We just hit up Igloofest in Montreal for the third year straight, this time adding VJs into the interview rotation. One doesn’t simply jump from learning to VJ to landing a gig at a huge festival, so we talked to CHOCOBEETS a little bit about starting out, creating original content, and software.
How did you get into what you’re doing?
►I studied cinema in college and then graphic design. It wasn’t until my last year of university when I studied at a university in northern Finland with a lot of arts and design programs. It was a really small town. When we were going out in the bars downtown there were students VJ’ing, and it was something I had never seen before. After watching them, I thought I could do better with it than what they were doing, so I started when I was there. I did one gig, probably my most stressful gig ever. I came back to Montreal and started searching for opportunities to VJ because I really enjoyed the medium since it’s a mix of cinema, graphic design, and performance.
With DJs, performing is just one part, and another piece is making original content. Do you see VJ’ing the same way? Do you make your own visuals?
►I create my own visuals; it’s mostly a stop motion animation. So either it’s photography I then animate, or it’s collage/cut-ups I move around then take photos and animate. I also do some video. I do these as pieces I can play with live, so it’s all around those loops.
What’s your live performance like?
►For the actual performance, I use the software I’ve been using for five or six years. I’m really into creating new content; that’s really where I put my strengths and energy. I really like the improvisation when I’m live and I really soak in the music and put it back in images. That’s really what I like rather than being technical with the software. I also have a midi controller.
Was it difficult to find opportunities once you got back to Montreal?
►It took a lot of outreach and networking. For me, the goal was to be part of live events. I was going up to organizers and saying I wanted to be part of it. Other times, it’s just being in the right place at the right time. I’m very keen on developing my network, maybe like how you are going to different cities and regions and events, telling people what you do.
If we take a look at all the content you’ve created, is there an ongoing trend?
►For me it’s really playful and colorful, but also simple. It’s shapes and organic shapes cut out from paper. My work is very colorful and rhythmic.