One of gay Sydney’s most popular young DJs, Mike Kelly, has relocated to Germany to pursue his career.
Lured by the vibrant alternative music scene, Kelly says one of the reasons for the move is a bigger audience.
The fringe sounds there are supported by larger numbers, Kelly says.
The people are creative, friendly and open-minded, and they listen to the music I play rather than requesting music before giving the sounds a chance. That’s not to slag off what is happening in Sydney’s left fields, but I have noticed how the fringe parties are steadily declining. Mark Murphy, Mandy Rollins, Feisty, Chip and Seymour Butz are the main exceptions in Sydney and I thank them so much for keeping my faith alive.
Over the next few months Kelly has DJ gigs booked in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich, as well as in Britain and Holland. So at the moment I’m a hobo, I’m all over the shop these first two months. I’m travelling a lot.
Kelly, 26, plans to stay in Germany for a year, which is as long as his visa allows.
He began DJing in Sydney at the age of 15, learning skills from a group of hip-hop/ hardcore turntablists.
He started working in gay clubs five years later. DJs who helped him along the way included Chip, who helped me to calm down with my mixing and to let some of the tunes speak for themselves, Kelly said.
Others were Lexie Bradfield, who showed me the beauty of great quality sound, and Mandy Rollins reminded me to avoid selling out with my tunes.
He started getting playing work at Milkbar, Stonewall and Barracks before landing jobs at Mardi Gras (he was the youngest DJ ever to play there) and Indulgence.
When looking back on his career so far, Kelly said two parties stick out as favourites. The first was Tropical Fruits in Lismore last New Year’s Eve.
What an amazing event! This is what we lack in Sydney. A community vibe, no pretension, dress how you want, talk to me if you want, a huge outdoor space to laze about, brilliant spaces and sounds.
His other favourite was Inquisition 2002: Playing breaks to 3,000 people and hearing that the sex space was filled with folks fucking in time to my tunes!