DJ Dossier

DJ Tranzit Talks Kaskade, Old Town Scottsdale, Gui Boratto, House Music, and More

Name: Steven Chung

AKA: DJ Tranzit

Current nights: Giant Wednesdays at Cream Stereo Lounge.

Genres spun: Electro-house, progressive house, tech house, minimal.

How did you get started as a DJ? Same ol' typical cliche DJ story. Got sick of hearing someone else's CDs at a house party so ended up camping out at the entertainment system all night bumping my own. After a few months of that, went out and bought a "DJ in a Box" package with a buddy and started doing the turntable hip-hop thing. Eventually ended up going to a rave for the first time later that year, and its history from there.

Explanation behind your DJ name? I stole it from a club in Chicago that I frequented when I lived there. Just changed the "s" to a "z."

Are you involved with any DJ crews? I used to run Vinyltech DJs, but all the politics and labeling got to me. I decided it's easier just to focus on myself and put all the BS aside. At the end of the day, were just djs and entertainers here to make people who don't care have a good time.

What's the craziest shit you've seen in a club? If I told you, you would probably think I was lying.

Preferred poison while DJing? Ice-cold Red Bull, Crown and 7 with a twist of lime, or a half-full Gatorade bottle with vodka depending on the event.

What's been your best experience as a DJ? Every single time I get to play. Big or small crowd, doesn't matter. I'm just happy to play.

And the worst? Honestly, I don't think I have a worst experience at least nothing that comes to mind. I manage to always find the good in all my experiences. I just feel very privileged to be doing what I love and have so much passion for.

What is your opinion of the Scottsdale scene? I feel like it's my home, even though I've only been out here for about six years. Lots of people say it's not the best, but I've been around and have had the chance to see what we are up against. And to be honest, we rival some of the biggest cities in the country as far as dance music is concerned. The venues could do a better job of consulting the DJs regarding the booth and layout sometimes, but other than that I enjoy the Durty very much.

What would you change? A better understand of how the politics and scene work from the DJ's standpoint. With the huge leaps in technology, it's easier for anyone to go out and spend about a grand and become a self-proclaimed DJ. The problem lies with the experience: they all think they have the talent and knowledge to play the bigger events and clubs. What they don't understand is that there are lots of relationships and history behind the guys that are residents and who often play these events. Relationships that have taken years to build; not to mention putting in the time to work up the ladder, earn your keep, do your time, and gain respect of the other guys.

Just being able to play the hottest tracks, charting the top 10, and beat-matching are all just fundamentals of being a proper DJ. Lately you see a lot of guys who can only do two out of the three and sit there glaring at their laptops trying to DJ with their eyes. Anyone can be a jukebox, but few earn the respect of their peers.

What's one of the hotter trends in EDM? Hip-hop/dance music crossovers are the thing to do now. You see lots of producers and DJs working along side pop stars, hip-hop artists and the like.

Conversely, what trends are tired? Hip-hop/sance music crossovers.

How do you get a crowd going? I love to be interactive! Yell, scream, jump up and down, do what it takes to make the people feel your energy.

Worst request you've ever gotten? "Can you play something with some words in it?" or "Got any Miley Cyrus?"

What sites do you use for music? A lot of my tracks I play at my shows are direct from the record labels and producers. Some are unreleased and bootlegs, but you can get some of them at places online like Beatport, Juno Records, iTunes, and a few other spots.

Last album purchased: Renaissance: The Mix Collection by Gui Boratto.

Last song downloaded: Wynter Gordan's "Dirty Talk" (Laidback Luke remix)

Track currently stuck in your head: Morgan Page's "I Fight For You" (DJ Tranzit & Dooz remix)

Morgan Page - Fight For you (Dj Tranzit & Dooz Remix) by Dooz

What other projects are you working on? My latest project Chronicles of a DJ is a documentary I've been filming and working on for a little over a year now. I've been collecting footage from all my shows and it encompasses all aspects of my travels including culture, local cuisine, and of course my DJ and what it takes to try and make it in the industry. Think Anthony Bourdain meets Entourage. Super excited to premiere the next episode (featuring my gig in Egypt) at Cream Stereo Lounge next month.

We also just finished a remix of Kaskade's new track "Dynasty" as well as Morgan Page's tune "I Fight For You" for a couple remix contests. You can vote for us right here.

Any future gigs you'd like to promote: We are currently working on this year's H2O pool parties again, so you will definitely see me there. A couple other overseas gigs in the works and traveling out of state will be keep me busy till the end of the year.

When not DJing, where can you be found? In the studio nowadays, and if not, on the internet at the Coffee Bean.

Best DJ-related joke you've heard: DJing is not a joke. This interview is over.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.