POSTED ON – 26.06.17

SSR Manchester - Behind the Decks - An interview with Andrew Wong
Behind the Decks - An interview with Andrew Wong
DJ-ing can be a great career path, from radio DJ to turntablist and anything in between. However, it can often seem like a dark art to an outsider. We caught up with SSR DJ Tutor, Chengy (Andrew Wong), to find out more!

Hi Chengy! Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

I am a DJ / DJ Instructor / Technique Demonstrator / Technique Adviser / Vinyl Collector / Music Lover. I have been collecting music since 1992 when I was 15, to play on my single Technics 1210 turntable. Then eventually I upgraded to a pair of turntables and a mixer in 1993. Technically speaking I’ve been DJ-ing with a full DJ setup since mid-1993.

What is your favourite style of DJing?

I love all kinds of DJ-ing, from technical creative scratch DJ-ing to technical creative mixing/beat matching. As long as it’s creative it’s all good with me!

What is the most challenging part of learning to DJ? Do you ever get to a point where you have learnt everything there is to know?

The most challenging part of learning to DJ is training the ears to become sensitive. Sensitive to speed adjustments/changes of speed when beats and rhythms go out of sync. Being able to focus on several different parts of two different tracks at the same time. A challenging part of learning any art-form and skill is to not give up. Keep going, keep practicing, stay focused and disciplined.

No matter how long one practices for or how long one has been DJ-ing for, there are always new techniques to either learn and improve. There are so many ways to mix and scratch, the possibilities and combinations of techniques are endless. The path to improving is a life long lesson. The secret is to practice enough that skills are continuously sharp and the ears and the reactions/and co-ordination of hand to ear reflexes are in complete control.

What are you listening to at the moment?

College – Shanghai
Com Truise – Iteration
Alice Coltrane – The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
Thelonious Monk – Les Liasons Dangereuses
Dom & Roland – Last Refuge of a Scoundrel
Clark – Death Peak
Laura Marling – Short Movie
Todd Terje – It’s Album Time

I could go on, but I won't, I’d be here all day! 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to learn to DJ?

Master the basics. Master the foundation techniques. Build a solid base to work on. Master the equipment and use it in the correct way. Once all this in place, you will have a better chance at expressing your true self and style in the art-form of DJ-ing. Don’t become a slave to habits (bad habits). Experiment and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s all part of the process of learning.

And what advice would you give to someone who wanted to turn DJ-ing into their career?

Do it for the love. Get good. Practice your art. Then things will fall into place.

If you are interested in perfecting the art of DJ-ing with Chengy, take a look at the following courses -

DJ Techniques (8 weeks)
Summer School: DJ Techniques (5 days)