Sharing the stage across the globe with renowned stars such as Aly & Fila, Tritonal, Chris Lake, Frankie Bones, Grum and Fehrplay, is just one of the many accomplishments achieved by Galestian, and we had the pleasure of chatting to him about how he reached the top!
Hey! So let’s start simple, when did you start DJing and what attracted you to it?
I started DJing in 2001 at house parties, university parties, and playing for family and friends. My first real gig was DJing at my cousin’s birthday party. I literally bought my gear that same day and figured out how to use it an hour or two before. Sometimes the best way to learn is by immersion!
But, that was just one smell step towards the grander scheme of things. I was massively blown away when I saw a video of Italian DJ/producer Mauro Picotto playing at a Dutch festival called “Trance Energy” sometime in the early 2000s. I’d been in love with electronic music for years and years by then, initially discovering it in the ‘90s, but I had no idea that there was so much power behind it to fill stadiums and festivals.
I remember when I’d have random conversations at parties. Surely, the subject of music would come up, and someone might ask, “Oh, so what kind of music do you listen to?” And I’d say something like “trance, house, techno” and back then in the US, it was super underground. Most average people had never heard of it before, and those that had would automatically follow that up with, “Nice! Ever been to a rave?”
I had no idea what raves even were back then. I just loved this music so much and already had for years. Finding out that DJs play this stuff in front of such large crowds – well, I was immediately attracted to it without even giving it a second thought.”
What is it you love most about DJing?
I think it’s natural to want to share things that bring you joy. Is it more fun to ride a rollercoaster ride by yourself, or with friends who can share the same experience with you? I feel the same about music. There is so much amazing music out there – it’s impossible to discover it all. And what’s the fun in holding it for yourself?
I see DJing as an opportunity to share great music with people. Music transcends all words and boundaries and connects us in a way that nothing else can. The sharing aspect of it, plus the massive connection it brings, how it unites us all together – gotta say that those two things are what I love most.
You had two releases this year on Perfecto Black – “Rituals” and “The Gathering”. Can you tell us some more about that?
Sure, so I started “Rituals” when I was in Japan in late 2016/early 2017. I’ve always been intrigued by spiritual mysticism, and really felt like the coming together of that track put me in a state of flow that was special. The song has lots of tribal elements in it, plus around that time, I’d had a conversation with another traveler about how important our daily rituals are – how the little actions we do amount to massive results when you compound them with days upon days of your life. Those rituals, or maybe calling them “habits” is another way to look at it, could have both negative or positive results. Smoking cigarettes once or twice in a year probably won’t do much, but make that a daily ritual and watch how the negative effects on your body compound over time. It’s the same with positive rituals such as meditation, diet, exercise, practicing gratitude. So, “Rituals” was a very fitting title for that tune.
And how about “The Gathering”?
“The Gathering” was inspired by my travels through Bali and India. Again, going back to the theme of mysticism, I definitely feel like the process of creation put me into that state of flow. The concepts for that tune came together while I was traveling, but it wasn’t until I got back to LA when I finished that one. “Rituals” was my debut release on Perfecto Black. When “The Gathering” happened, it was a clear follow-up.
Do you have a number one gig you have played?
That’s hard to say! Too many good times, couldn’t single one out. Surely the best is yet to come.
What is your most common genre you mix, or do you enjoy switching them up?
At this moment, I’m really into the melodic house and techno that’s coming out of Germany. I’d say my sound is mostly along the progressive house route, but all of my influences are sort of mixed in there – deep house, techno, trance. There’s something to love about all of them. Nowadays, I’m mostly into lower-BPM stuff around 120-128BPM that’s deep, melodic, and progressive.
You launched a monthly radio show this year called “Global Entry Radio with Galestian.” Do you often showcase your new songs in your mixes?
Sure, I do. I try to feature at least one of my own songs on Global Entry Radio for each episode. It airs every first Tuesday of month on di.fm‘s Progressive Channel. It’s also syndicating to almost 20 stations worldwide now, so that’s something to be really happy and grateful for. You can also search and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Music and Spotify.
What is your favourite venue and why?
Depends where we’re talking about! In LA, I would say Exchange LA. It’s one of the best clubs in the world, great sound system, visuals are top-notch.
In Tokyo, I loved playing at Sankeys. Beautiful venue.
I celebrated my birthday in Singapore a few years ago at Zouk before they moved over to their new location. So many rooms in one venue, it’s like multiple stand-alone clubs in one.
I haven’t played in Ibiza yet, but I loved Privilege and Amnesia. The vibe, the people, massive venues that are like their own little town while the party’s on.
Finally, do you have a favourite mix online we can listen to?
Right now, I’d definitely say my guest mix for Paul Oakenfold’s Planet Perfecto radio show. It was an honor and a pleasure to be Paul’s guest for episode #383. The man is an absolute legend in every sense of the word. I showcase a lot of my own productions plus some of my favorites from earlier this year. It’s up on my SoundCloud page.
Planet Perfecto 383 w/ Paul Oakenfold – Galestian Guest Mix [March 2018]