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William Kouam Djoko: Based On A Trouw Story



What is the state of the Dutch scene right now – it’s about far more than just trance, right?

I think this question speaks for itself. A lot of people reading this interview are involved in this ‘underground’ house scene in one way or another. There’s so many parties/events/festivals going on these days. It’s unbelievable. Whenever I get back from a gig abroad it can be surprising to see how good and healthy the scene is here. The way we organize our events, especially festivals, is extraordinary. I can’t think of any other country where they cultivated the dance scene to the extent that we have here. Take Lowlands or Dekmantel Festival for example; at their first ever festival they put down a level unheard of for ‘underground’ club music. The line-up, stages, catering and even walking routes were extremely well organized. This will be a new standard for partygoers I think. So I’m curious to see what this will do to the playing field and level of partying here in our small frogland.

Have you any more EPs lined-up? It’s been a while since your last, why is that?

Normally I put out one EP per year since I started doing EPs. This just is my workflow and also allows me to do something new. People now know they do not know what to expect and I like that position. This year I actually released two EPs: ‘Man Like Me’ EP on Matt Tolfrey’s Leftroom label  with an outrageous remix from one of my musical icon’s, Matthew Herbert.

More recently I put out the Deflourished EP on Voyage Direct curated by Tom Trago. That one is quite unique cause it doesn’t conform to the house music standard BPM wise.  It also came out with a super fresh music video by Sasa Ostoja and Niko Lanzuisi who worked their asses of the whole summer to come up with something like none I’ve ever seen before.  

Tell us about your working process, are you a quick sketcher or a painstaking craftsmen? What kit do you use, who or what inspires you to produce?

I often use a banana, some clean sheets and an Etch-a-Sketch to draw my music. When all this fails I take a hammer and some glue, pick up the pieces and start all over again. This usually gets the job done.

Tell us what to expect at Valhalla Festival in December?

At Valhalla Festival I’m booked to do a Live show. This means I play only original stuff I made with these two hands and my imagination. So sorry kids, I won’t be taking any requests. I’ll bring my mic with FX, some nice outfits designed by www.foxytrix.com and hopefully with a combined effort of the crowd and myself there will be some cool sounds coming from the speakers.


You’re notorious for implementing live vocals into your LIVE sets. Can you tell us how, what you think they add, how it came about and so on?

The vocal thing really came from my time woth Jason and the Argonauts. They were three friends of mine (aka Bandit&Shae and Newton da Costa). They thought giving me a mic would be a good idea. I mean, I got to say everything that came to my mind. They didn’t know what it was gonna be and neither did I. This made for some interesting situations. This one time when we played Utrecht I managed to read aloud my notes from marketing class over the music. This was way back when I still was in college. The dance floor was totally up for it and I thought, fuck it. This made for ridiculous interaction with the crowd.

That idea is what keeps me wanting to keep using the mic. The interaction with the crowd and the element of surprise. 

How do you like playing home gigs – do you feel more comfortable, does it make you play differently or better or…?

That really depends on the club, the venue or the people. But having the home advantage of people already really knowing your style can effectively bring a great atmosphere to the dance floor. Also the fact I can go to a lot of my shows by bike is something I wouldn’t wanna trade up that easily. Especially during spring or summer it can feel like bliss riding back from a great night in the morning right before regular people wake up. The streets and canals are empty. And then I’m gliding through them with my recordbag in my bikecrate having flashbacks of the night, finding new ideas in my mind. A truly unique experience solely possible in Amsterdam I believe.

What else have you got coming up/are you working on?

As said earlier I just put out a music video of which I’m still basking in wonder and feeling back the response from it. It’s definitely a new level for me personally so I want to come up with something for next year to do. In other news I just finished a remix for my close friend Efdé which will come out on an Italian label and I have another track lined up to be released on a VA on Leftroom early 2014. Aside from that I’m looking to put together a new EP. Nothing concrete yet, but I’ve been asked this question loads of times but who knows. Maybe an album?



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