Menu Subscribe Search



Subscribe for the Latest Music News

Enter your email address below to subscribe to a regular(ish) dose of AAA Backstage goodness direct to your inbox.

Interview: DJ Ego


A jack of all trades when it comes to everything visual art and music inspired, DJ Ego has spent the last few years stunning audiences around the world with his incredible live performances and visual work. Classed as an audio-visual DJ (mixing both the music and the visuals at once), Ego has now been recognised by the worldwide DJing competition Red Bull Thre3style, placing as one of the five finalists nationwide. We chatted with DJ Ego about his past, his process, and the upcoming 2016 Red Bull Thre3style.

To start off, your stage name ‘Ego’ is quite a bold name, how did you come up with it?

I actually got it from my last name, Egan. It was my schoolyard nickname, but it just kind of stuck. It was quite an ironic name with me being the smallest in my class, but I owned it. So it’s a huge piss-take, especially as a DJ name.

You’re a guy that can’t seem to be boxed in. You’ve directed music videos for Sachi and Paces, you’ve also done visual instalments on buildings and are widely regarded for your DJing mixes and sets which are released alongside a visual counterpart. How did you get involved with all these creative endeavours?

I’ve just being around for so long that it’s kind of warped what I do. I started DJing over 10 years ago, which then evolved into video DJing when Serato Video came out. Playing film clips over the music, I then decided I wanted to make my own, so I went into that. I created my own show, and then I became more of a visual artist than a DJ, but the two go hand in hand. It’s been a matter of branching out, ‘what’s the next thing I want to do?’. Everything I do is connected to music, whether it be music videos or projects with a strong audio element. I just love the world of music, so work together pretty easily.

Do you have a process when you go about piecing together these audio-visual sets or huge installations?

I have a process but I don’t think it works (laughs). I start with an idea, then realise the idea doesn’t work, so I smack my head against a wall and then somehow a mistake comes out of that which has all these cool connections that link up. I think that’s how most DJs go about making their routine sets too. They have something they want to do, they try it, and find out what works what does doesn’t work. By then the final product can be a long way from where you started.

Do you see yourself as more of a DJ or a visual artist?

It’s definitely more visual artist now. When I started doing visual stuff, it was just adding in those visual elements to a work, now the visual elements are a priority.

Interesting. So you’re a finalist in this year’s Australian Red Bull Thre3style, one of the most prestigious DJing competitions in the world, how excited are you to be dusting off your headphones and gracing the decks again given all of your visual artist roles of late.

It’s pretty intimidating. I just threw in the submission because I do DJ, but I don’t see myself as being anywhere near the best DJs in Australia. I just entered and now I’m a finalist, it’s pretty surreal. When I look all the people who are in the competition I just wonder, because what I do is very different. I’m not a turntablist, I’m more of a storyteller. DJing is obviously an integral part of that, but I’m not sure how it’s going to go at the Thre3style.

I guess that’s what separates you from the other DJs though. Even though you don’t focus on turntablism you have a different background and something new to bring.

Yeah I guess the Red Bull judges are looking for, something else to add to the mix. That’s what Red Bull Thre3style is really about, pushing the boundaries and questioning what real DJing is. I guess I fit into that, but I’m definitely not in the top 5 of the country for sure (laughs).

How does this set compare to your previous mixes?

It’s going to be all different DJ sets combined. Something I’ve always tried to do in my audio-visual sets is never let the visuals detract from the audio. I want to keep the dance floors moving, with mixes that the audio-heads will appreciate. I’ll definitely be doing what I’ve always been trying to do, which is an audio set that tells a story.

Have you got anything else planned for the rest of the year, any additional projects that you’re working on?

Everything at the moment is pretty visual based, so I definitely have to do some more DJing. Depending on how well the Thre3style goes, I might even get back on the road. Otherwise I’m hoping to do a lot more installations, I’ve been bogged down with a lot of cool client work. I’ll definitely be wanting to do more audio-visual work rather than just a visual front though too, and hopefully that would involved more DJing.

Finally, seeing as it’s the Red Bull Thre3style and Red Bull gives you wings, what would you do if you had wings?

I’d travel to the places that you can’t normally get to. Far north areas, the poles, places people haven’t even touched, wherever that’d be! (laughs)

The Australian Red Bull Thre3Style is a completely free event and is only days away, so make sure to get all the info and RSVP HERE before tickets run out! In the meantime, jam out to Ego’s unique video mixtape below!