Interview: DJ Amadeus on EDM, China and Storm Fest

By Matthew Bossons, April 28, 2016

2 0

For those not in the loop, New York’s DJ Amadeus will be hitting the decks this Saturday, April 30, at W Guangzhou’s Fei Bar. To get a better idea what we can expect, That’s caught up with the Ukrainian-born DJ to chat about electronic music, China and the upcoming Budweiser Storm Music Festival.

What made you first interested in becoming a DJ?

I come from a musical family and was professionally trained in music from a very young age, playing piano and later drums. I was very inspired by pop and early club music in the 80s, having visited my first club with some friends when I was 15 in New York. That first club experience was it for me, the next day I started saving for cheap DJ equipment and when I got my first CD player, turntables and mixer I started practicing and making tapes. Kind of started from that and kept working hard every day.

Getting voted in the Top 100 DJs worldwide by DJ Mag is a pretty big deal, tell us how you reacted when you made the 24th position on the list? 

Yea, DJ Mag was a huge push for my career. In 2005 I got a call from my former agency out of the Netherlands and they told me that I would enter the Top 100 that year and put me in the contact with DJ Mag's publisher, who conducted my online interview. I was shocked and didn't know much about it at that time. When he told me how important that was I was super excited. At that time, I was touring a lot in the US and Canada and held a residency at a major New York City club and my fans spoke. I came in to the list at the 97th position. Right after that was announced, my manager got several calls from China and there I was, doing my first ever China tour. The following year I took the Top 100 DJs polling even more seriously, promoting my brand everywhere – constantly announcing at shows that I need my fans’ support. It was a lot of work but I came in at 24th and it was well worth it. It was a very hard year and it was very difficult, but the reward was super sweet – it changed everything for me. The voting rules have changed a lot in recent years and nowadays it’s more about who is buzzing and who has a few hot records out. Not really about peoples vote, at least that's my theory. 

You have performed with some pretty major acts, tell me which DJ you most enjoyed working with?

I always have a ton of fun when I play alongside Tiesto, he is the man! Energy in the club is always massive and he is a fun guy. I also had a great time touring China with my friend Christopher Lawrence, that was a great tour, he’s a very nice and down to earth guy. Most of the guys I performed with are very talented and super cool. Swedish House Mafia also blew me away. When Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell came to my residency club Mansion in New York, I had the privilege of hanging out and playing with them, they blew me – and 5,500 screaming fans at the club that night – away. That was Swedish House Mafia's debut in New York City and what a show! I will never forget. Those guys rock – still do.


How many times have you played in China and, more specifically, which cities? 

I have played in China many, many times. I love China. I love Asia. I started coming to China in 2007 and have been here many times since – probably 15 or more. I’ve repeatedly performed in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Xi'an, Chengdu, Chongqing and toured all over Taiwan. I’ve also spent time in neighboring Asian nations, like Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, among others.

EDM is relatively new to China, and doesn't have the advantage of a major counter-culture element – like the drug culture for example – that many Western nations have. Tell me a bit about your thoughts on China's EDM revolution and where it is headed in the next few years?

EDM was fresh for China when I started coming in 2007 and it has blown up year after year. It quickly became the club pop of China. Little by little all popular DJs, producers, singers and performers flooded the Chinese market. It truly blew up and now it's massive. When you play, let's stay in Beijing, there will be four or five major DJs playing in clubs right next door on the same night. And that is like every night, every week! It's overwhelming. China now has so many festivals happening it’s amazing and I think it has hit its peak. Let’s hope it will continue to be this way, because all us love to come to China to perform. The crowds here are amazing, the reaction and energy is great. Regarding drugs, I personally don't do them, haven’t tried them and don't need them. I don't think you need drugs to enjoy music and the club atmosphere – or even just to have a good time. Some people do them, some people don't – everywhere in the world it's different. Most important, for myself anyway, is the 'music.’

Do you have any aspirations to play in China's biggest music festival – Budweiser Storm Festival (which is expanding massively this year)? 

Yes, definitely! I would love to play at a leading festival in China. I did numerous high profile festivals in the US, Canada, Thailand, Singapore and Israel and my management is currently in talks with a few more festivals like Ultra and Sunburn, as well as a few leading festivals in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Macau and Hong Kong. Let's see what happens, but I would gladly do it!


READ MORE: Interview: Tiesto Talks China

Apr 30, 10pm-late; RMB100. Fei, W Guangzhou.

more news

The Voice of the Guangzhou Metro: Brandy Spohn

Ever wondered who was the English voice on the Guangzhou metro? We found her.

STELLART International School of Art Wows Audience at Florentia Village

Themed "SOGNOISM謎," the fashion show was a mesmerizing spectacle blending visual art, music, apparel elements, and installation art.

Folk'N'Roll! Sara Dufour on Tour in the GBA

French Canadian 'rising star' artist arrives in the Greater Bay Area for a five-show tour featuring energetic Francophone folk music.

Fingerstyle Guitarist Daniel Padim Returns for 2nd China Tour

Daniel Padim brings back Brazilian guitar to the Middle Kingdom after less than a year.

The 18th Festival Croisements Kicks Off in South China

Over 400 captivating events are scheduled to take place across 31 cities nationwide.

Pro Wrestler Connor Doherty Opens Irish Pub in Panyu

Exploring the essence of community and identity, Connor Doherty talks Irish heritage and his new Panyu bar.

Autumn Chen on Becoming Insta-famous

We talked to popular Instagram model Autumn Chen about her popularity on Instagram and her transition into pop music.

The Voice of the Guangzhou Metro: Brandy Spohn

Ever wondered who was the English voice on the Guangzhou metro? We found her.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsGuangzhou for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Guangzhou With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's !

Visit the archives