Belgian DJ, LeFtO, will be gracing The Vault (Singapore) this Saturday, May 31st, with his masterful selection of sounds. We ask the “early riser” 10 questions.
By Chris Ong
1. Describe your journey to becoming a DJ.
Being surrounded by my father’s collection helped me to get familiar with vinyl, but it was a shock when I saw this one DJ rocking the turntables on TV, getting weird sounds out of it by manipulating a little mixer in between the turntables.
My father almost died when he saw me trying it with one of his precious jazz records. From that point on I knew I was interested in it, but it’s by meeting friends in school who were already into it that helped me to understand the technique and the knowledge.
2. You’ve been described by Fact Magazine as “a favourite DJ’s favorite DJ”. Let’s turn it around; who are your favorite DJs?
I don’t really have a favorite DJ but there are a few I really like to listen to, from Fourtet to Kenny Dope and Bobbito to Sassy J, with Sassy being my favorite female DJ. Of course some of my friends are DJs I respect a lot like Kutmah, J-Rocc, Gilles Peterson amongst others.
3. Music preferences change and DJs come and go. How do you strive to remain relevant to listeners? Is this something you give consideration to?
I just try to play the best music I come across, new music and old music really. So I think it’s pretty easy to stay relevant as long as you find the quality in new music as well as the rare pearl in old music.
4. We’d go so far as to call you a master of selection. How do you select your music?
(Laughs). I just listen to new and old music all day, digging on the internet, in shops, everywhere. I select my music by listening to it and if my taste likes it, it’s a go. Pretty easy innit?
5. When you’re behind the decks at a party, what drives you?
At a party, the relationship with the crowd is important to me, I might have a good party without the crowd’s participation but the best parties are the ones that involves the crowd’s support and love. The music I play doesn’t matter if the crowd is not responsive really, I just need them to be on the train with me to anywhere.
6. You were here in Singapore 3 years ago. How was that experience and what will you be expecting this time around?
Three years ago, I felt I still had a long way to go to make them understand what I do. But I think that the scene has changed, I see record labels pop up, beatmakers getting exposed, singers getting overseas attention. I think the scene has grown as fast at the city’s buildings almost. And I’m super excited to see if that’s the case or not. Let’s hope it is…
7. We are loving the “Universal Magnetic” t-shirt and mix. How did the collaboration with 101 Apparel come about?
Actually, that was my solo project for 101 Apparel. I have a new one just out with Kutmah, also on 101 Apparel. Eric Crandell, who’s the main man at 101 Apparel, saw me play a couple times and heard my Mixcloud radio shows and he hit me up. He proposed me a collab, asked me for a title and came up with some artwork I had to choose from. From there I made the mix that came with the T-shirt.
8. How do you unwind?
I try to focus on something else, which is hard, but there’s nothing better than to leave your phone at home and walk into the forest. That’s where time stops, where your time doesn’t count, where stress is not an issue and the place I find peace within me.
9. What are your go-to kicks?
I don’t have a go-to pair, I take what I see on the floor by the door really (laughs).
10. Finally, is there power in a beard?
As for the beard, you should ask a woman if there’s power in it…
Darker Than Wax presents LeFtO will be happening tomorrow, May 31st, at The Vault. Visit the event page for more information.