It’s a chilly night in front of the Sunshine Theater in downtown Albuquerque. The wind is picking up and papers blow down Rte. 66 giving the impression that the venue is closed down for the winter. Around the side though is a large tour bus With Bingo Players tour painted on it. Steeping off the bus in a pair of shorts and a hat is DJ MAKJ Mackenzie Johnson is how he introduces himself, as we sit down in the amazingly orange down stairs of the theater.
When Mackenzie was just sixteen years-old living overseas in China driving race-cars he went out to a night club called Today and Tomorrow in Macau and heard DJ Qbert, an American Hip-Hop DJ. He was that guy all night standing by the turntables asking question after question. After returning to the states Mackenzie jumped head first into to DJing. One of his most memorable moments was went he met DJ AM who became a brotherly figure to him. At the age of seventeen DJ AM took Mackenzie under his wing and showed him how to handle people especially the ones in the business. Mackenzie says “I was lucky to live overseas and ravel at such a young age it gave me a head start on seeing the world and understanding people.”
Earlier this year DJ MAKJ played on the third night of Tomorrowland 2013 in Atlanta GA which was a life changing experience. The crowds were amazing and the show was invigorating, but what he took away from it was how important organization is in a show like. He developed a deep respect for promoters who notice the small things. “when your touring you look for things like the nearest shower and food before preforming”.
“The only way to grow as an artist is to make the music people are listening to”. He produced the number one song on Beatport in October along many other hits this year. He hopes to produce a movie score sometime in 2014. Producing is amazing but her still loves to perform. “All ages shows are the best the kids just want to rage all night”. He would also like to mix Rock ’n’ Roll in with some techno beats to open up his audience to new and older kinds of music. Growing and changing is what makes the job so much fun.
Words of wisdom that ring true no matter what age or career you’re in “ Do break the rules and be yourself. Don’t mimic your idols their style already exists. Don’t play it safe make as much music as possible and just keep playing to find who you are”.
DJ MAKJ will be taking the stage soon and heated up the Sunshine making everyone forget how cold and grey it is outside tonight.