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Interviews |  30 Apr 2016 15:54 |  By RnMTeam

DJs/producers who rush to build their brand without establishing a solid base will fall off the grid : Styluxtakut

MUMBAI: 'Stylus' stands for the needle on the turntable tone arm that touches the vinyl record, 'Lust' popularly means possessing a strong desire and 'Kut' is an informal word for 'scratching' - a turntablist technique. And together, the three words construct the tongue twisting stage name for Singapore-based producer Styluxtakut - who concluded his Mumbai visit with performances at 'TRILOGY' and 'The Good Wife' recently.

The Resident DJ at CÉ LA VI, the turntablist's ability to provide redefined crowd favourite tunes makes him one of the hottest live electronic arts in South East Asia. An established name in the Singapore-Malaysia circuit, Styluxtakut brought the art of scratching and beat juggling to enthral the audience in Mumbai - another emerging market in the electronic space. Singapore's representative at the DMC World Championship - twice, the seven-times National Champion disc jockey's accolades go beyond commercial aspects. His inspirations hail from the prevailing scenes in the US, Germany, Netherlands and Japan, and the musician emphasises on the importance of repeating the technical and musical knowledge during the live performances for any producer. Styluxtakut spoke to during his Mumbai performance.

Singapore has potentially become the electronic music capital of Asia. What does the city provide to the 'electronic scene and the musicians' that other cities fall short of?

The electronic music scene in Singapore is relatively new compared to neighbouring countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. The good new is that it's making huge strides in recent years, we have the Ultra Music Festival right here in Singapore last year and it's going to happen this year as well. From an artiste's perspective, we have a huge talent pool of DJs/Producers. Not long ago, we had a local producer, Myrne who released his four Track EP under Diplo's label, Mad Decent. The future is looking good for Singapore.

How important is it for a DJ to create a brand of himself/herself?

Building a brand is very important for any DJ/Producer, that is how you can further your career. Every DJ/Producer should strive to build a brand but before all that can happen, they have to focus on the fundamentals of their live performances (DJ)/Production (Producer). Identifying the driving force and purpose to their music can only solidify their brand. This way, fans/followers will know what the brand represents. In many cases, DJs/Producers rush to build their brand without establishing what it is built on and as a result they fall off the grid.

(Styluxtakut was the official DJ for the launch of tennis ace Maria Sharapova's candy line Sugarpova. The DJ/Producer continues to remain the brands' darling with association alongside corporate entities like Belveder, Sony, Nike and more.)

Being associated as the go-to DJ for several top brands of the world must be an encouraging sign. How much focus do you put when it comes to the business side of your work?

Honestly, in terms of music and performances, I have just been doing my thing and I'm grateful that these corporate brands love what I do. We as DJs/Producers have to focus on our fundamentals and how we can be different from the next person. That is the only way to be noticed, being different from others and creating your own niche. So far it has paid off well as I've been DJing for Facebook's annual staff party in Singapore for two years now.

In an age when electronic music seems to be getting saturated, how do you ensure that your music is reinvented regularly?

In order to stand out from the saturated market of electronic music, I focus a lot on my live performances. My DJ sets involve a considerable amount of scratching, mixing and live mashups. It also helps that I do regular open format DJ sets. So don't be surprised if you hear a mix of several genres of music in one night.

(The Singapore-based DJ performed a Hip Hop and R&B DJ set at both the venues, and the artist has someone to thank for the same.)

I have utmost respect for DJ Dash for sticking to his guns when the whole world was heavily influenced by Electronic Dance Music. Despite the naysayers, he pushed the genre of hip hop and R&B music in Mumbai and educated the crowd. As a result, Trilogy's Wednesday night is very successful and the venue has won the Best Club Award in Mumbai for five consecutive years. I am really honoured to be able to play at such a venue.

Who are the Indian DJs that you listen to, or want to collaborate with?

There are several talented DJs in India, most notably DJ Kan-i and DJ Kave. I do check out a lot of their work as both of them are very good turntablists and Club DJs. Not only do they have a large following, they also inspire and educate the next generation of DJs in India.This can only be beneficial to the DJ culture and the nightlife scene of India.

You have performed in every 'kind' of venue so far. Which is your ideal venue to perform in?

The ideal venue for me would be a nightclub. Firstly, it is more intimate as the crowd is relatively nearer to the DJ as compared to festivals and the energy you get from that is nothing short of amazing. Secondly, playing in a nightclub is one of the best ways to educate the crowd and take them on an adventure of musical discovery.