Name: Alex Kofman
city of birth: Odessa, Ukraine
Current city: Brooklyn, NY
music genre of preference: House
1) Where did it all start for you?
Oh boy, to be quite honest, it began in my Dads car back in the Ukraine. He would turn on some rock and I’d be all of 5 years old emulating banging on the drum and just going wild. I think I knew at an early age music was all around and deep in my heart. It was also my Mom and Dad who bought me my first set of turntables and a mixer in 98’ and the rest is history.
2) First memories of DJing?
My first gig was in Bay Ridge for a friend’s Birthday party along with now very popular DJ Alex Edge. What I remember most about that gig is how long it took me to arrange an all vinyl set and how to deal with the fact that you’re just not that good yet lol.
3) Describe your sound?
My sound at the moment ranges from deep house to techno with a little bit of every sub genre in between. I am not prejudice to any genres and believe there are quality productions all across the board. Really, it’s just a matter of finding that gem in a pile of dong.
4) Where does inspiration for your music come from?
I started collecting music at an early age and have some amazing original vinyl at the studio. Artists like Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Al Green, Queen, and countless others not mentioned. Every once in a while I’ll get some friends over and we go through some old records and get inspired all over again.
5) As an artist, what DJs/artists do you look up to most and why?
There are countless artists/DJs I look up to but most notably Danny Tenaglia has been the one DJ I try to never miss. His sound is unmatched and can never ever be replicated he is simply in a class by himself. The guy has been going strong for ages and is known for reinventing and bringing back tracks in the most unique and special way I have ever seen or heard. I was lucky enough to meet and hang with Danny and actually opened up for him once at the old Crobar on 28th street. But I also have to mention guys like Sasha & John Digweed who brought the European sound to the U.S. and are still at the top of their game!
6) What is your main focus right now playing or producing?
Well the main focus is always playing but upcoming DJs must take note that it’s becoming increasingly difficult, especially in NYC to get quality gigs without a combination of goods. Skills, productions, connections, promotion and don’t forget about lady luck. It’s one thing to get a gig because you can bring 25 friends to drink at the bar and it’s a whole other ballgame when you are booked because of your talent as a DJ or producer. At the moment, I am working on a number of productions solo and collaborations with much help from my friends Antek and Feygin, two great producers getting some serious buzz!
7) You have been in the scene for some time, what type of changes have you noticed from when you first started?
Technology! It was all so simple back then, “Two Turntables and a Mic, One Phat MC on the Set”. Now it’s all about laptops and Tracktor and Ableton and controllers. Another thing that changed from back when I was starting out is the value of a DJ. Before, DJs had dignity and worth. One had to go to a record shop and spend hours before purchasing maybe a dozen records worth $100, needles were expensive and all this stuff was not available for download lol. Nowadays, anyone can be a DJ in a few simple steps. Download some mixing software, pirate a bunch of tunes from the internet, plug your laptop to any mixer and off to the races. There are pros and cons to technology, some embrace the changes others are bitter. I for one have embraced it but I never forget where I came from and incorporate all I’ve learned with all the new things I look forward to learning.
8 ) Being a resident in NYC, what has this city done for you? What advantages do you have by living here?
First of all NYC is in my heart, pumping through my veins now and forever. It is the greatest city in the world and I will never take it for granted. The diversity is my favorite aspect of the city and living here made me more open minded to other cultures and traditions. The advantages are countless, where else can you get a chicken and rice at 4am on a Tuesday lol.
9) As far as current events what residency spots do you have now andwhat upcoming events do you have on your calendar?
Personally, I feel residencies in NYC are a thing of the past. I had stints at every major spot in the city, but nothing you could call a residency, although while back I did hold a bi-weekly residency at Centro Fly. Those days sure were fun playing on a top notch sound system with my friends Serge Devant, Max Mayfield and Walden.
At the moment I am like the thousands of DJs in NYC trying to fight for playing time in a very populated landscape and I’d say about 90% of all the gigs I do are a waste. Although, every once in a while you get a treat. This coming weekend is the 2nd annual Electric Zoo Festival. First off, if you missed it last year don’t make that mistake again! The people at Made Event know how to put on an amazing production and I was lucky enough to be a part of it this year playing the official after party at Pacha. I played in Pacha a few times for Made Event but never on the main floor and certainly not for the Electric Zoo Festival after party. Oh and by the way did I mention Guy Gerber is headlining? Yes, he is! If you don’t know who Guy Gerber is, I suggest you find out. Besides traveling the globe and putting out monster productions since before I even started DJing. He was also asked by P.Diddy to produce his entire upcoming album. But enough about Guy, this is my interview lol. Joining me at Pacha in the DJ booth come September 5th will be my friend and upcoming DJ Simon Heyliger. We are on from about 10-1ish for what looks to be a massive night!
1) If you had to describe yourself in 5 words what would they be?
Calm, Cool, Collected, Fun & SEXY!
2) Name 2 random things about you self that most people would never guess?
I used to sport a Mullet haircut and I cried at the end of the Sex in the City movie. In reality, I never even saw that movie but I couldn’t think of anything else so I figured, why not attempt to connect with my female friends on an emotional yet humorous level.
3) Favorite clothing line?-Lacoste
4) Top 3 tracks on your play list now ?
Depends on where I am playing of course but I will attempt this.
For the commercial but semi-house educated crowd, Louie Vega feat. Julie McKnight -“Bittersweet”
If you want to have fun with it try Juice Operator – “Got that Tune”
This last one also gets a lot of play as well David Labeij – “Ode to the P”
5) What are your thoughts on Artists Intel and what they are doing?
A few word come to mind. Creative, forward thinking and sexy! The boys are on the rise and having fun with it and that’s the most important part. Thanks for this interview and keep it up!