'I'm trying to heal the world of EDM'

'I'm trying to heal the world of EDM'

He’s the founder of The DJ Dispensary, a collective that leads DJ retreats and programmes around the world, and yet remains one of the nerdiest and humble DJs around.

With close to 15 years of experience, Matty Wainwright, who is currently based out of Bali, is a force to reckon with.

The love for DJing came as a natural curiosity, he recalls. “I used to buy tapes from various places but didn’t understand how they could make two songs go into each other. So I started reading magazines, bought two record players and vinyls and for the next couple of years, would just annoy my mum by playing music too loud in my bedroom,” he reminisces.

“That was a long time ago and now, it’s all digitalised and I stand behind the deck with my headphones and USB stick. Gone are the days of carrying excess baggage and bringing two bags full of records!”

Going from the turntable generation to pressing play hasn’t been a fun transition for Matty.

“That’s one of the things we try and teach in our workshops – that a lot of people think they’re DJs but they’re not! It takes a lot more effort to go to a record store and spend three hours digging through records to find that one amazing track than going online to download it within 30 seconds. That’s why we teach the mechanics of DJing and how to use the equipment in our workshops but 50 per cent is also the art of picking the right track for the right moment and making the flow of the evening right,” he says.

The live aspect is fairly limited for DJs, who only select the tracks and mix it live. But connecting to the audience is the real skill of a DJ, opines Matty.

“There are a lot of DJs who just look at their laptop all night. But the way you connect with the audience is by looking. If people are talking in whispers, you know it’s too loud; if people are tapping their feet, you know it’s a good vibe. It’s just about using your eyes and ears,” he says.

Of the many things he claims to be – DJ, producer, tutor – he also prides himself as a ‘crusader against EDM’.

“I’m trying to heal the world of EDM. If anyone’s going to kill EDM, it’s Paris Hilton,” jokes Matty.

“Our goal is to teach people that being a DJ isn’t about standing with your hands in the air throwing cake at people. It’s about taking a room full of people, be it five or 5000, on a musical journey. We stick to what we do and if we can just open a few peoples’ ears to different kinds of music, we’ve done our job.”

That’s also why he prefers not to adhere to music trends. “Following genres is the wrong way to go. If I like a drum n’ bass record, I’ll play it; if I like a 1950’s jazz record, I’ll play it. As long as it’s right for that venue at that time, it works,” he informs.

The DJ Dispensary’s recent Sound Lab workshop by Matty and Paul T was a successful one and he’s keen on returning to India.

“I’ve been back and forth to India since 2006 and I love it,” says the former resident DJ of Mumbai’s nightclub ‘Wink’.

“One of the things I love here is that you don’t have to keep the tempo up all night. The attitudes of people have slowed down and they accept if you start slow at 150 BPM and build it up,” he says.

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