He started calling himself a DJ in 1998 after 2 years of practice. Born in Cuba, DJ Ilmi has been playing all over the world. I managed to land an interview with him just before he was about to play at club Kama and this is what he had to say to the questions I threw at him. Enjoy!
Tell me how you entered the industry?
In 1994 when I was at university, I used to go for a lot of parties at the university I was in. There I used to watch the crowd dancing and I used to watch the DJs at those parties spinning and I thought to myself that I could do the same thing, so I started it out as a hobby at bars and Restaurants.
You how they say practice make perfect, and I went to Cyprus for a week for a holiday in 1998 and while there my friends got me a gig and I ended up staying and playing in Cyprus for 11 weeks!
How did you first get your own set of equipment?
Believe it or not I have never owned a set of tables in my life! And I don’t think I ever will. A good DJ needs to be able to play on any table that is given to him and once you get accustomed to one its hard to play on different tables.
What sort of music can get a party going?
I always say house music. It has that happy vibe and a nice tempo with a good beat. It always makes everybody put their hands up in the air.
What defines a good song?
There has to be a build up, break it a little, beautiful vocals and it has to have a catchy beat.
What song would you pick to put a party at an all time high?
I would have to go with Avicii’s levels, like I said you can’t get it wrong with that song.
Name 3 artists who have the potential to be huge in the music industry?
La India, she’s a Cuban Singer.
vicii you can never get it wrong with his song levels.
Sia the girl who sings Titanium she is just amazing.
What do you think of Justin Beiber?
*Awkward Silence* My Silence says it all, I will need my lawyers here to answer that question.
Who are your personal favorite singers?
Prince, Lenny Kravitz and there is a long list of others.
Define a good party?
A place with people that love music!
You wouldn’t go for a party if you don’t like music and dancing, so don’t go for a party if you plan to not go crazy and let your hair down. Open your mind and let the music take over your soul.
What defines a DJ and what would you have to say to those who want to enter the same trade that you are in?
You need to get your mixing right. If you can’t do that properly you have no right to call yourself a DJ! Also it’s not about just switching songs from one to another, it’s about knowing where do bring in the next song.
By Reihan Stephen
Pix by Samantha Perera