State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Author - Samantha Gilmore

Behind the Booth with DJ Keigo Shimomura

Photo credit to Jonny Rabbit Photography

If you’ve been to Indigo on a Friday night, you’ve probably danced your heart out to one of DJ Keigo Shimomura’s killer sets. For this week’s edition of Behind the Booth, we got to find out what turns his tables.

Why do you love being a DJ? What is your favorite part about it?
I have an appreciation for all types of music, and I love sharing it with everyone. I used to always be the person who changed the music at the party, and now, I get paid to do it. When people react to my music, and all the different ways: that’s my favorite part. I like to show people music that they don’t know that they like.

How did you get involved with it? Who inspired you?
I have always produced music, and in high school, I was making hip hop beats. I would go into Philly and sell them. From there, it was a pretty easy transition into electronic, and it never started with EDM for me; I started with rap and hip hop. All the shitty DJs who played the parties I went to inspired me to start DJ’ing. One day, I thought that I could do that, so I did.

Is there a specific style that you stay true to?
A lot of people like to say that I’m a house DJ or a trap DJ and that’s not it; it would be boring for me to only restrict myself to only one type. I will always be an open format DJ because I don’t have the patience or attention span to play one type of music. And, I love playing on my turntables. You can’t scratch on CDJs.

What was your first show, and what was your favorite show?
My first show was at my fraternity, Acacia, and it was like a week after I bought my equipment – it probably wasn’t much different than what I was complaining about. My favorite show would probably be the RedBull Threestyle competition; that’s what made me realize how different I was from other DJs in State College.

What song never fails to get the party started? What songs do you listen to before a show?
I would have to say “Hypnotize” by Biggie or “Party Up” by DMX. I always like to start with hip hop or rap because nobody just walks into the club fist pumping, you’ve got to get that started. Before a show, I just listen to the most recently added stuff on my iPod, whatever that is.

Are there any upcoming shows, or performers, that you’re excited to see?
I’m going to Bassnectar on Thursday and Disclosure in Philly later this month, which I am super pumped to see.

If you could do one thing to improve the EDM scene in State College, what would you do?
I would ban house music, specifically 128 bpm! It would force DJs to get out of their comfort zones, and make people explore and discover new music. This scene is a little stagnant.

Clubs or House Parties – Who parties harder?
House parties and clubs both have their merits. Clubs usually have much better systems and everything is organized. House parties have that level of intimacy that clubs can’t provide.

How often do you produce, and are you working on anything now?
I produce everyday, and yes. I have a new song out today! It’s called “Da-DOING (Ass Like That).”

What event will you be playing next?
I’ll be playing at Indigo on Friday. Every Friday, I play with DJ Nammo.
*Insert Mikey Lin name-drop here!*

If you’re not 21 just yet, check out some of his mixes below!

Behind the Booth with DJ Mikey Lin

Photo credit to Stefan Choquette.

 In the first of our local DJ profile series, Behind the Booth, we sat down with DJ Mikey Lin to get the lowdown on his music and State College’s EDM scene.

So how did it all begin? What gave you that initial push?
So I started when I bought turntables off of my friend in the summer of 2010; I had always been interested in DJing, but I never felt the need to buy turntables until my friend was selling his. I bought them, and it turned out to be the best decision I ever made. After that, I just bought some records, and spent many hours in my room matching beats that didn’t sound right together.

Where did you learn your skills from? Were you self-taught?
My friend, who sold me the turntables, taught me the basics, and the rest was like a riding a bicycle; you keep going until you fall off then you get back up and go again.

How would you define your style?
I mostly play the type of music that I happen to be liking at that time. I like Melbourne House, Deep House, Drum and Bass, UK Garage, and Dubstep. When I play parties, I usually play like Electro House, Trap, and Dubstep. Lately, I’ve been getting into Melbourne House which is really bouncy and silly, and it just makes people happy. I play whatever puts a smile on my face.

Where do you normally play, and what venues throw the best parties?
I play Chrome every Wednesday, and once a month, I play at Levels for Womp Wednesday. I have to say house parties are the best – the intimacy of a basement cannot be beat.

Out of all of your music, what’s your favorite song to play?
My favorite song to play right now is Gash King (Joel Fletcher Remix) by Uberjakd.

What’s the best event you’ve played at/put on?
We had an American themed party in my friend’s basement – people really respond to celebrating America. All my friends came in from out of town, and we all just had a really good time.

What do you think of State College’s current dance music scene?
I think it is way better than I could ever have imagined. Levels is bringing in a lot of great names, and more people are starting to get involved in this music. Before, you could predict who exactly would be there, and now at each event, I see more and more new faces.

Are there any other State College DJs that you want to collaborate with?
I really like spinning with Keigo because he’s okay with playing the mainstream stuff, but he also likes a lot of different things. I have a good time spinning with him.

What projects are you currently working on, and what can we expect from you this year?
Right now, I am trying to get more people to come out to the shows downtown. I want them to come out, support the local music scene, and just have a good time!

When and where is your next event?
Wednesday, at Levels, I am playing Womp Wednesday which is a bass oriented night at Levels with three resident DJs and a guest DJ from a nearby town. It’s mainly for Drum and Bass, Dubstep, and Trap.

If you can’t wait until Wednesday, check out some of his mixes below!