Student Profile - DJ Walter Ego

What or who inspired you to be a DJ?
I'd have to say my friends. For years they've been going on at me to buy turntables as I'm always handing out compilation CDs of music that i've found and think they'd like. Anyway, i kept putting it off and what do you know, i'm 26 and there's about a million and one 16 year-old aspiring DJs with a 10-year head start on me! That's why i decided to do the United DJs Mixing School and get myself a shortcut in to it.

What parties have you worked at so far?
In an official DJ capacity, none yet. In an unofficial, hijacking-the-soundsystem at parties kind of way I do that quite a bit.

Any Highlights?
I was at a New Year party at a friend's hotel a couple years ago and, along with another friend of mine, had brought our Ipod's to hook up to the soundsystem. I think i spent about 4 hours alternating between the two iPods, not mixing or anything, but just playing a few choice house numbers, a bit of indie music and as the party was fading at about 5am i dropped Erol Alkan's remix of Franz Ferdinand's "Do You Want To?" and the place went mental, that was a fun night.

What do you enjoy most about Djing?
The endless possibilities ahead and the fact that it gives me an excuse to constantly hunt down great music.

What genre do you prefer to play at the moment?
I've started off learning with house music, but i'd like to get to a stage where i can mix a variety of genres, especially funk, hip hop and chillout/alternative stuff, can't beat a bit of reggae for some head-bopping.

Describe your style.
At this early stage it's all about the programming. Once i've got that down pretty tight and i'm comfortable with it, then i'll hopefully be able to inject my own bit of style in to it.... but whatever i play, it's got to have a funky edge to it!

Do you prefer Vinyl or CD and why?
I've been practicing with CDs as i can't afford vinyl yet. But i'm a big fan of vinyl, there's something about the whole process of playing a record, when you pull the record out of its sleeve and place it on the turntable, and then you place the needle on the record and you get that 'crackle' sound... i don't know what it is but there's something special about it.

When you're not working which DJs would you go and see play (local and/or international)?
Shit there's so many top DJs out there. I think I've seen all but a few of my favourite DJs, such as: Grandmaster Flash, Laurent Garnier, Silicone Soul, DJ Yoda, The Nextmen, Joey Negro, Greg Wilson, Louie Vega, Kenny Dope, Green Velvet, Cut Chemist, David Holmes, Jeff Mills and Graeme Park to name but a few. Locally, in Glasgow that is, my favourite DJs are Harri & Dominic of the Subclub, Billy Woods and Slam. All phenomenal DJs.

Top 5 All time Favorite tracks?
Lesson Two - DOUBLE DEE & STEINSKI has been the single most influential tune I've ever heard. I first heard it when i recorded an Essential Mix by Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) on BBC Radio 1 back in 1996 and was blown away. I kept rewinding the tape and playing that part of the mix over and over again thinking it was Norman Cook cutting it up like a mutha f#$ka! It wasn't until I saw the tracklisting and downloaded the track about 6 years later that i realised it wasn't actually Norman Cook mixing! To this day it's still one of my most favourite tunes.

Other firm favourites that spring to mind are...
It's Yours - JON CUTLER & E-SMOOVE, LARRY LEVAN (Pretty much any of his remixes are top notch), High Tech Jazz - GALAXY 2 GALAXY, Luck of Lucien and Excursions - A TRIBE CALLED QUEST, The Man With The Red Face - LAURENT GARNIER, Chocolate City - DEEP DISH, Got To Get Your Own (Joey Negro Club Mix) - DOUG WILLIS, Nyce & Slow - LOUIS VEGA, and most tunes on the Salsoul label, oops that's more than 5.

As a DJ at the beginning of your career what are your aspirations?
Man, the possibilities are endless! It's obviously a pretty saturated market, everyone and their dog these days wants to be a DJ it seems! But it's like any profession i guess, i like to draw comparisons with football (or soccer as you Aussies scandalously call it); if you want to make it big, you need to have skill, dedication, make sacrifices and even then you need to have no shortage of luck! Ultimately i'd like to make a name for myself and get to the stage where i'm invited to do a mix for Radio 1, play in Ibiza and guest DJ at parties around the world. I'd also like to get in to production and look in to VJing. But yeah, to start off i'm going to practice a fair bit, then try and play a few bars and parties, then try and get some warm-up slots in clubs, build my confidence and then see where i go from there...