With this year's West Coast Weekender getting closer by the day, we talk to two more of this year's star attractions
We've told you this a few times by now, so this is just a reminder that this year's West Coast Weekender, for which iDJ is delighted to be a media partner, will be taking place at the Viejas Casino resort, just outside of San Diego, California on 2-6 May.
With a line-up packed with legends like Claptone, Carl Craig, The Pharcyde, Mark Farina, Mr V, Doc Martin, Miguel Migs and Gene Farris, plus a full daytime schedule of seminars, panel discussions, workshops and so on, West Coast Weekender was set up in 2016 by NYC house industry veteran Oscar Poche, who's now based – like the Weekender – in San Diego, California, and who'll also be playing at the event.
Last month, we brought you some quick Q&A's with two of this year's DJs, Osunlade and Mr V. Now, below, it's the turn of Oscar himself and Gene Farris to share some thoughts…
What DJ and/or producer most influenced you, and why?
Gene: "Lil Louis was my biggest influence growing up, and is still my idol. He was way ahead of his time, the music he made was groundbreaking and even if it was released today would be No 1 on all charts. He was and still is the man!"
Oscar: "As a producer, my first real Influence was Larry Levan. He was a pioneer in reconstructing singles without changing the integrity of the original version. That's what remixing was then. Today people barely use the original parts!
"As far as a DJ influence, I have to say Tony Humphries. I used to run home every Friday night to tape his Kiss FM sets, and study what he was doing. These guys were first impact events for me. And then of course I lived in a city where I got daily doses of Def Mix, Tenaglia and Masters At Work…"
What do you make of the fact that DJ culture has finally become a dominant musical movement in America? Upsides/downsides?
Gene: "For me, I think it’s great! It’s a good thing that people have a genre of music they go listen to, and not have to worry about violence. Electronic music is the best and I’m glad the rest of the country is starting to take notice. No matter what kind of electronic music you like, overall it’s a good thing happening."
Oscar: "To me, there are many movements at the same time. I love how techno has taken form front and centre in America. I love how the Afro-house/Afro-tech genre, which was always house music to begin with, has become a serious contender globally. I love the fact that a guy like Black Coffee can come to America and Europe, from Africa, and become one of the highest paid DJs in the world doing the exact opposite to everyone else.
"And I love the fact that real house music isn’t going anywhere! There is no downside – we are only at the beginning of this revolution."
What’s your DJ platform, and why?
Gene: "If you mean my set-up then it’s a Pioneer DJM-900NXS2, three Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2’s and a pioneer DJS-1000 for my acapellas. Why? Because I’m sponsored, ha ha! No, seriously it's because I honestly think it’s the best equipment to use for me – I can fully express my DJ personality with these pieces."
Oscar: "Pioneer CDJs and USB sticks – I don’t use laptops to play out. I’ve tried it, but I like the feel of looking at the crowd and having a good time with them, and I can't do that staring into a laptop. But for those that it works for, godspeed."
What’s your DAW of choice, and why?
Gene: "Logic Pro.. I’ve been using it for almost 20 years, since before they were brought by Apple, so it’s second nature for me now, I love it: some people think it’s too hard to use, but as the saying goes, if it was easy everyone would be doing it!"
Oscar: "Ableton Love… nuff said! I just looked at it and knew what to do with it."
What advice would you give to up-and-coming DJ/producers?
Gene: "Rome wasn't built in a day! Just stay humble and keep creating and writing, and don’t get disappointed or down on yourself. Just keep creating!"
Oscar: "Everyone gets a turn. That doesn’t mean you get the same turn, it just means you get a turn. This lifestyle is a grind, but if you really love it and love what you do, it will love you back."
What should people expect from your performance at West Coast Weekender?
Gene: "A fun, energetic banger. I can’t wait to play there again, it’s one of my favourite festivals in California."
Oscar: "A spiritual awakening!"
What’s the next big project for you?
Gene: "Let’s see… I just released a record with my boy Gawp on Idris Elba’s label, 7 Wallace, which is getting amazing reviews and climbing the charts fast! Also I just did a collaboration with Tim Baresko – that's just come out on Dirtybird.
"Then I have a song on Oliver Dollar's album which is on Classic (Derrick Carter’s imprint). I did a song with Green Velvet also that was in the Top 10 a couple of weeks ago, Galaxie, and I have records with Max Chapman, Will Clarke, Solardo, Technasia and Wheats coming this year. Oh, and I'm going in the studio this Friday with the great Mark Knight to cook up something hot for ya! Stay tuned."
Oscar: "My new album is complete, it's still untitled but it will drop this summer. Just moving forward a little bit more every year."
Words: Oscar Poche, Russell Deeks
This year's West Coast Weekender takes place at the Viejas Casino Resort, Alpine, CA from 2-6 May