The tattooed house DJ and Neo resident tells Time Out all about his debut album, Warrior
Tell us a bit about your album. It’s my debut album, a mix of 100 per cent original tracks – in terms of production, it represents my commercial side.
How would you describe the music on the album? It’s commercial house, but it’s a mixture of different styles of house – basically, my style is anything that involves a lot of energy. All the tracks have vocals, because I like to put them in my sets. I like the big, singalong, hands-in-the-air songs, so that’s the type of music I tried to produce for this album.
What are your inspirations? I take inspiration from a lot of things; everything that a day-to-day person goes through: love, success, careers, dreams. I guess it does come from the dancefloor quite a bit too.
Tell us about a couple of the songs on the album. ‘Keep on Loving Me’ is a really uplifting song that I wrote with my writing partner after a break-up, while ‘Warrior’ is more about being driven to succeed, goal-oriented and striving to get what you want. It’s not about being a physical warrior, but about being a mental warrior; about following your dreams and not letting anything get in the way.
If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be? I have four degrees and I haven’t used any of them! I have one in law, one in commerce, one in management and one in international studies. I was a stockbroker for a long time, but I’ve been DJing since I was 14. I really can’t imagine doing anything else – not after 20 years of DJing!
How did your parents feel about you becoming a DJ? [Laughs] They weren’t really supportive of me doing what I wanted to do [at first]. Dad’s like, ‘Get a real job!’ He was like that for years. I guess he’s starting to see that I’m achieving my goals so he’s all for it now. I think he’s very proud of it. He told all his friends at the Rotary club. It took about 17 years to convince him!
You’ve been rated as a top 100 DJ; have you ever let the fame go to your head? Do I really have to answer this question? I tried the ‘Do you know who I am?’ trick about two years ago to get into a seedy Australian pub. There was a big line out the front and my friends were egging me into doing it. [The manager] went and Googled my name then let us in. I was actually quite lucky because one of the doormen knew who I was. But if you say that to most Aussie doormen they’ll punch you in the head.
Dion Mavath plays Neo at Quantum every Thursday. Warrior is available in stores.