DJ J-KIND

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J-KIND is a DJ/Producer currently residing in Oakland, California.  His diverse and eclectic style transcends many genres, and is currently focused on his burning passion for techno.  Listening to a J-KIND mix is inevitably a deep journey through various moods, and listeners are guaranteed a thrilling exploration of various emotions set to relentless, stomping and often times, funky beats.  Whether or not it's deep, introspective, jazzy, urgent or imperative, your neck is guaranteed to move to the beat once he works the dance floor into a frenzy with the bottomless crate of jewels in his crate.

As his sound continues to resonate through the San Francisco Bay and beyond, be assured any party with J-KIND on the bill will be an event not to miss.

 

The Basics

Favorite genre? Techno

Biggest Influences? Daniel Bell, Sven Vath, Richie Hawtin

First festival? Amnesia, Ibiza / Burning Man

Your DJ Story

How did you first get interested in becoming a DJ?

I grew up immersed in music: classically trained on piano and as a drummer in rock/soul/funk bands.  When I moved to San Francisco in 1999, soon after I went to my first electronic events and immediately became mesmerized by the energy and music.  At every event (mostly raves) I found myself planted up front watching the DJ play records and control the energy of the party.  After carefully watching how they played records, I realized I could do what they were doing, and bought a pair of turntables and a mixer and a slew of vinyl from Satellite Records.  The very first attempt at beat matching records was successful, much to the surprise of a friend that was there to “teach” me.  

What aspects of being a DJ do you enjoy the most?

Putting together non-boring or monotonous sets.  To me this means making sure my track selection explores various energy levels and moods.  I also really enjoy mixing, for I view the mix a key part of DJ’ng - my purpose isn’t simply to play a new track, it’s to merge two tracks together (when able) to create a unique, interesting dynamic from the blend.

Favorite DJ story?

Closing out Airpusher’s Steampunk Masquerade festival at Public Works, with my own unreleased track, and watching everyone dance and raise their hands in the air.  One guy came behind the decks and asked me “What track is this?  It’s dope!”  Quite a sense of accomplishment to say the least!

Mentorship Insights

What is the most important element an aspiring DJ should know to get started?

DJ’ng has certainly changed considerably since I started in 2001.  Apart from live performances using synths, modules, etc.,  back then DJ’s used vinyl, two turntables and a mixer.  Now there are all kinds of tools Dj’s use to play music.  However I think the most important skill a DJ need is beat matching, because then you understand the core principal and art behind blending two tracks.  You then have the ability to DJ events with any gear that’s available.  Besides, if your computer crashes mid-set, what’s your backup plan?  

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your beginner DJ self, what would it be?

Set goals, and focus on achieving them.  I really wanted to DJ full-time but never prioritized it.  It takes some time and hard work to establish your sound, market yourself and form crucial relationships with promoters, and if I were to do it all over again, I would’ve focused more energy on this.