Read our interview with one of Amsterdam’s most talented house DJs and producers and the man behind the legendary Trouw club community – William Kouam Djoko.
Trouw, the famous Amsterdam venue, is to close down early next year. As a long-time resident and the creator of Late Night Society, can you tell us what’s your relationship to this venue and how do you feel about the closure?
All these emotions at once… It’s been a crazy ride, the past 5 years, starting with nothing and achieving it all by the time it ends. I’ve known Olaf since the early days of Club 11 (†, 2008), cause I used to work as a receptionist at the hotel in which all the artists were staying. I was also in an act called Jason and the Argonauts and we played at the 11 couple of times. Then sometime in 2010 my buddy Boris Werner got offered to do a night at Trouw and since Boris and I lived in the same house things kinda naturally progressed from there. All these mesmerizing memories sure made us feel it would have been forever, but all along we knew that the end would come.
What was the most exciting moment in your career to date?
Always a tricky one this question… I mean, there were different moments in different times. But I’d say closing off the Lowlands 2013 festival last year was a definite highlight for me. Lowland is the Dutch version of Glastonbury, I would say. That three-day mega festival energy is quite unique as you might know. So bringing that to a magnificent end, as I did together with all those people there was amazing! I’d say either that, or that one time when I skydived to my gig in Romania.
How did your relationship with mobilee come together?
In 2013 I had my residency at Sankeys Ibiza where during one show I met Anja. We hit it off having so much fun during dinner together with Citizen and Sebo K. After that we kept in touch and Anja booked me to play at some of the mobilee events where I also met Ralf and we decided to do a release. I mean, they’re a great team and it just felt right, that’s it. Haha!
What is 2015 holding for you? Can you reveal your plans for the nearest future?
There is something Trans- Atlantic brewing underneath the surface but I can’t yet reveal exactly what. Next to that I’m spending a lot of time in the studio finding new ways to work and coming up with original stuff. This is most important for me, because everything in house music has been used a million times already, so that’s where I seek for inspiration. Doing things that are not out there yet. 2015 will bring a lot more of that.
In your recent mix AFRICANSUMMER is a tribute to African influences on house music. What does this heritage mean to you?
So yeah, my dad’s from Cameroun and my mom’s Dutch/Ukrainian. Being mixed race, I believe, gives me a certain insight into how things work in life. Not specifically better or worse, just different. Only for the last two years I’ve really felt the need and motivation to express this through my music even more, with, for instance, my track ‘Deflourished’, that came out on Voyage Direct. Totally non-house music vibe with a cool video. It was actually the final track I played during that Lowlands set I mentioned earlier. And judging by the reaction from the crowd, it was the right thing to do.
What is your favourite equipment to play on?
I love to play my live shows with my own gear of course, but you can set me up with some proper decks & CDJs anyway!
What are your current top 5 tracks?
In no particular order:
Trus’me – I Want You (Alan Fitzpatrick rmx)
William Kouam Djoko – Mold Trip
Mutsumi – Look Down At Yo Feet Below
Felix Lenferink – Lodges In The Mind
Theo Parrish – American Intelligence LP