(originally published September 2007)

How did you get started and decide to dj?

Visiting Liquid Ice weekly and seeing other dj’s was a major part of why; the energy and excitement of it all. As a person who loves music and has a passion for percussion it was only natural. Realizing years of percussion lessons was taking me nowhere and my new love for Liquid Ice, it all just fit together.

Why dj and stick with it?

The knowledge, friendships, and experience are a huge part of why I dj. Getting to travel and play in other provinces, and with enough practice and effort other countries, are experiences that can’t be put to words. (chuckles) Everybody also likes money; djing provides me enough to pay rent as I go to school.

What has djing done for you?

Being a flexible dj has helped other aspects of my life. I find myself sharper with sound, noticing defects. I make sure things are correctly calibrated and can do anything from tune things out while studying to picking up sounds other people don’t notice.

What kind of style do you have – how important is it to be flexible in your style – Favourite other than own / not Favourite

(Excited) I love house music! A kind of upbeat-up tempo funky disco but specialize in a form that originated in Chicago. Other than my own it would be Jazz. I least favour anything that brings me down, energy and happiness are what I want from my music. The name of the game is to be able to cater to whatever style of music your venue requires. I’ve played at a range of clubs, to anniversary parties and weddings; with anything from House, Hip-Hop or Old Rock & Roll to Old Style Contemporary and Jazz.

Vinyl or CD and why

I started with vinyl, as every dj should; it gives you a better feel for how the music works and better visuals when [watching] a dj play. For years vinyl has been a kind of universal music language, allowing people to print and share their music. CD’s can allow everything vinyl does and so much more: a higher quality, lighter, more easily accessible and cheaper form of buying and trading music. Today I use more CD but I like to buy and play gems on vinyl.

What was your best night playing or clubbing?

I have gained many friends since I have started djing. It’s given me access to clubs and venues here and in larger centres such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. At the end of August I visited these larger centres and had a chance to see some big names and play at respected venues. I tore up the Sensation pre-party and then attended it, the largest annual party in Canada at the Bell Center Montréal, Sensation!

Is a dj booth a dj booth, are they all the same?

I have experience in many booths; they are not all the same. It differs with the amount and quality of equipment to how close they are to the dance floor. The higher the quality of equipment the more you want to protect it from vibration and maybe the occasional intoxicated individual. (laughs)

What three djs do you look up to the most?

I look up to many dj’s because I look up to many styles, learning from each a little. In the general form of house music I look up to Mark Farina, for his Jazzy and comedic sense, Derrick Carter for his weird and funky musical puns, and last but most favourable, Newfoundland’s own Mark Power for his ability to put it all together. The Mark’s have taught me over the years; stage charisma is what djing is all about.

What CD are you listening to right now

I am producing house music with local artist George Newman, and look for inspiration in any form. The music I listen to is a big part of it. Right now I’m listening to Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits, it helps me think.

One thing people don’t know about you

I am an open person so there’s not much people don’t know. I’m an avid woodsman. I love being in the woods in winter and summer, snowboarding and fishing in remote areas in Newfoundland.

What’s next for Mike Taylor

I attend Memorial University and put just about all my time into studying and djing at Liquid Ice. The next four or five years are devoted to my business study’s and music, the most important things to me.

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