While it doesn’t usually top the charts, trance music has been popular for nearly 25 years. For headliner Arnej (real name Arnej Secerkadic), who will be deejaying at Neo Studio tomorrow night for On Point Entertainment’s debut party, Boom, trance connects with him on a very deep level.
“What I’ve always loved about trance is the emotional journey it can take the listener on,” he said in an e-mail interview with the Taipei Times.
“Surely it is not the only genre that has this effect, but trance has a very profound effect on me. The merger of this emotive journey with a high energy output that can work on the dance floor,” he said.
Born in Sarajevo and then uprooted to Canada at a young age, Arnej had a hard transition growing up, but is very thankful that his parents let him be a kid. Into graphic design from a young age, Arnej was also curious to know how things were done in the music industry.
“I’ve always been in awe with the soundscapes that people were able to create seemingly out of nothing. I wanted to learn how this was done, which eventually led to me creating my own soundscapes.”
In 2008, Arnej got the biggest endorsement of his life when super-producer/DJ/trance god Armin van Buuren called him his favorite producer of the year, probably because of Arnej’s unique way of looking at music.
“I’ve always gone with the idea that songwriting is storytelling, and every story needs a plot,” Arnej said, adding that for him the melody is the plot.
“Once I have the basic idea, it is then a matter of filling in the finer details and writing in the intro and the outro to the story,” he said.
“This isn’t however something that is written in stone. Oftentimes when previewing different synth presets you’ll come across that one particular sound that just stands out and is the sole inspiration for the rest that comes. Sometimes it may be just the kick drum that drives the idea behind the track. The beauty of music is that there is no right or wrong way of creating it.”
Another transplant who is on this Saturday’s bill at Neo Studio is DJ Kaku (real name John Kaku), who moved to Taipei from California and is now a resident at Spark, Marquee and Hong Kong’s Play. He became involved with On Point Entertainment because he saw they had a devotion to offering Taipei something it was sorely lacking.
“On Point Entertainment was started by a group of very passionate music enthusiasts who have a vision of bringing the best names in music to Asia,” Kaku said. “Instead of just isolating themselves to one city, they will hold tours throughout the various cities in Asia.”
Besides Arnej, Starkillers co-headlines the bill Saturday night. Kaku said that they are going for diversity with their bookings.
“We want our show goers to enjoy an array of artists and do not want to stick with only the DJ Mag Top 100 list or commercial artists,” he said. “We have lots of plans for upcoming shows but unfortunately it is top secret for now. The next shows will be tentatively held in March, May and June.”
■ On Point Entertainment presents Boom! featuring Arnej and Starkillers (with DJ Kaku and Ray Ray), tomorrow from 9pm to 4am at Neo Studio, 5F, 22 Songshou Rd, Taipei (台北市松壽路22號5樓). Tickets are NT$1,200 at the door and admission comes with a drink ticket.