Tag Archives: EDM

Laidback Luke

Valentine’s Day at The Stage inside Santa Ana Star Casino with Laidback Lukelaidbackstage3, and I had the privilege of sitting down with him, while his wife Gina Turner opened the show. Laidback Luke has a residency at Light this year in Vegas, moving on from his residency at Hakkasan. Working in Vegas is amazing and drastically different then playing in the festival shows. The festival shows allow you to tap in to the local vibe of an area. “My favorite for the year was EDC Vegas 2103” says Luke. “In Vegas, you are always playing for tourists. The advantage to Vegas is that they can build or make happen what ever you can dream up.” Currently Laidback Luke is in talks with Cirque du Soleil to create a new event. .

Working on the road with his wife, Gina Turner, is proving to be a great partnership in many ways. She is a great crowd starter, who digs new innovated underground music, so they never clash on the musical sets. Off-stage Gina is a certified yoga teacher and Luke is a Kung Fu practitioner at a world level. “What people don’t know about Kung Fu is that it originated from people at the Shaolin temple, meeting a yogi who taught them about breathing and fighting.” shared Luke. “Before that, the Shaolin Monks were just monks”. Luke and Gina are very much a power couple, in the aspects that they live clean, eat healthy, and are always planning their workouts.

Laidback Luke was always into drawing as a child. In his teenage years, his art moved to drawing on walls. It didn’t last long because he did get in trouble with the police. He now channels all his creativity into music. There are some DJs out there that can do both and make beautiful art and music, but Luke says his heart is only in his music. To keep the creative juices flowing he says, “The best way to beat ‘Producers’ Block’ is to set goals, and give yourself time limits.” Currently he set himself a goal of producing twenty new tracks in twenty days. Staying focused takes work in itself.

To aspiring DJs out there he offers some advice. “Word of mouth is the best way to get your name out there, if the quality is there in your work. Grass roots movements are the best way to widen your circle and get people listening to your music. Talk, talk, talk and be talked about.”

Opening with a strong underground set, Gina turned up the crowd for Laidback Luke to take over. The crowd was jumping. Wherever Electronic Music takes Laidback Luke and his wife, we certainly hope it brings them back through Albuquerque, sooner rather then later.

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Catching up with DJ MAKJ

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.

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