At the beginning of his DJ career, 30-year-old Q-BiK (real name Oscar Martinez), who plays at Revolver in Taipei tonight and Brickyard in Kaohsiung tomorrow, wrote down a list of his intentions. Twelve years later, he’s pleased with his progress.
“I’ve accomplished a pretty big list,” Q-BiK said in an e-mail interview with the Taipei Times. “This covered playing nearly every continent in the world, releasing music, having big names like Pete Tong play my music, and deejaying at some of the world’s largest festivals to crowds of 10,000-plus people.”
Born and raised until he was 15 in the US, Q-Bik moved to New Zealand and then got interested in deejaying. At first, he mostly focused on rap music, but that quickly changed.
“I got into deejaying because I always loved and was fascinated by the DJ since the early 1990s hip-hop era,” Q-Bik said. “Then drum and bass came along and I knew that’s what I wanted to be a part of. I was hooked by the big basslines and bassline-influenced grooves, as well as the jungle drums and tribal funk element to it. It was hip-hop, but twice the speed! I fell in love instantly.”
Even though Q-BiK has shuffled through several genres, he said that there’s one thing that has stayed the same. “My style has changed as music has progressed and evolved like any good DJ, but one thing that has always remained is the constant elements of funk, soul, and groove in my tune selections.”
Seven years ago, Q-BiK, made the leap into production that he had previously been putting off, and then moved to Perth, Australia. He has made a lot of tracks over the years and even had a few of them played on BBC Radio 1.
“Once Pete Tong and Annie Mac started playing my songs on Radio 1, the door opened for me,” Q-BiK said. “It gave me my foot in the door to get a chance to show the world who I was. For that I am ever grateful.”
But the life of an up-and-coming producer and DJ isn’t one of constant highs.
“I had a major hard drive loss ... I lost almost two years’ worth of projects,” he said. “That hurt me a lot so I took a break for a while to grieve the loss of my projects and signed tunes. Now, I’m finally back in the studio and have been collaborating with Australian legend [CEO of Interface Recordings, Australia’s premier drum and bass record label] Greg Packer.”
While Q-BiK has played numerous festivals with huge crowds, he also enjoys the feelings he gets when performing at smaller places.
“When you play big venues, you get to see large-scale reactions to your music, mixing and tune selection. However, I love playing smaller clubs just as much because the vibe becomes quite intimate and you can read everyone in the club and on the dance floor and select tunes a bit differently.”
Audiences at Q-BiK’s shows can expect to hear a wide range of bass music.
“I still play a lot of drum and bass, but will be playing various tempos and genres through my sets,” he said. “Slower stuff like glitch hop and moombathon to faster electro, as well as bass-heavy dubstep and drumstep.”
Q-BiK at Mish Mash with beatboxer Sky, aka Fresh, and bands Kid Millionaire and Blind Acid Date at Revolver, 1-2, Roosevelt Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路一段1-2號), tonight from 10pm. Admission is NT$250, which includes a drink. Q-BiK deejays tomorrow with DJ Chamber at Cocina de Bass, Brickyard, B1, 507 Jhongshan 2nd Rd, Cianjin Dist, Greater Kaohsiung (高雄市前金區中山二路507號B1). Admission is NT$300 for men and NT$150 for women, which includes two drinks before 11pm and one drink after. Students with a valid ID get in for NT$50 (with a drink) before midnight.