Home > Entertainment > Deejay Abstract on the One’s and Two’s

Deejay Abstract on the One’s and Two’s

November 18, 2011

By Anneclaire Michele

AMSTERDAM – Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the man who turned Latin Village upside down.

The man who has his own night in the Jimmy Woo and in the Bitterzoet. The man who can rap along with Busta Rhymes’ verse in ‘Look at Me Now’.

And most importantly, meet the man whose deejay skills are so well-developed that he is once again nominated for the State Awards 2011 in the category ‘Best DJ’.

Meet Gestow Power, also known as Deejay Abstract.

This 25 year-old good-looking whiz kid from Amsterdam is a true phenomenon in the Dutch nightlife.

If you have never heard of him, you probably spend your night at home, because deejay Abstract is everywhere, not only as a deejay, but also as a producer; if you’re lucky, he might even rap for you.

Stating he is the best deejay of Amsterdam might be a bold assumption, especially when bearing in mind that his first experience with deejaying occurred by coincidence: he joined a friend in a deejay workshop and never expected to like it that much.

He also never expected that afterwards he would be, as he calls it, “practicing his skills like a junkie”; and did not foresaw that he nowadays has his own party in the Jimmy Woo, one of Amsterdam’s most famous clubs.

He is obviously very grateful to that friend for introducing him, but also owes many thanks to DJ Wheelz who taught him all the basics of deejaying and to Genairo Nvilla who took him to several deejay events.

DJ Wheelz inspired Abstract to also teach youngsters the art of deejaying: “I think deejaying is more than just mixing some records, there are many difficult techniques a deejay needs to master, and I want to help upcoming deejays with the basis of these techniques, just like I was taught all the basics when I begun”.

His career took a flight in 2002; in the Winston Kingdom, a club in Amsterdam, during a show of his former rap group Dirty Poets.

Being the deejay, it was up to him to be the first one to enter the stage to warm up the crowd.

During this night, Abstract decided to “show off” one of his newly acquired skills, the flare scratch, over Jay-Z’s “Dirt of Your Shoulder” and the crowd went wild.

Abstract says this was a defining moment. “I just wanted to show off my newly acquired skill, the flare scratch, I never expected the crowd to go crazy like that”.

At that time, Abstract also worked as a deejay for a television show called “Storing”.

During one of the tapings for this show, he met Mr. Wix, a well-known figure in the Dutch deejay scene, whom he gave a demo cd with some of his scratches and mixes.

When the two ran into each other again, this time at a local record store, they exchanged numbers and from that moment on, they got the ball rolling.

“Wix really took good care of me and I am very grateful for that. He set me up with a lot of gigs and gave me a chance to show my skills to a larger public, for example in the Bitterzoet and in Paradiso”, says Abstract.

At this last venue, Wix added Abstract to the line up of Bassline, one of Amsterdam’s best-known hip-hop parties, and with success: Abstract is now one of the resident deejays of Bassline, a hip-hop party in Paradiso, together with FS Green and Vic Crezee.

Abstract does not only show his deejay skills at parties, he also performs at shows of various Dutch hip-hop stars.

Dirty Poets, The Opposites, and Blaxtar are some of the big names Abstract has worked with.

Nowadays, he is the deejay of Dio, known of his hits like “Dom, Lomp en Famous” and “Tijdmachine”.

Although he is currently only deejaying for Dio, besides the occasional show with Dutch hip-hop artists like JayH and Gers, he does not work for other artists.

This doesn’t mean there are no other artists that want to work with him. It is more like the opposite: “Many artists ask me to work with them on a regular basis, but I turned them all down”, Abstract said with a little smile on his face, “I think it is important to be focused on one thing and work closely together to create an amazing show”.

Working with Dio really requires Abstract to be focused, since he is not only deejaying at Dio’s shows, but also doing some backing vocals and hosting.

“These performances may not draw upon my technical skills as much as for example performing with Blaxtar did, but I really enjoy being so involved in his show. It is an indescribable feeling when you can do a solo in front of a large audience and all eyes are pointed at you only. Sometimes I stand next to him with a mic in my hand and we rap for or talk to the audience together”.

Rap for the audience? Does this mean Abstract has ambitions to become a rapper?

The release of the track “Jonko” featuring Abstract and Dio sparked rumors Abstract was going to pursue a career in rap.

“But,” said Abstract: “We only made this track, because we were bored, I have no intentions in becoming a rapper”.

Too bad, because the track, a remix of “Trouble on My Mind” by Pusha T, is enjoyable to listen to and his verse does sound pretty good; but there’s no harm in hoping he will change his mind, hope springs eternal, right?

But enough about the rapping, back to the deejaying… A great deejay would not be a great deejay without having his own night in a well-known club, now would he?

Well, besides being the main initiator behind the “Zoete Inval” parties in club Bitterzoet, Abstract also throws a notorious party in the Jimmy Woo.

Every second Thursday of the Month, the Jimmy Woo turns into United States of the Records (Verenigde Platen), where deejay Abstract runs for president during his own night called Abstract for President (AFP).

The party started in January 2011 and nobody really knew what to expect.

Abstract remembers how he felt right before the first party started: “I was nervous, since it was the first edition of my own party, but it was amazing. I never expected it to be so busy the first time”.

Nowadays, the Jimmy Woo is packed every AFP and the theme gets worked out more thoroughly every edition.

Starting off with a flyer and some balloons, there are now stickers, a special logo and even t-shirts of AFP.

Together with several other big names in the line up, such as DJ Flava and Godenzonen, Abstract gives his visitors a night to never forget.

It is safe to say, Abstract for President has become an understanding in the Dutch party scene and so has deejay Abstract.

But it does not stop there, deejay Abstract is not just a deejay, he also works as a producer, producing several beats for artists like El-Rod and Kraantje Pappie.

When asked whether he was a deejay or producer, he replies: “I’m not just one, I’m a musician, I love music and I try to be involved in all aspects of music”.

Still, the fact that Abstract is becoming one of the best deejays out there has not remained unnoticed outside Amsterdam.

He got invited to deejay in Spain and South America, and has now for several years been nominated for the Dutch State award “DJ of the year”.

About his nomination Abstract says with a smile: “I have been nominated a couple of times now, but I haven’t won yet. I think it is time for me to win this, so everybody should vote for me!”

But what distinguishes Abstract so much from others that we should vote for him?

It is not his only his excellent taste in music, but also the way he plays his songs.

“I have a distinct way of playing and choosing songs. I think people notice my technical skills as well as the songs I play. I always try to combine popular music with the B side of a record.”

The B side of the record is the reason why it is always crowded at the DJ booth when Abstract is mixing, everybody wants to know what the title of the last-played song is.

At least, until he mixes in a hit like “Hard in the paint” by the Wacka Flocka Flame and everyone runs to the middle of the floor to dance the night away.

That it is difficult to keep surprising the audience with new songs, Abstract recognizes: “It is important to stay yourself and to look for variation. Especially for my own night I am always looking for new songs, I don’t like having the same playlist over and over again”.

Where does he get his music from then? “I check a lot online, listen to old songs again, and have a lot of fellow deejays and bloggers I share music with”.

Yesterday, the moment had finally arrived: the State awards were handed out to the winners in Rotterdam.

Veronica van Hoogdalem, a well-known Dutch presenter, and MC Biggah, one of the participants of the reality show ‘Holland In Da Hood’, handed out the award for ‘Best DJ’ to … FS Green, who won the award for the second year in a row.

Abstract about not taking home the award this year on twitter: “Oh well. At least I took a picture with MC Biggah!!! Stunniinnnn!“.

Even though he did not win the award, deejay Abstract has taken over Amsterdam and is ready to take over the rest of the Netherlands.

Click here to check out deejay Abstract’s soundcloud and here to download some of his mixtapes.

Advertisements
Categories: Entertainment
%d bloggers like this: