AJAXFebruary 23rd, 2011 | electronic
Legend of the Australian electronic music scene, party boy, Bang Gang crew member and since 2008 label owner, DJ Ajax is one man whirlwind artist wth his fingers firmly in all pies. Have riding the crest of the Southern hemisphere scene for years in 2008 Ajax set up SWEAT IT OUT representin such artists as Gameboy Gamegirl, Edu K, Act Yo Age, Oh Snap and Killaqueenz, D CUP, and his elusive self. Also releasing the now anthemic Yolanda Be Cool‘s ‘We Speak No Americano’.
What are you up to at the moment?
Just walked the dog and now I am doing Sweat It Out label stuff …It’s 6.Am , it’s just not funny to be up this early, but our label is really starting to grow so it’s necessary, usually I am coming home at this time!
What would be your dream online music service?
Fast easy players, simple clear precise functionality, designerbility and broad international appeal!
When did you decide to embrace an artist career, was it the initial plan?
I fell into by accident. I did an Masters Degree in Vis Art (research) and had been at University for about 8 years. I actually was part time lecturing. At the same time I was working in a bar as a barback, then barman. After a while we started running our own nights tat the club I worked and couldn’t afford a dj so I did it myself. Spent most of my university scholarship money on audio equipment and dj gear and never looked back!
Do you think a label is still relevant in 2010? What do you expect from a label today?
Yes I believe they can act as tastemakers and as filters and all though the roles of a label has changed I think there is still significant relevance . I thought perhaps not at one stage though! When we released We No Speak Americano, the song took off so fast I doubt the label had much to do with its success. I think though as a label now you have to create as much opportunity to create revenue streams from a broad range. You will not make money just selling tracks off Juno or Beatport. We now have an artistic agency, are just about to upgrade and rehaul our website , are starting merchandising and investigating the many possible ways you may get exposure and money for your artist. In Australian clubs, pubs, radio, shopping malls, gyms, festivals etc… Have to pay large chunks of cash to a licensing board. That cash then gets distributed to artists. This is a very major role for a label in Australia, and without a label collecting it can be a nightmare.
How do you keep in contact with your fans? Through your site, community sites…?
Well I dont have a Facebook or Twitter, must be the only one. Just dont have the time and at the moment i have nothing to say and my releases are still forthcoming. This will change soon though i think i will go for more of a blog based presence based out of our own website and music networks.
How have the technological advances of the internet impacted your career?
Hmm… not much for me, I was kinda doing well before the net really took off and is what it is today. I mean I ain’t talking 1890, but more 2005. I would imagine that will start to change when my releases come out.
How has internet and the new media changed your way of working as an artist? How do you use it on a day to day basis? How do you see it evolving in the coming years?
I think its still very much evolving and sometimes its hard to keep pace. But yes new media has democratised the whole industry. If you didnt work in a record shop you simply didnt exist ten years ago. Now that premise is up in smoke. It good that that elitist way of networking has gone i only wish i didn’t waste my time doing it for so long!
Do you think that giving away music for free (as free mp3 or streaming) could help you sell more physical or even digital releases?
Jury is still out on this one! I used to download any old thing if it was free in the early days! Not anymore because I understand audio quality better, ie what’s an mp3 daddy? Now I only purchase if can get WAV files or at least very good mp3′s! i wont play anything off Itunes….just wish there was a music site that sold contemporary music as wav files!
What’s your schedule looking like for the rest of the year?
Flat out…used to tour Australia so much and i really miss it but time is so hard to come by…my greatest enemy. The big thing is releases for me this year. Getting the label all fixed up and sorted and then its all about production and delegation!
What are the next musical trends you see emerging?
Uk funky, ravehall, crossover stuff…probably see dubstep evolving and splitting into new genres too