Where are you originally from and how come you are in Shanghai now?
I was born in Cape Town South Africa & i moved to Shanghai in 2010 to work at the World Expo (South African Pavilion) Sigh... Good times...
When did you start DJ’ing and why did you start in the first place?
I was 1st introduced to the dj scene by a friend who was playing in a club in Cape Town... This was in 1999! Watching the way he controlled the crowd with his music & seeing how much fun it was i knew this was something that i would LOVE to do. I initially started just for fun & never imagined it would take me to so many places one day.
How do you describe your style of music and in what way did it change/evolve over the years?
I think my name best describes my style of music...Verse@ille pronounced Versatile (fyi), as i LOVE playing different genres of music & i like incorporating different mixing techniques to odd genres.It has evolved drastically over the almost 14 years i have been playing for... I used to be what some might call a 'purist', only playing hip hop on turntables. But travelling to & living in different countries (England, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, USA, Malaysia ect). Seeing what other countries were getting down to & being influenced by djs from other countries, how could i NOT change. Music like everything else, evolves & changes too.
I like to think of myself as an educator... I think that it's every 'REAL DJ's' job... To educate listeners about more than just the popular stuff. So how i have evolved is i'm always researching new – sub genres & incorporating other genres into my sets... So people can listen to what else is going on in the music world.
How do you see the nightlife scene here (from behind the decks instead of from the bar) and do you think you have some kind of influence on it?
It's massive! Multi million yuan a year industry... since there is not that much else to do in Shanghai other than shopping & eating. But i think it's too Electro / House music influenced & for the amount of people there are in Shanghai you'd think there would be more variety. Hey, don't get me wrong... I LOVE me some Afro / Funky / Deep house music but i think lots of other genres are under represented. I would like to think i have some kind of influence on it. Like i said i am always pushing different genres (moombahton, Trap, Twerk ect) via festivals & my radio shows & recently i have had a nice run doing beach parties in Shanghai & other parts of china where i can be a bit more experimental.
Also my latest concept 'In the Trap' is all about pushing Trap & other bass music... & it's been quite well received. I have already done 5 events in 2 cities & have 2 Radio shows (Udance & Beatspot).
What do you think of Chinese clubs with no dance floor and massive table arrangements?
I'll be lying if i said i'm a fan of it. But I think it's makes sense from a business perspective to charge for people to 'ball out' at tables. It's just very frustrating for me as a dj trying to educate the audience with different genres & trying to put on a show just to have people sitting in their tables & not dancing.
Hottest club in town is…?
Next question. HAHA!
Where do you go to party if you don’t spin?
I don't go partying at all. I might go see a fellow dj friend playing somewhere or if there is a special event or an international dj in town i might venture out. But very rarely.
What was/is the hottest party of the summer?
It has to be Midi Festival... Rocking about 3000 people going HAM to Trap! One of my top 5 gigs of all time! It was incredible! Looking forward to the next one!
Besides DJ’ing, do you do anything else worth mentioning?
I have started a little organization called MAD (Making A Difference) doing different events at different venues raising funds for & awareness of different charities both here in China & abroad. I have always been passionate about working with people & incorporating my 2 passions (music & helping others) in one is AMAZING! Pardon the shameless plug... But check out MAD's facebook & weibo & support!
When traveling to a gig – what’s in your suitcase?
The usual; laptop, serato, skullcandy headphone, camera, few changes of clothes, raised in china snapbacks. Also blank cds (learnt my lesson... long story) & snacks (love me some skittles or dried mangos).
Thanks for the interview! and see you at some of the clubs in or around Shanghai.