ULTRA Australia returns to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne on Saturday 5 March, and we are giving away 5 Double Passes for the event. Just visit @theworldlovesmelbourne Instagram feed to see the giveaway details.
Artists include Afrojack, Alesso, Oliver Heldens, Steve Aoki, Yanzo, Andrew Rayel, Will Sparks, Deborah De Luca, Coone, Sam Feldt, Frank Walker plus many more!
Expect amazing custom-designed stages, an incredible festival atmosphere, an iconic Melbourne backdrop of the conveniently-located venues chosen to host the festival, as Ultra Australia brings the complete entertainment experience for fans. These and other factors combine to provide the world’s top musical artists with a canvas to create some of the best performances in the history of live music.
Ultra Worldwide consistently delivers performances from award-winning, high-profile DJs and artists who have dominated the international music charts.
I had the oppportunity to interview rising star DJ Yanzo (from Melbourne) in the lead up to ULTRA Australia:
TWLM (David): What is your main inspiration?
DJ Yanzo: I get inspiration from a lot of things. Specifically my own feelings and perspectives. I like to draw my emotions out of me and figure out what kind of sound resonates with that. If I'm feeling an ardrenaline rush I'll play a little heavier. If I'm feeling more sensitive or emotional, I'll play with more melody. And I also love to absorb the energy from clubs and festivals. Even in the online space I love to draw inspiration from my favourite Techno DJ's overseas, mainly in the USA. And I think it's inspiring to know that we can all come together and have a cathartic experience through music. So the combination of emotions and festivals and what's going on in the world is what keeps me going.
Also, it's a shared experience. When you get on stage and you are playing to a crowd you are connecting with them, as well as also playing to yourself. The crowd really knows when you are having a good time. And they can see and feel that transfusion energy taking place. And I love that connection. It's part of my purpose I guess.
TWLM: How did you get into becoming a DJ supremo?
DJ Yanzo:So I entered a competition called "Your Shot" in 2019 and started playing at clubs. I was living in Brisbane at the time and I was figuring out my sound and getting to know the club scene. And yeah one thing led to another. I got signed up with an Agency during COVID, as all the clubs were closed then. Yeah it was a really horrible time for the industry but I decided to make YouTube videos of myself playing sets. And an Agency saw them and were like, "Hey, this is really cool. You should sign with us." It's been like a project we've built since then. Things are happening now. So it's really cool.
TWLM: What do you love most about ULTRA? What are you excited about?
DJ Yanzo: I'm really excited just to get amongst the crowd. ULTRA has such a diverse and inclusive environment. I love just talking and connecting with people and making friends, as well as performing. There's different stages with different types of music. So it's cool to come to a festival where everybody is welcome and there are so many different types of music to experience. So I'm looking forward to it.
TWLM: In what ways do you see the EDM scene evolving?
DJ Yanzo: I think there will be a lot more intersecting in terms of genres and creativity. It's really cool to see DJ's trying and including different genres. It can all get a little trendy sometimes and a bit commercialised. But if people just get creative and do what they really want to do, I think that would be so cool to see. Embracing more creativity and thinking outside the box.
TWLM: Can you see DJ’s getting more into the Metaverse and are opportunities opening up?
DJ Yanzo: I have some concept of it and I think it's cool as long as it doesn't diminish the value of live performances, as we've all been so insular during COVID. The desire to experience music together in person is so strong in these times, and I wonder whether the Metaverse would bring that reality. We really need to share music experiences in person. In some countries where there are still heavy restrictions and limited access to live music, then maybe the Metaverse can play a greater role.
TWLM: Where is your fav place in the world and why?
DJ Yanzo: I plan to travel more, and had booked a trip before COVID to travel around Europe (that had to be cancelled), which sucked. But I loved visiting the United States, especially New York. New York is my favourite place.
Brisbane was a great place to do my groundwork and build a foundation, and is a young emerging scene. Playing in clubs there was amazing. Now I'm back in Melbourne and love the scene here. It's an exciting scene with lots of different facets and something going on all the time. I grew up in Melbourne but I moved away when I was in my early teens. I came back for a year when I was 18 just for an adventure. My first club was Revolver, a pretty amazing first club. I'm passionate now to bring my music to the world, so watch this space.
TWLM: What’s your dream gig?
DJ Yanzo: My dream gig (apart from ULTRA) would probably be Awakenings Festival, and I would love to do Tomorrowland as well. Maybe Coachella. I would love to play stages that are more traditionally Techno than stages that are more commercialised. I don't want to be bound to one concept or idea, and see where that takes me. I do like the alternative scene but I'm not 100% loyal to it and want to experience everything.
TWLM: For aspiring DJ’s what equipment would you recommend starting out?
DJ Yanzo: Any DJ Controller really. Get Rekordbox, the cloud-connected DJ platform. You can even get a second hand DJ Controller and start mixing on that. I have the XDJRX2 all-in-one DJ system for Rekordbox. I started with standard club decks, which were great to practise on and to prepare for your first set!
TWLM: What does the future hold for you?
DJ Yanzo: Personally I think I'm going to flourish creatively and technically in the next year. I'm focussing on gaining as much experience as I can. Doing my best to express myself and hopefully that translates and connects with a lot of people.
TWLM: Your newly released track "Metamorphosis" is amazing. What was the inspiration behind that?
DJ Yanzo: I came out from a really long depressive slump in these crazy times. I was making a lot of Techno that was quite dark and gritty and I felt like it wasn't totally true to myself. I sat down one day and started writing a track and I felt like I had no bounds or limitations. I thought to myself, "You know what, just write it exactly how you're feeling, with all this weight lifted off your shoulders." And so I tried to create something within "heavy and dark" but also bring in "uplifting and enlightening". And I think (like the word means) "metamorphosis" is about this change where I have flourished in coming out from my cocoon, from what I was hiding in. I think I've grown a lot since then. That moment in writing that track was like the mark of my biggest change and growth. So it's really special to me.
TWLM: Wow, anthems of transformation.
TWLM: Awesome, do you plan to release any more tracks in the near future?
DJ Yanzo: Yeah I'm releasing a track in the next week or so. I'm doing my own vocals on this one again (as with Metamorphosis). I'll be actually singing on this one. I get shy about singing but when you're in your studio and making music by yourself you just do it. So that track will be coming out soon. This may surprise people but the vocal is from a cover of Beyonce. It's a hidden gem she has in one of her albums. It's quite sultry and very seductive. It's very cool with dark techno around it.
DJ Yanzo will also be playing at SHELTER at Sea Works on April 2 as well as ULTRA Australia on March 5.