Although he's only been working the local DJ circuit for around four years, Tonic Kemestry has had more than his fair share of memorable experiences. The 25-year-old has performed at numerous underground dance affairs, gotten throngs of teenyboppers shaking their groove things with his EDM mixes, and has even had a dildo tossed at him while busy in the booth.
You read that right. A bonafide faux boner was hurled at him during one memorable gig at a hookah joint, which he says is one of the weirdest things in his short career. Tonic Kemestry had a few other non-sex toy subjects to discuss when Up on the Sun spoke with him recently, including how he got started in the DJ world after futzing with his former roommate's gear and whether or not dubstep has become stale.
Name: Marco Castillo
AKA: Tonic Kemestry
Preferred genres: That's a bit of a challenge to answer. I'm the type of person who can switch genres every week. For example I'm really into breaks and dirty Dutch. But that could change to drum step in a heartbeat. In the end I love it all. Each genre is unique in its own way and that's what I love about it, even country and hip-hop.
What are your upcoming gigs? I have two shows in February and one in march. The first is [on] February 15th, an event called Heartbeatz. Then a show the following weekend called The Funk Phenomena. And in March, I will be playing at Hard Dance Massive.
Are you a club or rave DJ? I'm both. I love the freedom of playing a rave because it's basically your hour to do what you want. And clubs are fun too because they present the challenge of finding the right sound for the crowd that night.
How did you get into the game? I got into DJing when I first [came] here from Tucson. I moved into a house with my girlfriend and her two roommates. One had a DJ set and when all three would go to work I'd be at the house by myself messing with the equipment.
Did they mind you using their gear? Nah, he never even used it.
So, much like other DJ these days, you started as a bedroom producer? Yes indeed. That's really when you can develop your skills is the comfort of your room. Knowing that there is no pressure from anyone else. No one telling you what sounds good or sounds bad. It's just you getting to know your equipment and style
What's the significance of your DJ name? Tonic was my rave name. Its the name I was given when I fell in love with edm and its culture. When I was getting serious about my DJ career I picked the name DJ Kemestry because chemistry is everything. Its all connected. The music I am spinning is causing a chemical reaction in you. Either sad, angry, happy, whatever. Long story short my first gig accidently put tonic kemestry on the flyer. So I ran with it.
What's the craziest shit you've seen at a gig? When I was DJing at a hookah bar, someone decided to throw a blue and white dildo at me. I didn't know what to think, so I threw it back. It landed right next to my arm on the DJ table. I picked it up in confusion, held it in the air the crowd cheered a little and I tossed it back. Thinking about it now I sure hope that wasn't used. The crowd was going so crazy that I guess women didn't need their toys to turn them on that night.
Do you think your music helped with that? Yeah I do. The party was not bumping at all. Four other DJs we spinning that night. And as soon as I played my first track, the entire [crowd] stood up and flooded the dance floor.
Any compunction to use the dildo to help you DJ? No, I don't think I would ever want to be known as "that dildo DJ."
Your SoundCloud features a few dubstep tracks. Do you think the genre is becoming played out by now? I think that Dubstep is always going to have it's following, I don't care who you are. When that deep bass and grimy sound comes in just right it gets people pumped up. At least from my experience it does.
Do you think the bubble is about to burst with EDM in general? I have wondered that. It's tough to tell. Right now RDM has hit the mainstream. And usually that's a sign of the end times. But it's been [surviving] so long because it was constantly changing. So really I'm pretty confident that its never going away. We will [always] be bumping some form of EDM no matter what.
What's your favorite track of the moment? Calvin Harris, "Sweet Nothing." Track gives me chills every time
What other artists have been working their way into your sets lately? Zedd, Stanton Warriors, and this awesome guy I met on Soundcloud. His name is DJ Tweezy [and] he does a lot of breakbeat remixes of some great tracks.
How do you go about crafting your sets? When I'm recording a set I am going through my entire music list and listening to each song for about two minutes. If the sound moves me just right...bam. It's going in the mix. I could spend over a week finding new tracks for a set. Live sets. It's all about winging it. You either do well or you don't.
Rver feel constricted as a DJ in that you're expected to only play certain songs? Depends. I'm there to play music and I try my best to meet the taste of everyone there. But no matter what I will always get that one guy that wants to hear a complete opposite style of music that is catered to the event. "I'm sorry my EDM remix of 'Make it Nasty' by Tyga wasn't good enough for you."
Do you have a mantra when it comes to DJing? I believe that your heart should be in the right place. Before one becomes a DJ you are that face in the crowd. What made you move? If you were to switch places with that person what kind of music would make you dance? That's what I envision with every track. Would it make me dance first. Some people DJ for the glamour and that's not at all what it's about
What's your favorite dance move when listening to EDM? Oh man, I wish I could shuffle. Every time I get the urge to I end up doing some Running Man kinda thing. So I just jump up and down and throw my hands in the air.
And wave them 'round like you just don't care. What's something that no one knows about you? I guess that I get really bad anxiety for no reason. I could seem perfectly normal but on the inside I'm freaking out.
What's your preferred poison when DJing? I like to take a few shots to ease the nerves. Believe it or not I get very shy when it comes to me going on stage. When I drink I get loose enough to have fun with it.
What's been the biggest moment of your career thus far? Right now man, I'm just starting to play gigs out of town. I'm getting more and more fans every day. This is where it's all starting to pick up for me. In this moment.