Artist Profile: sunkid
Our latest artist profile explores the world of sunkid, a DJ veteran who will be gracing our Zen Den stage on August 1. Read a little about sunkid then check his tunes!
Electric Love: How long have you been making music?
sunkid: The short answer is my whole life.
I became a radio DJ in 1995, which is around the same time that I joined an experimental electro-acoustic band, and learned to make dance music with an obscure DOS-based program called Scream Tracker 3. Only a few years later I started DJing at raves in Halifax and all over Eastern Canada.
My career as a DJ has really taken off since moving to Vancouver in 2007 and discovering the psytrance community (my big family) here. Since 2009 I've started producing psytrance using Ableton as well as touring Australia and Canada playing as a psytrance DJ.
Electric Love: What is your specific area of expertise?
sunkid: As someone who has been a DJ for 20 years now, absolutely my area of expertise lies in finding the right track for the right crowd at just the right moment. Perhaps that goes without saying, but I really do feel like that is, ultimately, what makes a DJ. Whether it's constructing a journey for the dancefloor which sets up the perfect context for an obscure blast from the past to blow up all over again, or just having the perfect balance of darkness and light, melodic and hypnotic tracks to keep the crowd going off again and again.
It's not just picking the right tracks and the right moment though. Because of my experience and deep crates, I've managed to carve out a niche as a transition DJ. Psytrance promoters know that they can count on me to create a smooth flow between radically different styles of music, to help their events feel like a journey for the dancers. If they need somebody to take their party from breaks to psytrance, I'm the perfect DJ to call. Drum and Bass to techno? No problem.
Electric Love: What are some of the accomplishments you've achieved in your field?
sunkid: I've really had an amazing past few years. Just last summer I got to play psytrance at the incredible Bike Rave 2014. This was the seventh annual Bike Rave and the first with guest DJs. I was thrilled to hear my set played on literally hundreds of sound systems all around the Vancouver Sea Wall with an estimated 7000 atendees.
Last year also saw the release of my official psytrance remix of The Something Experience's German Sparkle Party track which has a huge following among psytrancers and other sparkley people around the world.
The affiliation that I co-founded in 2009, Spectral Kitty Collective (formerly Irken Kitties) has also had great success. We have had very well attended and reviewed parties in Vancouver and Victoria. I'm proud to be able to say that our parties have an excellent reputation.
Another accomplishment for me last year was when I was thrilled and honoured to be invited to open for Space Tribe when he played in Vancouver. I was even more thrilled to be invited back to play again at his return this May. Space Tribe has been a huge influence on me for over 10 years; getting to share the stage with one of my heros is just amazing.