martes, 27 de diciembre de 2011

Interview-Luka Tacon

I'm happy to share this interview with all u guys. We published the translated version on Uepa.mag (Dec issue), but here's the original interview, not edited and in English, as it was. 

Luka Tacon tocando en Dominicana Moda con Héctor Mendoza

I first contacted Luka, 'cause i'd followed the attraction he was getting from his dominican crowd. And when i heard him play at the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project (Charles Sumner 8) and lately on Dominicana Moda 2011, i had so much fun, that i had to find out where this guy came from. 

At the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Party

But what a surprise! The guy also sings and composes on a band, and he does it really well. Remember that 'In this together' video I posted a coupled months ago. Well, he's the one singing on it. 

With me at the Smirnoff Party
Now i'll just stop the talking and leave you with the interview. Enjoy!!


Luka Tacon
Without lot pretensions, this New York Dj has captivated the local crowd, -and the girls as well-. But Luka Tacon is much more than any other Dj. On an exclusive interview for Uepa.mag, we discover his history and his vocal and musical competences.

He tells it himself. His incursion into the dj scene was just a casualty, but Luka Tacon has earned his space. Also known as ‘Son of Wolf’, his connection with the public happens instantly and you gotta see him behind the plates to understand how much he enjoys what he does.

Having performed in places like Fellini, Charles Sumner 8 and Peynado GA, for important parties and in front of the most exigent public, Luka has gained a bunch of local followers.

However, behind the DJ, there’s also a great voice, a passionate composer and an exigent musician.

Have you study anything related with music?
I have been playing instruments since kindergarten. I started playing Violin and have also studied Cello, Piano, Trumpet, Drums, Orchestral Percussion and Guitar. I studied Jazz in college at Berklee College of Music in Boston and some classical music at Hunter College in NYC.

Not long ago, you were part of a band called Outsly. Tell us about that experience:
OutSly was my first band that I started right after I got dropped out of Hunter in NYC. It was my brother Travis and I, and some of our best friends. We played in the bars around where we grew up and in the city. It was a great time but in the end, I had a different idea of where I wanted to go with the songs I was writing, and the other guys in the band wanted something else. We are all still close, some of us more than others, but it was an amazing time and we had a lot of fun and learned a lot about being in a band.

Now you’re with “Like Diamonds”, where you’re the leader and songwriter. Tell us a little about its story.
Like Diamonds is a project I started when I wanted to play all the songs I had written that didn't fit in with OutSly or another project I was working on at the time. I wanted to incorporate the electronic aspect into my music which I hadn't done before. I recruited some musicians I knew from Brooklyn; myself, a drummer and a synth player, and we tried just getting together and playing the songs to see what came from us jamming them. After a few months we added a few members, and began playing shows and some light touring. At the moment, we have made some line up changes and we’re recording songs for an EP that we will put out soon. 

How do you alternate between the time for the band and your own as dj?
My DJ gigs are all at night, so I work in the studio recording or rehearsing during the day, and spend the evenings in the clubs.

Other family members have been in this with you, where do you all got your musical influence from?
My brother Travis was the lead singer of OutSly. I think our parents were the biggest influence. They were always listening to music when we were growing up. My Dad used to sing to us when were going to bed, stuff like the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Bob Marley were a big part of our childhood. Also my Mom always used to sing old girl group songs from the golden age of Motown around the house. Our parents were hippies so we got a lot of everything, plus we grew up right outside of New York City and the radio was great in the 90's, I spent a lot of nights staying up late listening to 92.3 KRock and Hot97 on a small radio my parents didn't know I had.

Your voice reminds me of Chris Martin from Coldplay, ¿have you been compared to him before?
I haven't. But thank you. He is kind of a big deal.

From Outsly to Luka Son of Wolf, seems like your looks also changed, was that on purpose?
No, not particularly. I change my style all the time. I guess my fashion sense has become more refined as I've ripened, but i don't actively try to appear one way or the other. I just dress the way i feel, sometimes that means sweatpants, but not if i have to leave the house.

When and how you decided to dj as well?
I used to work as an usher at a nightclub called The Box, in NYC. Because I am a musician, I was always hanging with the dj’s, watching them and asking questions. One guy named DJ Josh Link, who I became close with, encouraged me to try to become a DJ. For one reason or another I never really took any steps towards doing it until after Josh died. About 6 months after he was killed in an accident, I bought turntables and asked a friend of ours -Dj Jeffrey Tonnessen- to help me get started. After hours and hours of practice and searching for, downloading and categorizing thousands of songs, i got some gigs and now I'm doing it!

Why the name “Son of Wolf”?
If you've ever seen the movie Pulp Fiction, you know there is a character played by Harvey Keitel called the Wolf. He is the man! Anyway, my cousin gave my Dad the nickname of "The Wolf", because my father operates in a similar fashion to the character of the same name in Pup Fiction. Therefore, i am the Son of Wolf. Kinda cheesy i guess.

Are there differences between Luka the singer and Luka the Dj?
Hahahaha. Yes, there are. Luka the DJ doesn't have to warm up his voice or play guitar. Luka the DJ has more gigs at the moment. Luka the DJ travels to the Dominican Republic, Luka the singer hasn't been there yet... Otherwise, they are the same person, i think.

How do you describe yourself as a dj? Under which genre you’d rather be classified?
I love to play Disco and House. I also love new Indie music. But in New York City, it is absolutely necessary that you are able to perform in an Open Format situation. Because there are so many different people in NYC, it’s important that in your set, you can play something for everyone. I can really play everything, but the disco has my heart.

Brooklyn seems to be a really competitive city for musicians, what’s your strategy to succeed?
Be better, try harder.

Have you thought of creating dj sets including your own vocals?
I have. My friend Chris from Penguin Prison sings sometimes when he DJs and I can dig that. For me, I would rather play a live show with a full band or dj. But I could probably be persuaded.

How did you got to come to Dominican Republic for the first time?
This is good... I was playing at a club in NYC when a guy came up to the booth. He said he liked my music and we immediately realized that he was a college friend of my brothers. Jorge Brache was only in the city for the weekend and when he got back to the DR, he sent me a message on Facebook saying he thought he could get me a gig in Santo Domingo. I thought he was bullshitting me. But a few days later i got a call from Salomon Sanz from ShaveUrLegz.Com and Fellini. It was a sunday afternoon and he wanted to bring me down for the coming Friday. I said ok and was still a little unsure, until i got my flight information, then i was just excited to go.

Have you heard anything about our country before? What you thought when they booked you?
My grandfather was born in Puerto Plata. Other than that, i didn't know much about the DR besides the obvious: that it was warm, and the women were beautiful, and it was on the same island as Haiti

You’ve already played here in different venues and with different crowds, what do you think about the public here in general?
I love it!! I love all the people, the city, the smell, the traffic, the weather, the food, the vibes are great! It’s so different from my other gigs and to be able to come down as often as I do is really a treat. All of the parties I've done have been great. 

How do you prepare your sets when you come to play here?
The good thing about coming to the DR is that I can get away with more of the stuff than in NYC. I always choose my favorite songs at the time. The best songs!
I think what is great about what ShaveUrLegz are doing with their parties and concerts is bringing in new music. People who want to see new and different stuff are coming to their parties and i feel like I should play the newest and best stuff I have for them. Some of favorite sets I've played have been in the DR.

Your last event was Dominicana Moda, one of the most important locally, tell us about the feedback?
It has been great actually. That was the first time that Hector Mendoza, from EtMusiquePourTous.Com, and I have played together and I think it went really well. The party was so much fun and there were a lot of people there who wouldn't have come to a ShaveUrLegz party before. Now they will.

When would we have you here with the whole crew from Like Diamonds?
Like Diamonds will be down as soon as we finish our EP. 

Which plans you have for next year with the band and as a dj?
For the band, get this EP finished and out to the people and then support the album with a lot of shows both in NYC and on the road. As far as djing, I am looking to play in all the big cities, all over the world, all the time. No big deal. Also, I've been working on my own producing tracks, I am really looking forward to working with other artists on those jams.

What would you like to achieve in music?

Birthdate: 11/23/1983
Birthplace: Armonk, NY
Music influences: Radiohead, The Mars Volta, Deftones, Queens of the Stone Age, TV on the Radio, Tupac, Notorious BIG, Nas, JayZ, Aeroplane, Daft Punk, SBTRKT, Sebastien Tellier, Larry Levan, Arthur Russel, Robin S, Grace Jones, Holy Ghost!, LCD Soundsystem, Soulwax, James Brown, Miles Davis, The Pixies. There are really too many, i can't think of all of them... 
Favorite dj’s: Fred Falke, Treasure Fingers, Free Radicals, Whitney Weiss, The Knocks, Dj Equal, Shane Daddy, Atrak, Aeroplane, The Magician, Larry Levan, David Mancuso, Diplo, Rusko, Skrillex, Madeon, Lenno, Classixx, RAC, Laidback Luke, Calvin Harris, Eddie Mars, Jacques Renault, Eli Escobar, Blu Jemz, Lloyd Harris. Again, there are just too many.
Favorite spot in DR: (no necessarily a venue).Where Salomon (Sanz) lives. Or the coast between Santo Domingo and the airport.

/Luka Son of Wolf
/Like Diamonds

All pics taken by me. Please give me credit!!

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