Creating Budots Magic: Inside DJ Love’s Enigmatic Studio
Davao City, Philippines – In the sprawling metropolis of Davao City, where the vibrant pulse of music echoes through its streets, a maverick artist has emerged, captivating the world with the infectious beats of the budots genre. Sherwin Calumpang Tuna, better known as DJ Love, has not only represented his genre on the global stage but has become a symbol of unwavering passion and creativity.
The recent weeks have seen DJ Love’s meteoric rise, as he took the renowned Boiler Room event by storm, leaving an indelible mark on the international music scene. While his electrifying performances have garnered attention, few are aware of the hidden world inside his personal studio, where he brings his vision to life through mesmerizing music videos. We at Midnight Rebels had the privilege of an exclusive online interview, delving into DJ Love’s creative process and uncovering the secrets of his extraordinary studio setup.
Before delving into the depths of his studio, DJ Love shared an intriguing tidbit—he starts his music production sessions with a burst of energy from a yellow-flavored COBRA energy drink. With the elixir coursing through his veins, he enters a realm where sound takes shape and emotions find expression.
As the chat via messenger progressed, I was introduced to DJ Love’s studio, a sight that defied conventional norms. His computer, encased in a makeshift wooden structure, was held together by layers of masking tape. The exposed motherboard and PCIe wirings gave it a post-apocalyptic aura, reminiscent of a bygone era. With a lighthearted joke about its potential as a national treasure, we shared a moment of laughter, recognizing the beauty that can be found in unexpected places. The power supply is situated on the top of the wooden makeshift casing with dangling wires. To power up the unit, DJ Love expertly hotwires it by connecting two wires, a daring and authentic touch to his artistic process.
The keyboard, cloaked in a blanket of dust, bore the battle scars of countless hours of creativity. Missing keycaps were ingeniously replaced with cut-out squares of electrical tape, a testament to DJ Love’s resourcefulness and adaptability. Though the keys had lost some of their sensitivity, requiring multiple presses to respond, it did little to deter his unwavering determination.
Moving on to his headphones, I discovered a relic of sonic loyalty. The worn-out headphones, carefully held together with tape, lacked the customary ear foam, forcing the plastic speakers into direct contact with DJ Love’s ears. He revealed that he clung to them not out of necessity, but rather because his ears had become attuned to their distinct sound. However, he admitted that given the chance, he yearned for a new pair to experience music in its full glory.
Outside the casing, I found the hard disks nonchalantly stacked upon one another. Covered in a film of dust, they remained functional, safeguarding a treasure trove of tracks and videos. Among them, a 160GB WD hard disk manufactured in 2009 stood as a testament to DJ Love’s dedication. Recognizing their irreplaceable value, I urged him to secure these prized possessions, for they held not only memories but also the potential to shape his future.
DJ Love’s digital audio workstation (DAW) of choice was Fruity Loops version 20. With a chuckle, he confessed that his system occasionally struggled to keep up, forcing him to reboot it to continue his creative journey. He further revealed that his copy of the DAW was a pirated version, a gift from his friend DJ Danz, emphasizing the resourcefulness and support that permeated his creative circle.
No virtual studio tour would be complete without exploring the heart of DJ Love’s sonic world—the speakers. Unbranded and weathered, these monitor speakers bore the marks of countless hours of intense musical exploration. DJ Love confessed that when fatigue set in from the foamless headphones, he had no choice but to rely on these battle-tested speakers. Despite their imperfections, they faithfully conveyed the essence of his sound, though he admitted that a better alternative would undoubtedly elevate his experience.
Nestled next to DJ Love’s PC, a cherished picture of his child is lovingly printed on paper and carefully taped to the wall. With a warm smile, DJ Love shares the profound influence this image holds in his music production process. He explains that his child’s innocent gaze and boundless curiosity ignite a flame of inspiration within him, reminding him of the beauty and purity of life. As he delves into his creative endeavors, the image serves as a constant reminder of the love and responsibility he carries as a parent and artist. It fuels his drive to craft music that not only moves the crowd but also captures the essence of joy and wonder that his child embodies. With each beat he produces, he channels the love and inspiration emanating from that picture, infusing his music with a touch of heartfelt magic that resonates with listeners around the world.
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