Interview: Aoloa Patao
Media: Red Bull
SOHO Mixed Media Bar crowd is in anticipation—DJ Compose (Jay Ablan is his given name) of the two-time ITF World Champion Nocturnal Sound Krew is set to launch off into his 15-minute set. Everyone at the Red Bull Thre3Style DJ competition is screaming—even the buff dudes. Then, out of musical silence, he initiates Bone Crusher’s “Neva Scared.” The crowd gets even louder. The competition is done. He wins!
Contrast spoke to the Hawai’i champ to get an inside scoop on the competition, Red Bull and the haters.
Contrast: Congratulations on your victory at the Red Bull Thre3Style competition. How does it feel?
DJ Compose: Thank you. Feels great. Actually, I’m just relieved it’s over and looking forward to the next step in Los Angeles.
This generation really hasn’t been exposed to a DJ comp like this. What is the difference between past DJ comps you’ve been in and this one?
I know our reputation of being battle DJs is pretty well known, but it’s been 10+ years since we won; truly a couple of generations ago. So it was a good way to show those who never experienced what a true “battle” was to see what Nocturnal Sound was really about.
When did you find out that you were selected into this comp and how long did you practice your set for?
Red Bull invited Hawaii’s top DJs late last year—some accepted, some didn’t. We had that long to get our sets ready.
Do you know how the DJs were selected?
It was by invite only by an esteemed panel. Not sure exactly, but everyone deserved to be on stage.
What was the feeling like getting up on stage knowing that while you were given that 15 minutes, everyone’s eyes were on you to see what you could bring?
Nothing like it. It brought me back to the days when I was a bedroom DJ working on my craft. To my own fault, I haven’t been as creative with things as I could/should be because I’m so busy with the grind of being a working DJ. This battle challenged me to bring back that fire of sticking your neck out in front of your peers, your haters, and those who support you. Respect to those who actually accepted the invite. I feel like a lot of DJs, myself included, had more to lose than to gain. It wasn’t easy. That’s why I took this event extremely seriously.
Wings team thre3style: Maia, Tiare and Asia.
How did the competition work? Were you battling all the other contestants or was there an elimination process?
Basically, the threestyle battle was a battle amongst seven other DJs, all of which are talented and just as capable in there own right. You had 15 minutes to show your skill, versatility, showmanship—everything to show why you should be crowned Hawai’i’s best.
By winning this competition, what happens now?
The Hawai’i heat was a prelim to enter the LA heat on May 3rd. I have to battle 7 of LA’s best.
If you win that comp, what happens then?
If/when…I battle in the US Finals.
How do you feel Red Bull is changing the game?
More so than anything, it adds credibility to it.
Anything you want to add, feel free to.
I’d like to shout everyone who support Nocturnal Sound. Shout to Jami & Sssolution for sticking your neck out with me, DJ XL for helping me get my set sharp as hell and all those who doubt me and the crew, you know what time it is.
Thanks, Jay and good luck in LA!