Do you remember your first milonga as a DJ? How did it all begin? Why have you decided to become a tango DJ?
- My first DJ gig was in Krakow at El Infierno milonga. I had just come to Krakow and was a foreign guest back then, that’s why I was offered to play. At that time I didn’t have any good music library nor experience, so I had to sit for a while and exercise in putting tandas together, and I tried to do it in real time as an experiment: played a tanda and compiled a new one during the time of the first one playing.
In the end, the music turned out to be too classic for Krakow )) And only some time after I learned what music people liked there and why.
When do you like to play music more: in the afternoon, evening, night, afterparty? Why?
- It depends on where you play and for whom. Every milonga, festival, marathon has its own “climate”, as people say in Poland, that I rely on. So sometimes I like afternoons more, sometimes – nights, and if I’m on the same “wave” with the tangueros, then it’s a victory.
What music do you like besides tango?
- I like many music styles, everything depends on my mood.
I love rock. I grew up on this music, there’s a special place for it in my heart. I like both Russian rock music – for lyrics mostly, and foreign, old school rock (Led Zeppelin, Motley Crue, ZZ Top, etc.)
I love light jazz, sometimes indie – to relax and rest.
Also electro music – as a background music when I work.
What do you like more - to play music or to dance?
- If I have to choose between those two – it’s to play music. But if we speak about teaching, then it’s a whole other story...
Favourite activities (hobbies) besides tango
- “Hey, Brain, what are we doing tonight?” – “Same as always, Pinky, trying to conquer the world!”
I love to invent things, this includes so much stuff, starting from my job up to, well, conquering the world )) I don’t like when my brain starts “drying out” – it makes me miserable.
Also photographing! And I hope that in summer I’ll take out my motorbike and start traveling with Magdalena on it.
How did you start dancing tango? Have you danced (do you dance) other dances?
- I don’t dance other dances. I started to dance tango very accidentally. No one of my friends had any relations with tango, but somehow I found a way to it. Maybe it was destined?
What else have you been doing in tango: organisation of milongas, festivals, teaching…?
- I organise “Krakus Aires” festival in Krakow, also organised milongas there. Lead regular classes in Moscow and in Krakow, now only private classes, unfortunately.
How has your musical taste evolve during your tango life/DJ career?
- I started with the “golden age” tango. When I heard it for the first time during classes it was quite a challenge for me. But I am grateful to Viacheslav Ivanov who showed how rich it was during his classes. I didn’t understand it at the beginning, it was revealed to me during milongas afterwards.
And in the recent years I started to broaden my horizon towards newer music tracks and modern orchestras, of course Europe and foreign events influenced this.
How do you choose music at a milonga?
- Usually I try to keep moderate tone, wait till the main crowd of dancers are on the dancefloor, look for contact with them. As soon as I feel that I have “caught the wave” everything goes smoothly, cause the dancers choose the music, if you can say so, and I try to keep them in tone and direct energy the right way.
Without what songs/orchestras a milonga can’t be a good milonga?
- I’ve been to so many milongas, both good and bad, and can’t say that there’s a formula. Everything depends on people who dance - DJs play for them, not to just play.
Can you think of a happy/funny story connected with your DJing?
- “Love as a sword, humour as a shield” Bernard Werber
I think it’s the most difficult question for me. I take everything humorously.
I remember how at one marathon a DJ from France played before me. I came to the milonga in advance to listen to him and to dance. I have prepared tandas beforehand, as any junior DJ. So there I was, dancing and realising that he was playing exactly as I would do, and more than that – he had same tandas!
- Wow, great! – I thought. Well, at that moment my thoughts were a bit different.
And it was my first DJ gig at a marathon, and I prepared very hard and made new tandas, which had been now half played. Well, “my tandas card house” built up with love and care, was being destroyed, cause the French guy was taking 1-2 cards from each section and was smiling. So I had to close the gaps fast )) But everything ended very well, I enjoyed the way I played, and the most important thing is that the dancers were happy. Well, for the first marathon experience it was rather hot ))
Do you like to travel? Name a most unusual place were you DJed/ danced
- I love travelling. I love both road itself, new acquaintances, time of rest from everything else and new places.
And what concerns cool places where I have dances - well, I’ll mention a couple of such ones, although for tango people it is not unusual to dance in so many places ))
- In the salt mine in Wieliczka, more than 100m below the ground.
- On the cliff in Carpathian mountains.
- In the cape above the sea in Crimea.
Where do you dream to go to?
- Into the sky. Always dreamt about my own light airplane and fly where I want to)
What song do you associate with Minsk Spring Tango Festival?
- Clearly, it is something energetic. Rhythmical! D’Arienzo. For me Minsk Festival is positiveness and dynamics together with lyrical elements. I’m not afraid to be banal, but for me it is “Canaro en Paris”.