Why I’m not going out tonight

November 23, 2013 in Words by Mark Vicente


It’s Saturday night, my boyfriend is away in New York and I’m not DJing. The perfect opportunity to go out, network, check out what’s going on in the city right?

The thing is I have been feeling so burnt out lately that for the first time in a long time I feel like I just want to use this time not just to relax, but to honestly reflect and think about what my vision is for my life. I mean seriously, what do I really want out of being a DJ? What’s the next step for me?

It’s something I don’t think a lot of DJs talk about so from now on I hope to use this platform to just be honest about this DJ journey that I am on. Because half the time I am either feeling lost or caught up in so much noise and negative thoughts and doubts.

There is so much for me to learn about being a DJ. And the one thing I am having the hardest time letting go of is being a perfectionist. I have this notion that if I could just be perfect, be cool and look good, no one can question my talent or abilities and I’d have the confidence to play anywhere. But the truth is perfection is just the armour I wear to keep me from looking bad. I don’t want to look stupid so I hide.

It’s inevitable that the next stage in expanding my DJ career is to make music. But because my identity is so attached to being perfect I don’t want to begin anything unless it sounds perfect until I have the right tools, or I’ve studied all the right material. It’s crazy because even if I did all that I still wouldn’t know it all and be smart enough. I still wouldn’t have the “right” software, the right cables, the right speakers. It’s this never ending cycle of “not enough” to keep me in this fog so that I don’t do the one thing that will really make a difference: fail.

I need to fail. I need to fail a lot. And because I have such an aversion to failing I would rather bitch and moan or worse day dream about the day I will become a successful international DJ than to actually do the work of making music, which will probably suck a lot before it gets a whole lot better. What a challenge it is to get back to this beginner’s mind and to just have fun failing.

So I’m not going out tonight. Going out will just be another diversion to keep me from doing some real work like reading the Ableton manual and turning on the software and pressing buttons and just fucking up a lot. I’m on chapter 4 of the manual and already I’m lost in a language I don’t understand (yet).

I have to have faith that it will get better, that it will get easier. And I want to keep writing about this journey because I was to be transparent about it with all of you. I don’t know what it means to be a cool DJ who understands all the gadgets and has all the answers. I think as I move forward the best thing for me to keep in mind is that my true passion is to create a space for people to dance and be themselves and have fun.

I’m turning a corner. But something tells me it’s gonna get ugly before it gets better. But I’m ready to fail and I’m ready to let go of trying to be a “cool” DJ. It’s time to just be me. I’m enough.

“Stop Watching TV” my Q/A with NOTV

November 12, 2013 in DJs, images, Words by Mark Vicente


I am super stoked that I got Julian Prince of the collective known as NOTV to participate in a Q/A for me. I greatly respect his sound and creativity, not to mention his Restaurant/Bar Lounge that he co-owns, Joverse, is one of the hottest places to go in Old Montreal. Here’s what he had to say about the art of DJing and Producing.

Mark Vicente: How did NOTV get created?
Julian Prince/ NOTV: Sean and I have known each other since we were 14. I started djing at 16 when Sean picked up a guitar and started composing songs. I met Amine at Cherry much later, on my wednesday night weekly party called “The Other People’s Secret Weekend”. He had just arrived from Paris, was tired of that city and was looking for a new home. We became instant friends. He came by my studio and we made a track called The Fun Maker and a bootleg of Country from Empire of the Sun. Working with him was very organic and seemed natural from the first kick. Six months later we convinced Sean to join us and had him and his guitarist come by the studio to jam. We recorded the vocals without telling Sean and made a track with it called Inside and Out…he was part of NOTV without knowing it. He had no choice but to join us.

Mark Vicente: What are the pro’s of working I a collective
NOTV: People often say three is a bad number. It’s the animal law that two people naturally teams up on one. for this project to move forward, we came up with the rule that majority wins right from the beginning. Everyone brings their best to the project. Sean is the crazy scientist, he comes up with new ways to treat the sound and sings, Amine is the tweaker, he’s got more patience and a good ear, I’ve got the experience so I’m the architect, I polish the tunes, structure the djing and co-write the songs with Sean.

Mark Vicente: why is club culture important in society?
NOTV:Because it’s a place where everyone in society can have fun together without giving importance to the background, the color, the sexual orientation, the job, the money in the bank account…all people care about is dancing and having a good time. Club music makes that possible.

Mark Vicente: what kind of experience can people expect when going to a NOTV event?
NOTV: We’re high energy. You can hear the passion through the speakers. We play alot of our songs, we can dj, sing, play the instruments…anyway get ready, we may surprise you!

Mark Vicente: what has been the proudest/ exciting/ craziest moment of NOTV so far?
NOTV: Nic Warren closing all his sets of summer 2013 with our remix of From Loving You from Gone Deville.

Mark Vicente: what kind of advice or encouragement would you give to up and coming producers?
NOTV: Don’t waste your time watching TV. Music is now democratic. Everyone can make music without having a 100k studio. Don’t go to school for this, school yourself. Youtube is the best teacher. It really comes down to how many dedicated hours you put in and how much you want it. 10% talent, the rest is work.

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