Gherman Alexandru Raul a.k.a. DJ SHIVER from Târgu Mureș

Music, dance, parties, festivals, flashlights, and crowd – these things really determine our free time today. But have you ever been wondering about how is on the other side, how is the life of a DJ and how the sets, that you are jumping or shaking on, are done? We asked about it from an expert, right from the heart of Transylvania, who is able to create sets that SHIVER down your spine.

How did you become a DJ? What is the path to becoming famous in what you do?

I became a DJ because I used to be a breakdancer and somebody had to make mixes for the dance crews. This was 15 years ago. But the path to becoming famous…first of all, I don’t believe in famous people. Famous people don’t exist, it’s just a good character. If people just want to be famous, then something is really wrong with this world. As a DJ if you want to be famous is very superficial now: you need Instagram, Youtube, pay somebody to make some music for you – and there you go, you are superficially famous. But the path to becoming known and have events with friendships, partnerships rather than clients is actually being a good DJ and having a good relationship from beginning to the end with every client. That’s the path to slowly grow and not becoming a superficial business. Don’t invest in new marketing solutions, a video on the internet and your appearance in front of people will always be better, then some shitty posts on Instagram or on Facebook.

What would you highlight in being a DJ, which is the best part?

People think it’s easy being a DJ. It’s just fun, a game with hookers, drugs, alcohol, a lot of music, money and stuff like that, but it’s REALLY not. When you’re doing it 100% all day, just focusing on this, it becomes a job. It’s like waking up at 7 am in the morning, you just stress a lot and this stress is all over the place 10 times more than at a simple employee. And people don’t understand that which is very sad. But the best thing is, that I’m doing what I’m passionate about. Because a lot of people just work without loving what they do – that’s an emotional problem, mostly in our post-communist country.

 

What is the essence of good music, a banger? Is there any key or formula for that?

Nah…I think it comes from music taste. If you study history, music, if you have huge classic collection music and knowledge of electronic music from techno to drum and bass, way back in 1998, then you understand what good music is. And you need to have good ears, of course. You have to develop your music taste to understand what a good sound is. There is no formula and there is no key…it comes in years of studying. It’s just like going to college and learning how to become a medic.

What do you usually start with when preparing for a set? What makes you decide to play a particular record during one of your sets and what makes a strong transition from one track to the next?

I don’t prepare for a set before it. I have set elements about 5-10 minutes that I struggled a lot on. For example, a full one and half an hour DJ set for me is like three months of work from 8 am to sometimes 3 in the morning. We study a lot of things that people react to and how to transit from a break to a drop, where exactly people should sing, breath and where they should stop dancing. Deciding what record should I play is totally connected to the music taste. If I like it, I try to put in the mix, and if I feel, like it might not work, then I test it first. But I always play what I like, EVERY TIME. I don’t really need to take out songs because people don’t react to…I make them react to it, somehow. So you need a lot of work to find good spots in the set. For making the transition you need to respect the BPM, it’s a golden rule.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Holy day…There are a lot of answers here. Belleville three from Detroit (Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson), Deadmau5 as a character, but my number 1 inspiration, like musically and as a person is Skrillex. There are a lot more but these are the main guys. I’m inspired by other people, besides musicians, like Ayrton Senna, Robin Williams – these people inspire me but not in music. What I learned from them I set it in my life and career. Right now the biggest idol of mine is Jim Carrey because he has a lot to say, but he is not telling it so you just have to guess it.

What are the trends in Transylvania?

We don’t have a trend in Transylvania. It’s a total disaster. Right now we are in a period of transition from EDM (electronic dance music – Tomorrowland) to I don’t know where we are going. The deep house didn’t come in, the dubstep is trying to enter Romania, but it’s not working, drum and base is the same. The trend might be techno and micro-house music. Or Kitsch parties, retro kinda party and I’m actually proud of. 20-30 years old kids like that and it works perfectly. The reason why I’m proud of it is that they are sick of all today’s bullshit pop music. The only thing that I can listen to is 21 pilots and Post Malone.

If you could eternally be stuck in one year’s music scene, which year would it be?

Oh yeah, good question. 2006 death punk, a live concert at Coachella in America, there is a documentary about it on Google, PLEASE search up on it…it’s F****n amazing – sorry for that. It’s the most shocking musical event in the history of electronic dance music.

Top 5 go to tips to have a good time at festivals:
  1. Don’t go alone. If you go on your own, be sure you are a friendly person and if you are not sociable, then fix your problems first. But if you have the possibility, go with friends. Not in a big group of friends, just 2-4 people and have a blessed time.
  2. Don’t care about money, don’t stress about that.
  3. Don’t drink, because drinking won’t help you have fun. Try to enjoy music for what it is. Drink a lot of water instead.
  4. Don’t listen to only micro-house music, try to experiment something else. Discover the festival and if you ask me, always go to the new guys. Okay, go to the one you wanted to see from the big ones. It’s not gonna be like you imagined but at least you were there. Then go to the new guys. That’s how you discover the true beauty of a festival.
  5. Be careful with drugs, because drugs can hurt you, your brain and your thoughts in time.