablism was massive in Asia in the late 90s. When I arrived in China the DJs here were so bad and there were (and still are) so many fake foreign DJs, it was very easy to get work.
I'll be around for a while yet!
To find out where you can catch DSK's turntable skills in action plus more about DJing in China and some awesome DSK mixes (like this one right here: 100% funk, no house or techno added), check out the DJ*DSK website.The China destinations plus well-made third party videos like Check the Technique and China Timelapse, that show another unique side of China. We're open for ideas, comments and feedback so if you've got something to say, drop us a line, comment below or head to the YouTube page to tell us what you think!