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01. STRETCH

From his Sonic-inspired studio to his heart behind his involvement in the queer music scene. In this interview, we uncover who STRETCH is: his journey, his passions, and the keys to his rising success.



Hey! Let's start this off with your name, where you're from and your creative passion!


Hi, my name is STRETCH. I am currently based in Sydney and I am a DJ.



How long have you been in Sydney for?


I've been in Sydney for almost two years now.


What are your thoughts on Sydney so far?


It's not bad. I mean, I'm orginally from Melbourne so it's still Australia at the end of the day. So it doesn't really make a difference.


You’re very open about your love for Sonic. The tattoos, the Instagram posts, I mean your whole studio is covered top to bottom in Sonic. Can you tell me more about Sonic’s impact on your life?


Well it all stems from when I was 7 years old, I played an old Sonic game. I think the biggest thing for me is that he (Sonic) was such a positive energy to him and his friends, he was always looking after everyone. It's something I connect with so much. Coming from a small family, my friends were a large part of my life. So, seeing the way he connects with his friends it just made sense. Since then he's just been a big inspiration for me and I kinda led myself in that way, almost religiously. But yeah, because of Sonic's character it's helped me connect with people, he's made me positive and confident.




You tend to always surround yourself with other like-minded creatives. How important has Sydney’s creative community been to you?


I think it's one of the most important things, it's pretty much the reason why I moved here (Sydney) in the first place. Especially as a DJ being around other DJs, it's like an iron sharpens iron type of mentality. Especially in the music-queer community it's made me be more comfortable with myself, and the confidence to go out there and DJ more. Also, having a community that's focused on what you're also trying to achieve is the most important part.

 


You’ve made a great name for yourself in the community, and great rapport with your fellow DJs. What are some of the keys to building an image in the creative community?


Building an image in general, the idea of that comes last.You want to build genuine connections with people. I think one of my biggest skills is communicating and conveying my message of being that positive energy,which goes back to Sonic.
And when someone is telling you about themselves just really lean in and check in on them like "how's your dog going?" hahaha. People get surprised when you remember the little things.


Anyone who knows you knows that you have a very strong passion for music, whether that’s making your own beats or putting people on to tracks you find. Where did this love of music come from and what does music mean to you?


Music has been the most integral part of my life in the sense that I’ve always been around it. When I was younger, my mum put me through multiple instruments. The first instrument I learnt was the violin, and I hated it.
At the start I really hated music but then I realized that the skills that I would learn – I would play when I was in primary school. People were like “Woah! It’s so cool that you can do that!”

But I guess seeing the validation from playing an instrument,it was pretty cool.
And my grandmother was a big part of my life in the sense that, she taught me how to sing, how to play guitar.
So, it’s always been in my life. Music is like a universal language. It doesn’t matter if you speak English or not, like the songs are still good.You can still listen to them.




You’ve started to grow rapidly over this past year as a DJ. What have been some of the key factors to your success in this space?


 I’ve noticed there’s a lot of DJs that play for themselves and not for other people. And because of that people don’t dance on the dance floor and they like wreck the scene for themselves.
Your main goal as a DJ is to be for the audience, you become selfless at that point. Also, I think one of the biggest things that has definitely got me more jobs is practice. Repetition is the biggest key to be good at anything. The whole 10,000 hours, yeah.




Do you have some advice for anyone looking to get into DJing or maybe someone who is a DJ but is struggling to get anywhere?


The less music you know, the less money you make. I’ve don’t gigs playing from Katy Perry and Taylor Swift to Tupac. If you’re not about playing other genres then you’re not about DJing. And also, being genuine with yourself. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. It doesn’t get you anywhere





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