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12 May 2020

How to travel in lockdown

To me, music is an excellent way to time travel! A memorable song can take you back to the first time you heard it, your senses come alive and you may even remember what it smelt like. Be it perfume on the dance floor or the stale smell of beer in a pub. If the song hits hard enough you’re off to that memory. There’s so many layers in music; the beat, melody and lyrics are all intended to trigger a response and they’re all coming at you simultaneously, it’s hard not to leave your mind and body to travel somewhere else. Sometimes to remember and sometimes to forget.

Knowing this as a D.J has helped me to read a crowd, whether to diffuse tension in a club or lift a sports team to victory, music has the ability to take ahold of us momentarily.

One great example I can remember happened during a Gallagher Chiefs rugby match at Waikato Stadium. I was the resident D.J and this particular match was dedicated to the kids attending. I prepared a playlist loaded with Disney music and recognisable children’s songs but I also kept a contingent list on hand for any changes that happened during the match. Late into the first half after a tightly fought wrestle against the Auckland Blues, a small scuffle broke out on field. I thought about the kids and the potential for that scuffle to escalate and a song from my contingent list popped into my mind. Because the volume was controlled by the stadium commentator I had to quickly squeeze the song into the playlist during a stoppage in play and hope they’d turn it up for everyone in the stadium to hear. Just as things began to get more heated between the two teams, through the speakers echoed; “everybody was Kung Fu fighting” and you could see immediately the tension turn to laughter on field and in the stands. I had friends at the stadium tagging me in their instagram stories showing me the crowds reaction up close and sure enough people were laughing, perhaps taking a moment to remember that this is just a game.

There was certainly an element of timing that worked in my favour that day but in that moment a tense crowd of 16,000 people and two teams in the middle of battle stopped, heard the music and travelled somewhere else.

Riki Nock known, as DJ Essentrik in the music scene is a Waikato based D.J who brings life and light into his musical mixes. He has been sharing his unique sound in Hamilton City for over a decade, in nightclubs, Waikato stadium and maybe even your wedding. With roots in Soul, Funk and Hip Hop he keeps his brand versatile informed by his audience and what feels good.

Facebook: @TKProductions
Instagram: @DJEssentrik