Top Djs And Their Secret Passions
What unites the DJs of this world is, of course, their love of music. But anyone who spends days and nights behind the mixing desk also needs a little time out now and then from the energy-sapping daily routine of nightlife. But what hobbies, interests, and side projects do the top DJs actually devote themselves to away from the clubs and studios? This article will tell you, and is sure to have a surprise or two in store.
Grandmaster Flash – Souvenir Cups
Grandmaster Flash has taken on a grand title with his stage name but undoubtedly did not promise too much. After all, the hip-hop and DJ pioneer born in Barbados in 1958 revolutionized the music world with his numerous innovations. For example, we have Grandmaster Flash to thank for DJ equipment such as the turntable and the slipmat (needed for scratching, among other things). He also invented and perfected numerous techniques such as cutting, back spinning, and phasing.
But Grandmaster Flash has another passion besides music, which you wouldn’t expect from him. Because besides records and music awards, he apparently likes nothing better than collecting souvenir cups. Well, during his career, which has now lasted almost half a century, Grandmaster Flash probably came to quite a few places in this world. That this is so, also shows his cup collection, because in the meantime this is supposed to have grown up to more than 5000 pieces.
Seth Troxler – Patties Instead of Plates
Seth Troxler doesn’t just heat up dance-hungry ravers who are beating their brains out in legendary techno institutions such as Berghain and London’s Fabric. Because the DJ from Detroit also brings juicy spare ribs, burgers, and everything else that belongs on the grill to sweat.
The techno virtuoso also shares his passion for a barbecue with the world. In 2013, Troxler opened his own restaurant in the British capital. What was initially conceived as a pop-up on the River Lea was later given a permanent address in Shoreditch and operates under the name Smokey Tails.
DJ Hell – Football The Bavarian Way
DJ Hell has helped shape Germany’s electronic music scene like no other and can proudly look back on a career spanning more than 30 years. In his private life, however, Helmut Josef Geier, as he is known by his real name, also lives for soccer. DJ Hell always has reason to cheer when FC Bayern Munich sinks the ball into the opponent’s goal. Of course, you can argue about his favorite club. However, he is always backed by the bookmakers’ odds. Because in the battle for the championship title in 2020/21, the experts in this field clearly see Bayern in the role of favorite. This should also please Paul Kalkbrenner, who, unlike DJ Hell, is not a native of Bavaria, but who nevertheless declares his support for Munich’s top club.
Just how much soccer means to DJ Hell is shown not least by his private commitment to the nation’s favorite ball sport. In the German bidding process for the 2024 UEFA European Football Championship, he actively promoted the event as an official ambassador together with athletes Anna Schaffelhuber and Linus Straßer. FC Bayern Munich is not the only club that DJ Hell supports. A few years ago, for example, he sponsored TSV Altenmarkt, the district league soccer club in his old hometown, with hellishly good jerseys that of course had DJ Hell written all over them.
Peggy Gou – Fahsion & Fashion Design
Hardly anyone has had a steeper career than Peggy Gou in recent years. It wasn’t until 2014 that she decided to move from London to Berlin in order to get her start as a DJ in the prestigious clubs of the party metropolis. Just two years later, she already made her debut at Berghain. And at the latest since the release of her track “It makes you forget (Itgehane)” in 2018, there is no doubt that she is one of the big players of the electronic music scene.
Before she began to concentrate fully on music, however, Gou studied fashion design at the London College of Fashion – a path she has now actively pursued again since founding her own fashion label Kirin. The fashion label is embedded in the New Guards Group (NGG). Its two founders met Gou at one of her gigs in Stockholm and suggested that she work together on her own fashion line. An offer that Gou accepted, to the delight of her fans, only on the condition that it would not interfere with her music career. The first collection was released in the fall of 2019 – and several more are expected to follow.
Alan Fitzpatrick – Homebrewing
Alan Fitzpatrick not only mixes ecstatic house and techno tracks but also knows how to intoxicate with home-brewed beer. He seems to be particularly fond of dark stout beers such as Irish Guinness – at least if the title of his 2017 full Ireland tour “Fitzy’s On The Black Stuff” is to be believed. Unfortunately, Fitzpatrick has not shared his brewmaster creations with his fans.
Steve Aoki – Video Games and Gambling
Electro house DJ Steve Aoki loves video gaming and gambling – and as his project Neon Dreams shows, the two can be combined perfectly. Neon Dreams is an infinite-runner game that the DJ developed in collaboration with GameCo, a U.S. manufacturer of gaming machines. The aim of the game is to collect as many coins as possible on an endless track while avoiding barriers – accompanied by the house and electro tracks released on Aoki’s own label Dim Mak, of course.
In addition, Aoki describes himself as a blatant poker fanatic and even participates in competitions with the big poker pros. For example, he counts Phil Ivey, one of the best poker players in the world, among his closest friends. By the way, he is not alone with this weakness. Dubstep superstar Skrillex is said to have taken part in one of Aoki’s infamous poker nights at the Holy Ship Festival. Likewise, house DJ Roger Sanchez likes to put on a poker face. The latter is even known for regularly playing at major poker tournaments, such as the PokerStars European Tour.
Carl Cox – Motorsport
Carl Cox is as passionate about techno as he is about technology – especially motorsports. His favorite way to spend his free time is to ride his motorcycle and escape the music business for a moment. Even as a 10-year-old boy, he had a passion for powerful engines. He was finally able to turn his dream of being involved in motorsports (albeit not as a professional racer) into reality thanks to his successful DJ career. That’s because, in 2013, Cox founded his personal racing team: Carl Cox Motorsport, with which he competes in drag racing, for example, and also supports thirteen-time Tourist Trophy winner Michael Dunlop.