En route to being the next Annie Mac (one can dream), I roll up to Zouk for a crash course. Showing me the ropes is Jeremy Boon, Zouk’s resident DJ who also helped elevate Zouk’s nightlife status when it first opened doors in 1991. With over 25 years of experience under his belt, he can turn anyone into a DJ – even me.
Conducted on one of Zouk’s dance floors, the hour-long starter lesson introduces the fundamentals of beatmatching and seamless mixing before moving onto a hands-on tutorial on the Pioneer decks.
Jeremy is clear – explaining the decks, cueing, fader-mixing, and smooth transitions, all while bearing in mind the crowd. It’s not just technical as well. While I try out two tracks with different tempos, he encourages me to listen without relying on the waveforms and take mental notes – which track is faster? Where does the blend go wrong? Keep counting those bars.
Hooked after your intro lesson ($130)? Try Zouk Academy’s intermediate class to improve on mixing, programming, crowd reading, library sourcing and more over the course of five lessons ($500). Those who have what it takes are offered a shot at the Graduate programme ($1,000 for five lessons) where you get to shadow the pros during live sets on club nights and perform alongside them intermittently. Needless to say, I have not qualified. Yet.