INTERVIEW: DJOKO Gives us a True Taste of German Dance Music

DJOKO is a young DJ/Producer from Cologne Germany who recently has released an EP ‘Certified’ on English label Domino Effect. We caught up with the man to discuss his German clubbing youth and his hopes and plans for the future….

OTB: What were the parties like growing up in Germany? Were they very influential on your tastes?

DJOKO: There are many different parties around here in Cologne with every different style of music, so every fan of a certain genre would be satisfied I guess.

When I go out over here I try to drive my friends into a certain direction of parties that I like but in the end I don’t really care where we end up. Most preferably a house night of course. I wouldn’t say the parties over here had that much of an influence on me musically since my love for house comes mainly from digging through tracks at home and at friends. Although I really enjoyed some great house parties in Cologne and those really made me go for the music game even more because I saw what it does to myself.

OTB: What were you into before house? What was your entry point to the music?

DJOKO: I never really just sticked to a certain genre so I can’t tell you that I come from rock for example or hip hop.

OTB: Were you always into underground house and techno then?

DJOKO: Kinda, I always liked some tracks from that direction but I wasn’t really focused on new releases or anything. I remember loving the track, Stephan Bodzin & Marc Romboy – Callisto (Joris Voorn Remix) at the time I slowly got into it.

OTB: How did you start making music? And how your set-up evolved since then?

DJOKO: When I moved to a new college dorm I really knew nobody around and was really having some boring days in the beginning. I searched for a way to keep myself busy at that time and somehow I downloaded Ableton to see how producing music has changed. (I had some really really crappy attempts when I was 13 or so together with a friend on Fruity Loops back in the days.) So with some more knowledge about music that I learned from playing piano I got onto it again and literally didn’t stop from there. My setup has grown from having a small laptop with crappy headphones to having some Yamaha HS80M Monitors together with an iMac, an ALESIS Midi Keyboard and a Rode NT1-A Mic. Still not a big studio but I like it how it is.

OTB: What would you say is your greatest achievement from a musical perspective?

DJOKO: So far I think it was some people who said they unintentionally Shazamed some of my tracks and told me about it at a party! Along with that having people you look up to ask for your music is really great aswell.

OTB: You have a release due out on Domino Effect. How did that one come about?

DJOKO: Since there are not many people around here in Cologne who produce the same genre I felt like going to the UK and meeting some producers I love would be a good way to get into the music a bit more. I met Sam (S.Jay) back last summer and he is a really cool guy who I learned a lot from and since he is one of the label bosses at Domino we thought about having a release sometime. One day when he was digging through new stuff for possible releases I suppose he asked me about two tracks that I just put up and if I want to release them with Domino.

OTB: Outside of Germany, what’s the coolest place you’ve played and why?

DJOKO: I haven’t played so many gigs outside of Germany yet to be honest but I liked Dublin’s SIN Nightclub. Had a great time with great music and some people I knew from producing. The only letdown was that it was over at 3am. I’m used to parties going til the next day in Germany and I was surprised when the promoter said last track for tonight haha.

OTB: So how would you sum up the EP? Is it a typical release from you?

DJOKO: No, I wouldn’t say typical. I’d separate the two tracks into 2 complete different directions. The first one ‘Certified Feelin’, was a more stompin’ dance track where as the other one ‘I never’ I felt was more of a light sunny groover. The Remixes created the spectrum in between those directions and that’s what I love about those.

OTB: What was the inspiration for it?

DJOKO: With the ‘Certified Feelin’ track it all went on from the drum pattern I created. It all went from there into the way it came out. The ‘I Never’ one I started with the warm stabs that play the main role I suppose. The rest was just digging through stuff I like in different house packs.

OTB: Lastly, who came up with the moniker, DJOKO?

DJOKO: It was my professor at University, I was skipping class and my friends said the professor was asking where “DJOKO“ was at that day. No big story!

DJOKO’s ‘Certified’ is out now on Domino Effect

Buy it here  – https://pro.beatport.com/release/certified-ep/1556292

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