By Asha Mullings
A sweet soul, down to earth – These are the things that came to mind after my phone interview with Dre Ngzoi- DJ, producer and artist. We had a great conversation about Toronto’s music scene, staying true to yourself and what the future may bring. Here’s a peek at our conversation.
What part of the city are you from?
I’m born and raised in Ottawa. I’ve been here [Toronto] 10 years.
I know you’re a great DJ but how long have you been at it? What other art mediums do you work in?
I started 8 years ago [DJ-ing], I learned by practicing, by watching others. I didn’t pursue it because of… life.. I’ve been taking it seriously for a year and a half. I studied dance for 8 years and trained in piano for 9 years. I also do photography and mixed media.
What did you do before you started to DJ full time?
For the past 8 months I’ve worked solely as artist. I’m also a Holistic health practitioner, acupuncture graduate and trained in Shiatsu massage. Some people just want to stick to plan A, I’m not like that.”
What’s been some of your most exciting gigs so far this year?
Scratch Bastid’s BBQ on Sunday July 23rd and my High Power party which hosts the ‘Wayhome Official Frank Ocean Afterparty’ on July 30th.
As a DJ, how did you go from humble beginnings to being booked for large scale events such as Manifesto? What type skill do you need to push yourself to these levels?
I have pseudo managers who step in when need be. I Would love to have a whole team, that would make my life easier. Do the thing. It’s all about who you know and who knows you. A lot of the gigs come from people I’ve known for a long time. It’s All about networking and who you know. Keep doing your craft and people will ask to be included. Don’t watch what everyone else is doing. Make sure that you are doing things that are in alignment with who you are. Try not to waver from that even though you might be pressured to, don’t overthink the process – Just try. Don’t worry about the outcome.
I love how care-free your Instagram page is, it seems like you post whatever makes you
happy, where does this confidence come from?
I don’t know if it’s confidence, I don’t know what it is. My whole thing is about just about being whoever you are. I don’t like to do what everyone else is doing. It’s finding the balance of going against the grain, but being true to self. Finding a way to be a part of the pre-curated scene but that’s the way the world is. I try to infuse that care free aspet into social media.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
How much of a hermit I actually am. I struggle with social anxiety, I’m a Homebody. I kick it solo dolo. I have a lot of guy friends. Roll solo to the gigs. A lot of my friends don’t party like that. I would be the same if I wasn’t working. I like music. I like dancing. Don’t necessarily like partying.
Who are some creatives that you admire?
A Tribe Called Red; they're my friends. Everything they represent is in line with my philosophy of life. Respect who they are and their stance on things. I would love to work with them and Dre hopes to work with them and Kaytranada, James Blake and FKA Twigs.
What is a career goal you have for 2017?
I hope to have my own radio show, soon, within the next 6 months.
Do you have any advice for upcoming female artists?
People who are successful are those who try. People who don’t try don’t get anywhere. It’s how much emphasis you put on fear, fear of failure. Just try things and see where it lands. You’ll earn something regardless.