Inquisition 18: Rebooted
The DJ line-up
This time last year, Melbourne DJ Kam Shafaati was a fledgling bedroom DJ yet to find an appreciative audience.
Now the DJ with the exotic name — and look — has played high-profile slots at BearNation, Trough X and FUR, and will make his Sydney debut at the Sydney Leather Pride Association’s Inquisition party on July 17.
The humble Shafaati put his rapid rise down to the power of the internet, telling Sydney Star Observer his regular Liquid Logic podcasts had helped to spread the word.
“It’s all happened really quickly. I think the podcast has really helped. It’s given people who aren’t in Melbourne a chance to hear me and the different sounds I play.
“That’s how I scored the Inquisition gig, anyway.”
Shafaati said his own musical style was hard to pin down, but he prefers a “clean, liquid sound”, and music that takes revellers on an emotional journey. He said playing to crowds in specific gay subcultures — like the leather lovers at Inquisition — helps him to hone his sound.
“The gay community is so hard to DJ for, because it’s not made up of one certain demographic. Sexuality brings everyone together, not age, class or social standing.
“Some of the subcultures like the Bear and leather worlds help to guide you to figure out what the audience wants to hear. Traditionally I’ve found the leather crowd tends to go for a darker deeper sound.
“And you can play beautiful dark, hard music — it can still have emotion, it doesn’t just have to be ‘grindy’. ”
With his shirtless publicity shots, Shafaati obviously embraces the fact that for many DJs playing gay crowds, a bit of flesh can help attract an audience. But does he ever worry his image will overshadow his mixing skills?
“It’s an interesting question, and it’s one I’ve struggled with. You can see some people do get an easier head start in the beginning because of [how they look]. But it only lasts so long — if you can’t meet expectations on the music side of things, then that’s it.”
So no matter how pretty you are, if you can’t get the crowd going there’s not much future as a DJ?
“Exactly. Plus I’m not pretty anyway, so we don’t have to worry about that.”
info: Kam Shafaati plays Inquisition, Arthouse Hotel, July 17. Visit www.sydneyleatherpride.org.
Please note 2am lock-out applies.
Joining DJ Kam Shafaati …
Mike Kelly is widely considered one of the finest DJs to emerge from Australia. He has regularly been one of the headliners at the Mardi Gras Party and before his relocation to Germany in 2005 was the headline residency at Indulgence (2003-2005), as well as at many local hotspots.
Does Sydney’s reigning queen of the decks really need an introduction? You name the party, Sveta has played it — from Mardi Gras and Sleaze to Bitch, Tropical Fruits and Mr Black in New York. Sveta rarely has a weekend to herself, such is demand for her skills on the decks.
A legend of the Australian dance scene, Stephen Allkins has been a constant on the evolving club scene for 20 years. He’s been a regular on the Sydney dance party scene including Mardi Gras, Sleaze, Sublime and Gas.
Having just returned from a string of gigs in America, Roussos is keen to remind Sydney’s leather community why he’s a favourite on the party scene. He proudly boasts Inquisition as one of his favourite gigs of the year.
DJ Chip is no stranger to Sydney audiences. Having played countless parties and club nights over the past 15 years, this DJ knows how to create a storm in a teacup. Playing the hottest sounds, this guy is gonna make you dance. That, he says, is his job … and he loves it.
The winner of the Dungeon DJ Spin-Off at the Midnight Shift will also get to play at Sydney’s premium leather party.