We were lucky enough to be invited down to the house and tech orientated, The Social Festival in Kent, and managed to get hold of William Djoko after his incredible set to talk about music, his summer highlights, fashion and he even gives us his best chat up line.
Who influences you musically?
Musically so many things have influenced me. It can be great conversations, dope art, something silly I hear in a movie or looking back at all the different tastes I got to try out and listen to at home. Of course, if you know me a little bit you’ll know how much I love the King of Pop and this reflects on both my music and my stage presence.
Name three artists you had on your playlist growing up…
Oof .. I would actually love to go past my Mum’s house and look at all my cassette tapes from back in the day for this one. My taste was and still is way to diverse to name just three. As I said earlier Michael Jackson almost made up my entire playlist growing up. There was this amazing phase I was totally into Ginuwine! I also remember loving listening to ‘Gabber’ music, which was on an all time peak during the 90’s in the Netherlands when I was about 12 years old. I know it’s not one artist, but it’s definitely something I listened to a lot.
When was the pinnacle moment you realised you could make a career in music?
I think the first moment I ever got on a stage (probably lip-syncing to MJ) I felt that this was something I needed to do. I’m not very good with authoritarian figures (i.e. teachers) or being anonymous in a workplace. That feeling has always been there, so in 2009 my contract as receptionist didn’t get extended I figured that was my cue.
What’s been your biggest career highlight so far?
Honestly, the other week I just dropped an EP on Strictly Rhythm including two remixes by Todd Terry and a music video. I’d say that highlight is right now!
If you could collaborate with one other artist, past or present, who would it be?
Looking at my first three answers I do not think I need to specify this, haha!
Where is the most memorable venue you’ve ever played?
It would definitely be Trouw Amsterdam. That place has meant so much to me and my Amsterdam international peers, also that it was only 6 years ago and now it has reach legendary status – that means the world to me. I mean, if you’ve been there you know what I mean.
What/Who/Where is the most memorable performance you’ve ever seen?
I always have the toughest time with these questions, because I see hear and feel so much at performances. For this one I’d like to say it was the Dutch theatre show D.A.D. by actor and play writer Nasrdin Char, who I saw earlier this year.
It’s a solo performance piece where he reflects on the lineage of guest workers (the different roles & dialogues he all plays himself) he and his family consist of. It shows how this formed his life as Grandson and now becoming a Dad in an age of more aggressively divisive speech and cultural diversity.
I took my own Dad to see it, and he’s from Cameroun, which made so much of the dialogue very relatable and the message very powerful. I left the theatre in awe.
What do you enjoy most about playing festivals?
The outside of course! If it’s a sunny day people are all smiles and literally stepping out of reality into a day of little-to-no inhibitions. To be able to just walk, run and dance and get lost with your friends can feel like a true blessing!
How does the UK crowd differ from other countries?
The Brits go in HAARDDD!!! Out of all the party people I come across they literally gives the littlest of fucks, about how they look or chant. They enjoy themselves.
What song are you playing on repeat at the moment?
Over the summer it was “Redbone” by Childish Gambino. It definitely had loads of repeats. The structure of that track is insanely good, as is that entire album.
What’s been your summer highlight of 2017?
If I have to choose, I’d say closing the Main room for Circoloco at DC-10 back to back with my home-slice Bambounou. It was our first time ever playing together and we connected like two meteorites making that room explode till the end. It was wonderful.
What’s your guilty pleasure track?
“Corona” – The Rhythm of The Night
How do you spend your down time when you’re not performing or in the studio?
Netflix & Chill? Hahaha. Jokes aside, hanging out with friends, having good conversations and good food. Sounds a bit boring perhaps, but when I’m home from touring or endless nights out, it’s literally what keeps me going.
Favourite film/TV series?
Oooh I just found this new series on Netflix called ‘Big Mouth’. It’s rude unpredictable and I find it hilariously funny.
Drink of choice on a night out?
Beer, Coconut water, Gin & Tonic and a Dark & Stormy.
Can you give us your best/cheesiest pick up line?
You walk as graciously as a gazelle in the savannah and I love safari trips.
Can you explain your fashion sense? How would you describe your style?
Clothing expresses my mood for the day, but can also determine my mindset. That’s why I will always wear an outfit when I perform or maybe put on a pantalon on a lazy Sunday to make my day more active. Describing my style would be eclectic, colorful and fun.
Describe yourself in three words?
Eclectic, colorful and fun.
What’s next for 2017?
Last weekend my own night at Shelter Amsterdam was the shit when I had Mr G live. The amount of energy that happened was mind-boggling. Next up is ADE right here in my hometown where I’ll play three shows (Strafwerk on Friday, Mobile afterhours Sunday morning @Brett & HYTE on Sunday evening).
What advice do you have for aspiring DJs?
Don’t listen to me. I’ve made the worst possible choices at the most impossible times. I’m grateful and I feel blessed to be doing this and all I know for myself, is that I have to stay that way. Work hard day in day out and be kind to people around me.
This is not something I chose to do on the fly, it has been the path all along and although scary and lonely at times I’m lucky to do be doing it.