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It all started in 1987. Numerous times he scratched with Run DMC’s Walk This Way, using an old Philips turntable, a self-cut slip mat made of old curtains and an extra amplifier. Robert Hoogduin, then DJ Davinci and now Roberto DaVinci, knew already at the age of seventeen: he would be a DJ! In 2015 he told Marcy Goes Wild the story of his debut. "Every Friday, I loaded my bike with a crate full of vinyl and cycled from Overveen to Haarlem.”
“The true reason to start playing, was the fact that one of my friends had a set of turntables. Including a mixer in the middle. This friends’ neighbor was Marcel Bakker (DJ Marcello). It didn’t take long to get inspired by what Marcello already realized in those days. This was when he played in The Bells Club in Amstelveen. Every month, Marcel released a mix-tape. To make copies, he borrowed my then high-end tape player. I wanted to do what he did, so, on a monthly basis, I sold my friends my own mixes for ten guilders a piece.”
‘To wurm you way in’
“With the rise of house music in the late eighties, it was reasonably easy to ‘wurm your way in’ somewhere. Soon I had my first gig. This took place in Toshaba in Bloemendaal, which was a type of club house for the youth. Nervousness didn’t exist at that age. Mistakes did. Not a lot was played in-sync. That changed soon enough, when I got my first residency in the early nineties in Dwiezels in Haarlem. Every Friday I loaded my bike with a crate full of vinyl and rode from Overveen to Haarlem.”
“As of then, I wanted more! I bought a four-track recorder with only one single goal: to play in a live radio show on the Dutch station 3FM in a show named de Bond van Doorstarters, which was hosted by Martijn Krabbé. Exactly that happened. Almost immediately after I sent it in, they aired my housemix.”
“In the days that the renowned Ibiza club Privilege was still named Ku, I was already playing on the island. The DJ existence didn’t have the bizarre label yet that it has these days. So, we just played records, mixed and had parties. No hassle. Additionally, in those years I enrolled in a good amount of DJ contests. I also won several of them. Of course, this tasted like more. In the mid-nineties I actually came in fourth at the Dutch Live Mix Championships.”
“Blood is thicker than water… Consequently, together with two friends, Jochem Tromp and Menno Kloeth, I was the founder of the renowned REBORN parties in Haarlem. House classics predominated these parties: we booked DJs as Jaydee, Lady Aïda, Acid Junkies, Quazar and Zki (now Chocolate Puma). We organized around forty events in and around Haarlem.”
“Aside from this, for years I was a resident at the Sunday’s Best evenings at Club Stalkers in Haarlem. Also, because Flexcited’s Frank Böhm often asked me to play, I got the opportunity to perform at some beautiful festivals: A Day at the Park, Wooferland, Liberation Festival Haarlem, Loveland, Bungalop, Free Festival and Awakenings.”
“But oh well, you have to consider it a hobby, only then the fun remains. I still like to play at events like Dagverblijf in Amsterdam and Thirties in Haarlem. And as the DJ duo Funksoulbrothers, me and my friend Menno Kloeth are doing pretty well. And not matter wehere I play, the early house-days always are the common thread in my sets.”
“These days, I host my own radio show named Blend on Amsterdam’s Freak31, an online streaming station. Every Friday night I air exactly what I stand for: deep house and tech house with the ‘classic’ twist of house classics.”
“Looking back on 28 years DJing for fun, the only conclusion I can draw is: the passion and the love for music, the playing and having people enjoy the music, is the greatest hobby I could have ever imagined. Doing this, is definitely the best choice I ever made. Of course, when I was younger, I could have achieved more as a DJ then I have now. Yet, the most beautiful thing is, that I have always been able to give priority to myself as a human being. This resulted in a great profession, a fabulous son, and last but not least, the most amazing hobby ever: being a DJ!”
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This article was originally published on February 5th 2015 on DJMag.nl.