Rising Stars is a new feature on Trommel, interviewing and discussing music with some of the brightest up-and-coming talents on the scene. First up is Sunrise signed artist and all-around great DJ, caLLy.
Hi caLLy, thanks for speaking to Trommel and being our first DJ featured as a Rising Star. How do you feel your 2017 has gone as a whole?
Happy to be part of this, thanks! Well in 2017 a lot of great things happened and it was one of the best years of my career! Playing for Casino Sinaia in March, then joining the Sunrise Booking crew whilst going on to play Sunwaves 21 in April and 22 in August. I couldn’t have asked for more!
Let’s go back in time a bit, how and when did you get into electronic music?
I think it was somewhere in 2007-2008 in my hometown Craiova. Krypton Club played a big role because I got to listen to artists from all over the world. As well as top Romanian DJs like Rhadoo, Raresh, Praslea and many more.
Who were some of your early influences?
Andrei, who was a resident of Krypton Club. Rhadoo and Raresh were the DJs I studied the most, per say.
What did you learn from studying Raresh and Rhadoo?
I learn a lot in terms of mixing techniques as well as how to construct a set.
Did it take you long to find your own identity as a DJ? Was it an easy journey or did it take some experimentation?
I think for every DJ or artist it takes some time to really find their sound and there are a lot of experiments, some good and some bad, but mistakes are the best way to learn.
How do you prepare for a set? Do you plan anything before you play or is all decided during a set?
I always get new and old music but before a gig, I don’t plan what I’m going to play beforehand. Everything comes during the set whilst watching people and trying to put a smile on their face.
You’ve lived in both London and Romania, how would you compare the two countries musically?
London has a huge scene. Every weekend I can find a party to go to if I’m not playing. I left Romania in 2011 to study SAE Audio Engineering in Milan before then moving to London.
I can only say that the crowd in Romania is more musically educated and have more patience. You have parties that go on for 12-24 hours and festivals that are five days of non-stop music, with DJs playing longer sets. Unfortunately, UK licenses are forcing promoters and people to compress the journey of a party.
Is there anything you learn from your Audio Engineering degree that has helped you as a DJ?
My degree taught me a lot about how sounds work, which is always useful!
You’ve been with Stump London since the beginning, and it’s become one of the most popular underground parties in London. How do you feel STUMP has helped your DJing career advance?
We started Stump with the goal of bringing Romanian and local DJs for people who are coming to the parties for the music and not for something else. Stump has helped me a lot in my career, I’ve had the opportunity to do some B2Bs with some of my favourite DJs and friends from Romania. I’ve learned a lot from the DJs I play with and I’ve also grown in confidence, which plays an important role in DJing.
You closed off 2017 with your Kaldaer EP, did it have any special inspiration?
There wasn’t any special inspiration. I just cut off everything that was keeping me out of focus and said, whatever happens, will happen! I focused on music for a few months, producing a lot of tracks whilst reviewing some old ones. Soon after things started to happen and I’m very happy I took that decision last year.
How did it feel to see Kaldaer receive support from the likes of Petre Inspirescu?
Every time I hear my tracks played by the likes Petre Inspirescu and other big artists my heart gets bigger and bigger, and that’s the best motivation you can get!
You played your first edition of Sunwaves back in April. How was that?
I had goosebumps for all four hours. It’s amazing. DJs who play there know everything is perfect, the crowd, sound system, the environment.
As one of Trommel’s picks for breakthrough artist, are there any young DJs that you would other people to recognise?
There are so many great young artists I couldn’t possibly pick one!
Now looking ahead to the future, how do you feel about 2018?
Well for 2018 I have a lot of big plans. I’ll be moving from London back to Bucharest, I’ll build a studio so I can produce more, every year I talk about my label but this year it’s a MUST. There will be some good releases coming this year, for sure.