For a Good Time Call…Johnny Lieu

February 22nd 2011

Here at FBi we don't think you need to be a certain age to appreciate phat beats. Our Underage Sets competition lets five under-18 finalists battle it out on Sunset, our flagship dance show. Here we get to know the cream of the crop.

Johnny Lieu (18 years old), Wednesday

When and how did you get interested in DJing?
I've been interested in DJing since I was about 12 or 13, when I started buying heaps of commercial dance compilations like Ministry of Sound. Then I started listening to Cut Copy who really kicked off my interest in a wider variety of dance music. At the time I never thought I could convince my parents to shell out a few grand on two decks and a mixer They might have said yes to a violin or a wind instrument, but definitely not something silly like turntables. I finally decided to go for it last August, started some DJing lessons and bought some cheap gear on the internet.

What do you do when you're not behind the decks?
I'm still on my summer break, but I'm in second-year Communications at UTS and I work every so often at a call centre selling health products. I would love to start getting more DJing work though and not have to have a real job anymore.

If your Mum had a DJ name what would it be?
MC Paris by Night (google it) and the Michael Bolton boys. It's the only music she listens to, which always has a bad 80s synth melody to it or it's some sort of Vietnamese ballad. She ALWAYS has her music louder than mine though.

What is your ideal party to play at? Massive festival, chilled house party, wedding, or something different? And why?I'm more inclined to go with a smaller club or dance floor where the sound really bounces off the walls. I love a nice intimate atmosphere; kinda like a house party but without your house getting trashed. I'm more of a quality over quantity person; better music and atmosphere sometimes means less punters. Not to say I would never play at a large venue, but I think you'd have to be a very good DJ to really grab your audience's attention in such a large space.

Any advice for aspiring DJs?
I'd probably say look to surprise. Practice heaps so you find out a new place to drop on the track or a new mixing technique/effect/etc on your setup that you can pull off. Your music selection should help set the audience to stun – whether it's dropping that new super fresh track, a classic everyone loves and knows, or a sample from an completely random tune. Safety and predictability sucks, so always keep looking for that perfect beat – whether through a random browse on Youtube/Soundcloud/a record store, or finding something on a blog, or via FBi! Mind you, I'm still a bedroom DJ and all my methods haven't been tried and tested – my Mum sometimes dances though, so I guess it's good enough for now.

To vote for Johnny, text WEDNESDAY – JOHNNY to 0409 945 945. Voting closes 25 February.


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