DJ Bootcamp: Meet the burn Residency contestants – Part 1
Earlier this year burn announced its once-in-a-lifetime residency DJ competition. After receiving thousands of submissions for the coveted prize, 18 candidates were flown to Ibiza for a two week long DJ bootcamp where they participated in a masterclass programs led by Avicii, Fatboy Slim, Joe Goddard, Maceo Plex, Steve Lawler and Solomun. From production to live performances, the 18 contestants received a crash course on what it takes to be a world class DJ and producer. Two of the finalists, Yamato and Fire Flowerz were also invited by Avicii to perform at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Budapest where they will be performing alongside the Swedish producer on July 26th.
Hop past the break to get to know the first wave of contestants who are competing to call the White Isle home and listen to the mixes that got them there.
Hisahiro Shimizu, Japan
For 25-year-old Japanese contestant Hisahiro Shimizu, AKA Yamato, music is a way of life. One of the coolest kids on the block, he used to be a street dancer before he turned his hand to DJing. A self-confessed perfectionist with an incredible determination to succeed he took his first turn behind the decks 2 years ago and has since gone on to play some of the biggest clubs in Tokyo. Yamato marks one of his toughest experiences of his musical career as the moment he lost another competition last year making him all the more determined to succeed this time round. Of course his talent behind the decks did not go unnoticed by burn Residency mentor Avicii who upon hearing his set, selected the rising Japanese star to join him at the F1 BURN YARD event in Budapest on 26th July.
Luca D’Angelo & Matteo Soru, Italy
Formed back in 2007, Italian duo Fire Flowerz have already garnered support from the likes of Tommy Trash, Laidback Luke and Steve Aoki with their unique productions. Initially producing fidget house they are known for their constantly evolving sound, which encompasses anything from dubstep, DnB and disco whilst their collaborations with a host of Italian hip-hop and rap artists mean that they remain true to their signature funky vibe. 2011 saw the international release of their ‘Mirror Ball’ EP on OMG Records and they have since gone on to gain international recognition with the release of ‘Italian Spiderman’ on Fools Gold and ‘Vision’ pushed by Ministry of Sound. Now Fire Flowerz prepare for their biggest gig to date; specially selected by burn Residency mentor Avicii, the pair will be flying into Budapest for the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix to perform at the exclusive BURN YARD event this Saturday the 26th.
Mario Domjan, Hungary
Already proving quite a name for himself in his home country, Mario Domjan, AKA Collective Machine, is a full time DJ and Producer with a host of tracks released on various labels under his belt. Once a keen footballer, the budding Hungarian talent played for 10 years before giving up to focus on his music which he describes as tech house with a tribal feeling. Hailed as one of the ‘most talented, best and fastest learning artists’ around, Collective Machine is no stranger to the spotlight having already played Hungary’s epic Balaton Sound Festival. His productions have grabbed the attention of some of the most influential names in dance, with his most recent track, soon to be released via KD Music, featuring in the set lists of Carl Cox during his legendary Space residency. Wowing the burn Residency mentors with his impressive productions and skills behind the decks, it was perhaps no surprise that Collective Machine was selected to go through to the final 6 of this year’s program.
Damir Karasik, Bosnia
Aspiring DJ Damir Karasik, AKA El Karinho, first began his musical career as an MC working with several different groups, ranging anywhere from funk, reggae and hip-hop to DnB and breakbeat. Discovering his true passion lay with electronic dance music, the rising Bosnian talent first turned his hand to DJing four years ago and has since become a regular addition to the line ups of some of the hottest clubs around. Drawing influences from his background as an MC, El Karinho spins a unique blend of deep house and dark electronic, with a little bit of 80s pop, disco or boogie funk thrown into the mix. A member of the renowned group Velahvle, El Karinho was also co-founder of the project Late Nite Espresso which, alongside his participation in the burn Residency program, he describes as the highlight of his career so far.
Wellington Almeida, Brazil
Brazilian born DJ Wellington Almeida, AKA Wellyington draws influences from a wide variety of musical genres. He first tested out a career in small pop and rock bands before finding his wings as a DJ in 2011; playing underground parties in Joinville and the north of Santa Catarin, Brazil. Creating a name for himself in his home country, in December 2012 he participated in the AIMEC’s ‘Desafio DJ Brazil’ at the eponymous Warung Beach Club where he was placed No.7 Best 2012 Revelation DJ in Brazil. During the burn Residency bootcamp, Welly formed a strong bond with Kika Rodriguez, always first up in the morning in order to help teach the Spanish contestant with his production techniques; just one example of the enthusiasm and dedication towards both the program and his fellow DJs that impressed this year’s mentors.
Wolfram Felica, Austria
Wolfram Felice, aka Slashed Zero first began his DJ career at the age of 18. Since beginning, he has played at many clubs and festivals across Vienna and is a frequent addition to the Gschmeidig clubnights at Sass Vienna. Having a major in audio engineering, he recently fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams, buying and lovingly refurbishing a 100 year old grand piano, which he fondly refers to as his “Old Lady” and now uses to provide an original element to his own productions. Frustrated by the limitations that comes with just being a DJ, Slashed Zero ventured into the world of production; his sound a genre defying mix he describes as ‘smoothdeepgaytranceheaddubelectriclove-songs’. A sure highlight of the bootcamp program and testament to Felice’s talent, Slashed Zero received a personal email from Steve Lawler’s manager on how impressed the burn Residency mentor and deep house legend had been with the tracks that he had received from him during his masterclass.
Nejc Vidmar, Slovenia
Nejc Vidmar, AKA Nikashy started DJing back in 2006. Experimenting with several different music styles before finding his heart in dance music. Growing up in a small town with few opportunities to play, Nikashy lives by a ‘seize the moment’ mentality and, with an enthusiasm for his craft that knows no bounds, has helped organize several dance events in his home country Slovenia, most notably Eco Festival and Festival Čipkarija. In 2011 he won PreParty’s DJ competition, carrying with it the chance to play in Greece with the likes of Umek and Shapeshifters, for the last 2 years he has held a residency at Slovenia’s renowned Coco Café Club. He describes his sets as tribal tech house with Balkan influences.
Marina Karamarko, Croatia
Music has always been in the heart and soul of the aptly named Miss Soulfly, AKA Marina Karamarko. A keen musician, taking both piano and guitar lessons from a young age, it was in 2005 that she was given her first opportunity to embrace her passion for dance music with a 3 year summer residency at Prova. Going on to play some of the hottest clubs in Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Serbia and Bosnia, Miss Soulfly also holds an Audio Engineering Diploma from the SAE University of Ljubljana and gives DJ workshops. Miss Soulfly also regards herself an active member of Urban Divas, an organization formed to help with the promotion of female DJs and artists. One of four female contestants who made it through to the bootcamp phase of this year’s burn Residency, Miss Soulfly’s productions caught the attention of mentor Steve Lawler, who contacted her post masterclass to ask her if he could play one of her tracks during his set at Pacha the following night!
Jan Jechna, Poland
A full time Economics student at University College London, burn Residency’s Polish contestant Jan Jechna, AKA Hyena, frequently played Warsaw’s infamous 1500 Do Wynajecia as well as slots on national Polish radio Roxy FM. Teaching himself music theory as a means of becoming more conscientious with his productions, at this point in time the 22 year old producer has yet to unleash any of his tracks on the world, although we are told they are not far away. Describing his sound as house and techno and unconcerned with being super specific about micro-genres, Hyena has been hugely influenced by the London music scene, where he has had the chance to experience live sets from some of the world’s most influential DJs. Proving a hit with this year’s burn Residency mentors, Hyena was chosen to go through to the final 6, carrying with it the opportunity to perform live on Ibiza Sonica Radio.