Summary

DJ Delightful shares his journey of growing up in Bulgaria, discovering hip hop through his brother's tapes and CDs, and the challenges of accessing music in a country with limited resources. He discusses the influence of skateboarding culture on his interest in DJing and his early experiences with mixing and scratching. Delightful also talks about his move to the UK to study and DJ in Edinburgh, as well as his time volunteering in Calais during the migrant crisis. He shares his perspective on the DJing journey and the challenges he faced in finding a hip hop community in China. Del discusses his struggles with DJing in China and Bulgaria, the challenges of establishing a DJ career in Sofia, and the lack of support and opportunities in the local DJ scene. He talks about his decision to move to Vienna and later to Kuala Lumpur, and the difficulties he faced in finding gigs and building a community in these cities. Del also shares his experiences in winning battles and the lack of career opportunities that came with it. He concludes by announcing his retirement from DJing and his focus on teaching scratching online.

Takeaways

  • Building a DJ career can be challenging, especially in cities with limited opportunities and a lack of support for alternative music.
  • Winning battles and gaining recognition in the DJ community does not always translate into career opportunities or bookings.
  • The mindset and preferences of the local DJ scene can greatly impact the types of gigs and opportunities available.
  • The lack of diversity in the DJ scene can limit the growth and development of different styles and genres.
  • Teaching scratching online can be a fulfilling way to continue sharing knowledge and passion for DJing.

Chapters

00:00 Introduction and Background

00:54 Growing Up in Bulgaria and Discovering Hip Hop

05:31 Record Shops and Access to Music in Bulgaria

06:38 Influence of Brother and Early Interest in DJing

07:28 Getting Started as a DJ

09:12 Challenges and Influences in the DJing Journey

11:44 Learning to Scratch and Mix

12:52 Internet Access and Learning DJing Techniques

15:18 Transition to the UK and DJing in Edinburgh

24:00 Impact of Studying in the UK

26:25 DJing in China and Volunteering in Calais

29:18 Perspective and Challenges in the DJing Journey

31:39 Moving on from Edinburgh and Teaching in China

35:13 DJing in China and Limited Hip Hop Scene

36:42 Struggles with DJing in China and Bulgaria

37:21 Creating an Instagram Page and Gaining Attention

38:11 Switching to a Different Lifestyle in Bulgaria

39:00 Teaching English and Practicing Heavily

39:20 Time Difference Between Bulgaria and China

39:41 Having More Time to Practice

40:12 Entering International Competitions

41:03 Creating Videos and Gaining Attention

42:10 Struggling to Establish a DJ Career in Sofia

43:09 Lack of Opportunities in the DJ Scene in Sofia

44:08 Struggling to Find Regular Gigs

45:06 Trying to Run Multiple DJ Projects

46:08 Challenges of Organizing Events in Sofia

48:30 Lack of Support and Opportunities in the DJ Scene

51:03 Feeling Unappreciated by the Local Scratch Community

52:48 Feeling Unwelcome in Sofia and Deciding to Leave

54:36 Moving to Vienna and the Pandemic

55:37 Impact of Winning Battles and Feedback from Vect

58:58 Leveraging Battle Wins into Bookings and Touring

01:01:42 Moving to Kuala Lumpur and the Lack of Opportunities

01:05:37 Announcing Retirement from DJing

01:13:40 The Challenges of DJing in Kuala Lumpur

01:20:43 Continuing to Teach Scratching Online

Transcript

Adam (00:01.033)

Welcome back to Once A DJ, we're here with Bulgaria's DJ Delightful today. He's a three time world champion, he's won the IDAs, he's won the DMC online twice. We've got a few different things to get into today, so it's really pertinent timing and I really appreciate getting you on, Dale. How are you doing today?

Del (00:13.204)

Doing great, thanks, and glad to be on the platform.

Adam (00:21.111)

Amazing, thank you. So I think initially the really interesting thing to get into first of all is the fact that most of the guests that we've had on here have been from Western sort of countries or sort of primarily English speaking countries. So it'd be great to hear some, it'd be great to hear about growing up in Bulgaria and how you first sort of heard about hip hop. Could you tell us a bit about that?

Del (00:54.108)

I think the story I'd like to share is basically the story of how things are in a place like Bulgaria or also in a place like where I live right now, which is Malaysia.

Del (01:09.724)

things are in your...

long -term established DJ scenes such as the UK, the US, France, etc.

Adam (01:16.934)

Hmm.

Del (01:20.784)

I'm from Sofia, Bulgaria, born and raised and spent my first 18 years there. And I got into hip hop because of my brother's tapes and CDs. I was born in 93. He's nine years older.

Adam (01:36.12)

you

Del (01:48.636)

They didn't really have...

Del (01:55.26)

different kinds of scenes, genres, music fields in the world and they were trying to get whatever they could on pirate tapes and pirate CDs. And the situation was to a certain extent similar even for me as a young kid started listening to...

Adam (02:01.71)

Hmm.

Del (02:15.612)

already about the year 2000.

Del (02:31.356)

some people who are just maybe one generation older than me who are DJs and I've talked with reminisce of that time as the early internet.

Adam (02:33.091)

you

Del (02:41.596)

Hip -hop and vinyl culture being alive and kicking, but at the same time, things like chat rooms and forums and downloading music is already being a thing. Whereas I didn't have a computer at home. We had a stereo.

Adam (02:46.467)

you

Yeah.

Del (03:00.86)

little collection I'll talk about in a second. There were just several maybe original CDs with the four or eight page fold and even as a little kid I just knew that these were double or triple the price and that's why we had mostly the pirate stuff.

Del (03:22.812)

Yeah, that was a neglect.

Del (03:27.708)

36 Chambers, Hieroglyphics, Most Def, but also Red Hot Chili Peppers, First 3 albums, Offspring.

Nirvana, Metallica, couple of Maiden tapes but I didn't like Maiden.

Del (03:47.514)

and Prodigy and Chemical Brothers was also something I liked a lot. And there was an Orbital City.

Adam (03:52.288)

Yeah. Oh well. Yeah, that's an interesting one because a lot of the other sort of things you've mentioned sound quite kind of soundtrack to that era in skateboarding, for example. Was there much of a skating scene in Sophia?

Del (04:11.356)

Yeah, there definitely was.

I think strictly in terms of early generations of hip hop artists, they came entirely from a hip hop background and the skating scene was separate. But maybe around the time I'm already talking about things were merged to a certain extent because also the hip hop wear for us and even for those slightly older than me pretty much was skate wear we were wearing if we could afford them skate sneakers and the saggy pants and pretty much...

Adam (04:39.421)

Yeah.

Del (04:45.212)

90s New York's Kate scene fashion and all that.

Adam (04:48.541)

Yeah, yeah, I think there is a lot of crossover there. So, were there record shops? And I apologise if I sound really ignorant, I don't know anything really about Bulgaria, sort of whether it was a wealthy country or not, because was it previously part of the USSR? Right.

Adam (05:17.293)

So in terms of getting records over there, were there record shops in the city? Is Sophia the, sorry if I pronounced it wrong, is it the capital?

Del (05:31.16)

Yeah, that's the cap.

Del (05:38.652)

didn't have, I mean we in my family, we didn't have a turntable at home. I think there was a broken one because they produced cheap turntables in Soviet times and my grandpa had a turntable.

some of the records of the only label that was making records in communist times which was obviously a state -owned company but as far as like collecting records as a DJ there were very very few people who do that and I had no idea who these people were or where they played or even what they played until I was maybe 17 or 18 so getting into hip -hop because of these tapes and CDs I had absolutely no idea about records or

Adam (05:54.509)

Right.

Adam (06:24.218)

Yeah, did your brother stay into the music then or did he kind of leave it and kind of go off and get into, you know, get a job and forget about a passion for music or anything like that? Yeah.

Del (06:38.908)

Oh, he was always just a fan. I don't think, unless it's a thing and he never told me, but I doubt that, I don't think he ever thought about making music or having any job in the music industry since. To say the least, there is no music industry per se in Bulgaria at all, I would say. But yeah, he was always just a fan and then...

Adam (06:59.545)

Yeah.

Adam (07:12.586)

So how do you then kind of get the aspiration or the ambition to want to become a DJ?

Del (07:28.156)

and we basically started going...

Adam (07:43.735)

Oh nice.

Del (07:52.892)

You're just a tingle.

ridiculous really but yeah going out as in clubbing I guess was a thing for most of us as young as 14 and at the time you could still do that in clubs in Sofia at least some and my parents would always let me go if I described the event as a concert so hey here's a ticket and this is a guest artist and you know I'm sort of going to a concert they wouldn't just if I described it as clubbing

Adam (08:07.542)

Mm.

Del (08:26.33)

really at clubbing then they surely wouldn't let me go and I'm quite happy about that because they were liberal but they were also strict when they had to and knowing how things went really left for some people my

But yeah, back to the story of.

Adam (08:44.757)

Can you expand on that?

Del (08:48.22)

Yes, so, oh man. We were drinking and smoking as teenagers easily and that stuff was way more accessible than it should have. And especially looking back, I'm so happy to see that things aren't really exactly the same right now, not that bad, but I was...

Adam (09:03.988)

you

Del (09:12.38)

junior high as they call it in the states and the weed spot was next to the school and the police station was two blocks away and you just you're 14 years old and you already have this piece of information that drug dealers and police work together this is the kind of reality you have in Bulgaria because you know that they're gonna circle with the car around the park trying to catch some kids with

they'd be never there when a guy is selling weed to kids. You know what I mean? But it's pretty bad also with other substances and I was not in that crowd because I guess had enough brains to not be in it but that there was basically substance abuse amongst friends of my friends when we were 14, 15, 16. So that was part of it.

Adam (09:47.28)

Hmm.

Adam (10:07.794)

Yeah.

Del (10:12.356)

anti -culture if I can call it that.

Adam (10:13.636)

Yeah, yeah, no appreciate you sharing that

Del (10:17.244)

And that was happening in clubs too and it was kind of wild, it was kind of wild really. But I managed to stay away from it I guess to a very reasonable extent and I was still having fun and finding out music I like through going to these events. And...

Adam (10:24.868)

you

Adam (10:33.17)

you

Hmm.

Del (10:39.246)

Basically, the biggest subculture at the time was drum and bass. And I never liked the heavy aggressive sound, but there were some liquid drum and bass artists coming to perform in Sofia and also jungle.

Del (10:58.588)

to a certain extent a part of that crowd and I was going to these events and because of that I knew people who were fans of it and the first people I ever heard thought about buying the cheapest controller they can get a hold of were people who got into it because of German bass but I was a hip -hop head this entire time there was just no hip -hop parties except for concerts to go to at all and

The first time it crossed my mind that maybe this is not rocket science and that maybe I could try if I figure out what I need was when some of my friends started buying the cheapest DJ gear they could and even using it at some flat parties and stuff like that, mixing some house or...

Adam (11:44.525)

Hmm.

Del (11:50.236)

15 of us having a party at someone's flat where their parents are away. And that's the first time I actually started looking into what is the actual gear on which the scratching I hear in my favorite hip hop is being performed on. Because I really had no idea. I was already a f -

Adam (12:05.966)

you

Del (12:13.852)

late 80s.

scratching but I guess around that time and I'm talking I'm already 16 or 17 around that time I begin to to think that there should be some connection between this little cheap plastic controller and what these hip -hop DJs do to make these scratches you know what I mean but yeah the level of ignorance is 100 % and

Adam (12:39.628)

But like you say, when you've not got a lot of internet access, like with the internet, it increases your rate of learning things exponentially. So without that, it's such an arduous, difficult sort of task to pick up this information.

Del (12:52.124)

Yeah, for sure. And I guess I jumped a little bit from when I was a seven -year -old kid listening to my brother's tapes to when I was 16 because I was, I think I was 13 when I first had a PC at home with internet connection. And this is a big reason why I stopped watching JLo and Jaru videos on MTV and VH1 and started downloading Naughty by Nature and Hieroglyphics albums.

Adam (13:09.164)

Right.

Adam (13:19.783)

Mmm.

Del (13:21.948)

and it just instantly clicked. Oh snap, this is kind of better than what I see on TV.

Del (13:32.006)

absolutely insanely good. So yeah, by the time I'm talking already high school friends buying little DJ controllers to mix on, I had internet access. And I think it was this interest that they sparked that led me to just Google DJ stuff and then...

subsequently stumbling upon DJ battles in classic DMC footage and return of the DJ volume one, et cetera, et cetera, already became a huge idea and abilities fan and also a giraffe.

Adam (14:08.527)

Mmm.

Del (14:15.868)

I slowly started connecting the dots.

clearly remember people started to...

me started thinking what is this equipment what does it do what does it have to do with that daughter equipment all cool that they're using turntables but then there is a mixer and ah and then use the mixer and turntable you know to perform scratches it was literally figuring it out piece by piece but by the by the time I started thinking about buying a setup I was yeah 17 or even 18 but I think 17 and

Adam (14:37.274)

. . .

Del (15:05.148)

I remember not only that I learned scratching with DJ Angelos tutorials but I remember that I had watched them before I had a setup because they were already on YouTube. I think maybe just released around the time. So I was 17 in 2011.

Adam (15:15.751)

Yeah.

Yeah, he was on it really early with those. I wanna get him on at some point soon, because his story, he's someone I used to scratch with. He's from just up the road from me. So yeah, so I've seen firsthand all the work he's put in, and I remember that time and how he just kind of blew up. So yeah, it's great to hear someone firsthand who's gone on to do what you've done, who started learning through that. That's awesome. Yeah, so was.

Del (15:47.9)

out Sanjalo.

Adam (15:49.061)

Definitely, definitely shout out. So was that, did you start then learning on a controller?

Del (15:58.94)

I was trying to ask around exactly these type of people who were into the whole electronic scene and knew about controllers and they were telling me that it's a good entry point but I wasn't seeing anybody actually scratching on a controller and by the time I understood that...

At the time I understood it this way that you need turntables in a mixer to do scratching. So they're telling me that the controller is a good entry point, but I wasn't believing them. And at the time I remember the numbers were something like you can get a hold of one for about 200 pounds. And that was a lot of pocket money to save for me. And fast forward, I started saving and it's a...

Adam (16:29.056)

Mm.

Adam (16:43.056)

Yeah

you

Del (17:13.916)

that was rather accessible and I was already in the 12th grade that's the last year school and I bought these with pocket money savings but had no mixer so for the first two weeks I had to start researching what's the cheapest mixer I can get to start doing scratching and I've already implied it but to say it clearly I wanted to learn to scratch didn't want to learn to DJ wanted to learn to scratch and

My buddy who found the adverb for these decks lent me a super...

Adam (17:56.417)

Yeah, yeah.

Del (18:01.884)

to the stereo that we still had at home, the same one I was talking about when I listened to these tapes and CDs 10 years earlier.

that and then the next thing is that I didn't have records so I pulled out first I remember I pulled out some of my grandfather's records which were pirate Beatles and some local pop music from 70s and 80s pop from communist time in Bulgaria just to see what it's like to move your hand

Adam (18:21.618)

Hmm.

Del (18:34.204)

really cool thing I remember is that very strange coincidence but the job that my mom had at the time her colleague was doing the audio work for that company and this same guy is one of the biggest diggers and collectors in Bulgaria and this guy was the whole time discouraging me from buying turntables and he's saying

Adam (18:54.462)

Wow.

Del (19:01.724)

But he's not into scratching. He's one of those diggers who on the down low hate scratching, but will never say it. We've all met them, I think. There are diggers who hate scratching to the bottom of their heart. I don't know if it's because they can't do it or they literally hate the sound, but...

Adam (19:19.678)

They could even view it as just abuse of records.

Del (19:23.74)

Could as well be, but that's why we have scratch tubes. Anyway, he was discouraging me from doing that, but when he learned that I did buy turntables and I already had this mixer, he asked my mom for my number and he called me and he was super happy on the phone. And he said, ah, so didn't I tell you not to do that? And I can hear him smiling on the phone. And I say, yeah, but you know, I wanted to...

So I did that and here I am in my room.

Okay, listen, I'll just give you...

Del (20:03.484)

you try to do stuff with it okay and then the next day my mom came back

And he didn't give it to me, he borrowed it, but lent, I mean, and I had to give it back, but that was a life -changing moment, also because of what was in these...

Adam (20:15.387)

you

Adam (20:22.395)

That was gonna be my next question.

Del (20:26.044)

Mostly compilations. So there were some BB comps. There was the Mr. Thing, Strange Games and Mr. Thing Volume 2. There was the DJ Spin of Disco 1, Strange Games and Funky Things. There were some Masters at Work compilations. That was my entry to J. Dylan's Slum Village because To You For You was on there. Some fun compilations with some classic party bangers.

Adam (20:36.505)

Oh nice.

Adam (20:47.514)

Yeah.

Adam (21:08.121)

Yeah, so...

Del (21:09.788)

you

Adam (21:11.352)

There's kind of parallels in certain ways between my entry into it and yours, because for me it was wanting to learn to scratch. I was making my little beats and I wanted to learn to scratch on them. It was very much, yeah, Jurassic Five, Dilated People, Shout Out Babu, Cook Chemist. So I just got one turntable to start with and I just learned to scratch. Because you had to, were you mixing as well or were you very much purely just?

Del (21:26.414)

you

you

Adam (21:39.96)

having those on and scratching on top of them.

Del (21:46.044)

This is something that is not so clear in my memory man to be fair but I think I got into it with the idea of

two boxes of records it just somehow sparked my interest to mix I suppose but I remember by the time and we'll get to that but then I went to study in the UK and a little later

Del (22:14.748)

time I was practicing in the kitchen of my student dorm I was already trying to scratch and mix.

Adam (22:22.046)

Yeah. So is that the next sort of key place in the journey then coming to the UK?

Del (22:29.058)

Yeah, yeah, I suppose because So here's another thing that I haven't talked about in interviews, but being in the UK and chatting with people I realized that they they don't have a clear idea about this, but I went to study in Edinburgh in Scotland and I'm not exactly sure what the deal is right now post -Brexit. I

Adam (22:49.206)

Oh, amazing.

Del (22:54.876)

but the Scottish government allowed EU citizens, except for English people, to study.

Del (23:03.58)

That was the main reason I ended up there. So when I was in the 12th grade, I wasn't particularly happy with how life was around me, what's happening around me.

Del (23:18.14)

music is going, what's trendy in music. And just, I don't know, I never wanted to...

Adam (23:20.308)

you

Del (23:31.868)

I was in a teenage depression period pretty hard and I really just wanted to get a new start and I had a very very clear idea that going into university in Bulgaria or getting a job in a store or in a bar in Bulgaria is not a new start at all as far as what was bothering me deep inside is concerned and that's why I started looking into studying in another country and I depended on my parents to support me for that.

Adam (23:34.516)

Right.

Adam (23:49.587)

Mm.

Del (24:00.956)

super thankful. Overall budget was super tight. But yeah, I could study in the UK because I didn't have to have a loan or pay these absolutely exuberant fees for universities in England. I had no fees to study in Edinburgh. And that's how I ended up there. And that was September 2012. And I only...

Adam (24:01.043)

you

Adam (24:26.226)

What was it like as a student city then? I mean, I was there a few months ago with my family and it's such a beautiful place.

Del (24:31.324)

you

Del (24:37.532)

It is. It's almost like a fairy tale city with this volcano hill and then this other hill with this Greek structure.

Adam (24:41.521)

Yeah.

Adam (24:50.097)

Yeah.

Del (25:01.628)

at the same time.

Adam (25:04.432)

Yeah.

Del (25:17.02)

staying a little longer I came to understand another very interesting aspect which is that especially when it comes to kids being into hip -hop or any subculture most of them didn't have a chance to study in these universities in their own city and it was a complete divide you were either of the student crowd or you were one of the local people who have nothing to do with that.

Adam (25:28.207)

Mmm.

Adam (25:39.687)

Right, yeah. That's interesting.

Del (25:43.292)

So yeah, even in terms of going out and clubbing, you'd go into some of these clubs on Kaugier, which is the party street, and it'd be basically only students.

Adam (25:54.254)

Yeah. So did you manage then to kind of ingratiate yourself into the hip hop community at all while you were there?

Del (26:06.364)

It took a while and I remember some people who showed interest in what I do for which in retrospect I'm thankful like DJ Fusion and his brand of...

Del (26:25.02)

beginning when I was I was a super beginner.

Adam (26:27.327)

Yeah.

Del (26:29.98)

stuff. Also I didn't have Serato and I didn't have many records as I was just again saving on pocket money and slowly building crates but we're talking...

Del (26:44.732)

April I have 90 and I'm happy you know.

Adam (26:45.816)

Yeah.

Del (26:56.732)

I wasn't even thinking of playing gigs there. I wasn't...

Adam (26:59.98)

right

Del (27:06.524)

because now that I've traveled so much and I've been to so many places not only the internet looks different than it looked 12 years ago but also just the idea that you should find people and randomly hit people and maybe they would want to hang out

Guess I was a bit shy about stuff like that.

Adam (27:28.875)

Yeah.

Adam (27:33.099)

.

Del (27:33.98)

awesome DJing.

Del (27:38.684)

doing them but it's not like I just texted them on Facebook or anything I wasn't social and confident like that. I was just practicing in my student dorm the first year.

Adam (27:44.434)

Yeah. So...

Adam (27:53.802)

Did you get to do some parties then after that first year?

Del (28:03.132)

I was in Edinburgh, 2012, 2013, 2014. Then third year of my studies I got the Erasmus scholarship and I went to another country to study and I came back for my graduation year. In my graduation year I had a little residency in a nice little cocktail bar that wanted to keep it 100 % hip -hop so that was my only kind of present.

Adam (28:15.811)

Right.

Adam (28:28.1)

Oh nice.

Del (28:44.898)

have that in Bulgaria we don't have it like an event space connected to your university campus type of thing but yeah as I said I already linked with a few people like this guy Ralph DJ Fusion and they had the regular hip -hop night but on Tuesdays and I think I went to

Adam (28:46.012)

Hmm.

Adam (29:02.425)

you

Del (29:18.658)

student budget and drinks are expensive and the people I know in uni are in...

Adam (29:20.441)

you

Del (29:26.082)

still very disconnected from that whole thing.

Adam (29:26.374)

Yeah, and is it fair to say then, I would imagine, and I may be wrong on this, that you get quite a lot of wealthy students up at Edinburgh with it being a prestigious university as well.

Del (29:38.754)

Definitely.

Del (29:46.69)

of divides that I wasn't realizing and I would see differently now but obviously now I'm not a student.

Del (29:55.938)

Yeah, we.

Del (30:04.354)

the taxes that they had to pay and not being eligible for loans in the UK for these student fees were absolutely mental. Talking about like 40 ,000 quid a year.

Adam (30:04.364)

Hmm.

Adam (30:20.036)

Yeah.

Del (30:24.002)

local Scottish students but I know that Scottish universities have quotas actually and this is it's not hidden info but it's not super also vocal sort of thing but they had quotas for how many percent I don't know if it's number of percentage doesn't matter but there were local students too but definitely not the kind of people that were quote -unquote in the hood doing skating

Adam (30:33.474)

Yeah.

Adam (30:52.091)

Yeah.

Del (30:54.624)

And as far as clubbing, I think definitely with clubbing, crap.

crowds so people from...

The way venues were in Edinburgh, it wasn't...

Adam (31:13.666)

Right, okay.

Adam (31:20.802)

Yeah, yeah. So where did you go to then after you'd graduated?

Del (31:25.698)

I was, okay, so that was 2016, and right after finishing dissertation and I was...

Adam (31:32.993)

Wow.

Del (31:39.49)

here at the refugee camp in Calais for two months, which is a big part of the story, although it has nothing to do with DJing. But that was peak of the so -called migrant crisis in Europe. And at the time, that was a camp still considered illegal by the French government, frequently abused by French police and special forces as well. And it had about...

Adam (32:02.88)

.

Del (32:09.25)

6 ,500 people living in makeshift shelters, huts, some caravans but not many.

Adam (32:14.656)

you

Del (32:22.434)

think in a way if I have to I can

Del (32:30.932)

this perspective that... and I still have it to this day to a certain extent and it's a bit pathetic to talk about the DJ struggle when you've seen the real shit.

Adam (32:43.519)

Right, yeah.

Del (32:44.226)

And I know a lot of people who listen to that might disagree to a certain degree.

I saw people who suffer for no other reason other than where they happen to have been born. Literally no other reason. And I always knew that whatever I'm going through with music or, you know, not being from a rich family in Bulgaria is still absolutely nothing compared to what I'm seeing in front of my eyes with people I'm trying to help with, with this NGO I was working for, volunteering for.

Adam (33:00.414)

Yeah.

Adam (33:17.629)

Hmm.

Del (33:20.802)

So that has definitely informed the whole journey for sure. And right after that, went back to Edinburgh for the graduation ceremony and some time started looking...

Del (33:38.69)

Then I found a teaching job in China and I went to live and work in China, which is also where I got certified.

English language as a second language.

Adam (33:56.476)

Wow, so were you in one of the big cities?

All right.

Del (34:04.93)

second by population.

So most people would say this is proper provincial China. And I was really...

Adam (34:12.09)

Yeah.

Del (34:17.058)

give the idea of it. It's a city.

Del (34:25.858)

eight huge bridges above a massive river and two different skies.

Adam (34:33.006)

Right. How is it for hip hop?

Del (34:41.314)

and dead Earth.

There were some kids who were trying to imitate the hot trap rappers at the time and this is between 2016 and 2018. As far as scratching, the nearest person I found to have a scratch set up was in a city that was 7...

Adam (34:52.666)

Yeah.

Del (35:13.922)

Yeah, again, I just...

Del (35:20.482)

me being super peripheral to everything, watching stuff online and practicing in my first the kitchen, the student dorm kitchen, then my room in the next place I was renting in Edinburgh and then the little apartment I had for myself.

Adam (35:24.281)

Right.

Adam (35:39.483)

Did you have your decks in China? Yeah, cause...

Del (35:57.114)

and I was trying to ask around trying to look whatever secondhand markets they have and it was just massively overpriced techniques and I ended up buying a pair of techniques from Japan and they got delayed by Chinese customs with about a month and a half and then they had 25 % customs

Del (36:25.154)

So here's another thing to mention basically between the beginning of the whole thing and the Chinese.

Adam (36:35.238)

Mmm.

Del (36:42.562)

For six years of learning and doing DJing, I had the total probably for a year and a half without a setup.

Adam (36:51.605)

Yeah, because this is what I'm thinking. What year was your first world championship?

Adam (37:00.596)

Yeah, so we're literally, we're on like, what, 2017 now. And so you've not got a lot of time to achieve world champion level, sort of considering that you've been without your decks quite a lot. So when you left China, this was when, where did you go then? And is that when you like got fully immersed?

Del (37:21.634)

Yeah, this is basically where the real story begins because in China I created my Instagram page and I already had...

I guess to know that if I just hashtag a couple of things then even if it won't be thousands of people it will be some people from across the globe seeing what I upload. That was still a scary moment to me.

I did that and it started getting some attention and it started catching the attention of some hip -hop artists back home. And that's where I realized, shit, I've been away for a while and I still want to do that. And now I slowly begin, only then I slowly began to think that I could be somebody in this. So it...

Adam (38:11.698)

Hmm.

Del (38:21.602)

warmed up for in Sofia and by the time I left China I was heading back to Bulgaria with the clear intention of putting it down for the local scene and trying to be somebody on the local hip -hop scene and that's when I started practicing more and that's when I just switched to a different lifestyle because it wasn't a full -time student or a full -time student.

Del (38:48.802)

I started teaching English on the site.

much started working for myself, still teaching kids in China, and the plan was this to allow me to have enough time to practice heavily and try to run stuff in Bulgaria.

Adam (39:00.707)

Was that quite good then, because I sometimes work with people in different parts of the world, and sometimes the time differences can be really beneficial and helpful. What is the time difference? Is it about five out of five, six hours?

Del (39:20.898)

hour of Bulgaria and China is six hours or five depending on daylight savings.

Adam (39:23.021)

Yeah.

So would that have been quite useful and were you teaching them after school?

Del (39:28.92)

Yeah, so my, when I'm in Europe, the schedule -

like noon or afternoon classes. Yeah. Yeah.

Adam (39:41.113)

So then after that you've kind of got all day to practice. So did you find then that your kind of, your skill, skills kind of like rapidly just rocketed up then?

Del (39:59.106)

I don't think so. That was the first time I saw that properly putting the work in really results in becoming better by the day. And that motivated me even more and more. And actually the first time I entered any international competition was the 20... Was it 18?

Adam (40:12.377)

you

Del (40:30.978)

So I got a wildcard for the IDA Scratch category, but I didn't understand that this is really high tech stuff and your little quirky ideas have no business there. It is what it is, this category. This is where you don't just shred, you shred more violently than a grizzly bear or you don't even make it to the semi -finals. I didn't fully understand that, but yeah, that was the first thing I ever answered and I was super motivated.

Adam (40:37.761)

Mm.

Yeah.

Del (41:03.874)

video and it involves not freestyle scratching but I'm

Adam (41:09.353)

Mm.

Del (41:19.906)

Kiss English is not so...

Del (41:30.114)

And I think that was the first.

Adam (41:40.694)

Yeah.

Adam (41:49.27)

you

Del (41:50.37)

in that and then from then on it was just...

Del (41:57.826)

But as I'm saying it, this is the real beginning of the story and this is when I slowly began to see myself as an artist and as a performer. And while practicing a lot and entering these online things, I was trying to run stuff in Sofia, but that part didn't go so well at all. And here comes this part of the story, which led, fast forward to my decision last month to quit and I want to talk.

Adam (42:10.581)

Yeah.

Del (42:27.042)

little bit about that because one year I spent one year in Sofia and so in the most basic terms the reality is this there's no club events with anything I would consider alternative music basically none except for if it's rap artists who have gained an audience for doing

Adam (42:46.517)

Mm.

Del (42:57.602)

and they gather this crowd. In terms of DJing, there's nothing remote.

Del (43:09.602)

and the current radio hits are...

Del (43:14.658)

in terms of, I don't know, even a venue that can hold 200 people and somebody digging for funk and soul.

Adam (43:23.732)

Right.

Del (43:24.578)

that was also not a thing. So the DJ scene, the DJ scene basically is clubs that are...

oversimplify a bit but to give you the better picture.

and bars. So bars are not really event spaces in the usual sense of the word to me. They usually have people who like the spot for the drinks, for the bartenders, for the location, etc. And the struggle was to try to play gigs in these bars or whichever of these bars cater to, loosely speaking, hip -hop, break soul -funk, Latin, breakbeat, etc. And we're talking about gigs that pay about...

Adam (43:52.276)

you

Del (44:08.994)

depending on who you are, I guess between 60 and 100 pounds.

Adam (44:12.881)

Yeah.

Del (44:17.666)

and

Adam (44:19.505)

to not make a living off it money.

Del (44:22.818)

at all and I had a very clear idea that me being at the time, I'm not sure I can say the best crasher, one of the best crasher in the country easily.

does not mean that I'll get gig opportunities. I never had this idea that because I win something I'll get gigs or whatever. It's because I already had enough understanding to know that it doesn't work like that. But I had this idea that I'm offering something that other people don't do and I will try to run it independently in small places and the key moment to that is to have somebody give me a regular night. And that was the real struggle. So at the time,

Adam (44:37.233)

Yeah.

Del (45:06.884)

just in this span of one year. I'm still teaching part -time, I'm still practicing like a madman, entering battles, and at the same time I'm trying to run four or five different things. One was a night called We Both Speak With Our Hands In Dangerous Ways, in which I wanted to be me and one guest DJ who has some skill level and to do feng shou...

Del (45:41.474)

until I find a spot that is willing to give me this opportunity at all. Then from the time they said yes to the time that they actually gave me a date took another two months. And that was already I think February or March. Then the second one was a month later. Then they made a break for no apparent reason at all. Then the third time they gave me a date was a holiday and nobody came.

Adam (45:53.041)

Hmm.

Adam (46:02.609)

Yeah.

Del (46:08.322)

And then was the summer break and most of these bars are closed in summer because everybody is either working but the city is sam...

Del (46:22.594)

these bars shut down and after the summer they just didn't give me another date anymore so that was through the window. Another one started I think after the summer and I called it move with the groove and that was no hip hop at all in a slide.

funk soul and I was also playing in that particular spot some disco some salsa and samba

bit more multi -genre but still basically on the 60s, 70s tip.

Adam (46:53.612)

Yeah.

Del (46:59.266)

And that was kind of a similar struggle. I had to always remind, always fight for this thing to be regular. And it was still paid in a similar way, super modestly. And in the end, they also just kind of shut it for no reason. So that was the second thing I was trying to run. The third thing is that I was in a crew at the time called the Innkeepers. And they were...

Adam (47:08.842)

. . . . .

Del (47:28.226)

two producers, one working purely analog chopping records and making beats on an MPC, the main mastermind of the whole project who was doing live finger drumming and he was producing on various kinds of gear and playing a synth. And later on we were also joined by a musician who played synths and bass so sound became really organic. We were doing it all live without metronome or anything, just live beats with live bass, live synths and I'm either scratching

Adam (47:38.218)

Yeah.

Del (47:58.18)

or throwing scratch hooks or throwing acapellas on top so we make live remixes of stuff. That was going well but again for four people some of the venues man we had to bring our own table to fit the setup so it's not you're bringing your own setup you do your own promo you do your own event cover you do your own stickers and flyers and whatever and you still don't get paid much sometimes it was bring your own fucking table.

Adam (48:07.656)

Yeah, that's pretty crazy.

Del (48:30.434)

You know, I remember I was living on the periphery of the city center of Sofia and I had one of those IKEA tables with the legs that can screw in and out and then it's just a big plank. So it was a three, three to meter and a half plank that we carried on foot from my spot to the venue. It was about a 25 minute walk.

Adam (48:37.032)

Yeah.

Adam (48:57.062)

Hmm.

Del (48:59.042)

But the enthusiasm was strong and that was the only thing which I felt people were supporting and our friends were supporting too and was going well. Still a struggle because nobody wanted us to perform this regularly but I was trying to get dates in different spots so that we keep it a monthly thing even if this month is one time here, next month is one time there.

Next time I said the third spot, I think we did five or six of these five or six different spots. And at one point I was so exhausted because I was doing everything I'm telling you I was doing. And I was handling all the organizational work, all the money talk, which I'm actually not very good at for the entire project. And I had the longest travel to where we were rehearsing.

Adam (49:25.956)

Yeah.

Del (49:53.41)

and I don't drive so I was just catching the bus to get there and then I started getting pissed off that...

I saw myself as kind of the weak link, the most enthusiasm, but there are these guys who can actually make music I don't produce and then there's this guy who actually graduated from a music school at a music university and now he's playing the bass with us doing beats and what am I doing? I'm only a semi -proficient scratcher who doesn't even make music. So I was seeing myself as musically the weak link in the project, but I was coming up with some tune ideas, I was coming up with hooks, I was

Adam (50:23.65)

Ha ha.

Del (50:33.796)

I was practicing much more than they did and I started getting pissed off that they were a little slack at rehearsals. And at one point I just said, look, I, it's kind of getting tired and annoyed and let's, I'll just let you guys organize the next month event and we'll rehearse and we'll go and do it. And then they didn't do it and I left the crew. So I don't think.

Adam (50:57.122)

Yeah.

Del (51:03.714)

I acted in the best way possible, probably, looking in hindsight. But then that was basically the third thing that fell through from everything I was trying to run. And I can go on and on. I think it was five or six different things that I was trying to...

reach a certain level of success with so that I can be heard like they say in hip hop, you know, I want to be heard, please listen to my demo type of thing. And all of it was going nowhere and I was getting some passive aggressive vibes from other scratchers just trying to, at the time I felt, bring me down to their level by just acting as if I wasn't getting better.

Adam (51:28.609)

Yeah.

Adam (51:47.744)

Right.

Del (51:50.274)

As if it's not anything like an objective level of technicality and creativity, but that I can't too quickly say I'm doing well or that I want some stuff online or place that some stuff online. That doesn't mean much. Like, yeah, I know it doesn't mean much, but what did you do? You know what I mean? And I wasn't feeling it at all with the local scratch crowd and it's...

Adam (51:58.463)

. .

Adam (52:11.327)

Yeah.

Del (52:19.298)

started getting heavy mentally. And at the time, I started this beautiful relationship with my girlfriend that is in the other room right now. And I've been super happy to share my life with for the past five years. But it was a long distance relationship because she was studying in Vienna. And after one year in Sofia, I just decided to fuck off. It's like this. This is so bad that it's almost like...

Adam (52:34.334)

Yeah.

Del (52:48.866)

I can't call my city home. I don't feel welcome.

Adam (52:51.197)

Yeah, I think what can be tough though as well, I've seen it with the small communities over here at different times. Sometimes you'll get different people in a small place that are trying to do things and instead of kind of working with each other to lift them up, they kind of see each other as competition or someone will say something silly and then people fall out and you just end up with...

Del (53:17.026)

Yeah, yeah and you know I was younger surely less mature I wasn't innocent all the way through

Adam (53:19.677)

not much of a community compared to what should be there. And it can be really weird because you're just thinking, we all just want something to work here. And if you're the person that's working really hard on it, it totally makes sense that that's gonna really exhaust you, sort of mentally as well as physically.

Yeah. Mm.

Del (53:45.826)

But what was for sure that I was trying to run stuff with best of intentions, really, and it just didn't work like none of it. Some people...

have good memories of some of these events.

Adam (53:56.763)

you

Del (53:59.714)

saying you did some nice stuff man but it was

Del (54:08.642)

so much unwillingness to just give me the trust to...

Adam (54:15.067)

Hmm.

Del (54:15.778)

these people with the venues.

Del (54:23.138)

And so then I left for Vienna and just went to live in Vienna.

Del (54:33.474)

I went and pandemic came three months later.

Adam (54:36.955)

All right.

Del (54:39.042)

So that was the battle period. That's pandemic hit, we started staying home and I started winning stuff. Started winning the Vec Noob Supremacy scratch, Vec Noob Supremacy juggling, Vec Flip for flop one, cut to cut, DMC Foundation next year 2021, entered all DMC categories when they built the numerous categories, placed top 10 in every, did I .D .A. both years and placed.

Adam (55:03.961)

Yeah.

Del (55:07.778)

fifth and sixth respectively. Pretty much top ten every World Final.

Adam (55:10.346)

Just, what was the experience like? Because I know Vect runs the battles and shout out to him, he was the second guest on here, shared some incredible stuff, really honest guy, really nice guy. What was the experience of going through his battles? Because I know he's someone that is a lot about feedback, about very honest feedback. Did you get a lot of that from him?

Del (55:37.314)

100 %

So, the part of the battle prizes for each of the battles he did was a free Skype session with him.

Adam (55:50.326)

Hmm.

Del (55:53.282)

and

first time I had this session.

Del (56:02.434)

2018.

something started to click. I started to...

Del (56:14.114)

The same thing that back then happened in a matter of few months after I won the VEGT Battle and had a session with him happened again after a two -hour Skype session. Because he just literally broke down everything I did, which I guess I didn't have the theoretical understanding to say what it is. And he broke down what I could do better and where is it going and how...

this technique and this technique are the same in terms of failure movement or how these patterns and that pattern. He just broke it all down for me and was being very positive the whole time. And I was just absolutely mind blown.

Adam (56:49.204)

you

Del (56:56.802)

caught up on several years of not understanding things within one session. That was the feeling.

Adam (57:01.811)

Yeah, I mean I think when I used to, because you know going early, sort of mid 2000s talking to him on the message boards, I think he was quite early on breaking sets down in that quite analytical way. I mean he used to do these like little reports for people when they'd post up routines and stuff and he'd be really blunt and like, it'd never be unfair in my opinion. It'd never be unfair feedback but sometimes people really wouldn't like it.

But yeah, he's always had that thing. So it's great to hear that Angelo and Vect have both kind of had these sort of big influences on you. So with the winning things, I think what's interesting is, I think back when it was all just vinyl and everyone was DJing hip hop and funk primarily, say through the 90s in the DMCs, winning a DMC competition I think would tend to result.

in getting a load of bookings, getting an agent, things like that, as far as I'm aware. But I think as we got into the kind of bedroom turntablist era in the mid to late 2000s, because, and this comes back to my comment previously, because of the sonics, the musicality, the custom pressings that people were using for routines and stuff,

I think it stopped being a given that you could win the comp and then just get a load of bookings, a load of clubs. Did you find with your style it was quite easy to leverage that into getting bookings and touring and stuff?

Del (58:58.018)

factors it would vary from country to country especially from continent to continent meaning North America and other places and I I'm just saying this right now because I wish to hear more people speak exactly about that because I surely wouldn't be able to speak enough about it I haven't been around for that long I

Adam (59:02.927)

Hmm.

Del (59:20.418)

There are surely things about career and industry that I don't understand, but I can tell you from my own experience, I think that as far as the hip -hop community is concerned, it's almost a negative if you're into turntable -ism. Because nowadays, to win, you have to nerd deeply in your...

Adam (59:26.35)

Hmm.

Adam (59:33.55)

Right.

Del (59:39.33)

real -time and double -time patterns and three clicks and whatnot and they don't like that. All the generation hip -hop people, like near generation MCs, they don't even understand the idea of having a DJ. But older generation people who maybe run events and stuff, they're either not interested in turntablism at all or they actively hate it. This is my feeling. And I've...

Adam (59:45.389)

Mmm.

Adam (01:00:02.349)

Yeah.

Del (01:00:08.514)

There's certainly the general internet following and the reputation that, okay, even if I don't know much, then this guy must be good if he's winning and then winning again. But as far as this resulting in any actual career changes, none at all, none at all. I've received zero invites thanks to World Titles.

Adam (01:00:26.316)

Right.

Del (01:00:31.138)

And I've tried to make it into something with the limited knowledge that I have for how to do career steps, which maybe right now is a bit more than it was in 2021. But it made me happy that it results in me somehow and suddenly being somebody internationally on that particular scene.

it resulted in eyes being turned, my direction and me being happy that I represent the turntable -ism with the aesthetic that I would want to hear it from other people as a human being with personal preferences for music and for turntable -ism in particular. But as far as career stuff, so I won 2020 Cut2Cut in Pandemic and 2021 DMC Foundation in Pandemic and...

Adam (01:01:04.893)

you

Del (01:01:25.474)

Nobody in Austria still knew that I'm even in Austria. And I was saying I represent Austria and Bulgaria because I'm there. And I was linked up with the local scratch community that consists of four people. And they were very happy about me. And that's about it. That's it.

Adam (01:01:42.185)

So, and you're in Kuala Lumpur now, aren't you?

So was that like a career move that took you and your partner there then?

Del (01:01:56.322)

Oh, not really. I feel like lots of different things, man. And some of them just maybe not interesting in the context of this conversation. Some of them are a bit personal, but we had this idea of trying out a new spot and again outside of Europe, being a bit adventurous and taking advantage that, you know, we're in our 20s.

Del (01:02:26.018)

experienced but particularly Kuala Lumpur is where my girlfriend found a job with a local startup and I did not do too much background research on what the place is like and I just thought that it will be yet another place to try to run stuff and see what's happening and I was hopeful. I was hopeful and positive. I was trying to ignore the previous experience for example of what happened in Sofia in 2018 and

I was...

coming with open mind and heart but also hopes that now with a couple of world titles and a good portfolio I got the mixes, I got the guest mixes, I got the vids, I got the internet following it would result in me trying to do pretty much the same stuff not trying to be internationally touring, highly paid DJ because nobody who likes the music I am is that now literally nobody maybe Coco I can only think of Coco

Adam (01:03:07.462)

Hmm.

Del (01:03:26.53)

when I think of hip -hop soul -funk guy who has something that can be called a real career in the music industry and tours internationally, right? But my idea was...

Adam (01:03:34.149)

Yeah.

Mmm.

Adam (01:03:41.111)

you

Del (01:03:43.202)

If I can do what I tried to do in Sofia but successfully, that would be great. I want to do some local stuff, do small underground gigs in neighboring countries, link up with local communities. That's it, pretty much. But the experience so far has been rather similar to what happened in Sofia back in 2018 -19. And this time it's even heavier because...

I went to live battles, DMC was super heavy to me psychologically. Going into Poland and we can talk about these battles and what happened there.

In Poland at IDA, I win the show category and now I've proven that I do this stuff live. And I won the category with the music that I created with my producer, Homie from Bulgaria. So I have a show with my own music now. I have an all 45 show. I have a purely hardcore scratch show. I have the party set on Serato. And it's a world title in a live battle.

Adam (01:04:31.619)

Mm.

Del (01:04:54.26)

there's no more to prove. Maybe the next step only would be to win the DMC final, but there are no further steps as far as competitive DJing is concerned. And it still means nothing to anybody around here, except for a few hip hop heads who have either given up on their careers or they struggle to do small gigs for 30, 40 people in living room sized bars. That's what it is.

Adam (01:05:01.729)

Yeah.

Adam (01:05:19.648)

Yeah, and this is kind of where we came to then, isn't it? This is kind of where we touched bass last week was around you announcing that you're retiring and purely just kind of bedroom recreational DJ, right?

Del (01:05:37.026)

Yeah, yeah, that's where we're at. So to just describe what January looked like to me. So last year, obviously, I had to travel to the States for the DMC finals from here to San Fran. From there, I flew to Sofia, continued the battle prep in order to battle in IDA, did the IDA battle, had one gig.

for which I was invited to do a showcase the week after, practiced for that, did the gig, and two days later I came back to Kuala Lumpur, took a little break finally around Christmas, New Year's Eve, and came back with the plan to work.

reap the benefits of a title, right? But also to just again try to be seen and heard around here locally and...

One plan was to expand a bit more on having tutorials online about scratching and sentabilism and teaching online. And the other step was that I wanted to take it back to the roots with real vinyl and I have a decent collection of 45s now. I brought my 45s from Bulgaria with the last flight coming in here and...

I had another conversation with Vect. I hope he doesn't mind me talking about this, but again, he was very encouraging and hopeful on a Skype call we jumped on and he was saying that...

Del (01:07:12.706)

Something I knew which is that a title does nothing for you, but you can do stuff with that title and I should and I'd be surprised that people would just want to put me on a flyer just to have the world champ, the current world champ on their flyer. There would be people who love what I do and will book me and also there will be people who never want to book me and I'll have rejection as well, but that generally...

Adam (01:07:32.763)

Yeah, the brackets.

Del (01:07:42.434)

there is stuff to be taken advantage of and that I should totally go for it 100%. And he gave me some particular tips about that and we discussed some particular gig experiences that we've had, both me and him. And...

And I started plotting it, I started making a list of places from posh vinyl bars where I can play disco in disco funk to places where I would rock a straight up b -boy set to like just a place where I can do more of a little bit of scratching, little bit of just mixing party tunes and some hip hop in it and...

I spent January planning these tutorials, making notes, thinking about the whole teaching tutorial series, looking up info on how to improve my setup, thinking about potentially streaming again.

working on refreshing my website and thinking about the webshop and the merch I have for sale and at the same time already compiling different kinds of sets with these 45s I have practicing on 45s making sure I'm sharp on 45s as well and making a whole list of these bots starting to message people who might hook me up with people or starting to just email or message these bots and

And also at the same time shooting vids with the battle routines that I didn't have online because I wanted to get rid of that. I wanted to just kind of say this is the finished episode but I've prepared this battle material and I'm sharing it with you and the next chapter begins from then on. And meanwhile also I was doing the sample reconstructions on Serato so I was...

Adam (01:09:16.121)

Yeah.

Del (01:10:00.994)

I just stare at nothing on my phone. And I'm going on Instagram and I'm not scrolling my own feed, but the recommended feed. And I literally see 10 posts in a row about DJing that piss me off beyond belief. And one of them was a huge platform which had 10 slides of advice how to blow up as a DJ in 2024. And...

I might be reading it wrong, but what I read was basically be business minded, be complicit, play it cool.

Do what is expected from you. Stay professional by understanding your crowd and what crowd you're catering to and cater to your crowd. I'm sorry.

Damn. And then I see that about 100 of my followers have put a like on that post. What the fuck, fam? You know what I mean? This is...

Adam (01:10:57.62)

Yes.

Del (01:10:59.618)

Knowing how to do a career and not seem as a hater has nothing to do with just being a music provider who fully caters to what can sell. These are two different things. And some people can say that this is sort of anti -career move or maybe even childish, but that will not change for me. These are two different things.

Adam (01:11:19.859)

Yeah, so I think what's interesting with that is that, I mean, this is almost part of why I started the podcast is.

The word DJ means so many different things to so many different people. A DJ can be someone who's a selector, a turntablist, they can be an artist, they can be an open format DJ, they can be a club DJ. For some people it's about the performance and them being up on stage. For other people it's about the music doing the talking. So maybe for the people that it's about being a performer on stage.

or being an entertainer in a certain way, those types of pieces of advice are probably quite in line for someone who wants that to be their career. But if you want to be doing your thing, creating, building that community, playing X, Y, and Z, it's a totally different thing. And...

So I got to a point when I was DJing in say the late 2000s, maybe around 2010, when I would go and do bar sets, I was playing the same things. I was playing things that I wanted, that I liked, but I wasn't playing everything I liked. I was playing the things that I liked that I knew I could get away with playing. It was probably being a very different DJ to what I wanted to be at the time.

So like now, and at one point, I kind of stopped DJing, sold all my records, and then kind of picked it up again around the time that I started doing this. And I do a lot less gigs, but the ones I do, I tend to be kind of playing what I want to play. And for me, it's a balance of that with what the rest of my world is, my job, my family. You know, DJing's not everything. DJing's a smaller thing.

Del (01:13:10.242)

sense.

Adam (01:13:21.263)

but it's the right type of DJing and I guess that's, do you know?

how your needs can be met as a DJ now. Can you be happy with DJing being just kind of at home doing videos online, do you think?

Del (01:13:40.962)

doing videos but to go back to your point I very clearly understand that DJing is quite a few different things but the reason I want people to link the story that I told this far to why I was on a very tired day again for the fifth year in a row trying to do a whole lot of stuff which is going nowhere and I'll get to the point where I was going nowhere but

Adam (01:14:03.054)

Yeah.

Del (01:14:06.338)

Why I would sit down on Instagram and be pissed off by something like this is that if you're in the States, there's absolutely no issues for these things to coexist. And also in the States, I get that there is a much stronger idea of community exactly because of that, because people understand that they're doing different things. And club DJs with crowd control skills and maybe not...

Adam (01:14:15.117)

Mm -hmm.

Del (01:14:32.706)

a lot of performance skills, respect performance skills and vice versa. And I know especially in some cities with long traditions in DJing in particular, these different hats are cool with each other and they do help each other. But if you look at a place like Kuala Lumpur, the mindset that this post is describing is the reason why people like me can't do anything. And it's literally anything. Because there is no room for anybody to show a crowd that there is something there.

different.

And it's a downward spiral from there because everybody makes that career decision. All the ex Malaysian DMC champs, which are not all that at all, technically and creatively, are doing pop DJing or EDM DJing. And they inspire the next generation of people to do exactly that. And it goes on and on and on. And the crowd sees that. And there's not enough diversity because there isn't enough job opportunities in industry and culture in general to allow for all these.

Adam (01:15:23.371)

Yeah.

Del (01:15:34.036)

things to coexist. So I think it's similar in Sofia. The more people who have the mindset to make their hobby, their passion or just their side hustle into a well -paid thing are following this kind of mindset, the more they're taking the only opportunities that are out there. And they're raising, not raising, but what's the word there, educating this crowded partying is about that.

And they're dictating a narrative where what I do is redundant. That's my feeling. It really is. And this is very different from LA or London or Manchester or because probably there are EDM DJs in Manchester. I don't know. Although Manchester has such a tradition and so many things, but just a random example. I'm sure that there are some people pissed off at some DJs doing blah, blah in Manchester, but there's plenty of other stuff going on in cultural centers in Europe and the States like that.

Adam (01:16:06.235)

Hmm.

Adam (01:16:19.625)

Yeah.

Adam (01:16:28.551)

Yeah, it's hard stuff. I'm sure I read a tweet not too long back where DJ Yoda had had a drink spat on him by someone. Yeah, I can't remember where that was, but it wouldn't surprise me necessarily if it was in London. There's still things everywhere. I mean, I was reading Fat Tony's book and he was talking about...

I think it was one of the gay nights in London that went on to become legendary, super important night in the 90s that when they first started that there was like four or five people there. So I have similar thoughts around these sorts of things because I like the thought of starting things in my city but even though I'm in the UK I think where I am it's probably quite hard to find those people with that mindset. So it's like how is there a way to do something?

that's like a micro community where...

I think the benefit of having a job is you can do something and you can donate your time for free to it and then just see if it picks up or not. It's quite kind of low risk. But I mean, obviously you've donated a lot of time to doing these things before. And yeah, like it.

Del (01:17:49.346)

And again, I would still, sorry to interrupt, but I would still donate the time. Not now because now my decision is final, but up until then, I was still happy to almost donate the time if someone says, hey, run this regular night. Let's see if you can build this up.

Adam (01:17:57.413)

Yeah.

Adam (01:18:08.645)

Mm.

Del (01:18:08.93)

I'll trust upon you to try to build this up. Do what you do. I never had that. Never had that. And that's why on the Instagram comments under my post, I told you that your podcast also influenced my decision because I was listening to the stories of some of the people that you had on the podcast. And I felt like in the places where they grew up or where they were doing what they do.

they had at least this one crucial moment where someone saw what they're doing and gave them a hand and said, okay, do it, you know, just go and do it. But I don't, I never had that. I never had that. And that's also the thing about like scale in a way, because obviously I'm not expecting to pack.

Adam (01:18:38.595)

Yeah.

Adam (01:18:51.171)

Yeah.

Del (01:19:02.722)

thousand people clubbed by playing breaks and funk. You know what I mean? But if I play in front of 30 people and 25 of them come personally to me to say that this is their favorite night this year thus far...

then it got to be a way for these 30 people to be 100. And then I need a place that can house these 100 people because last Saturday, my last gig here, I played in front of 30 people in a place that has a maximum of 50 people capacity.

Adam (01:19:19.298)

Mm.

Del (01:19:32.866)

But Kuala Lumpur doesn't even have a place that can take 100 people and runs alternative events. Like the total amount of zero. Zero. And Sofia is not that bad, but I think it's slowly getting there. Slowly getting there.

Adam (01:19:40.385)

year.

Adam (01:19:46.784)

Hmm.

Adam (01:19:50.816)

Well, I really, really appreciate you talking through all this with me. I think your background's fascinating and it's kind of hard to hear in certain ways because you've obviously got so much passion for this and you've tried so many things and you're so talented and these things just haven't all aligned for you. I sincerely hope that...

that energy that you were putting into these things, you can find a different way to port that, that kind of you can get a return on that investment from, of that time and that energy.

Adam (01:20:35.743)

Yeah, so is there anything else that we've not covered that you'd like to mention to any of the listeners?

Del (01:20:43.106)

I guess if there's anybody who is listening to this and hasn't checked my stuff out check my stuff out it's out there YouTube channel Instagram my website is up and running so that's where you find like the

shortened version of the most important stuff I've done. And yeah, as I said also on social media, the only DJ activity that I'll keep on doing is teach scratching online. I've been helping my buddies in Sofia with cuts. I've been doing workshops and occasionally I've been also teaching and I can still do that and I'm still interested in doing that. And I find it fun to break stuff down for people.

So that's the only public DJ delightful that exists right now. So if you're interested in that, oh yeah, djdelightful2wells .com and you find the info there.

Adam (01:21:40.124)

Yeah, but it's delightful with two L's.

Adam (01:21:47.42)

Yeah, and we'll put links in the show notes. Yeah, thanks again for sharing your story with us, and if anything does change in the future or you've got any updates, don't hesitate to give me a shout.

Del (01:21:58.69)

and thanks for having me.

Adam (01:22:00.892)

anytime. Thanks a lot man, take care.