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Researching With DJ Christonite

Researching With DJ Christonite
Christopher Lewis Mallam.
June 18
11:00 2017

Christopher Lewis Mallam better known by his stage name DJ Christonite or Boginikua grew up in Bagasau, Toorak with his four siblings.

His dad is of Indian and Saudi Arabian heritage and mum is of Indian and  Rewan descent. He is married to Krista and has two sons, Christian and Jairus who are his most treasured and blessed gifts from God.

He attended Marist Brothers High School and later studied in Japan where he first got exposed to the world of professional DJing.

His 13 years as a DJ (Disc Jockey) has taken him around the globe. He pays homage to local DJ pioneers like DJ Tora, Joshua Booth, Alfred Prasad, James  Bhagwan and the OGs of the sidestep/kryptonite era, who started the culture that is greatly misunderstood today.

DJ Christonite talked with Garam Masala about his music journey, challenges, and aspirations of setting up a local DJ Academy to reach out to share his knowledge and experience to the youth of Fiji.

“Life is amazing when it’s filled with music, love and good vibes”

 

Since when did your love for doing music start and what Artists and music did you grow up listening to?

DJ Christonite: I remember when I was a kid, I’d be changing the cassettes and CDs for my dad when he would drink with his friends, and my favourite was on Sundays after church when we would come home and Rick Dees would be on the radio.

I would dub the music on the old cassettes and create mixtapes, taking extra care to time the point between the first beat and make sure there was no bleeding of the announcer’s voice in the tape. It was basic, and it was fun. Whatever was on the radio was pretty much the foundation, and then there was the Reggae, Country, Motown, R&B, and my mum loved Roxette and Bryan Adams. I grew up witnessing the 80s and 90s so you can imagine the amount of “dance music” I was exposed to.

 

 Can you explain a little about your genre of music you do, such as is it techno style and how do you compose and record your music?

DJ Christonite: This is what frustrates me. I don’t do “techno”. Techno in itself is a term used to categories a small part of the electronic music spectrum. In Fiji people and so called “DJs” don’t even know the difference between genres.

Electronic music is the term used to define music being made from DAWs (software) rather than the traditional analogue instruments back in the day. What I do is DJing – Disc Jockey – using songs to create an atmosphere that is comfortable and fun for people. Mixing Songs LIVE, controlling the energy of the night, on decks (Turntables, CDJs, MIDI Controllers, a mixer and a microphone).

 

Can you briefly explain how a day for you is like when you get ready to go and DJ at a particular event?

DJ Christonite: I’m already at the venue from the night before if it’s a major festival or gig. If it’s a club night, small event or wedding, I usually do my musical research throughout the week, check out the crowd I’m playing for, the demographic and try to set up a draft list of songs I’ll be playing at the party. I like to make every event special and different to the next one. My other favourite is sunrise and sunset sets.

They can be pretty euphoric if done correctly, and I’ve made some lifelong friends/fans from those kinds of sets. So RESEARCH and lots of it, but it’s a continuous thing, you have to be listening to all sorts of music from all over the world from different eras, so it never ends. So then I have my list of tunes, I know what I want to play, I have my gear ready to go, I don’t do that sound system thing, I leave that to sound techs.

 

 What major events have you been a part of and place you’ve performed in?

DJ Christonite:  Fiji, Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Miami, Florida, California, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South America, the East and West Caribbean countries as a travelling DJ. I’ve played at festivals like Your Paradise (where Skrillex headlined last year), Technical Glitch Fiji Tours, Uprising Music Festival, French Music Festival, Island Vibes Concert, Fiji Fashion Week, and Hibiscus Festival. Places like O’Reilly’s Traps, Onyx, Shenanigans, Bar 66, Uprising, Beach House, , Cloud 9, Vuda Marina, amongst others.

 

Do you do this as a full-time career or do you have a Day Job?

DJ Christonite:  I use to DJ full time from 2010-2015 when I was travelling, but now I have settled back in Fiji and practice architecture, which is my day job.

 

What are some of the challenges that you face in regards to being a DJ?

DJ Christonite:  I think the biggest one in Fiji is everyone’s fear of anything outside the vude and reggae genre. In Fiji it’s hard for people to appreciate electronic genres, like House, Trap, and Bass, DnB (drum and bass), Future and the sub genres that fall under them. It’s “the devils music” I get told sometimes, and other times, it’s simply because the radio stations are afraid to play these genres. I don’t blame them, it gives me greater pleasure in educating during my sets when people come up and ask me what I’ve just played. It’s a good feeling when you break those boundaries without them even expecting it.

 

What sets you apart from the other DJ’s in Fiji?

DJ Christonite: I play and mix LIVE in front of an audience. And I tend to play what people do not expect. I educate while I entertain. I guess that would be the biggest difference. The fact I don’t sit in a room trying to come up with the next cover or remix of a song.

 

What is your long-term plan in regards to being a DJ?

DJ Christonite: I have recently established a DJ Academy- Technical Glitch DJ Academy where I spend my free time training kids and anyone that’s interested in the art form of DJing, the basics and how to eventually turn it into a career. It is a self- funded project so it’s hard because DJ equipment is not cheap and you cannot get access to them in Fiji.

My dream is to be able to take this to the rural community halls and set-up, and teach the youth how to DJ, it’s fun and can turn into a very rewarding career if your head is in the right place.

 

Who is/are your greatest inspiration by far?

DJ Christonite: None other than God, who has blessed me with this opportunity and gift and then there’s the DJs that I look up to- DJ AM, DJ Premier, Kid Kapri, DJ Craze, Scratch Bastid, A-Trak, Shiftee, Laid-back Luke, Gregor Salto, John Course, 4 Colour Zack, Shawn Basik, there’s so many of them that have had an impact in my life one way or another.

 

 Any upcoming projects that you’re currently working on or with other featured Artists you’ll be working with?

DJ Christonite: I’ve recently just moved back to Suva from Pacific Harbour, apart from much needed family time, there’s the Technical Glitch DJ Academy and the GlitchMOB DJs which is the next generation of “REAL DJs”-MO’G,Melly K, DJ Mac and J-Boy.keep an eye out for them at any upcoming Damodar Event.

In regards to producing music, when I have the time in between family, friends, work and gigs, I try to put in a few hours, I’ve got a few tracks laid. I do full live mixes more than anything, and enjoy them the most.

 

The impact of social media what has it been like for you, you have a huge following has it worked to your advantage?

DJ Christonite: Social Media has been both good and bad, because of the way information is relayed these days, and how people can “buy” followers and likes on their pages. I prefer to keep my social media refined. Nothing better than the truth, and it shows when I turn up to a party, people recognize and respect. I post up my tracks on Soundcloud and my mixtape on Mixcloud, they’re pretty much standard for the international DJ industry.

 

Your advice to upcoming local DJ’s who want to do this as a career?

DJ Christonite:   DJing is a constant learning process, it never ends. Never think that you know everything and that is it. Learn and keep pushing to perfect your expression of art. Learn new routines, practice and perform in front of the hardest crowds possible.

Perform under pressure. But most of all, never give up doing what you love. If it makes you happy, find joy in it and spend time nurturing it. Everyone has a creative ability to express themselves, they just need help to express it.

 

What is the most rewarding thing about being a DJ?

DJ Christonite:  The thrill of “THAT ONE MOMENT”. You see a truly great DJ, just for a moment, can make a whole room fall in love. Because DJing is not about choosing a few top 40 tunes or latest remixes.

It is about generating shared moods, it’s about understanding the feelings of a group of people and directing them to a better place. In the hands of a master, records create rituals of spiritual communion that can be the most powerful events in people’s lives.

You can catch DJ Christonite on June 30th (Friday) at  Uprising Resort and will be performing alongside local band, Inside Out.

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