The global music community was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic this year. With the nightlife scene essentially shut down, DJs turned to live...
While in Washington D.C. for an event last week, Laidback Luke sat down with A-Trak for a candid conversation. The two discussed topics such as A-Trak’s start as a club DJ, how French music influenced his career, and how Fool’s Gold became more than a record label.
The focus of the convo centered around the topic of real DJing, however, and some of the controversial antics DJs do on stage. Specifically, they talk DJs throwing up heart hands and standing on the DJ booth. A-Trak tells Luke why it looks bad when certain DJs throw up the heart symbol then explains why he jumps on the DJ table during his shows.
On DJs throwing up heart hands:
“I don’t hate it, but you know what it is? I think, you know, in some cases it can be, it can look like a bit of a caricature of certain kinds of DJs who aren’t actually doing much mixing and who do more of like the theater.”
Why he jumps on the DJ booth:
“That’s just an energy thing. You know, sometimes I think that my approach to DJing is, there’s a certain amount of showmanship to it. If you were to see Slash do a concert, you expect Slash to just be a showman … in a sense, my approach to DJing is comparable to that. … and sometimes I’ll get up on a table, especially at a bigger festival where it’s just a way to feel a connection with the crowd.”
On balancing DJing and antics:
“The reach of DJing has gotten so big, I think, inevitably there’s a certain amount of antics that come with just trying to make sure that the crowd feels your presence in certain ways. But I think the important thing is that the actual DJing part of the set is still, you know, the majority of the time. And that the jumping around is kind of a little spice on top. Not the other way around.”
Watch the conversation above (starts at the 2:46 mark).
Related: Watch A-Trak’s ‘MikiDz Show’ Set