🌍 *PHOTO COURTESY OF DJywn’s CAMERA ROLL. FILES COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR. * 🌍
Two years ago, in search of something sonically new, I stumbled upon the SoundCloud profile of Calgarian skater-slash-musician DJywn after scouring Quartersnacks’ reposts on the platform. I was introduced to two central musical elements in my life at the time, each of which ultimately culminated in the interview you are about to read. The first of these was marked by my discovery of 454’s music, specifically the Florida-paced ode to knishes and romantic midnight smoke sessions “Late Night,” and a newfound interest in the art of the DJ mix. DJywn’s “454” and “Happy weird sanity” mixes served as my formal introduction to styles of music which still comprise most of my listening now. The 80s-kvn-mashup version of Rihanna’s “Work” that was included in the “Happy weird sanity” mix kept me coming back to DJywn’s page in those early days. Off the strength of “Happy weird sanity mix,” I fell further into the rabbit-hole of DJywn’s catalogue, eventually finding “fck da rain 2021.” In the same way that Earl’s self-titled mixtape was the background music for the summer that I began skateboarding, “fck da rain 2021” was on repeat for many sessions spent skating alone in front of my house. In addition to enjoying the sounds on the mix, it was the fact that it introduced me to so much new music, while also featuring songs I was already rocking with, that cemented it in my mind long-term. It was one of those situations, which seems to happen often, where there’s a song that I’ve just heard for the first time, and then a few days later, I happen to hear it in a mix. Those moments are always so magical, and that’s exactly what happened at the 3:41 mark of “fck da rain 2021,” as “Secret Formula,” a track by RealYungPhil haunted by the “steel sting” sample from SpongeBob transitioned into “KOBE” by 454. After listening to “fck da rain 2021” countless times, I was on the team, and tuned in to listen to each new mix that DJywn put out. Fast forward a few months, and once again just scrolling through the socials, I came across DJwyn’s Instagram page (@nsanetremaine). I didn’t know that the person I saw skating in the clips was the one whose music I had been listening to all this time. The only thing I was thinking at the time was “damn, this nigga skating fr.” But finally, in time, the association happened, and I realized that the skater whom I was admiring was actually the prolific DJ whose mixes had been a harbinger of my listening history for the past two years.