Hi DJ TimeLine! We are happy to be able to have you for our interview. DanseMag is already super excited about your answers! Great that you decided to share some insights and thoughts with us!
First of all, could you please introduce yourself with a few words and tell us when and how you decided to be active as a DJ and especially in the field of Kizomba?
I am Erdogan Ates, my nickname is Eddie or Timeline. I am 29 years old and come from Frankfurt am Main, Germany. I grew up in Germany, but I was born in Ankara, Turkey. I studied in Germany and educator and child care worker by profession since 2015. Since 2018, I have been a part-time Kizomba DJ.
Music genres I like to play is: Tarraxo/Tarraxa, Konpa, Urbankiz/Douceur, Afrobeats, Afrohouse, Ghettozouk, Traditional Kizomba/Semba and Hip-hop, RnB and Clubbing/Turkish-Clubbing.
As a DJ, I became active in the Kizomba scene in 2018, DJing for the first time at a small self-hosted party. At that time, my girlfriend at the time gave me the idea to become active as a DJ again. So we started down all the paths towards becoming a Kizomba DJ. I bought my first DJ controller, the DDJ 400 from Pioneer, and got started.
For a while, I noticed that there was not much UrbanKiz/Tarraxo music being played at the local parties, so I decided to keep at it and give the community what it wants.
What does music and DJing mean to you?
Simply put, music and Djing means « art » to me! Music is my colour and Djing is my image that I create. Everything that goes back from the community is my finished image, which I present live or make available to the community.
DJing is and ultimately remains my hobby, like many other hobbies, where I try to perfect it, gain experience, have fun and share it with people who are interested. Making money is incidental.
We know that you dance, too. When did you start and how did you get into dance? Before or after your DJ job? How did you get to know Kizomba? Do you have a favourite music or dance style?
Music has accompanied me all my life. Dancing was part of it at the same time. I never went to dance classes or anything like that. I always liked to dance to music for myself, just like any other person. More than 12 years ago, when I was active in the hip-hop and RnB community, as a clubber I was always interested in how DJs mixed the music. I tried out a lot at home on my PC and it all started 12 years ago with the software Virtuel DJ. At that time, I didn’t know Kizomba at all and suddenly that changed in 2016.
It was love!!!
At that time, my girlfriend, who was a dance teacher, had danced Salsa, Bachata and Kizomba. I, on the other hand, was ahip-hop dancer. I then started dancing Salsa for a while and practiced diligently for 3 months until I discovered Kizomba at a SBK party (Salsa-Bachata-Kizomba). Immediately the music reminded me of RnB songs and hip-hop and I danced to it. In 2016, Kizomba was born for me. I immediately switched to the Kizomba community just because of the music and left Salsa behind. I practiced a lot with my girlfriend/dance partner at the time and we went to local parties a lot in the beginning and weren’t involved in international festivals very much.
Then, at the end of 2018, the idea came up to start our own small parties because we noticed that not enough Urbankiz/Tarraxo music was played at local parties. So while organising the first party, the idea came up that I should be the DJ. Although, I claimed that it had been a long time since I had played, and I had never performed live before. I didn’t know why, but I agreed to take on the role of the DJ I used to be in my hobby cellar at my PC. I started to practice again with Virtuel DJ and quickly realised that my skills from the last years had remained. Transitions worked very well according to my keen ears and my girlfriend.
I just thought to myself, DJing with a PC, NO – that’s not professional. So I picked an entry-level model, from Pioneer, the DDJ 400, and immediately realised that I was in my element and I had a lot of fun practising. Everything worked great and I was happy.
What brings you the most joy when DJing? What kind of feeling does it bring out in you?
The joy already starts with a booking for a festival or party. Being on stage, being the person in the spotlight and creating the atmosphere and the great music, yes, that motivates me and makes me almost addicted. The music gives me joy. I try to become one with the music. When I see the community celebrating my music and dancing to it; that moment makes me proud to be the DJ. When I see the smiling faces, it’s like a reflection on me. I am full of endorphins and happy to be in my element.
What do you love so much about DJing and what makes a good DJ for you?
What I love about DJing is the variety of music types to mix together and to combine transitions perfectly and cleanly. In my opinion, good DJs are the people who can really read the music and play songs even without headphones. Being able to read music is like learning a second foreign language and mastering it, and I’m not talking about the lyrical song content. I think you can only understand that if you have a lot to do with music in your life. And by that I don’t mean just listening to music, but really engaging with it. Good DJs have the ability to assess situations well and to be able to judge the music that goes with the mood and body language of the people dancing on the floor.
Over the years, I have noticed that DSs criticise a lot when it comes to traditional music being the true music of the kizomba scene and Urbankizmusik or Tarraxo being no music at all to dance kizomba to or in general. The Semba/Kizomba music of that time was the beginning of today’s Urbankiz/Tarraxo sounds, which in turn flow into the Kizomba/Semba area today. Today’s music can be the origin of tomorrow’s music. The fact is, good DJs are open to any kind of music and capable of playing any kind of music, because music is what connects us all.
What I value enormously is creating transitions seamlessly and cleanly. If you can do that, you basically understand the basics of DJing and you can call yourself a DJ in my opinion.
How do you prepare for a long night of DJing so that you have energy and a good ear throughout?
Preparation is the most important and also the most time-consuming work of a DJ. I have a very good structured library that can be further expanded and added to.
All the songs, every single track has been personally analysed by me, categorised and marked at certain points for the live performance, which means that when I play the song, I know how to proceed so that there is a perfect transition, according to my own music theory.
Something that is important is, of course, sleep. Before the gig or my trip, I sleep during the day so I can stay awake longer at night, be more focused and concentrated.
Where do you see yourself in the future (in the next 5 years)?
My future: I hope for a lot of support and to be heard in the next few years. My wish was and still is to go on a world tour, so I hope to be on the road a lot in the next 5 years and travel to many countries and cities. In the evenings or on weekends I would DJ and during the day I would visit the cities.
What advice would you give to someone who would also like to become a DJ?
My advice would be to look around your circle of friends or get an opinion or watch other DJs and ask yourself if there is real interest and if it is realistic for you. If you are convinced, you should take the step of first trying out one or more pieces of software that are available as freeware on the internet. Before jumping into professional end devices. Or, if you are lucky, you have friends who have a DJ mixer and you can borrow one to practise with.
Always try to have a tidy library and be well structured.
Sometimes less is more! This means that beginners like to use a lot of effects and try them out when they perform live. However, it is more advisable to use the time to try out the effects while practising. Then, you can use them at the right moment so that they don’t interfere with dancing.
Last but not least – where can we find out more about you? (Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
You can reach me at: