DJ Stove on Taking Creative Risks and Building a Personal Brand
Initially perceived as a dangerous yet entertaining spectacle, watching a guy act as a DJ on a lit stove became a viral sensation dismissed by many as a mere meme video; however, the unexpected attention from global DJs such as Tiesto, D-wayne, Afrojack, Dash Berlin, and ALOK resulted in Allen Ereña, aka DJ Stove, turning this quirky entertainment idea into a legitimate career, performing at various music festivals and gaining club residencies, exemplifying the possibilities of success that come with taking bold and creative risks.
For many DJs, success in the industry is often tied to their ability to craft a signature sound and stand out in a crowded field. But for Filipino DJ Stove, the key to making a name for himself wasn’t found in traditional mixing equipment, but in one of the most essential appliances in his kitchen: the gas stove. With a viral video that saw him “DJing” with a lit stove, Allen Ereña quickly found a niche for himself in the DJ industry, building a brand around his unique approach to live performance. In this interview, we sit down with DJ Stove to talk about his creative process, the importance of taking risks, and how he’s built a successful career by staying true to his own artistic vision.
Your viral video where you used a stove as a set of 1s and 2s was a unique and creative concept. Can you walk us through the process of coming up with that idea, and how you approached creating a parody that would stand out in a crowded field of electronic music videos?
First kasi na nangyari talaga is ganto I was watching a tutorial sa youtube how to use controller so nuod lang ako ng nuod that time tapos medyo nagutom na ako kasi di pa ako nag lunch non so mag luluto sana ako ng egg then parang napahinto ako nung nakita ko yung Kalan namin kakaiba kasi sya meron parang burner din sa gitna so yung itsura nya is parang meron mixer in short parang dj controller talaga so sakto mahilig na ako gumawa ng vines nun that time kaya kinuha ko agad phone ko nag record ako nung una di ko pa inopen ung fire as in nag acting lang ako ng parang DJ tapos nun pinost ko yun then meron isang friend ko na nagcomment sabi buksan ko daw yung kalan so ayon nag video ako ulit triny ko ng i open yung kalan then nung nag sshoot na ako nun ng video napansin ko medyo madilim dun sa kusina namin so inopen ko yung lights then nakita ko sa phone meron siyang effect na parang disco lights tapos ayun nag tawag ako ng isang friend ko para mag patay sindi ng ilaw.
As a DJ who has become well-known for using unconventional equipment, how important do you think it is to be true to yourself and your creative vision, even if it means going against the norm or taking risks?
Honestly di ko na isip o inakala na mag vi-viral yung video ko, ang goal ko lang is yung mag patawa dahil mahilig talaga ako gumawa ng mga videos na kalokohan or Vines ika nga. The video has been my stepping stone since then. I can proudly say na kahit ito man ay delikado o “kalokohan lamang” malaki ang naging positibong epekto nito sa life ko. But of course we still need to be more cautious, especially since there are a lot of kids on social media nowadays.
Your work as a DJ has garnered international attention and acclaim, and you have been featured in a number of high-profile media outlets. How have you managed to navigate being in front of the camera, and what advice would you give to artists who are looking to build their personal brand and reach a wider audience?
During my elementary days, palagi akong kasali sa mga extracurricular activities and intermission numbers, and also highschool and college days palagi akong sumasali sa mga dance contests. So nasanay na ako simula nung bata ako hanggang sa ngayon doon na build yung confidence ko. Oo, sa una may kaba talaga pero once masimulan ko na ito, tuloy tuloy na. My advice is just do whatever makes you happy. Kapag enjoy ka sa isang bagay, your confidence will come naturally. Luckily, dahil sa social media ngayon mas madali na mapalawak yung market mo sa sarili, grab that opportunity. Just continue what you do as an artist, huwag kang titigil at susuko even if hindi mo ma-achieve agad yung goal mo. tuloy tuloy lang dapat. Your right time will definitely come for you.
With the viral video you had, were there any instances where it backfired on you or negatively impacted your career in any way? How did you navigate those challenges?
Nagkaroon din ako ng mga bashers o may mga taong hindi nagustuhan yung video na ginawa ko. At first kada mababasa ko yung mga bad comments nila, nasasaktan ako. Pero habang tumatagal hindi ko na sila iniinda bagkus ginawa ko itong motivation na mas lalo ko pang galingan sa passion ko.
You have established yourself as a successful and innovative artist in a competitive industry. How important do you think it is for DJs and musicians to continually push themselves creatively, and how do you challenge yourself to come up with new and exciting ideas for your sets and performances?
Being a DJ or a Musician it is important for us to always update songs and learn new things everyday. I believe that in my profession, it is non-stop learning. Always look for the brighter sides. Don’t lose hope, just do what you love until you reach your goal.
Can you share any tips or strategies for DJs who are looking to build their brand and establish a unique identity in a crowded industry?
Always remember that all of us have our own spot-light. Just do what you really love and what makes you happy. Lahat tayo ay nagsisimula or nagsimula sa ilalim, walang madali sa una but ang importante ay masaya ka sa ginagawa mo. Most importantly, maging mabait ka sa kapwa mo or sa industriyang ito. Always put your feet on the ground.
DJ Stove‘s story serves as an inspiring reminder that creativity knows no bounds. Despite using unconventional equipment, he has been able to make a name for himself in the competitive world of electronic music through his unique approach to live performance and production. His success is a testament to the importance of staying true to one’s artistic vision, taking risks, and pushing creative boundaries. Through his story, he encourages aspiring artists to pursue their passions with confidence and determination, and to never let negative feedback or setbacks hold them back. By continuing to innovate and challenge oneself, one can achieve great things and make a lasting impact in their chosen field.
The reality remains that DJ Stove‘s viral videos continue to create ripples across the internet, enduring the test of time as new emerging DJs and music enthusiasts continue to comment on them to this day.
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