He has been an integral part of the Hip Hop / Reggae movement in Sydney for close to twenty years, assisting in its growth and overall acceptance and understanding as a movement more than just a music genre. From the heyday of Sydney’s urban nightclub beginnings to maintaining the position as one of our city’s most sought after and booked club DJ’s, it is safe to say that DJ K-Note is the Grand General!
The Canadian native has called Australia home for nigh on two decades now and first fell in love with the Australian way back when Sydney played host to the 2000 Olympics. K-Note came out to take in the Olympic spirit and see what Sydney’s music industry had to offer ( being that he was working A&R for independent record label B.E records, part of Universal Music in Canada at the time). Loving the Sydney vibe and party atmosphere, K-Note saw the opportunity to offer the DJ / club scene in Sydney an added edge and before too long found himself setting up shop in Australia. His experience as a DJ and producer also saw K-Note take to the airwaves in Canada producing radio shows for 89.5 CUIT and 105.5 CHRY respectively. It was with this knowledge that he arrived in Sydney and began sharing his craft and skill to cultivating our urban scene to the growing success it is today.
K-Note has remained consistent and authentic in his love and knowledge of Hip Hop and Reggae, having created some of the most successful club nights Sydney has seen. He is a constant fixture in our ever growing nightclub community and is often seen spinning at the city’s most exclusive VIP parties and events such as Mercedes Benz Fashion Week to name a few. Catch him spinning at the city’s hottest clubs (Marquee nightclub at the STAR, Red Room at the Chambers Hotel) and you find a DJ that believes in educating as well and entertaining the crowd with his track selection. Always cool, calm and collected, DJ K-Note is the consummate gentleman and professional businessman who wears his reggae roots with dreadlock pride and has always will walk his own path in this journey called Hip Hop!
Congrats on your Global Residency at Sydney’s Marquee Nightclub at the STAR! Global residency meaning you have djed in Marquee Tao Lavo in Vegas and now Sydney. So what’s it like holding court at one of the hottest VIP spots in the city?
It’s really good, Marquee is a very good company to be associated with they really pay close attention to the DJ and the whole nights experience (Sound and Lighting) Sydney owes alot to Marquee because most clubs did not offer some of the things that are common place before and Marquee came along and raised the bar and alot of clubs followed suit.
You have been a regular fixture in our urban DJ community for many years now and have helped shape the Sydney Hip Hop / Reggae scene! Most people will only know you as a DJ though but to many of us we know your beginnings started in Canada where you worked A&R for a record label? Is that correct?
I was A&R on an Independent record label called B.E Records which was under an umbrella group of Universal Canada, but as for my association with the major record labels, I had a company KNOISE that was formed in Canada we worked as a consultant and Marketing vessel for the labels, distribution and promoting artist from the Canada,U.S.A and other regions of the globe, this included concerts, album launches, meet and greets and pvc’s, this was in the 90’s and currently some of the people that worked for my company are now in good working positions with working internally at major music labels.
Describe the reason you came to Australia and what the DJ appeal was?
Actually I had no intentions of coming in the beginning, but I came up to check out the Olympics being that I was doing that I was asked by a few record company associates/execs to help setup urban department for some of their sister companies (Labels), in the end I went to New Zealand to do some work with Virgin Records as it seemed Australia was not ready for me to do anything with them at that time. Also during that time I was a Dj/producer from Canada where I had already been on radio (89.5 CIUT and 105.5 CHRY) did some tours and was already on the scene as a Dj plus a member of a sound crew (Stray Dawgs and MENATWORK “Shout out to Swiff La Rock, Tabs and Jazzy”). As I came to Australia I had already been offered a few gigs/tours. My appeal to music is that I love to give people an experience and if during that experience they can walk away feeling good or inspired then that’s what does it for me.
How would you best describe the DJ community in Australia, and your role in that?
I think the Australian Dj community over the last 10 years has found its feet and seem to be making their own foot prints internationally; my role is simple… always trying to flip the game.
How has the Hip Hop community in Australia changed since you first arrived here? Has it been for the betterment of its artists or is it veering off into oblivion?
I think it’s done a bit of both but because of that it has given good balance to the scene. I found that the scene was split before where you had Aussie heads that did not like anything from the U.S.A in hip hop and they were straight Aussie styles and then you had your open Australians that did not mind the international hip hop. There was also too much emphasis on either sound to Aussie or not Aussie enough (laughs). I think that if you are true to yourself the accent should not matter. To me it’s all about content/slang (Ur own slang) that makes the difference.
The artist / DJ that has been your source of inspiration?
The only one as of recently would be Dj Carnage!
The artist (local and international) that would be on your “Hit List” right now?
Serato or straight vinyl DJ? And why?
Serato for me, I have been true to the game of carrying records and digging in the crates for vinyl back in the day, must of the younger Djs have no clue about that. I think Djing should be a process of using vinyl 1st, learn to appreciate the art form, digg for music, don’t just do a google search and download all zip files, must dj’s have tons of music but don’t know what they have as they just download massive zips with massive songs in the zip.
Is there a degree of difference in mixing Hip Hop tracks as opposed to Reggae tracks and if so which to prefer if any?
There is a difference between the genre’s but I like them both equal.
If you could take 5 albums with you into the afterlife what would they be and why?
Best of Biggie, Best of Michael Jackson, Best of James Brown, D’angelo Brown Sugar, and best of Bob Marley – I Know these are compilations but you did not say I could not use compilation (laughs)
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
Behind a mixing desk dropin plat joints! Or working behind the scenes in the music industry.
For more information on DJ K-Note :
Always Hip Hop,