AZUKI | That's My DJ
From people who have been in the scene for years, to younger DJs spinning their first set. Night Shift cultivates an experience from all backgrounds. Although a newcomer to DJing, AZUKI is killing it. She talks about her favorite summer things, her experience entering the scene, and being a younger DJ.
AZUKI will be playing Day Shift this Sunday, June 4th! Click here to find more info.
— Interview by Joe Manuel
What music will you be listening to this Summer?
I'm going back to the 90s R&B and the 80's disco route. A lot of Janet Jackson. And then there's this Japanese 80s band called Omega Tribe. I'm also trying to dig into 80s/90s Indonesian music, cause I'm Indonesian originally, so I'm trying to add that on my set list.
Do you have any favorite summer snacks?
Bubble tea, I always fuck with bubble tea. All the time. Any types of ice cream, aaaand, this there's this dessert place in Chinatown called Bambu. It’s just this Southeast Asia dessert shop so anything there, I will buy it hahaha. (editor's note: if you haven't tried their Mangonada shaved ice, you're missing out! )
How did you start DJing?
It's always hard because I wasn't planning to be a DJ at all. It started when I was dating my partner at the time two years ago, and he was kind of in the scene in some ways, and I just ended up meeting people through him. It's just one of those things where once you get sucked into it you're just kind of like "Well I might as just kind of stick around and check it out." I wasn't really a big fan of electronic music, maybe I never found the right niche or the right market to appreciate it a little bit more than I had before.
I do visuals for a lot for bands and shows. Through going to shows and VJing (visual DJing) and watching people DJ I started trying to understand what makes a good DJ a good DJ. And it was just out of the blue, I talked to one of my friends --- I don't know if you've heard of DJ NHK Guy? He's this footwork producer, and also a DJ. So I just asked "Do you want to teach me?" He's one of my good friends, so we ended up doing a back to back and then he was like "Holy shit, you kinda know how,” and “you kind of get it already." And I thought "No way, I don't know anything about DJing yet." And Ross, the guy that runs Jet, kinda taught me a little bit about CDJs. I thought it was kind of fun and I ended up buying my own controller and started DJing. My first DJ set was for Night Shift actually. It was huge, haha. They asked me if I wanted to play and I was like "shit, yeah of course!"
How long ago was that?
It was the one at Chop Suey, so like a couple of months back. I was kind of one of the fresh DJs. Honestly, I'm such a baby in the scene haha. It was wild, cause there are so many people I look up to in the city, and being on the same bill with like Sosa, Canh, and PHNK, and all these names of people where they know what they're doing a lot more than I do. It was really nerve racking, I think I prepped my set for three weeks set because I was so nervous haha.
It seems like a lot of DJs have been doing their thing for a while! What has it been like being a newer DJ?
I know, I was like holy crap I probably shouldn't play this as my first gig, but I learned a lot and I think Sosa really liked the set. That's why he reached out to me for Day Shift and I was like holy crap, "Sosa agrees with how I play." So I think now I'm trying to get even more into it.
It's weird, I used to be the indie rock girl, like I'd always be the one going to shows and I was in the punk scene for awhile too, so this is a completely new thing. I think age helped as well. When I first moved to Seattle I was 19, so once I turned 21, I thought that the scene was a whole new world that I had never been apart of.