The Gearooz team attended this year's WILD LIFE festival and while we were there we got the chance to have a chat with Henry J, Techno DJ and winner of the WILD LIFE social media DJ competition.
Gearooz: Congratulations on the win! How does it feel to have won the competition and play a festival slot among such a fantastic line up?
Henry: It feels amazing to have played my first festival, the Kopparberg Urban Forest was such a nice place to play, and had a really good atmosphere throughout the weekend. It was certainly a different experience to anything I've done before but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Gearooz: Tell me how long you have been DJing for and what inspired you to start?
Henry: I started DJing last year after going to a DJ workshop on my campus at Sussex University. I think I got the bug for Djing after about 5 minutes of being there, and when it finished I bought my first set of decks pretty much straight after. Since then I got a residency at a Thursday club night at Patterns in Brighton, called Midnight Funk Association; DJed at a few others clubs and presented a radio show this last term on URF radio.
Gearooz: Wow so you pretty much dived straight in there, if you could go back and give your aspiring self some advice what would it be?
Henry: I think all I can say to aspiring DJs is to just try everything, especially if you're at uni, even stuff you think you might not be interested in. I never thought radio would interest me until I did it, but it's been great DJing practice as they recently installed professional DJ equipment in the studio. I would also keep practising on any old equipment, offer to play at peoples parties and maybe approach clubs when you feel comfortable.
Gearooz: Totally agree with you there, you mentioned that your University studio has installed professional dj equipment, what tech gear do you enjoy using and do you have any favourite items of equipment?
Henry: The equipment I'm using at the moment is two Pioneer CDJ 400s and a Numark X9 mixer. However, my favourite CDJ to play on is of course the CDJ 2000 nexus, while I love Pioneer's mixers, I've been lucky enough to have had quite a bit of use of a Rane MP2015 rotary mixer, which is incredibly nice to play on.
Gearooz: Some great choices there, I'm sure it is nice to play and experiment with a different range of equipment; you should come down to our Brighton showroom sometime [laughs].
Now you had a chance to catch some acts during the weekend's festivities, who have you enjoyed watching at this year's WILD LIFE?
Henry: I thought all the acts I saw at the Kopparberg Urban Forest Stage, including Heidi, Gerd Janson, Horse Meat Disco, and Artwork b2b Denis Sulta were on point as always! But later in the evenings we spent some time at the WHP presents stage. Fatboy Slim and Disclosure b2b Armand Van Helden were absolutely incredible. Joe Goddard was also really good, and it was a nice start to the Saturday afternoon/evening.
Gearooz: Fatboy Slim certainly did draw in a large crowd! Now that WILD LIFE is over, what are your plans for 2017 and where can we expect to see you playing next?
Henry: I don't have any more dates lined up at the moment as I will be returning home to Devon soon for the summer before I start my study year abroad. I leave in July and I'm going to Australia, so I'm hoping to keep it going there after I've checked out what nightlife the city has to offer. However, I hope to get one more night in Brighton sorted before I leave.
Gearooz: Good luck to you on that venture, I'm sure you will be playing sets across Australia before you know it! Thank you for talking to Gearooz, we wish you all the best in the future!
Henry J's mixes are available to listen to on Soundcloud...