All photos are courtesy of Kevin Gallant.
Summer is officially here! In a way to help usher in the hot days, Toronto resident Sydney Blu brings her famed Blu Party home, to the Sunnyside Pavilion. With weather peaking at 30°C that sunny afternoon, Sydney – along with Joeski, Weiss, and a solid roster of local talent – bring a deep techno and house-filled party to the courtyards, which has the crowd moving until the near-full moon takes over in the sky.
I had the pleasure to speak with Joeski himself after his set, and he gives some insight on his record label, as well as how the scene was back then, as compared to now.
In terms of everything that you’ve been through, what are your biggest inspirations to where you are now?
My biggest inspiration to where I am now is where I was, before. I started in ’88, and my career, I feel at that time, peaked in the late 90’s. So, that for me was a big inspiration, when everything changed. Like, when the whole business changed – when everything went digital. For me, I just need to get there again.
What would you say is the biggest difference between then and now?
Well, for one thing, we didn’t have all the tools this generation has now – I mean, I’m not hating on anybody. Everybody and anybody can do whatever they want. The difference for us though – we had to fuckin’ MIX records. We didn’t have ‘sync’! We didn’t even have individual EQs! Back then, at least when I came up, those beats – they had to be tight! When you were mixing records, that shit had to be tight, otherwise, it’s gonna sound bad.
How has your label, Maya Records, been?
Good! Basically, this is the ‘second coming’ for it. We were killing it with the vinyl, and when everything went digital I was like “Okay, shit – what do I do now?” We weren’t selling records, and the sales were a fraction of what we were doing. So I looked at it differently – I was like “Okay, I can’t look at it more like a business; I have to look at it more like a tool – the tool to keep me moving forward, and keep the catalogue growing.”
Where does the name ‘Maya’ come from?
Maya comes from my daughter. I named her Maya because I’m very fascinated with the whole Mayan/Aztec culture. And the label was named after her.
In terms of all the touring you’ve been doing, what’s one of your most memorable moments?
Man, I just got off a one-month tour in Europe, and I have some pretty good memorable ones! Tenerife in Spain was amazing – this club called Papagayo was really fun. The list goes on.
What is it about Spain that makes it amazing?
Well, I’ve always felt like I had this different kind of love for the Spanish people. They always have good energy. I mean, with Ibiza obviously and all that, but I’m not just gonna say them, because I’ve played some amazing parties in the States lately. A couple of festivals recently were really good. I gotta say one thing though, The US right now is stepping up their game. I’m happy and proud to say that – because, there was a time when it all changed, and House Music and underground stuff was on the backburner. Music’s like fashion, man. That shit comes around. And I’m glad, cuz here I am.
What would you say you’re looking forward to this summer, in particular?
Just spreading the love, bro. Just doing what I’m doing. I feel blessed that I can still be here, after all these years doing it! This is what I do man, this is what I love – if I didn’t have this, I don’t know what I’d be doing. That’s completely honest. So for me, I just wanna keep doing this. Making music and travelling and just spreading the love.