Here is our tenth interview for the In Session series, a space where we get to know more about Wavezoo DJs. This time we talked to TOTY GEE, an italian disk jokey, composer, writer, actor and developer who has toured half of Europe.
1. How did you start DJing? Tell us about your origins
In 1990 I was 14 years old and I first started learning from watching other DJs, buying music, understanding different genres and counting beats. At that time, DJs were considered “nerds” but I did not care because I liked the idea to be the music of the party.
In 1992, with the help of my family, I bought a pair of Technics SL-D1 turntables (the real traditional vinyl culture) a mixer and an amplifier with speakers. I couldn’t stop playing back then, to the point I would skip my duties of studying in the afternoons to play my vinyls.
since 1998 I’ve been working between Greece, Italy and Germany in different disco/nightclubs ending up in 2000 in the second biggest disco/nightclub in Germany (Dresden). I stopped in 2005 and I started again in 2019 after I composed 5 songs with a musician.
2. Who would you say are your influences?
I was 2 years old when I started dancing in front of my grandfather’s stereo. I enthusiastically listened to Rondo Veneziano and learned 80’s dance music Like… Berry White, Gloria Gaynor, Diana Ross, Madonna, Michael Jackson and so on.
The first times I learned to mix I tried with Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous” Album creating what today are called bootlegs or mega-mixes. In the 90s I loved listening to and proposing dance music, then I discovered Paul van Dyk and Robert Miles and I was fascinated by dream-house and vocal trance at the point where I still try to mix club house and tech house together with vocal trance and uplifting trance.
3. What do you think about the future of DJing? Where we are headed?
What real worries me is that nowadays everything is online with super-fast connections and dozens of DJ pool services and I have the feeling that the DJ in many parties is taken for a jukebox instead of a professional and everyone goes asking songs… I don’t like that, if you want a jukebox stay home and play something by yourself.
There is also a big difference between the 90s when I started and now. In the 90s the technics SL-1200 and 1210 dominated consoles for decades, currently a new controller is produced about every month with more buttons. The companies that defend the copyrights are, in some ways, obsolete and are not up to date because they are not aware of the new ways to reach fans or parties through the internet.
During the COVID pandemic we DJs were persecuted like criminals because everyone could work at home except us. If we tried and still now if we try to make to stream a DJ set on social networks we were and we are blocked and banned by the big music brands even if we as DJs make them so big by proposing songs to our crowd and no one gave us the opportunity to express ourselves.
The companies that protect copyrights ask for two hours of live, the same price that a radio pays 24 hours a day and this is absurd and unfair.
4. What can people expect from your shows?
With me you have to expect DJ TOTY GEE style and that means House and Trance together, 80s and 90s blending and carefully selected music. I’m constantly watching the dance floor to see how the crowd reacts and come up also with new songs accordingly that they may like.
I have 2 consolle: 1 double deck and a pad to modify sometime the tracks and create something unique or i do DJ with a program with virtual decks (TribeXR) on Meta Quest 2 (Oculus 2) too.
I am DJ in this two ways and if someone want to discover this ways and my exclusive DJ TOTY GEE style is more than welcome.
5. What would be your ideal party? Let people know what would be your top tracks
In my dreams and desires there is to DJ at a rave or a big event with lots of people or go on a tour. I like it when there are many people to attend my performances.
I would also like to collaborate with a famous singer or perform on the same night as other famous DJs because I’m not afraid to show what I can do.
What would I play? It must be a surprise to discover as a Christmas or Birthday present. You can understand the shape of a gift and in my case the shape is house and trance, but if I tell you what’s inside, the surprise and the pleasure of looking curiously vanish.
6. Help other DJs to level up, give the community a tip that will improve other DJs performance
Currently I see that many young people have even less desire to study than we had in the 90s. The most serious mistake is to think that the DJ is the person who plays music from some streaming service. No, everyone can do this!
Being a DJ requires passion, time and money to spend on equipment and music and a lot of knowledge must be added to this.
You have to train for at least two years every single day like footballers do and only then are you confident enough that it feels like riding a bike or walking. However, the DJ is first in and last out in a party 2 hours early to set up the equipment and 2 hours later to take it down.
For streaming? I always manage to beat other DJs in my lives maybe because the others put videos recorded in loop and instead I show myself in real time or I create an avatar of myself that follows my movements (chech out the video at his Wavezoo profile), or I use a software that creates virtual reality to broadcast with OBS.
7. Let the people know what is going on in your life
The pandemic has been truly terrible towards artists. Two and a half years of hunger with no income. The radios I collaborated with for free closed one after the other and I’m waiting for the new year to decide what to do.
I would love to develop a disco/nightclub in virtual reality, possibly without paying a fortune for copyright because is something new and on internet everybody want things for free and no one want to pay, so why I need to pay Copyright if there is no income? Someone should look on that and sponsor us to play music with advertising during our on line show.
Anyway, you can find some of my songs available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and so on!
If you are a Wavezoo DJ and would like to appear in our interviews, please contact us!
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