Today we have our buddy Brian Ortega AKA Deejay Chino in our Artist Spotlight. Brian has been spinning tunes at clubs all over Chicago for a number of years now. You may have seen him play at our party, #Afterlife, but aside from djing he also hosts his own mid-week party called IN:HOUSE every Wednesday at Drop in Lincoln Park. We got a chance to sit and chat with him, read what he had to say below.
How did you first begin DJing/Producing?
Six years ago I bought my equipment and took the leap into this DJ journey. I think it all stemmed from making “mix tapes” for my friends in High School, and just the joy of mixing and matching tracks. Fast forward to the present day, here I am doing the same but at a different level.
Who is your biggest influence(s)?
There are several artists that have influenced my taste of music over the years that would be unfair to just name a few. I’m more of a label type of guy. I enjoy and respect labels that have a collection of artist working together towards a particular type of sound. Since the start of my career there have been a number of labels that started and continue to shape my style like Strictly Rhythm, Ministry of Sound, Anjunabeats, Defected Records, Incorrect Music, Deeperfect, etc.
What’s your favorite record of all time?
So many that I could name but the these tracks always come to mind right away and bring back amazing memories: Zulu by Circle Children, Music Sounds Better with You by Stardust and Lady by Modjo.
What was your favorite party of all time that you have played?
Definitely a few house parties for sure, also Soundbar’s Round Room, United2Nite Gilligan’s theme boat party was a blast and IN:HOUSE at Drop every month.
Tell us a little bit about your mid-week party, In:House.
IN:HOUSE (I:H) is a monthly party at Drop in Lincoln Park that takes place every last Wednesday of the month. I:H focuses on highlighting true Chicago DJ talent playing House music along with other deep genres. Since it’s a mid-week party we start at 8pm. Come and check us out. Let us close out your month the proper way and get your weekend started on the right track. For more information visit: inhousechi.com.
How did you get the idea for the party?
Inspiration came from the need for creating more awareness of deep sounds. I’ve always felt that Chicago has a big pool of talented DJs and I wanted to dedicate this night to them and the people who enjoy that native side of house music. This is a night where DJs can have that freedom to play their own sound and truly enjoy themselves.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you at a show?
I purchased a few tracks the same night of a gig and during my set I decided to give it a shot and play some of them. Well, it happens that this particular track was corrupted (error from the vendor, because I downloaded it later with the same result) and about 3 minutes into the track it completely dies while making a screeching sound. Luckily I had a song mixing already but I knew everyone noticed and were already staring at me.
What do you like to do when you’re not working on music/DJing?
Spending time with my girlfriend and friends, catching up with my family back home (Ecuador), watching and playing fútbol (soccer for you gringos), workout, read graphic design blogs, catching up with my favorite TV shows.
What is your opinion on the current EDM scene?
I like the fact that electronic music is at its peak of popularity because it opens the door to people that never considered listening to electronic music in the past. What enrages me is the fact that the scene is over abused. It has become more of a popularity contest, driven by money and greed rather than for the love of music. I respect everyone’s taste of music but if a sound doesn’t have soul, rhythm or groove to make you dance… then that’s a problem.
What do you think will be the next big thing in EDM?
I think techno this year is making huge headway. Not like techno wasn’t a huge genre to begin with but I feel a lot more people are appreciating that metallic and industrial sound of techno which makes me smile. Embrace your dark side people!
What do you think about all these “frauds” in the EDM scene using ghost producers, buying likes and purchasing their own tracks on Beatport?
It’s sad, they take that “fake it until you make it” phrase to the extreme. People get caught into these fads and popularity contests just to land gigs without knowing that sooner or later they will be exposed.
Is there any upcoming releases/shows we should keep an eye out for?
IN:HOUSE is coming up on May 27th featuring Erik Johnson aka Tsunami and our 1-year anniversary party on June 24th. I will also be playing some sets at Afterlife and Graffiti in the next few months. Follow me and keep in touch at facebook.com/deejay.chino1