7 years in the making it’s a JUICE DJ Quest champions 2003 to 2008 roll call, as we catch up with former winners and find out where they’re at and how JUICE DJ Quest changed life for them, on the eve on JUICE DJ Quest 2009.
2003 – Victor G
Back in 2003 Victor G was crowned JUICE DJ Quest’s first ever champion. Already a circuit DJ at the time, 6 years later and Victor is truly at the top of his game. Holding a residency at international superclub Ministry Of Sound’s Malaysia outpost Euphoria, when JUICE picked up a phone to speak with him, Victor had just returned from Singapore’s Fuel Fest after opening for Underworld. he casually described the experience as “wicked”. By the time you read this he will be jetsettin’ to Melbourne for a month of gigs, then back to KL where he will take on a new challenge: a new residency at Rootz KL in Lot10, hotly tipped to be THE place to be. Such is the life of one of Malaysia’s hottest DJ properties.
Without a doubt Victor has mad credentials, winning the Pioneer DJ Battle several times but the JUICE DJ Quest was his first competition triumph, kick starting a winning streak that has stuck. “Track selection is very important” he advises and picks according to the club, crowd and atmosphere. The rest he says is practice. “JUICE DJ quest has been the best platform for new DJs to manifest themselves. It has been keeping it fresh.”
How did things change for him since winning JUICE DJ Quest? “Look where I am now?” Victor kids before getting serious. “It has been good. I have been getting more media coverage. But the key is to not take the competition for granted, it’s a lot of hard work to even get where I am now,” he says matter of factly. And he’s certainly come along way and earned his every success.
2004 – Biggie
When DJ Biggie won JUICE DJ Quest in 2004 he was the first hip hop/drum and bass DJ to do so. It kick started a trend that has so far seen 2 other deebee DJs follow suit. As one of the youngest contestants at the time and still unknown, Biggie was a dark horse but joined because he knew a place in the final could help send his career skyward.
Now from a graduate of Playaz Universe DJ school, Biggie is rolling with the big boys of Kartel Hitmen (alongside DJ T-Bone and DJ Cza) and has even been spotted rocking a club billboard on Jalan Maarof (we’d smile every time we saw it). With 3 club residencies at The Loft, Upstairs on Wednesdays for Soul Candy, Mist Club on Fridays for Lollipop and Cynna Bar on Saturdays for Jump Off, mixing and production work, and teaching DJ classes at the Kartel Hitmen DJ Academy there’s no rest for the wicked.
Homie’s also got a side project called And’Us’Boys aka AUB, a 2 DJs and 1 MC gig. But without a shadow of a doubt, what we love about Biggie best is that he ain’t forgotten his roots; no matter what he drops, he ain’t afraid to flaunt his turntablist skills on his Serato, Pioneer CD-J or even SL1200. Fierce!
2005 – Assault + Battery
Inspired by Aiman’s brother who was a bedroom DJ at the time, friends Basil and Aiman were a natural fit. Both liked the same driving drum and bass and breaks and when they come together decks went spinning and records broke. As Assault + Battery, they were upfront, energetic and impossible to fault, eventually snagging the 2005 title and in turn notching up another accolade for the city’s small but loyal junglist massive.
But Basil and Aiman have always done it for love rather than money, preferring to entertain small crowds in intimate settings, even though their day jobs take up most of their time. These days, Basil and Aiman are into Melbourne psy dub rockers Lubdub, freakishly mind-boggling geniuses Shpongle and dubsteppas such as Bar9, Cotti, Chefal, 6blocc and Rusko. No points on guessing how their style has changed. They’re also big fans of Bud Culture, who are “doing an awesome job on broadening the scene.” So with the changing times, what lies ahead for Assault And Battery? Apart from their new found interest, the heavy bassliners will be working their daily grind, reminding us that not all DJs are hedonistic rockstar wannabes.
Find Basil and Aiman at www.myspace.com/assaultbattery.
2006 – Ben Cracko
It’s funny how things turn out. 12 years ago, a friend of Ben Cracko’s who wanted to be a DJ asked Ben to accompany him to an audition. The club owner took a liking to Ben’s attitude and Ben got the job instead. So following a long stint gigging in the UK, the dreadlocked deej returned and was no sooner making a clean sweep of the JUICE DJ Quest 2006, taking the top prize, Reader Choice and eventual Regional Championship award and JUICE‘s year end Best New DJ accolade! Ben even appeared on national television!
Ben’s victory has certainly made an impact on his hometown of Melaka where Ben opened Vinyl Dance Culture, an independent live music venue and dance club. It no longer operates now having had to compete with bigger clubs with bigger budgets and a small club scene still finding its feet, but during it’s 2 year tenure it has seen some of Malaysia’s finest including Hujan, Bittersweet, The Times, Ben’s B*tches, Republic of Brickfields and local Chinese hardcore band Terra Firma.
Despite the setback, it’s still been busy for Ben. Since the complete conquest of JUICE DJ Quest 2006, Ben has booked to play major fests like Recharge, Sunburst, UV Nation and Melaka’s legendary Squat parties. Besides residencies at 11 Bistro on Jonker Street and Arena in Melaka, he now operates Vinyl DC DJ Academy showing approximately 20 students per intake the ropes. JUICE DJ Quest could still see another Melaka champion yet!
Go mad for Ben Cracko’s at www.myspace.com/vinyldc.
2007 – DJ Nikki
Chinese believe that double the prosperity equates to double the amount of success. A rare occurrence, in 2007 Nikki not only won JUICE DJ Quest 2007, she was and remains the only female to do so. Nikki candidly admits to having had her own doubts prior to signing up, commenting that DJing is essentially a male-driven industry and that the technical side of DJing and late nights could scare females away, but those worries are behind her now!
“Thanks to JUICE, the competition gave me an excellent start in my career as a DJ because it gave me the recognition I needed to get a leg up in a competitive industry that I was new to. My passion has turned into a profession!” she trills excitedly. The bookings have certainly been coming like a porn star, seeing Nikki through to numerous major festivals and headline fashion parties. She was most recently nominated as a Martell Rising Personality.
For other females out there thinking of following in her footsteps, the young star has this to say: “You have to put in a lot of effort to be respected as a professional DJ. You need to update yourself on DJ and club news and new tracks. Being a female DJ always gets a mixed reaction, but determination and hard work is the most important thing.” Nikki still has one unfulfilled ambition: to perform with a full orchestra. We reckon if there’s one girl for the job, Nikki will get it done. Brimming with enthusiasm, she leaves you with advise: “JUICE is where I got started. So grab the opportunities given to you and you might be the next!”
To listen to DJ Nikki, log on to www.myspace.com/nycholenikki.
2008 – DJ Anowl
Anowl is the kind of bloke who doesn’t take things lightly. When he’s in it, it’s to win it and when he entered the 2008 edition of JUICE DJ Quest is wasn’t until he had amassed 4 years of experience and skills behind the wheels of steel. The wait paid off and in dividends, with his firing drum ‘n’ bass flava earning him the national and regional titles and scoring him a slot as the first ever drum n’ bass DJ to spin on Gabriel and Joey G’s critically acclaimed dance music radio show Turn It Up.
Not bad for a guy who had a stonking headache at the time, Anowl celebrated the JUICE DJ Quest 2009 coup by heading straight to Cloth & Clef for a gig and to mark it with his junglists! Despite the sound’s niche following, he’s since racked it up for Youth ’09, Sunburst KL 2009 and is already making in roads regionally taking with him a manifesto to spread sounds of drum ‘n’ bass, dubstep and glitch hop.
While he had been plugging away prior to his 2008 accomplishment, the annual search for Malaysia’s best bedroom jock has helped to provide Anowl more of a profile and provided him with the opportunity to meet more DJs, producers and organisers. On the cards: a series of EPs as a soloist, with his brothers as Gazi Brothers and with his live drum n’ bass band Cylical Din. If we know Anowl, it won’t be big, unless it’s BIG. Boh!
Hit him up at www.myspace.com/anowlgazi for more drum ‘n’ bass goodness.
So who’s gonna take the crown for JUICE DJ Quest 2009? We’ll find out tomorrow Saturday, 21 November 2009 from 7pm to 10.30pm at Zouk KL. Get your invites now by clicking on the banner on this website.