DJ Mag Canada regularly chats with local DJs across the country who are building a name for themselves in their scene. Here, we talked to Ryan King a.k.a. DJ Lowpass from Ottawa, Ont.
DJ Mag Canada: What is your present state of mind?
King: I’m a club DJ. I’m doing what I love and love what I do.
DJ Mag Canada: Tell us about your musical journey up until now?
King: When I was about seven-years-old I saw the movie Beat Street and became fascinated scratching. I remember going home and trying to scratch my copy of Thriller on my Fisher Price record player.
Ottawa is lucky to have two great campus radio stations (CKCU and CHUO) and growing up I was a huge radio nerd. Before the Internet those radio DJs kept me fed.
When I went off to school myself, I started volunteering at CHUO and got access to their decks. Overnight radio was were I learned to mix records and started to learn how the music business worked. That lead to a detour through managing and label running but I eventually moved away from that and am now happily living the dream.
Every week I get to do a long diverse set at Zaphod Beeblebrox, probably the most established venue in the city, plus lots of other events on the side.
DJ Mag Canada: Name 5 industry people who have influenced your career as an artist in Canada.
King: Annie Mac of BBC Radio 1 – Her taste is a huge influence and her energy is a huge inspiration.
Classified from Halifax – I managed him from 2001 to around 2006, learned a lot.
Diplo – His Piracy Funds Terrorism mix in 2004 inspired me so much and his live sets are still top notch. Guy has raised the bar so much for what can be done as a DJ.
Patti Schmidt when she was at CBC-FM’s Brave New Waves – Patti and her show introduced me to countless styles and sounds.
Theo Keating/The Wiseguys/Fake Blood – Executive Suite and The Antidote were huge records for me in the late 90s. When I found out the same artist was responsible for Fake Blood in 2008, legendary status.
DJ Mag Canada: What projects are you currently working on?
King: I’ve got a pedestrian understanding of music theory and Ableton but I don’t really make music. That much creative freedom does my head in. I have been procrastinating about making more mix tapes, so there’s that.
DJ Mag Canada: What has been your most memorable event?
King: To play or to attend? To play, no single gig really stands out as most memorable. The first time I got to play a packed club I suppose. First times are usually memorable.
To attend? I’ve been lucky to have to go to a lot of great events but the standout has to be WEMF in August 2011. A BYOB campsite two hours from any major city with Calvin Harris, Skrillex, Rusko, Zed’s Dead, Pendulum, Andy C, Digitalism, Jack Beats, etc etc. Events like that only happen once a generation. It was still fun the next year, but by then EDM had already become so big you’d never get all those people on the same stage in rural Ontario.
DJ Mag Canada: When not making music, where do you direct your energy?
King: Cats. Listening to music. Sorting music. Recycling. Like a laser!
DJ Mag Canada: Describe yourself in 5 words or less?
King: About music, tacos, and burritos.
DJ Mag Canada: Who is your fictional hero and why?
King: Guybrush Threepwood. He’s a good pirate who fights an evil undead pirate.
DJ Mag Canada: Who is your real-life hero and why?
King: No idea about real life. DJ wise, people like Nadastorm, Tittsworth and A Tribe Called Red. Cats bring who bring their heart and soul to the gig.
DJ Mag Canada: If you could take any musician in the past or present to dinner, who would it be?
King: Why waste time with dinner? I’d rather go somewhere with a good sound system and listen to music. Going back to back with Carl Cox or Pete Tong would be an experience.
DJ Mag Canada: What did you eat for breakfast today?
King: Vitamins. I’m not much of a morning person.
DJ Mag Canada: If you could travel in time to witness any one historical event, which would it be?
King: I would love to have seen Larry Levan at Paradise Garage and Frankie Knuckles at The Warehouse in the late 70s.
DJ Mag Canada: Finish the following sentence: “If I had a million dollars, I’d…”
King: “…Have bank balance with 7 digits.”
Name: Ryan “DJ Lowpass” King
Currently reside in: Ottawa, with stops along the way in the Netherlands, the prairies and the UK.
Genre: Electronic music for night clubs
Facebook: Ryan King