With a growing online following, this local DJ is set for success
Shimmering synths and popping percussions emanate from the basement of Concordia’s Grey Nuns residence, where 18-year-old producer/DJ dojo. works on both biology homework and electronic melodies. These sounds travel across the globe to his almost 15,000 followers on SoundCloud as well as his buddies in residence. The musical landscape dojo. creates is a cheerful one that radiates openness and acceptance. His style is reflected in his artwork, which consists of flower and heart emojis emphasized by backgrounds of pastel pinks and blues. These lighthearted attributes should not completely fill your expectations of dojo.’s world as they are contrasted with heavy hitting, synth-filled drops.
dojo. said his inspiration is drawn from artists such as Lido, Cashmere Cat, and Giraffage and their abilities to “mix together genres, without you even knowing that it’s happening, to create new sounds and genres.” He said if he had to put himself into a particular genre it would be “future bass,” which he says to him is “emphasized by gospel chord progressions mixed with trap percussion, and sometimes some vocals on top.” TONAK, another producer, DJ, and member of the collective that dojo. is a part of, added, “you build a lot of layers that can remind you of random things that happen during the day such as a ringtone, a text notification, or a “Yeah!” All these little sounds blended into the melody is a significant characteristic.” In more general terms dojo. said, “I make a lot of happy music. The vibe I try and give off is reflective, so that people reflect on what the music means to them, without making them feel melancholy, so I guess you could say it’s a happy nostalgia type of vibe.”
dojo.’s music started in elementary school with the guitar and alto sax. In high school he went to Canterbury in Ottawa where he was part of the music program, learning the trombone. “That’s where I got my core foundation of music theory, so that’s where the production side of me started,” he said. “I realized there, that I can’t perform for shit because I get so nervous so I needed to figure out a way to make music where I didn’t need to worry about performing every time I wanted to express what I had. So I learned Maschine inside and out and started making electronic music.”
At Canterbury, dojo. had only one friend who he shared his interest for electronic music production; Liam, who can be found on SoundCloud as Vienna. dojo. describes SoundCloud as the platform that really facilitated the sharing of his music. “It’s almost like an underground collective of friends and if your sound is refined enough, you’re automatically a part of it. If you just keep making friends and putting out quality sound, then you’ll grow.” Not only has dojo. been able to accumulate almost 15,000 followers on SoundCloud but he’s made friends and exchanged ideas with artists such as Ryan Hemsworth, Y2K, StéLouse, 16 Year Old, and others. “I’ve become close with people who aren’t necessarily A-list celebrities but who are big within the community and have a voice in the community, which means more to me.”
Within dojo.’s first week at Concordia he met TONAK, DJ and founder of the collective Evenire, a Montreal-Paris joint collective of artists who offered dojo. a spot on the team. “He was walking by my room and my door was open, because it was Frosh and I was being friendly, and he saw my set up and asked about it and it went from there. Now we’re best friends doing what we love,” said TONAK. “It’s not even that we both love music. We’re just both trying to promote an underlying message of happiness through music and through art in general.” Since joining Evenire, dojo. has played his first two shows at events they’ve organized. “It’s helped me reach out to venues, put on shows, build a local following and in general just share my love for music.”
On March 24, Evenire is putting on another event at Le Belmont that will include the talents of dojo along with DJs TONAK, Ryan Playground, TALLBOY, and jåmvvis. These musical talents will be complemented by Charline Dally who will VJ the event by projecting different visuals she’s designed as a backdrop for the artists.
On top of adding Charline’s talents to the event, dojo. and TONAK both agreed that switching the venue from Blue Dog, which they used for the first two events, to Le Belmont would make for better vibes. “We’re excited to be in a real concert hall with an awesome sound system and those amazing subwoofers,” said TONAK. “It’ll be great to have the whole range of sound coming out clearly.”
Besides the sound being clearer, they feel that this event will facilitate a specific atmosphere that they are passionate about, which they describe as a relaxed and open mood where everyone has their own space to let go and enjoy the music, visuals and general atmosphere. “Our main passion is obviously for art but we also have a passion for creating this vibe. I feel like what we do with the art will reflect on the vibe and I care a lot about that,” said TONAK.
One of the most important factors of this show is that dojo. will be dropping a new track entitled “Galactic Love Story.” To hear the full song, a full set by the man himself and a whole event filled with good vibes, be at Le Belmont on March 24.
link to event on facebook:
facebook page for Evenire collective:
Soundclouds of other artists at the event: