Get Familiar: Gyatso

Get Familiar: Gyatso

Get Familiar: Gyatso
Interviewed by Passion Dzenga
GYATSO is a young creative based in Amsterdam and is best known for his photography, his role as a DJ, and for curating club nights at Amsterdam's Kanaal40, Radio Radio, as well as Rotterdam's Mono. Following his debut at Lente Kabinet and a recent appearance at De School, he is driven to create unforgettable dance experiences that never drop below 130 beats per minute. Pushing techno, breakbeat, gabber, and trance, this young talent leaves a powerful impact wherever he goes. He is curator of the Patta x Keep Hush event that was a part of Amsterdam Dance Event 2023. Get familiar with the musical taste of GYATSO.

Gyatso, could you tell us about your journey into the world of photography, DJing, and curating club nights? How did it all begin for you?

Hey! DJing kicked off for me when I was about 18 thanks to my uncle (Big up FS Green!) I was super inspired watching him, so I asked my buddy Rocky to teach me the basics. After a quick course with DJ Abstract, I kinda bluffed my way into my first gig at Club Air just a month after starting hahaha!

Photography came into the picture (haha picture) when my good friend Simon Velez and I were looking to promote our weekly Monday gig at de Soos bar. I'd just gotten an analog camera for my enrolment into art school, so I gave it a shot. After developing those first rolls, I was hooked! Eventually, the pandemic would make me shift my focus entirely to photography.

Curating parties started when I was 21 and living in Rotterdam. After a set at Mono, Linder (programmer at Mono) approached me about hosting a night. That led to the first Gyatso x Mono event, and from there, it snowballed to hosting events at places like Radio Radio, Kanaal 40, Schietclub, and now, Nachbar! 

You have a unique style that incorporates techno, breakbeat, gabber, and trance, maintaining a minimum of 130 beats per minute. How did you develop this distinctive musical style, and what influences have shaped it?

I've always been drawn to high-energy sounds. Being social and constantly interacting with different settings and people has made me appreciate a mix of genres. I've been clubbing for a few years now and met some cool DJs along the way. All those experiences just kinda seeped into my style! For me, it's less about sticking to one genre and more about capturing a moment and playing what feels right.

Can you describe the role of visual arts and photography in your creative process and how they intersect with your music and DJ performances?

Currently, they don’t crossover! If anything I love that I’m able to creatively “detox” and hop between photography and DJing! 

Your recent festival debut at Lente Kabinet was a significant milestone. How did this experience impact your career, and what did you learn from it?

Yeah! Lente Kabinet was a game-changer for me. Being on that stage, and feeling the crowd's energy, really put a battery in my back. The experience taught me so much, but the biggest takeaway is definitely that I’ve got ways to go, but that I’m on the right path.

What can you tell us about your recent debut at De School b2b with Patta's Passion DEEZ? How was that experience, and how did it shape your perspective on collaborative performances?

It was a dream come true to be able to play at De School before it closes! We killed it! Going b2b with Passion is always a pleasure. He’s taught me a lot about the craft and we have great chemistry. I’m very particular about doing b2b’s, I imagine it’s like dancing the Samba. (I can’t dance Samba) It's all about being in sync and anticipating each other's moves.

Curating events for venues like Kanaal40, Radio Radio, and Mono must require a unique approach. Could you share some insights into your curation process and what you aim to achieve with each event?

Absolutely! Each venue, be it Kanaal40, Radio Radio, or Mono, has its distinct atmosphere, and I always strive to enhance that. My curation process is deeply influenced by my passion for underground sounds. I'm always on the lookout for tracks and artists that resonate with me and deserve a bigger platform. It's not just about playing the hits; it's about introducing audiences to fresh and exciting sounds.

In essence, my goal is to share the music I love and believe in. I want attendees to discover new sounds, artists, and genres they might not have encountered otherwise. It's about pushing boundaries, celebrating the underground, and creating a space where everyone can discover and enjoy something fresh.

The Amsterdam Dance Event is a massive event for the electronic music scene. Can you tell us more about the Patta x Keep Hush event you're curating for ADE? What can attendees expect from this event?

For sure! It's a privilege to curate my event during ADE. While it's incredible to witness talents from all over the globe converge in Amsterdam, I sometimes feel that the essence of 'Amsterdam' in the Amsterdam Dance Event can get overshadowed. That's why I'm particularly proud of our event's all-Amsterdam lineup. It's a chance to shine a spotlight on the city's vibrant underground scene and give attendees a genuine snippet of what our local talent has to offer.

How do you see the future of dance experiences evolving, and what role do you envision yourself playing in shaping that evolution?

I've noticed that the DJ scene is making a strong comeback. people are paying more attention to the music and who's spinning. TikTok and other socials have changed the game. DJs can now reach audiences who weren't even at their shows, which is huge for building a community. As for me, I want to help people be more aware of the tunes they're clubbing to and the talent behind them. I'm all about curating parties with intention and direction.

What are some of your favorite moments or highlights from your journey as a creative in the music and arts scene so far?

Curating the Patta x Keep Hush event is a big one! Playing at Lente Kabinet was surreal. And performing with Zep & Franky Sticks is also definitely up there. On the art side, teaming up with brands like organizations like Foam and Boijmans has been a dream.

What are the challenges you face as a young creative, and how do you overcome them in the competitive world of music and photography?

It’s more accessible than ever to become a DJ or a photographer. the internet is filled with resources to hone your craft and reach an audience, which is amazing, but also makes everything super competitive! Standing out is the real game. But I think I’ve got what it takes :P

Could you share some advice for aspiring DJs, photographers, and event curators looking to make their mark in the industry?

We need more doctors! Not DJs! (Kidding) The only advice I can give is to just start. Buy a point-and-shoot camera, and find your style. Find a DJ controller, watch some tutorials and practice. Just start! Go!

How do you balance your time and energy between photography, DJing, and event curation? Do you have a specific approach to managing these different aspects of your career?

I don’t have a system in place or anything like that, I just do what feels right at the time. If I’m feeling overwhelmed with music, I try to focus on photography for a bit, and vice-versa.

Amsterdam is known for its vibrant music and arts scene. How does the city influence your creative process and the experiences you craft for your audience?

Are there specific artists, photographers, or DJs who have been particularly influential or inspiring to you in your creative journey?

There’s a lot! Some of the biggest influences to me music-wise have been the homies: Zep, Franky Sticks, Eauxmar, FS Green, Passion DEEZ, Misa, Taj, Ezra, and many many more!

For photography and arts: Dana Lixenberg, Victor D. Ponten, Tyrone Lebon, Violette, Reiky de Valk, Bruno Sitton, and many more!

As a multifaceted artist, how do you stay inspired and continue to innovate in both your music and visual arts endeavors?

Being surrounded by people that create is a huge source of inspiration for me. Not only DJs and photographers but also painters, rappers, drummers, scriptwriters, etc. Having that diversity of voices and backgrounds is super motivating to me.

Being surrounded by people that create is a huge source of inspiration for me. not just about DJs and photographers but, painters, rappers, drummers, and script-writers – they all bring something unique to the table. That keeps me inspired and wanting to create.

What legacy do you hope to leave in the music and arts community through your work and contributions?

Hmm, I hope to be remembered as someone who brought people together, celebrated the local scene, and always pushed for authenticity.

How do you engage with your audience and connect with them during your performances or curated events to create a memorable experience?

Energy exchange is key for me. When I'm performing or curating, I always bring the kind of energy I hope to see from the crowd. It's like a feedback loop – the more I give, the more I get back from them. That connection, that shared enthusiasm, 

Are there any dream collaborations or venues you aspire to work with in the future?

One of my biggest dreams is to go on a world tour with my close friends, where we perform and share our music with audiences on a global scale! 

On the photography front, I'd love the opportunity to dive deep into documentary gigs. Being able to capture a story over an extended period, immersing myself in the narrative, and presenting my findings in a baller expo! 

Finally, what are your long-term goals and aspirations as a creative in the music and arts world, and how do you plan to achieve them?

Currently, I’m working hard on producing music, grinding some YouTube tutorials, and following some lessons! Hopefully, I’ll be able to release some stuff in the next year or so! For DJing, I’d love to play more festivals and play on more international stages! Photography-wise, I’m trying to steer towards doing bigger jobs and hopefully some more long-term documentary work! Big shout-out if you read this whole interview and you’re not my mom!