In this fascinating episode of "Once A DJ", we delve deep into the life and career of Phil Lembke, a.k.a. Sticky Dojah, a Germany-born DJ who made a name for himself in Germany and then New York. Listen to Sticky Dojah share his journey from growing up in East Germany to embracing the first wave of hip hop and Turkish b-boy music. Explore his experiences with the advent of cable television and the importance of radio in his life. We get into the guts of the German hip hop scene in the 90s, the challenges of living away from bigger cities, and the insights from his very first trip to New York.

We then switch gears to his beginnings in the music industry, his early performances, and how his love for music eventually led him to enroll in the Red Bull Music Academy. Get an insider's view of Berlin's music scene, the establishment of pirate radio station Loudfm, and the evolution of music in real-time.

As the story unfolds, Sticky Dojah delves into the decision to become a full-time DJ, moving to New York, and how he navigated the industry as a student. Hear about his brief hiatus from DJing, his return on his terms, and how he juggles his other music projects today. End the episode with some powerful advice for anyone considering a career in DJing.

Transcript

Adam Gow 0:00

Welcome back to once a DJ. And this week I'm here with Phil Lembke, aka Sticky Dojah Germany born and raised, and now based in New York with a range of gigs across bars, clubs, galleries, and corporates. He's also a remixer, curator and journalist and a graduate of the inaugural Red Bull Music Academy. Today we're going to discuss his early years and the experiences that shaped him into the DJ that we see today. Phil, thanks for coming on the show. How are you doing?

Sticky Dojah 0:26

I'm doing great. Thanks for having me.

Adam Gow 0:28

You're more than welcome. So yeah, I'm really excited to get into your story and understand it, because it's going to be quite different to a lot of the other guests that we've got in terms of your geographical journey and probably your cultural exposure growing up. So you want to start from I mean, start from wherever's best for you really?

Sticky Dojah 0:49

Yeah, I mean, I obviously listened to a lot of the podcasts you've done, I love the series, and I'm happy to be a part of it. And I guess I'm the first one that's kind of from the German area. But a lot of my upbringing and socialisation with music and DJ culture, maybe mirrors a lot of the things that other people already talked about. But then because well, where I'm from, there's a you know, lots of different things happen as well. So I, I tried to keep it as exciting as possible. Yeah, I think the first let's start, like in the early 80s, I was born in East Germany. But then we move to West Germany before the wall came down. It's a long story that's for another podcast, won't go into that. But like it was like I was basically living in West Germany with my parents in asylum houses for refugees. Because I was basically we were a refugee family from East Germany to West Germany, we only spoke the same language, but I came from a completely different political system. And then we had the chance to visit West Berlin for the first time, which was November 83. So because we never made it to the west, and West Berlin was even though it was still located in East Germany, like West Berlin was, you know, part of, of the Western world. And I will never forget, like walking with my parents through coup dam, which was one of the most famous streets and seeing these boys just moving like robots and seeing this boombox. And I was like, What is this and that was my, my first when I, I always say, like, I caught the first wave of hip hop. That's, you know, when all of this came to Europe, it was Turkish boys. And then they went around with a hat and collected money. And I'm like, What is this? So that's why I kind of was already intrigued. Okay, what is the sound and then living with my parents? In these asylums, we had a black and white television. And then, you know, the early music shows in Germany started there was one, it was called Formula One. You would I would see like Phil Collins against all odds, like doing it live and, or like the I remember the thriller, Michael Jackson video premiere, and I was like, too young to watch it. And our parents were like, you might want to look away. And then that year, I went to a record store in Auckland, when we finally moved to Auckland, in West Germany, where I basically grew up and have spent a considerable amount of time of my life. I remember like, it was probably 84 By then, when we went to a record store for the first time with my parents. And there were two albums on the wall. One had these white gloves was like breakdance music compilations, and the other one was West Street mob on Sugar Hill records. And that was kind of my first record, and I was just okay, and now put two and two together. And I got really into breakdancing as a, you know, tiny young kid, and that was my first love.

Adam Gow 4:00

So it was in, in East Germany then was Was it very much kind of Russian sort of cultural influence.

Sticky Dojah 4:12

There was, yes, there was but obviously, we lived close enough to the border that we had access to Western television, because it was all terrestrial. Back then. There was a part of East Germany like the southeastern part that didn't have access to Western media. We had and there was also a state owned label called Amiga, and they would like they would licence western music. So when I grew up, you know, Pink Floyd was played a lot in that in the house like the wall. Actually, one of my first childhood memories is putting the needle onto a record and it was ACDC is Highway to Hell. I'll never forget like the first chords, the guitar chords. So that all happened Yeah, and before we left, like in around 82, early 83. And yeah, my parents always had records. So, you know, it was it was dire straits. It was. Earth, Wind and Fire best stuff I vividly remember like God to get you into my life that was always played in the house, and my mom would dance. So there was a lot of soul music, a lot of classic rock. And I remember then, you know, when we went to West Germany, and we were living in West Germany, one of the first things is my parents took me to a concert in Cologne, and it was Supertramp, Joan Baez, and I forgot, I think Santana like there's so there was, there was always my parents were always very much into music. And then I, but I try to hold on to these hip hop things, you know, when we're talking about like, the this first wave, and I remember then in 8519 85, but now like, I'm still I'm looking for people, like outside of my house, that are also into dancing, I wanted to dance. And all the kids were like, well, this happened last year, like, so. So 1984, and we're playing football now. And so, but I kept it I kept this urge to be like, I want to know more about this music and the dancing and I was kind of on my own, like dancing in my room. And yeah, like had a Rock Steady Crew poster on the wall and all of that. And then, obviously, you know, being a kid, I was listening to all kinds of stuff. And then also like, kids music and it wasn't all like, you know, only hip hop, but I tried to catch these glimpses of stuff. And I remember I got really into Miami Vice. And they had they had I think Melly Mel had a song on the on the soundtrack was Miami Vice rap. So like I put like, Okay, this is connected to my now my favourite TV show that and, and then I think by 87, my parents had a sampler and there was Beastie Boys on - She's on it. Yeah, remember that song. And I remember, we went to a local restaurant and the son of the owner came to me, and it's like, Have you heard of the Beastie Boys? They have women in cages on stage that throw pa cans. And I was like, what? very intrigued. And then another big thing, obviously, was the advent of cable television. In Germany. Yeah.

Adam Gow 7:27

Can I just ask, sorry? Moving from east to west, yeah, how difficult or easy? Was it to make friends and interact with the with the Western kids? Was it? Was there any sort of difficulties there?

Sticky Dojah 7:43

While I can, I can quickly tell the story of like, I basically went to a socialist kindergarten in East Germany where everything was, it was like, everything was given order was given an order for so now you sleep now you brush your teeth. And it was like, it was really strict. It was all kind of military. And I remember then we lived in Heidelberg, which has a big that was big gi bases army bases from from the States. And a lot of the kids were actually American army kids. And I remember the first days I was in kindergarten, I was just sitting around and doing nothing. And then the kindergarten teacher just went to my parents was like, something is wrong with your son. Like, he doesn't interact, he doesn't play and my parents are like, No, you. He's waiting for orders. That's how brainwashed I was from the socialist candidate. And then once they were like, you're free to go, you're free to touch everything. Like you're you can do whatever you want here, basically, then I was good. But it was definitely a change in the political system. For sure. That must be

Adam Gow 8:50

a big thing for a kid to readjust to a whole different set of societal rules.

Sticky Dojah 8:57

Yes. And it also, like this whole thing of like, leaving a country kind of moving, like became a thing for my family. Like we were always moving even within our can we moved, I don't know, like 15 times or something crazy. Like I never really had a home for forever. It was always just couple years here, three years here, five years there, maybe, you know,

Adam Gow 9:23

so did music become something that you kind of depended on as a constant then given that amount of variety and change that word? Is instability? A fair word to say?

Sticky Dojah 9:36

Yeah, I mean, my my parents always, were looking out for me, and I wouldn't say that my childhood was in stable or anything like that. It was there was a lot of love in the house, especially because of what we went through. But music was always there. And just, I was just intrigued by music just constantly and especially this like hip hop and soul music, because that's what I've resonated most with. I remember like, you know, talking about cable television like this, there was this show about, there was a TV show about Vietnam about like, some series. I think it was called Nam or something. And I will never forget, like hearing they played a Marvin Gaye's What's going on in the in one of the shows, and I will, I will never forget, like rushing to the stereo boombox that was in the kitchen and trying to tape that song off the television. And, yeah, just just memories like that, you know, just, that would be something that I would just hold on to forever and just like, wow, what is this and I wanted to know more about that. And then it by the late 80s. You know, it was also like the radio became really important, just like classic sitting under the bedsheet with the with the radio on and switching to am and hearing the BBC for the first time. And then they had or they had a German radio station Radio One kind of similar to the BBC, and there was a radio show called graffiti. And then this must have been like 889 I will never forget, like, all of a sudden I hear these beats, and it was tough crew from Philly. So in that radio show, they would play like the newest us rap that came out like underground rap, but also like death metal. And then the next song was like death by Dawn by the side or something crazy. And, and but I remember I only had like, like the last 15 seconds of that tough crew song. And it took me years to actually find out what it was and find the record in a record store.

Adam Gow:

Did you find the almost like the game sort of nature of our system and need to try and find out about did you find that almost that kind of challenge a lot of fun. Because I think it can be quite satisfying, can't it when you find that the satisfaction you get when you realise something like that.

Sticky Dojah:

I was actually I think now thinking back or maybe I just make that up now in my mind. I was more frustrated that I didn't have more access because I was still I was still young was like 12 years old. And I remember like going to a skate shop and then the clerk he had tapes and he was like Okay, listen to this and it was like EPMD you got to chill and I heard a talk box for the first time I will have that that zap sample that just blew me away but I was too young and then these older kids were like, hey, you know, Public Enemies performing in Cologne next next month, are you you want to come with us and I'm like, I'm kind of still too young. I don't know I can't I was still 12 And then by the next year I was I was I was still too young but then by the by the next year I think in 91 with a friend from school, I convinced my parents Okay, I want to go to a rap show and it was actually Gangstar and Dream Warriors and some other acts from Canada. And that was obviously huge for me like I remember like getting stepped in the arena for my 30th birthday from a friend of mine. That kind of cemented it. At the same time I think early 91 was when I got into massive attack. And just understanding that there was also like this the UK as a you know something that also makes hip hop or on the trip to Paris with my mom. I went to the HMV store and bought the first anti M Nikita Mayer album automatique which is now obviously like a French classic mean they had was one of the biggest crews and just that kind of became aware okay in every country this is happening rap music is happening in a rapping in their own language. And it was still a time when there was a little bit of German rap already happening. Also at a pop level at a major label lab level but the quality was just not there. There was still a lot of people rapping in English in Germany

Adam Gow:

and we seen that MTM programme and Netflix the really good

Sticky Dojah:

Yeah, yeah, it's it's, I mean, the whole thing, there's the cinematography and how they like I mean French rap was always ahead of the German rap scene, I'd say by three to five years at least. And but yeah, then like early 90s is when this whole thing like really blew up for me just going to the record stores by myself and then same time you know, doing kids parties in someone's parents basement and like Mosh pitting to like police so lonely big As we heard from the older brothers and sisters and like still rock was still there, like I remember like finding out about Jimi Hendrix voodoo child and friend of mine who's like bringing Led Zeppelin and that kind of stuff also was still around.

Adam Gow:

With the people that were around, did they all tend to be quite sort of wide ranging with their with the music tastes, because I know when I was growing up people to people around where I am tended to be quite siloed. And I'm into this or I'm into this, you didn't get as many people that would kind of cross genres. Was it quite an open minded society?

Sticky Dojah:

Yes, because because of the fact that we grew up, like in a, like small town, there wasn't much there was scenes like the older brothers, they weren't and they got into like front to four to the whole EBM thing. But for us, like we would literally just sit down like I remember, like a 93, just go to a friend's house and listen to DJ crystal like Drum and Bass then became big for us too. And we're just blown away by the production and the break beats and everything. And then while at the same time, we would listen to Roger Waters, music for the body and laugh at the fart noises on the record. And, like just being kids, you know, like, it wasn't that serious, we kind of developed this understanding of, hey, this is something that we want. And but there's this whole thing of like being in a scene and just being like, this is hip hop, this is not hip hop board. This is this, this is that that came much later. In the beginning, it was like everything, which I came back in my DJing. Later on back to that kind of mindset of having a just an open mind. And anything goes,

Adam Gow:

I suppose if you're if you're somewhere that's away from a bigger city, it's harder to engage in the tribalism of music in a way because it's harder to dress a certain way in the kind of uniform of that type of music, for example,

Sticky Dojah:

well, in speaking of that, that was something that was people probably don't understand it anymore. For example, the whole fashion thing that comes with music, we didn't have access to that. And if you talk to people in Germany yet, you know, the older writers I, by that time, I was also getting into graffiti and street cultures running around in the town, you know, you meet other kids and older kids. And I remember like, I desperately wanted a pair of Puma, Puma baskets, or Puma suede. It's like the shoes. You couldn't just access them or buy them. And I remember an older writer friend, he would go to London, and he brought back some Pumas for me, I was just the the king in school, you know? And then all the other school kids were like, Why are you wearing your grandfather's old football shoes like that? No one had seen fat laces at that point. For example, in my school, you know, we were kind of the first people to know like, Why do you have these big, big laces? What's the what's the code here? Like no one understood? Yeah. But it was it was hard in the beginning to get stuff. And obviously then during the 90s, with the German hip hop scene, just growing and growing magazine started, and then eventually it got into mail orders, like around 9697. But even before that, we were always just trying to get stuff. And I believe like, for example, the first official superstars reissues were only available like in late 92, early 93, all over Germany. So before that, you really had to know where to get stuff.

Adam Gow:

The superstars, reissues they wrap,

Sticky Dojah:

the Adidas, no, I mean, the shoe Oh, sorry. So so it was, you know, there was a time when, yeah, some people in Berlin, they had specialist shops, and they had people like flying to New York or Paris and then buying stuff in bulk and bringing it back. But we didn't have access to that, you know, and I can, I can, as is. It's really the heart of Europe, which was also good for travelling. It's, it's right at the border to Netherlands and Belgium. So I literally grew up walking distance from the Dutch and Belgian border, I could walk across the border, and I was in another culture. So that was really a huge bonus of living there. That's why we were also really more drawn to the Netherlands, Belgium and even England, because London geographically is almost It's closer than Berlin to us. Growing up is Western Germany. Yeah. So going to London at the time was I mean, maybe four or five hours with the with the ferry and bus and everything. Now it's there's a direct train and so they could fire Brussels is like, I don't know, two and a half, three hours. And going to Berlin is like seven and a half, eight. So yeah, we were always drawn to that. And then we also because of the British forces that were stationed around Arkin and Monchengladbach. In that area, we had access to British radio. There was actually a show in the early 90s by a guy called Steve Mason, the Steve Mason experience. I don't know, if he was actually famous in the UK as a DJ, I've not heard of him. Yeah, he was with the British forces, and he was travelling around the world. And whenever he was, you know, station, he would do a radio show. And he was stationed in Germany at the time, and he would play early, hardcore, and break beats and jungle. So we had access to that. And then the other really important person that was on that radio station was David rodigan. He had his his radio show. So yeah, by that time, like 93 that was we were just always religiously listening to that, and just getting all this input. And, and then the other important radio show came actually from Amsterdam, was called Dutch masters. A Hip Hop show that I discovered in 93. I think the firt like, just being on the radio dialling in and then I think the first song was like, only when I'm drunk by the alcoholics. And wow, and that was the the direct gateway to New York for us. And it was, it was once again, it was terrestrial radio. So if you were in Cologne, if you were like 70 kilometres east, you couldn't get that station. But because we were so close to the border. It opened us up for for what was to come because they had all the imports. All the new records make a week after they came out in New York. That's crazy. And

Adam Gow:

so what when UK hip hop was big in the early 2000s, when that wave of it was going on, I should say, a lot of my friends were quite into it, but I just never quite got into it. I mean, I'm, for me, I'm more beats than lyrics. And I just didn't quite click with it in the same way, as some of my friends did. But I think also at that time, I was getting more interested in samples and sample culture and looking backwards. But yeah, it was, it was quite strange that it was such a prominent scene in my country, but I didn't really grab on to it. What was your experience, like with the German hip hop, given that you were there, and you had such a variety of influences?

Sticky Dojah:

I was pretty much there from when the first very first records came out. And it was actually a scene when people identified as hip hop and it wasn't just novelty rap in German. It was, I was there to see the switch from English language from bad English records to actually okay, we need to rap in our own language because other people in other countries are doing it. By 90 to 93 you had records there was one group called Advanced Chemistry. And they were like, you know, it was like, an Italian immigrant son was like, half patient half German guy who became later on like a very prominent figure, his name is torch in German hip hop. So yeah, all that mixed in with like the drum and bass influence from from England and then seeing the local German hip hop scene growing. I always felt that okay, the the spirit is there, the people are there, but there were very few records that were really like on a level with American productions and even like UK productions, because you have to understand also at the time, there was the sound called Brit corps in the early 90s, mid 90s. That was huge in certain parts in Germany, and like really spoke to the German crowd to like, especially in Hamburg. And there were lots of people mimicking it in German, like really like this fast rap style and just having gibberish English. Like you couldn't couldn't understand a word. But we liked the energy and obviously the brake beads and everything. Yeah. And that was also the time maybe like around 95 when I really got into Okay, I want to, I want to DJ I want to do something with with these records that I already had. And I remember like, my friend, Fredo, also known as DJ Demmick. He's still active. He also does podcasts and radio now in Germany. He already had two turntables, and he caught me one day and was like I got it. I'm able to mix now I can make Six records on in beat. And I like what I was there wasn't able to do that. So that I had this competition, okay, I need to get into that. And I went to his house and it was 9095. And he had re Keith, the terrorist. And you mix it with rock said, Listen to your heart, which is crazy, but it's like it was a mash up essentially. But it worked for like a couple of years for a couple of bars. And when I got this is crazy. And then I borrowed equipment. I had a tape deck and a belt driven turntable that had a little pitch. And I went home and I tried and tried and tried and and I remember it was with Drum and Bass records. Actually, I don't know which ones it was. Exactly. But yeah, and then it clicked. And I was able to mix and that was a huge thing. So that was around 95. And then yeah, going further in time. I like night by 96. I had first had my name on a flyer and did my first party in, in Aachen, and it was the was the some of the Fujis you know, the score was really big. And I got a first glimpse of this thing as a DJ where the requesting because I was still playing like digital underground and playing like a little bit older records that I had, you know, all these LPs. And I remember the girls at the party, they were already requesting like Lauryn Hill and the Fuji is annoying. Alright, I see that because it's, it's new. And I understand. And by that time, I mean, I came up with drum and bass, as I said, but there was simply too many Drum and Bass DJs in our can for this tiny town. So I went into hip hop, and by 95 with my friend Fredo and another friend Johan. We've started practising and we had one guy in our school, he already was part of a DJ pool. And he invited us one day and he was more into house and electronic music, but he had artefacts wrong side of the tracks. He had Mobb Deep shock once all these 12 inches and he's like, I don't really need this. They just you just want to buy them for me for like five Deutschmarks. and I were like, yes. And that made me also understand, okay, there's actually like, this DJ service thing, DJ pools where you can get records sent to you. It's amazing. And with those records, we just practised and practised. And, yeah, and then I finally by 96, I started doing my own, like little parties and was booked here and there in the town. Because I mean, it's a it's a fairly small towns like 300,000 people. So there weren't that many opportunities or, or locations even where you could DJ, but by that time, it was also like, exploding. There was a party called massive tunes, which was a pure Drum and Bass party, but they had a second room, where would DJ and just play like early def punk, and but also like, you know, instrumental hip hop and little bit of rap and just trying to make sense of it not really knowing what I'm doing.

Adam Gow:

Did you find that kind of moving round? Develop your social skills in the way that you were good luck with dealing with promoters and things like that? Did it give you like that sort of confidence?

Sticky Dojah:

Not really. I mean, I was more. It was a very small scene. And I got to know all the people and trying to find my way. And, I mean, in the beginning, I remember like, my phone, my first party, the guy who's like, in a movie, like he was like, wearing sunglasses, like, I invite you to dinner and you're gonna, you're gonna have this great party, you're gonna have this crazy Korean was like 18 years old, and he's telling me all these things, and I'm like, okay, but I fairly early on, realise that, you know, it's, it's that whole promotion game, I never was really too good at it. And it's, I don't know, like, if, if that if my social skills developed through that or anything, but I was always trying to just make a good, good set, and have, you know, people come back. And sometimes that was difficult, you know, because you have this idea of what you want to present to people and then they're somewhere else with with what they expect. But at the same time, I think a lot of the people were in our town, which is thankful that something was going on. Yeah.

Adam Gow:

So we very much pure Hip Hop when you were DJing. At that point, are we throwing in bits of bits of other stuff as well?

Sticky Dojah:

Totally bits of other stuff as well. The whole Hip Hop thing came a bit later, I think by 97. It's started to manifest more I got out a little bit of the like buying Drum and Bass records because simply it was it was the sound was changing a little bit got darker, more more technical. And I also had more and more access through the radio shows and also through a trip to New York in the summer of 1997. I just finished school. And that trip just blew everything wide open. As crazy. Because I went to the Rocksteady anniversary, I saw Stretch Armstrong playing at the HMV. So I met the beat nuts, I was just hanging out at Fat beats for a day just just like you'd like a sponge. Okay, who's coming in your oldest Crazy Legs over there. And just and then I remember like, through mail order, we got access to the first invisible scratch pickles via VHS tapes. We went on trips to Amsterdam, because Amsterdam was three hours away and we went to the Paradiso and Melkweg big clubs that still exist in Amsterdam, DJ Babu was DJing all of a sudden fat beats opened up in in Amsterdam. So we would go there and by 12 inches and I mean that that was the summer when the first when when the when the independent hip hop scene really. Like you know, all these things came out like dilated pupils and most deaf and raucous became big. So by that time, it was pretty obvious, okay, this is this is just what I want to do and what I what I'm what I'm looking for.

Adam Gow:

So that trip to New York was the intention just to soak up as much hip hop as possible.

Sticky Dojah:

While I was kind of like, you know, I've been to New York and then my father, he he had a he was doing work in the US and he was like, why don't you come with me and we'll spend some time in New York in between, and I'll make it work. And for me, yeah, that was like just soaking it all up just running around and listening to the radio. I mean, I remember like taping, we were living in Jersey and always taking the train into New York and I was taping the stretch and Bobbito show. Yeah, and just just I was just blown away by everything

Adam Gow:

that I carry when they were doing when they had all the incredible freestyles on

Sticky Dojah:

Yeah, and just like the shit talking also, like I remember taping one where an LP was there, and they were talking about this was this, this this movie with Kevin Costner Waterworld. And they were like, Oh, can you imagine if it was if it would be like pork world and everything wouldn't be made out of pork. And now you know that that humour, but then also like, just being in record stores in in New York was just phenomenal. And I remember this, like, I spent all my money on fat beats and went down to West Fourth Street. There was another small record shop, I forgot what it was. But I walked in, and I clearly had no money, no idea what I'm doing. But I was like, Okay, I got it. I gotta ask a good question. I'm like, Hey, do you have Incredible Bongo band Apache. And the guy was like, Yeah, we got it. And, but I wanted it on 12 inch, I wanted the 12 inch bootleg that everybody was talking about. And they didn't have that. But then a girl rode by on roller skates and was asking for Marvin Gaye, sexual healing and he just gave her the 45 and she just rolled off to the streets was like, I'm like, What is this here? I need to and I made that trip that energy really helped me for years that coming back to Germany and being like, wow, this is this is it?

Adam Gow:

Head Head you got a plan. After school, then when you head you got an intention of I'm gonna go to New York and come back and do a certain thing. And if so, did that change through the experience of that trip? No, it was

Sticky Dojah:

more. So 97 I finished school and then it was like, Okay, I have to go to university. What is what's my best strategy. And there was a really good university just right across the border in a town called Maastricht. And that's where I enrolled for. Last Netherlands. Isn't that International Business Studies. That's Netherlands. Yep. One of the oldest towns in the Netherlands and it was literally just a half an hour car ride away. But you're in a completely different world. It's a different language, different, different country. So I enrolled in 98. To do intend to study there, but it was very much separated out my DJ life in in Germany, which eventually spilled over to Maastricht because I made contacts there and like with DJing student parties and stuff later on, but I kept it fairly. I mean, not really, I have to go back and say that we did a lot of trips to the Netherlands and we were also part of a thing called the hip hop cafe in a small town called sitar, where me and my friend from Germany would go and we would be the only Germans which also then led to me doing my first DJ battle in 1998 in the Netherlands, it's called Battle of the highlands was a de local DMC battle. It was just me and two other guys. And I won that actually, because it was practising a lot at the time, like from 97 to 98. But the others were also really bad. And then and I remember, one of the judges was DJ Kip ski. I don't know if you heard of him, he's still still one of the best turntables from the Netherlands. Like he does tone scratching and all of that. Please look him up if you haven't. And he asked me afterwards. And he's like, did you know that you would win this? And I'm like, Yeah, I did, because I knew who was going on against. That same year, I enrolled for a battle in Amsterdam called turntable. alized, which was in in the Paradiso Club was in the big club. And I was just scared shitless and I did not place I was just like, and all the Dutch, Dutch guys were making fun of me. I was like the the only German like battling in the Netherlands. It was fun. But it was like, clearly getting out of my comfort zone. And also a testament to the fact that we were always more drawn to the Netherlands or like that border lifestyle than going east into Germany.

Adam Gow:

How much of the performance was that your skill level wasn't as good as theirs? And how much of it was that the nerves just get here? Because I know what it's like when you do a battle and you you're shaking, trying to put your needle on and you're queuing up and it doesn't quite go over there that you did take marker in the right way and stuff like that if it's going wrong.

Sticky Dojah:

Well, it was. I remember. So going back to that New York trip on that Rocksteady anniversary, I met Christie Pabon, who was who was doing DMC us at the time, and I actually gave her a demo of like little beads that I made, and which a year later resulted in me and another friend, we produce the remix for j where the damage that came out in the UK actually on DMC UK in 98. But she was at the time she had these. I forgot the name of the DJ was also like he was he was kind of like a rock guy. He was I think he was the the US DMC champion in 96. Swamp Yeah. And swamp had the skip proof scratch tools. Yeah. And she would send them to me like I would buy them from her. And with practice with those numb, I was thinking that the turntable is better. Okay, at least the needle won't skip because after the skip plus. And I remember actually the other guys making fun of me that I was using that because they weren't and it was me it was pretty, you know, the lot of ego and like, insecurity, you know how these battles were back then it was like Is it was gruesome?

Adam Gow:

Well, I mean, it's like when I talked to Dee and she was on about guys. sabotaging her needles and stuff. It was mind blown. But yeah, like you say, I mean, in that world, there was a lot of braggadocio and bravado and stuff like that wasn't there. So I guess it comes with that sort of territory.

Sticky Dojah:

Yeah. And then I think a year later, I enrolled again, and then by then I was more comfortable. And there's actually also video footage of that. And I remember I was, I got applause after my set. And I was I felt really great. I did well. And I think I had, I was at the same level of points as another Dutch guy, but because it was German, I think they picked the Dutch guy to go to the next round, which I was fine with. It was just more for the experience. But that was like my short left battle Korea, but it made me practice and get more into that. And that year 98 When I did my first battles, was also the year I went to the very first Red Bull Music Academy in Berlin. What was that? Like? That was just incredible. It was so you had to so they they send out application forms to all the record stores. In Germany, it was it was national only for the first one. It's kind of like a test balloon to do it internationally. And I remember you had to apply it to like, fill out all these questions. And I got a yes. And it was like, Okay, you're going to Berlin for two weeks. And there's going to be this house filled with turntables. And just like it was just like a, you know, a playground for DJs. And pretty much the first thing that happened was was sitting in a room and the first interview that they did was Jeff Mills. And then there was one Atkins, and then it was the execution is swinging by and then it was some reggae sound system, then someone would came and talk about how labels work. And it was just and then you would go into the house and just find a room with turntables and just practice and, and jam together with other people and outfits for two weeks. And then I actually think I even came back for another two weeks, they had a second set where I just made it work somehow, with my civil services at the time that I was doing, kind of got all of that. And then just, yeah, that was a huge game changer for me to obviously meeting all these people. That's also when I started to write for music magazines, because one of the founders of Red Bull Music Academy was a chief editor of one of the biggest music magazines at the time. And he asked me to start writing about music and doing interviews.

Adam Gow:

What was that based on them? Was it based on your music knowledge, Id Jain skill? Or was it something in terms of the quality of application that you'd done?

Sticky Dojah:

I think it was a mixture of that. I asked them about my application. And then one of the guys told me that Yeah, you were pretty much one of the first step went through, like, because I had always had this bird's eye view. It wasn't just hip hop, it wasn't just because I mean, Germany, like I went to my first rave in 1993. You know, there's, there's, this was always around. So I had an under fairly global understanding of music and reggae and all kinds of things. Not that I was an expert in everything, but I saw how different things interacted. And

Adam Gow:

yeah, because I asked that just because, I mean, I applied for the Red Bull Music Academy one year. And I just remember, it was an absolute beast of an application form when I did it.

Sticky Dojah:

Yeah, it was pretty, uh, took me a couple of nights. And then like, really, like, dude, like this half hour mix. I remember I worked on it for weeks. And just like, I wanted to do it right. And it worked out. But then obviously, it became, you know, I think when you applied it was already on such a level that was just, I mean, look at look at who came out of this. And who was part of it, like, who's an alum? What's the word? Alumini? Alumni. Yeah. Just incredible talent that was featured over the years, you know,

Adam Gow:

who is there? I mean, I can't think off the top of my head. Oh, I

Sticky Dojah:

think like, like, Flying Lotus was there, I think DJ day from Palm Springs. Just, and then lots of people that I forgot to probably don't know, but who are doing amazing things right now.

Adam Gow:

There are a couple of pretty incredible ones, though there that you've mentioned. Yeah.

Sticky Dojah:

But yeah, I mean, it was, it was great to have that. Just being a part of that. And, and obviously, like seeing all these shows, and Berlin going to the ultra resort and seeing who's their company flow. And then, you know, just all this music just as an input. And then by then, you know, coming back to I still resided in Aachen going to uni, and just doing parties in in clubs in Aachen and doing my own parties. And then we started also doing open air parties, because there was this hill where the three countries meet. And I had friends that were living in Belgium at the time, and we just got a sound system together. And we started our party in Belgium. And then the Belgian cops came. So funny story, actually, how specific that that area is. And we were just, they were just like, you can't do this here. And we're like, Well, how about we go 50 metres left to the German side. And they were like, well, that's not our jurisdiction. So. So we took the whole thing over to the German side and set up again, and we're just putting in the fields. And then the Dutch cops came, actually, on the German side, they were like, We got complaints from the Dutch side. But it's, again, it's not our jurisdiction where we're just telling you, we don't want to call our German colleagues. So maybe turn it down a little bit. And it was just, you know, like, just funny parties like that, where you just toy around with the cops in that area. You just, you can literally jump from country to country up there on that mountain. It's funny.

Adam Gow:

Did they find it amusing office straight in? Both,

Sticky Dojah:

there were there were parties where I remember I was DJing. And a cop would always almost handcuffed me, because it was not turning down the music immediately. And they were very aggressive. And there were other times where, you know, because it's borderline so they were just searching for for drug smugglers or human trafficking. And then I was DJing. And I turned down the music because I saw the cops approaching and they were just like, Well, did we tell you to turn the music down? And I'm like, no, why did why do you do it? Like they would do almost like one with us. It's funny, so it went both ways. And obviously I think nowadays I don't know if that's still possible. So same as an England with the with the with this. I mean, I don't want to compare what we had to what was happening with illegal raves in England but just similar, like cops crashing down on it eventually.

Adam Gow:

Was there ever any sort of temptation to move to Berlin?

Sticky Dojah:

Never because what we had was good enough, I had my university that was half an hour away. We even then in 99, started to have our own pirate radio station in Aachen called loud FM, which then eventually turned into a online radio outfit in the town. But yeah, even that, we had like a little, you know, little glimpse of that, like, you know, had this old radio equipment actually from East Germany from the old East German army forces, someone brought that in, and then we had a Yeah, we would be on terrestrial radio for a good summer, like on the weekends, three to four hours every, every weekend, one of the SuperS in the house was involved, and he would let us have have a goal with the antenna on the roof. And it was a good experience. So I had all this and I was by then also part of the biggest German record pool. So we get all these rockers 12 inches, stones row, 12 inches, groove attack was in Cologne was close. So there was a lot of things happening with with, with records, and then just establishing ourselves with different parties in in the town in the early 2000s, and by that time, I was also working for a German record label called put a needle to the records. They were publishing German rap albums, quite successful at the time, the label then also set up a mail order, so it would work in the mail order. And I think by by 2002, that that whole first job, big German rap bubble Hip Hop bubble, where the majors put a massive amount of money into it kind of burst, and then also the company folded, but I still stayed in Aachen and just did my my, my studies and my parties.

Adam Gow:

I suppose that time in comes with when when downloads were starting to emerge as well and physical music purchasing was slowing down. I guess.

Sticky Dojah:

That was a little later. I mean, we're still talking early 2000s. I remember just before that all hit like one of my as a DJ, one of my vivid memories was, you know, when people talk about breaking a record. Yeah. And I had that experience with Missy Elliott's past that Dutch because I had the promo I got the promo send on a Friday, I was DJing that Friday. And I went to the club, and I was DJing with a friend who ran the local reggae sound system called small acts. And I told him I have the new Missy Elliott. And we have to take this has to be the record of the night. So how do we do and he was like, alright, let's, let's announce it. So we announced it, I played it once did a rewind, played it twice. And then I think over the course of the evening, did that five times. And by the last time, just the whole place went nuts. And you know, the beginning they were like, What is this? And then it was just like, okay, boom. And that's an experience. I don't know if people still can have that with just how music is consumed nowadays, or how it's accessible. Because at the time, I was the only one with that song in the town. It was funny.

Adam Gow:

Was it like Did you listen to it the first time and just go? This is gonna be huge.

Sticky Dojah:

Yeah, yeah, I was. This is the I mean, at the time. You know, especially for the clubs. This was such a massive club record, or, I mean, anything that timberland did at that time was just amazing, like music evolution in real time. But yeah, I mean, moving on from that, like, then, at the end of my studies, I did a year abroad, which was in Prague. So I connected with the local hip hop scene in Prague and got really into connecting there with local artists and also then was asked to perform at the hip hop camp, which is the biggest Hip Hop festival in Central Europe. And started writing for Czech magazines actually picked up a little bit of Czech but was obviously writing in English because my check wasn't that good. But yeah, that was also really instrumental obviously to connect and get another experience of DJing in another country and and then coming back by 2006. I finished my studies I was I was I mean, I took my time with my studies. You can See, like DJing was always more important to me. But I was eager to finish it. And it was I mean, it was a it wasn't like an easy going University, it was a, you know, big, big thing. And it took a lot of time as well, next to the music to finish the cost that you did. It was called International Business. So it was a lot of business psychology and logistics, and I mean all anything business, but the whole study was in English, that was kind of my my thing, okay, at least I get like the business English out of it. And there was a lot of pressure on it, as well, like assault people like really having careers early on, like my peers, like went to Adidas work there. And that I didn't have that I was still like, in my, in my small town and doing my thing. At the same time, I had an alumni meeting, years later, where it was funny, because I was then happy with what I did, and, you know, turning my passion into my job, essentially, and still doing what I loved. And these other guys were like, Yeah, I've been, like, I've been through the third consulting agency and like it, it just wrecks me down. And it's like, like, I've, like, I think I came out well, you know, because in the beginning was the was the other way, I felt like I'm not really advancing in what I wanted to do. And still, I'm still in a small town, but then, you know, take take this out of it and just be like, Okay, this is actually you know, you need to be happy and find something that you really want in life. And so but then like, obviously, after, after my studies, it was like, okay, I'd really need to do something. And I started working for kind of like a cultural agency in in Aachen, that also ran this online radio station, and working on some projects there. But it was never something that I saw as a career. And then by 2008, it was working, I started working for other labels in Cologne again. And by 2008, I was like, Alright, I have to do something. And I went full time DJ. Like, I was like, Okay, I'll make this work.

Adam Gow:

When you made that decision, did you have enough regular gigs coming in to keep you afloat? Or were you at a certain percentage of what you would have needed because that's always a challenge with with going full time as a freelance and not just with DJing. But say, if you work as a designer or anything like that is like,

Sticky Dojah:

what so what we did was I teamed up with a longtime companion, a DJ many years with by the name of DJ coma. And he, him and I, we started doing these parties in a club. He established a thing called gnocchi, and we would end up mediocre DJ Team. I had my other party, which was called Mad lifted from this old mo X record, and it says music from Matt lifted beat junkies, beat junkies was already taken. So I took the mat lifted. And I think the first full independent party that we did was Halloween 2008. And it was more than 1000 people. And we had in a town with 300,000 people, you know, so I was massive. And we we then developed a setup where we always had six turntables onstage. So and we always had a guest in the middle, we would always invite an international guest or a national bigger DJ. And we were the that the sidekicks literally. And that setup kind of became a thing. And it would also allow you as a DJ, you could just walk offstage, or you can come back and just go back into the set of the other person that's playing. And we would go nuts, we would look just like quick mixing and just scratching and playing all kinds of stuff. It was like through open format, from Chubby Checker to drum and bass to underground hip hop to pop records. We didn't give a damn. And by that time, we would, you know, invite international teachers who mean we had Boogie blind, we had all the lots of fitness Rafic even like people like moths, Barney, who brought his trumpets, or J row from the alcoholics. All the the the Danish DJs very happy. We had DJ noise. Now. He was doing a club set, not like a performance anything was playing an actual club set and to get him out to do a club said that took some some time because he was already at another level back then, like my family and music work behind the scenes. But yeah, that was a good run we had from like 2008 to about 2013. And that's when I left to New York, actually. Straight from Arkansas to New York.

Adam Gow:

So how did that come about? Then how was that decision made?

Sticky Dojah:

So, common idea coming out, we went with our, like him and his family and friends. We went on a tourist trip to New York, just like, Okay, I want to experience this again. And at the same time, friends of mine were in town, from London, actually, from a crew called Living Proof. Yeah. So, DJ Khalil from living proof, as a long, long time friend of mine, we actually linked up at hip hop cam in the Czech Republic. And they were in town, and they introduced me to the New York friends, and all of a sudden was like this thing where I meet people. I'm intrigued. And I just, I remember coming back, and I called my dad and was like, I'm gonna make the move like, This is it? I, I was kind of ready. I was, I had a, I had these parties in arc. And I had a weekly at a student party where I could also play my stuff and like play in a small room, not in the main room. But it was, you know, people were already asking me like, What are you still doing here like you were destined to for other things, and I didn't want to go to Berlin was like either New York or London. By that time, I already had played Living Proof a couple of times, I was playing in London a few times with Khalil, and so had a bit of, you know, seen like just this international vibe, and just having a city where people come from all aspects of life. And I wanted to be a part of that again. And that made the decision fairly easy to to make it in New York,

Adam Gow:

did you have a set amount of time that you thought I'm gonna give it this amount of time? If it doesn't work? I'll go back? Or did you not even have that sort of doubt in your mind?

Sticky Dojah:

So in 2013, I was going back and forth, because obviously, I wasn't not just moving next week, and especially not without a steady job or anything. But I made it work, I kind of hustled my way into the city. And I gave it because, I mean, I was going on a tourist visa, you know, you go on the ESTA visa, so you have two months, and then these three months, you have to accomplish something. Otherwise, you know, you have to go back and through my music writing job, I was actually able to get a visa, a journalist visa, and then later on switch that to a green card. And because I've been I wasn't really wasn't really writing about music at that point that I mean, that doesn't support you in New York anyway. Pretty quickly went into DJing again, and establish myself here. And I know a lot of people try that. And it's really hard, but you just sound so cliche and corny, but you have to believe in yourself. And obviously, having a little bit of contacts, having people in the beginning that helped me tremendously. Was was a big game changer for me. But then also, like I wasn't, you know, over the years, because for example, we booked Boogie blind, so I could visit him in Harlem. He knew who I was, and other people. I, I think you were on that forum to like Soul strat, yes. So going back to the forum days, like, I actually met people on that trip, I linked I reached out and was like, Hey, I'm gonna be in New York through soul strat, and then met like Dr. Lay here. And he showed me around town and just I had a good intro to the city. And I think I was also by that time I was 35. I was old enough to not completely lose myself here and just be like, Okay, I've got to treat this a little more seriously. And I mean, don't get me wrong. I did my fair share of partying and nightlife and just networking and meeting people. But yeah, it was slowly built myself up here again, like slowly build up a record collection here again, started doing bar gigs, started doing club gigs. And then eventually, a year later or so was like DJing with Q tip and had all these like, all of a sudden this these things were rolling in. Record Store has started to update, they asked me if I wanted to start working for them. And so all these things came into place. Again, it was always I always believed in myself to be able to do that. But obviously, it was hard. And there were days where it was like, Oh, I might have to go back. I don't know how I'm gonna pay rent next month. But I was I had this core belief in myself and my abilities and yeah, it worked out.

Adam Gow:

Do you think anything from your degree helped with just how you how you approach things?

Sticky Dojah:

Not necessarily Maybe what really helped was okay I am, I know I'm able to converse, I know how to use the English language, and I can make myself be understood. And I think the language really helped and I was quick and it was like, Okay, I get the humour I can, I can be funny. And it's always something that interests me like pawns and like, they really liked the English language. I like languages a lot. So that helped. And then obviously, having this, this background of hip hop definitely helped. And which, in turn was funny because I then once you're here, I was always an I call myself an ambassador of the culture in Europe, and you know, writing about music, hip hop music, interviewing artists, making shorter, what I thought rap is presented in the right way, or whatever that was, I mean, it's, I see it a bit more relaxed now. But then coming here, and it's like, they don't really need me here as a white guy from Germany, representing hip hop. So I got also got into other things again, and started opening up to other forms of music like funk, soul, disco, just house and establishing that for myself.

Adam Gow:

I think from what I've, from what I've heard of you mixes as well, it's, it's all I think some people have a really good sense of just like the right side of house, that's kind of really accessible, but isn't too mainstream.

Sticky Dojah:

That was always my sweet spot. In the sense, I never had a problem with pop music, I always loved the deepest underground. So my Spectrum is is really wide. I mean, I've DJ for jazz bands, I've played in electronic jam sessions, where was like really abstract where people would do scat sounds and like some weird dancing would happen, you know, just trying out different things. And being not being shy of taking your craft into like, out of your comfort zone really helped me to to also find what I'm comfortable at. And, obviously, when you when you go full time, you know, I mean, I did weddings, I did. Things that might not have been this cool. Or were even like the guys in Aachen back then I remember they were like, looking down on me, like all the cats from the scene, they didn't understand that I was DJing, the student party and like, this is not cool. And I'm like, I have to pay rent. And this is what I do. So there's only so much you can do with DJing in this small area. So I was doing all of it. Yeah. So I encourage everyone to you know, if, if you really want to do this and you love it, then don't be shy to to also step out of your comfort zone and do things that might seem strange a bit, or might seem like, Oh, this is not the right fit for me. You never know what comes out of it. Yeah,

Adam Gow:

I mean, I had a phase of doing did quite a few weddings. And if you'd said to me, at a certain point, you're gonna start doing weddings, I'd have probably thought no, not, why would I do that. And then when you do them, and you can just let go a little bit, there can be really good fun and really satisfying. In the times when you can get the seven year olds dancing to Tribe Called Quest and things like that. It's, there's a lot of fun in that, because you're kind of you're playing their game, but you're winning a little bit because you you can kind of help it to be a little bit on your terms, which is quite good fun. Yeah.

Sticky Dojah:

And it's you have to be a certain type of person, I guess there's it's not for everyone. If you're more of an artist driven DJ, then you want to do yourself and want to have people actually come to see you then that's what you need to strive for. I'm always kind of in the middle of that. So it makes it more difficult to present yourself or establish yourself but I want to do this all my life in some sort of form. So your podcast also has opened up myself to to have other thoughts or like see it a little less stressed. It's funny, because I was talking to a friend of mine who just got out of DJing a little bit and he's like, Yeah, I started my own company. And I'm like, Yeah, but you know, and he was kind of sad a little bit that he got out of the DJ game for it. And then like probably you can always come back like there's no I think we're at a point in our lives in our society where these clear driven careers are not happening anymore anyway or less and less. If you want you can have it but it's also note there's no shame in coming back to DJing after 10 years, it just, it's like if you're really good at it and you love it. You're gonna get back into it. It's like riding a bike and need some practice again. Yes, but if you have it and you still have I have this blog, like, why not? You know, yeah, like

Adam Gow:

I like that I spent some time away from DJing. Because in the time I spent away from DJing, I kind of developed a career and kind of used a lot from DJ and from the thing of doing your own website, doing your own graphics now covers and again, bits of nowhere near as much as you will a little bit of writing and kind of use these skills to and experiences to change my career path. And then with the career path kind of started coming back to DJ in, I've come back to it on my own terms in a very different way. And because with the DJ, and before I stopped, I got pulled into, I'd go out with a Serato crate and play this, this, this, this and this. And I got very samey with what I was doing. And now I'm back, I do battle with whether I should get a controller and start doing doing some Serato stuff. But then I'm like, if I do that, it just it opens up a lot of complications. And I think having just records having limitations, it's fine. I don't DJ that much. And if I can just stick to that. I'm still, you know, I'm still gonna get enough gigs to keep me going.

Sticky Dojah:

Yeah, and you need, obviously you need a structure, or something where the stuff that you want to play you actually able to play. I mean, I'm I'm very lucky and happy that I have residencies now here in New York, where I can do what I want. And people book me for that. And it's not like the whole requesting, for example, is not really a big thing in my world anymore. It's more like people coming up and be like, Hey, that was really like, that was something and I appreciate you playing this stuff that I didn't know. It's also the audience, you have to find this type of audience. Yeah. That being said, you know, for anyone that starts I think you were just mentioning a controller. Like I had someone asking me the other night, like, yeah, I want to get into DJing. And I just bought this controller MC fine. Like, that's cool. Like I, I liked. As I said, I liked the limitations of having only vinyl and having only this, but I think you should be open to anything and just whatever fits. I mean, right now, for example, I do a lot of video content as well, that's purely based on vinyl. Just vinyl mixers and quick mixes and just 40 fives and just playing with it. People seem to like it. And it's something where the limitation actually helps me to focus more and get get other stuff done. At the same time, I was talking to a friend and he's like, why, you know, don't limit yourself, maybe add up add a CDJ next time, why not? And see where where this can go? Yeah. So it's wherever you want to take it. And you just have to. It's so cliche, but you have to just be yourself and play with it. And, you know, take whatever comes out of it, and be yourself. Yeah,

Adam Gow:

that's amazing. Is there anything that we've not touched on? I mean, I know you've done some additional musical curation as well, some sort of corporate work, haven't you? Added us and some of those?

Sticky Dojah:

Yeah, I mean, it's, it's, I've done that. Unfortunately, that kind of took a hit with the whole pandemic thing because all these locations kind of had to close down and but I did, for example, I did some music supervision work music direction work for a company called spin here in New York. They're a ping pong social club. They have locations all over the US and I was also DJing to all that grand openings whenever they had an opening in Seattle and Philadelphia. Actually, dream come true. They when we did the thing in Philly. The the guy that booked me and I worked with mature, he he pulled me to the side and he was like, Alright, so we have an MC coming right now. And I'm like, he didn't tell me before like it was like okay, and then someone showed him was like, here's the USB here are the instruments. I'm like, well we in Philly, who is it? And then I'll let you know in a second it was school Ed. Oh, wow. So So I actually DJ paid for school Ed and like it was all impromptu. I just pull pull the instrumentals he let me know what and we actually had a good flow going and hung out later on. It was like a hip hop dream come true. Nice. Yeah, DJ but yeah, the whole curation thing. It's already I did a lot more before the pandemic, but then during the pandemic picked up the DJing again, the craft and a lot of videos and Twitch streams and stuff like that. and that kind of got me back into more of DJing. Again, which I'm not mad at, you know, it's ebbs and flows. And but this is, as I said, this is really something I'm, I've been doing my whole life almost like, since I was a young kid. And so in one shape or form, it's always going to be in my life.

Adam Gow:

Yeah. And it looks like you're saying you've managed to do that thing. And I think it's really interesting what you mentioned about kind of artists driven DJs. Versus I don't know what you'd call it, that sort of non artists do. And I think that is a really a really interesting way to kind of separate the two. Because it's something where you can go down, it's like Santero, said about with the having, having the Calabar work, and then having like the Ministry of Sound residency and having to choose one path to go down.

Sticky Dojah:

Yeah, I mean, yeah, it's sometimes it's hard. But at the same time, you know, the, you can come back to anything you want, if you really pursue it, and if it fulfils you, and if you make it work, it's possible for anyone, there's always going to be obstacles, and it's going to be harder at a certain point and other points in life. But if you really want it, you can make it work. I was just talking to my friend, teacher, comma, and he's like, Man, I'm really he's doing more graphic work these days. But he's like, at the end of the year, I'm planning to go back into production and DJing more, and there's always ways and yeah, I think, you know, for me right now, I'm really happy with where I'm at right now. But there's still as breakbeat lucid, you know, you're always a student. So it never stops,

Adam Gow:

I think is well, it's, it's something that's really good. I can't remember if it was on here, I was talking to someone and saying about going to like, a mindfulness retreat that was all about death and impermanence. And it really made me think about how we can get caught up in being a certain thing. And we can let that definition of as guide where we end up and we don't always step away and think, do I want to be doing this thing all the time. And, and it's, it's fine to understand that you can step away from doing a certain thing to focus on another thing, and that other thing isn't going anywhere. And if you want to come back to it, you might find that you can get back to where you were quicker than it took you to get there the first time.

Sticky Dojah:

Yep, yep. Exactly that.

Adam Gow:

I think that's been a really good bit of insight. And yeah, loads to take in there. Is there any other sort of key piece of advice that you want to give our listeners about if they were taking up DJing, or just considering on their journey as a DJ,

Sticky Dojah:

like, like I mentioned before, you have to start somewhere. And a lot of people ask me that, especially now through my videos, again, like lots of like, hey, I want to DJ, what can I do, and you just start somewhere and then just start your journey, the starting is, is just probably the most important thing, and it's never going to be right, you know, you're never going to have that ideal equipment, you're never going to have that ideal situation. I started with a tape deck and a belt driven turntable to make a mix. Today, you can easily start with a controller, and then in a month, you can be once you separate your left and your right brain, if you don't even have to do that anymore, you can just use the sync button. But still, you can still rock a party with that I'm not against the sync button. That's another discussion. But if if you really want to pursue it, there's so many ways the the cost of starting has dropped considerably, considerably in the last decades, I'd say. So, that's my advice. Just start somewhere with whatever you can find whatever you feel comfortable with and practice, practice, practice, it's that that doesn't go away. I mean, even the most successful one deejays in this in their fields, they they still practice a lot. And that never goes away. And that's part of it. That's essentially my advice, like, like, start somewhere and then practice and find your journey. And, obviously, also know what you don't want to do. Like if you've if you really feel really uncomfortable, sometimes it's good to get out of your comfort zone. But if it like if it wears on you emotionally and physically, like you maybe should go in another direction.

Adam Gow:

Yeah. And final question then is, is there anyone in in particular that you'd like to hear on this podcast talking about their journey?

Sticky Dojah:

I mean, I mentioned him a couple of times already in this but I really think that Boogie mind would be someone that because it kind of becomes from that wellness just such an incredible human being like a Harlem Renaissance man and still doing his thing and obviously he would have a lot to say I don't know if he he's he would be able to do it but maybe you can get him on here that that'll be sweet.

Adam Gow:

Certainly give it a try. And just waking anyone find you online. Who isn't following you already.

Sticky Dojah:

Probably the best is still Instagram. Sticky dolger Sticky D O J H with an H in the end. You can find me there and also on Bandcamp I think everything is just sticky. dolger So yeah, easy to find.

Adam Gow:

Thanks ever so much for your time today.

Sticky Dojah:

Thanks, Adam. Thanks for having me.