The lives of worldwide famous DJ’s such as Calvin Harris, Martin Garrix, David Guetta, The Chainsmokers, Tiesto, any number of top tier talents in the industry, fascinate us. We get hooked onto their socials and be in awe of their lifestyle. Updates from five-star hotels, travelling on private jets to all ends of the globe and playing in front of massive crowds… we’ve seen it all. Who wouldn’t kill to have that amazing lifestyle, right? However, the story of those DJs is not the story of every DJ. Every major city has tons of up and coming DJ and producer talent.
If you are a regular club-goer, you are probably familiar with any number of resident DJs from each venue. We can’t ignore the fact that these DJ’s help us create memories and moments with music and friends to reminisce about. Joscen Afonso, popularly known as DJ Arrow, is one such talent who creates such memorable moments for his fand and the crowd he is playing to.
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Joscen talked to us about his life as a resident DJ at Aida cruises Germany, what got him into music, how he makes new music for sets and some of his goals in the industry. The excerpts of our conversation are below.
Tell us a little about yourself
I am Joscen Mcnalley Agnelo Afonso, popularly known as DJ Arrow and I live in this beautiful island named St. Estevam. I am currently working as a DJ at Aida Cruises, Germany. I started off as a barkeeper initially and later was able to pursue my dream profession of being a DJ. Apart from music, I love travelling to different places and meeting new people. As a kid, I would always love to try something new by myself.
When and why did you start DJing?
It had always been my dream to be a DJ and found it very fascinating for a DJ to perform for a crowd. Hence, I pursued this passion and played my first gig in 2010.
What is it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
I just had this crazy passion for music and music literally changes my whole mood. It literally gives a different kind of vibe. It’s something I can’t explain with words. Music is literally everything to me.
How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice?
I did face a lot of challenges and no matter what, I didn’t give up on my dream. Today I’m blessed to achieve what I always wanted to. There were times where I literally felt like giving up but for me, I knew that in the end, the rough journey would be worth it. I think identifying your own ‘voice’ comes about through the sheer experience of listening to music in different situations. In terms of copying, learning and creating, it becomes increasingly difficult to become original today, especially in terms of producing music.
What were some of the main challenges and goals when starting out as a DJ and how have they changed over time?
My main challenge when starting out was to somehow prove myself as a DJ to the crowd with my skills and to make a good living by with the profession. Also, facing a crowd is a big challenge but with more and more years of experience, things become easier.
How has the experience been working as a DJ at Aida cruises Germany?
I started working at Aida cruises in 2012. I was a barkeeper at first but on the side, I also played music as a part-time job. My experience at Aida cruises has just been amazing. People started liking my DJing skills while few also supported me a lot which made me achieve my dream.
How do you stay up to date with the latest music trends?
I usually check the latest music on a daily basis on social media. I’m very well updated with all the latest songs. I spend most of my time on music.
What are the music genres that you specialise in?
I love playing and listening to electronic music, hip hop, techno, house music.
What techniques do you use to engage listeners?
Playing what my audience prefers is what makes me engage my listeners.
Would you say you see DJing as improvisation? As composition in the moment? Or as something entirely different from these terms?
I do see Djing as improvisation at the moment. It isimportant because that’s the only way you come up with new ideas and learn new things.
Especially thanks to the storage facilities of digital media, DJ sets could potentially go on forever. Other than closing time, what marks the end of a DJ performance for you? What are the most satisfying conclusions to a set?
Actually, when it comes to DJing there is no specific closing time. Yes of course when you are already entertaining your crowd it will obviously come to a natural conclusion.
How can our readers stay connected with you and your music?
Readers can stay connected with me through my Instagram account.
What are your future goals with DJing?
I really hope and wish that I do become a famous DJ Worldwide. I know I will have to work very hard to achieve it. I also want to teach the young upcoming artists who love music and who wish to become a DJ.
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