DJ Samrai (Australia) - DMC 2001

Top urban DJ brings award-winning sound to the Reef Hotel

"THIS is something I'm naturally meant to be doing," award-winning DJ Samrai says.

The hip-hop urban DJ brings a versatile, energetic charisma to each one of his gigs and will be heading this way to feature at the Gladstone Reef Hotel on Friday, November 22.

The dance-mixing DJ boasts live shows with the Crusty Demons and has had gigs at Stereosonic, Good Vibrations, the Motorola Snowboard World Cup, Quicksilver Pro and ParkLife.

DJ Samrai features on some of the world's biggest labels including Universal Music and Ministry of Sound.

"That was a big achievement that you would never expect to get as a hip-hop urban DJ," he says.

"When they approached me to do Ministry of Sound - I was like what? It was a good project!"

The Sydney-based turntablist has been in the industry for almost 12 years and his skill-set continues to get bigger and better every day.

"I actually started with scratching," he says. "I wanted to be a scratch DJ and do heaps of tricks."

After doing some special performance sets he was soon asked if he could also play music.

"So I started taking gigs and that's where I am now, just being a more exciting DJ."

DJ Samrai uses plenty of scratching and trickery when he takes to the stage.

He also remixes vinyl live, which he said people generally used a computer for.

"It's pretty full-on, man."

His creativity and skills have seen him cement his name as the winner of both the Disco Mixing Club (DMC) and ITF National Championships.

"My goal was to originally not come last in the state competition," he laughs.

"I ended up coming third place out of 20 entrants and from there I was like, 'I'm going to try and win next year'."

And win he certainly did.

DJ Samrai says the DMC was equivalent to the Winter Olympics, while the ITF - the Olympics for turntablists.

"It's massive," he adds. "It was pretty exciting because you just never know if you're going to place.

"You prepare what you're doing and then you do it and you don't know the results until they call you."

After constant competing DJ Samrai says it got to the point where he was so above the other contestants he just knew that when he entered, he had a massive chance of winning.

"It's self-confidence," he says. "Compared to when you first start doing it and you're shaking like you're having a heart attack or something."

While he has already made quite the name for himself, DJ Samrai still appreciates taking a lesson from inspirations like five-time DMC World Champion DJ Craze.

"DJ Craze was winning the world finals like three years in a row," DJ Samrai says.

"I can't quite comprehend it - and he's gone 10 years now without competing and he's still better than anybody."

Next year the mixing wizard plans to start putting out his own genré of music.

"And have my own song on the radio," he says. "I've been writing for a long time but I usually just give my production to other people because I want my own sound.

"So that's the next big thing."

THE GIG:

  • WHERE: Gladstone Reef Hotel
  • WHEN: Friday, November 22
  • MORE INFO: reefhotel.com.au or phone 4972 1000