Attention local EDM junkies: If you're planning to roll into tomorrow's Sound Wave Block Party sometime around the late afternoon or the early evening, your asses are gonna miss out on a few cool things. Like, say, the "Bad Bitch Anthems" of she-jay Brazzabelle inside Maya Day and Nightclub, the adrenaline-inducing mixes of Brass Knuckles on the main stage, or epic sets by a slew of hometown selectors.
That includes the Valley's Silent-J, who won Sound Wave's annual local DJ contest and earned a main stage slot at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. We got a chance to chat with the local club scene regular about how it's one of the top gigs of his career, what sort of sounds he will be dropping, the etiquette that all opening DJs should follow, and whether or not he plans on pulling out a cannonball after his performance.
Name: DJ Silent-J
Preferred genres: Electro-house, Dutch, dubstep, hip-hop, mash-ups.
Is this going to be the biggest gig of your DJ career thus far? I would say it's definitely in my top [five], next to opening for Sidney Samson and playing alongside Steve Aoki, Angger Dimas, Bam Bam and Skrillex.
When did you open for Skrillex? I played the same card as him a few years back when he had just started getting big at an event called Whiteout. Pre-Grammys.
Have you been stressing about your set? I wouldn't say stressing, but I'm definitely getting the anxious jitters over performing. That's how I know its gonna be a good show is if I get the nervous feeling before I go. As far as what to play, I just let it come to me and it works out how it does.
I try not to plan too much just give myself a wide range to work with and play what moves me and what i read from the crowd. I hate when some performers just plan their whole set and don't read the crowd.
You also worked last year's Sound Wave. Is there anything you plan to do differently this time around? Yes. My style has changed considerably since last year. I pay more attention to harmonic keys and what sounds flow with others and a balance of vocal tracks and hard hitters. My structure is focused on becoming more artistic each set, which is my overall goal.
How much work did you put into the mix that won you the opening slot? Three days of planning what tracks to use, but it only took one try recording to get it done. Sometimes when I get in the zone I just go.
So what sort of tricks do you have in your arsenal for your set? I love the sneak attack tracks where you look out into the crowd and see the "O" or "stank" face from someone that feels the track as you do as soon as it hits! So I'll definitely be concentrating on that.
What sort of sounds will you be dropping? A lot of big room, some dirty Dutch, a little Melbourne style, and a few surprises here and there. Can't give away the whole cake.
I've heard that opening DJs should never show others up at a festival or anywhere else. Ever have a problem with that sort of thing? That's never been a problem for me, actually. A opening act should compliment the headliner and get the crowd anticipating. Being a DJ is more than just going hard. It's building a set that tells a story and takes the listener for a ride. I hate when an opening DJ goes balls to the wall. We aren't the focus, we are the supporters. [It] takes hard work to be focused and dedication as well as skill. I'll start smooth, funky, then build to epic and energetic.
What else can early birds look forward to seeing and hearing when you hit the stage? I will be dropping two unreleased tracks from my upcoming album, releasing this December on my label Bang To This Records. I also will be supporting my friend DJ Bam Bam's new track "Buddha" in my set. And I'm also in conversations at this very moment with Ecko Unltd about giving away free gear to fans during my set.
Are there any DJs you're looking forward to seeing at Sound Wave? Tiësto, Deniz Koyu, and Porter Robinson. Their productions are solid and [they] definitely know how to rock a crowd. Porter's sound also represents a style that I'm soon to start experimenting with.
What's your current favorite track by Porter? No matter how old it gets I'm still favorable to "Vandalism." The sound and production quality and vocals by Amba Shepherd are on point.
Silly question, but do you have a special outfit picked out for Saturday? Actually, I was looking into my new gear I received from Ecko Unltd last week deciding what to wear to the event to represent. I've got something special lined up.
Any plans to do a cannonball into the pool at either Maya or the W after your set? I wasn't actually thinking about that until just now actually. Thanks for the idea.
Sound Wave Block Party is scheduled to take place on Saturday at Maya Day and Nightclub, the W Hotel, and along Indian Plaza in Scottsdale. Gates open at 11 a.m. Tickets start at $64.
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Find other DJ events and cool gigs that are happening in Metro Phoenix this weekend via our comprehensive online concert calendar.