Talk us through your ‘Stereo Day’ – from when you woke up, to when you went to bed.
Well I opened the ‘Locals Stage’ on the Sunday and after partying hard on the Saturday and then playing a gig the same night I slept in for as long as possible. Once I got to Stereo I met all of the crew on the locals stage, had a chat to them and then started. They were lovely and had some solid advice, which I still remember to this day. It was a good set because people who had told me they were coming to support me filtered in throughout and by the end of it I had a good crowd! I actually loved that set SO much and was pretty impressed with some people’s efforts considering they looked like zombies from the day before. There was a lot of support from friends, family and fellow Your Shot contestants.
Then I partied at the Hot Creations, Hard and V Room stages, went on a few rides and caught the whole of Armin Van Buuren’s set to finish off the day. I can’t actually think of a better way to end it all. He was awesome! (And I can’t actually remember if I went to bed that night or not haha!)
Describe the feeling of walking out and standing behind the decks at Australia’s biggest festival, Stereosonic?
It is pretty surreal. The sound system is something you have to appreciate as well. It is top of the range and you can hear everything so clearly. I wish I had that in my house! It never dawned on me just how massive this festival is. It honestly goes so quickly you just have to do your set, nail it and take it all in. I had never been to Stereosonic before and now having played there I think they have a new fan girl. I loved it! Throughout both days there was an insane party atmosphere!
Were you nervous? Scared? Excited? All of the above?
Scared? No. Nervous and excited? Absolutely! Nerves are good because they give you energy. I always think if you’re not nervous then you don’t really love it. I definitely had shaking hands and my focus face on!
Talk us through your set. What did you play?
Well because I was opening the stage, it was midday and I knew there would be a few sore heads around so I stuck to some really funky Nu-Disco/House tracks, which actually is one of my favourite styles to play. You can experiment a lot. A few of the artists whose tracks I used included Blue Boy, Nortorious B.I.G, Aloe Blacc, Anna Lunoe, Banks, Aluna George, Amine Edge, The Beatangers, Beni, Disclosure and many more.
Did you catch anyone else playing on the day? Who was your favourite act?
Armin hands down. He is a great performer. I had never seen him live before so it was a highlight for me. I was sitting in the stands and watched the whole set and am pretty certain there was no one sitting down.
I caught a lot of other acts as well, even a few locals as I kept popping back to the locals stage to see what was happening.
What did your mates think when you told them you were playing at Stereosonic?
They all bought tickets! They were super excited like me. Some even made ‘Keyes’ shirts which was super cute. All of them danced, which I appreciated. I always love watching people I know dance in my sets. It’s kinda hilarious.
Why did you enter Your Shot?
Well because I didn’t grow up in Sydney and didn’t go clubbing a lot in the city I didn’t know many people within the industry and initially it was to network. Once I got through however I think I realised it is so much more than that. You learn SO much. Not just in the technical aspects of DJing, but also in being a performer, promotion and all the other aspects which entail being a successful DJ these days. And then of course you realise how massive the prizes are, and that just makes you focus even more.
What was the highlight of your entire Your Shot process?
Taking out the Sydney title would have to be the highlight. I legitimately did not expect that. And after travelling so much back and forth up the coast, countless hours practicing and planning I felt like it was more than worth it.
I also met an incredible amount of talented people as well. It was like being accepted into a massive family. There are people from Your Shot who I still chat to and hang out with almost every week! In fact I would say that meeting the people you do, actually having the opportunity to meet some of the most talented and knowledgeable people in the industry is the best part! You receive loads of advice and gain a massive amount of exposure.
If you could describe the Your Shot experience in one sentence, what would it be?
A whirlwind experience filled with music, dancing, performing, drinking (maybe a little too much) which results in something that benefits you long after the competition, even if you don’t win.
Any suggestions for this year’s interviewees/contestants?
Be yourself. Don’t be a fake. People hate fakes; they will see right through you. Also make sure you play the music that you really love, because loads of people will play the same thing or ‘think’ they are playing something suitable at a competition like Your Shot. Don’t do that. Play the tracks that make you sing and dance alone in your bedroom at night. If you do that your performance is going to be ten times better because you will genuinely enjoy it. I think the tracks you put into your set is probably the biggest aspect of the competition. It sets you apart.
How’s that year’s supply of Red Bull going?
I gave it to my brother! He loves the stuff and after teaching me so much in regards to DJing it was the least I could do!
Do you have any gigs coming up that we should look out for?
Yes I am actually prepping sets and practicing right now for upcoming gigs. I played in Dubbo and Canberra recently, then Taren Point, The Brewery, Carmens and Adelaide will all be in the next couple of months. Including some sneaky sets at The Wall at World Bar and a few more, so it is all very exciting!
Like Keyes, if playing at Australia’s BIGGEST festival Stereosonic as well as at one of the hottest venues overseas sounds like something you want to do, then what are you waiting for? Register for Your Shot 2014 NOW!