Mentored by internationally acclaimed DJs including iconic Parisian duo Cassius, legendary producer Arthur Baker, Mode-F, and LA's Jason Bentley, a specially selected group of young emerging DJs from across the globe have been taken under the wing of W Hotels' Music Director, Michaelangelo L’Acqua for a new musical project. In collaboration with Burn Studios, W Hotels this summer unveiled their new innovative music platform and studio, DJ Lab, to provide resources supporting rising talent.
Six DJs from across the globe were selected, including DJ Angus Wong (Hong Kong), Lincoln Madley aka DJ Bouji (New York), Miaou Mix (Tête d'Affiche, Paris), London's Stopmakingme aka Daniel Avery, and fashion blogger/producer Eiko from Tokyo. Finishing off the week, the students played La Plage in Ibiza alongside their mentors, before they take on a worldwide tour across W Happenings in cities from New York, Miami, London, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Seoul, Bangkok, and Bali. We speak to Daniel Avery (Stopmakingme) of Kill Em All about the project...
Dazed Digital: Musically, who was your favourite DJ out on the programme?
Daniel Avery: Meeting Arthur Baker was a serious highlight. The guy made Planet Rock! And produced New Order, my favourite band ever. When an anecdote begins with "So, I was in the Paradise Garage and handed Larry my record…", you know you're in good company. It also helps that he's a fantastic DJ.
DD: What was the most important thing you've learnt on the trip?
Daniel Avery: That none of the mentors knew what the hell they were doing when they first started out. All they knew was that music was their passion and they somehow wanted to create something within it and it was that drive which carried them through. Obviously they are all super talented in their own way but it's reassuring to hear they survived and succeeded by being genuinely passionate about their music rather than schmoozing their way up a ladder.
DD: Do you think the choice of DJs, both mentors and students were well matched?
Daniel Avery: Yeah, definitely. It's very easy to become locked inside your own little musical bubble, especially living in London where there's this facade that we get fed everything from every corner of the world. It's interesting to talk to other DJs who play to entirely different crowds and rooms, with distinctly different styles to what I'm used to. I mean this beyond the idea of differing genres. For instance, I've never really played to a 'fashion' crowd before and I'm sure I'd be fucking terrible at it, so simply hearing everyone else's stories and the way they approach things is always interesting to me.
DD: What do you think are the links between the hotel and music industries today? Do you think this will be a growing area of interest?
Daniel Avery: Well, a big London record shop in which I used to work closed its doors for the final time just this weekend. That's the third record shop employer of mine which now longer exists. In that respect, I think any industry which is still keen to support music in their own way should be applauded. If a hotel is genuinely keen to push new music and artists through their channels, and it's more than simple window dressing, then this can only be a good thing.
DD: Who/what are you listening at the moment?
Daniel Avery: Wooden Shjips, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the mind-blowing new Death In Vegas album and I've just rediscovered the joys of Iggy Pop's 'Lust For Life'… Club music? 'Man Or Mistress' by Levon Vincent seems to do it for me every single time; People Get Real and their label Join Our Club Records; Boddika is on fire; everything on Throne Of Blood, Uncanny Valley and World Unknown; Justin Robertson; Remain; Cosmin TRG; It's A Fine Line; Photonz; Blawan's stuff is great… I'm excited about the directions in which club music is moving.
Check out the exclusive mixes created by the students in the DJ Lab at the burn studios by W Hotels. The DJ Lab mixes will also be available through MIX.dj, an online DJ community, and at www.whotels.com/music.