The Canadian Red Bull Thre3style finals are set for this weekend in Vancouver, where the winner will get their chance to represent Canada at the World DJ Championships next month in Baku, Azerbaijan. Before I go on and introduce the current Canadian champion Adam Doubleyou, it's time to educate ourselves on what Thre3style is.
Did you know that Red Bull created the Thre3style competition? Thre3style also has distinct Canadian roots and aims to reward the best DJs who can best display their technical abilities while also managing to gain the biggest crowd reactions. Each DJ has 15 minutes and must play a minimum of 3 genres. DJs will need to impress both the judges and the crowd where they'll be judged based on a criteria of track originality (20%), mixing creativity (30%), technical mixing (30%), stage presence (10%), and crowd response (10%).
With that out of the way, meet Adam Doubleyou, the current Canadian Thre3style champion who hopes to represent Canada at this year's World DJ Championship. He comes from Quebec and has a deep respect and love for the Thre3style community. He takes his craft seriously and also gives a lot of props to Red Bull that he considers to be "culture creators", with Thre3style competition being the perfect example. Enjoy the interview:
Who is Adam Doubleyou?
DJ from Quebec who's just trying to be as good as the people he looks up to.
You are the current Canadian champion and represented Canada in the World Thre3style Championships in Toronto back in November – how was that experience?
It was a fantastic experience and got to meet people that do what I do in a very specific Thre3style way from across the country. Everyone was super nice and made a lot of great friends that I still talk to online and hope to see in the future. Some of them have since visited Canada and i’ve helped hook themup. I hope to see them again at this year's finals in Azerbaijan.
I like the confidence.
Whether as a finalist or as a tourist, I think I'm going to go either way. The experience of being with people that do what you do, I see it as sort of professional development. Getting to speak to colleagues outside of a nightclub is something that rarely happens, so I'm willing to travel for that.
What's the difference between Thre3style and DMC?
DMC is the original DJ competition. Over the years it became very concentrated on the technical aspect of DJ'ing. DMC gave 3-5 minutes to show how technically proficient and creative you were. It wasn't necessarily great for partying. The3style is a 15 minute showcase and the goal is to rock the party as best they can in those 15 minutes. They also show how creative they can be and how technically proficient they are. It's aim is to make the party good and get people involved rather than chin stroking.
What is your DJ style and what approach do you take to Thre3style?
I like lots and lots of different types of music, so I just try to make a big pile of my favourite stuff and play around with it until I find something coherent that I'm happy with. I try to find clever ways to jump from one genre to the next. In my set I give everyone everything but the kitchen sink but while having a unifying thread so it doesn't seem random.
With the finals coming up this weekend in Vancouver, what kind of prep does it take to create a 15 minute Thre3style set?
Most Thre3style competitors are working DJs, so we stumble across sequences of stuff while at clubs that kind of raise your eyebrows and say “that could be interesting”. So we take these little moments and put them together in the most refined way possible, and showcase all the best stuff you came up with that year at Thre3style. It's about keeping your ear open to things that you like, putting in the work and wrapping it up in a nice little package.
Coming from a Thre3style background, how do you view the electronic dance music explosion?
I think it's great that people are interested in electronic music in general, it's exciting stuff. In my opinion, it's the DJ's responsibility to present it in a way to make it interesting to people and I think that's what Thre3style values and rewards. There are people that are on the festival circuit that do that very very well like Grandtheft, A-Trak, A Tribe Called Red, Smalltown DJs, Four Color Zack, DJ Hedspin, and ESKEI83. All of these guys are playing big electronic music events, and bringing DJ fundamentals to their sets. But I think there's room for everybody on that circuit to do it their way.
Do you feel a part of that world too, and maybe see festivals as another medium to express yourself as a DJ?
I think music festivals are great, I’m playing one in Halifax in September and really looking forward to it.
How do you feel about producers who created a hit track and all of a sudden they are launched onto the festival scene as a DJ?
I think people in that situation, who that reach that level of success often have a good team around them, and they find a way to give the people who paid to see them a good show. These people know their markets and know what their fans want. They'll inevitably put together something that will leave their fans happy. That’s great if that’s what you like, but it's a matter of personal preference. Personally I enjoy it when a DJ is actually DJ'ing, but there are just a lot of people in music festival audiences these days who don’t necessarily appreciate the craft, maybe cause they haven’t been exposed to a skillful and creative DJ set, and what that can do to a party. Thre3style is great because it provides a party forum for people who like their DJs to put in work, and exposes audience to a classic approach to DJing they might not be familiar with.
As the current Canadian Thre3style champion, do you feel any kind of pressure going into Vancouver for the finals? Do you feel like being the guy to beat?
I always feel pressure doing these things because you have to put your best foot forward. The pressure comes from my own desire to show my best work and give the best possible show in a room full of my peers. It's going to bethe same kind of pressure at the finals. So you really want to bring your best game and ideas to impress those people and get them excited. That is the greatest reward.
You mentioned how you've made a lot of friends from the last World Thre3style Championship – do you share any tips or techniques with your friends prior to the Finals, or do you keep that close to your vest entering such a big competition?
It's all love between Thre3style competitors. We are friends because we've gone through this unique experience together and not a lot of people understand what kind of mental gymnastics that we have to go through to put together, rehearse and deliver these 15 minute sets. It's fun to compare notes but I guess everybody respects each others' space leading up to the competition. I'm excited to hang out with all of the winners in Vancouver. The spirit of competition is very much in the building, but it’s all love.
How important is Red Bull and its fundamental support of the Thre3style competition been to you as a DJ?
Red Bull is a company that cares and contributes to the cultures that they support. Whether in sports or music they really get behind the cultures that they're involved in. They're culture creators, and Thre3style is a perfect example of this. The event propagates a school of DJ'ing that is fundamental to music and club culture across the world, and giving people a forum to sharpen their skills. Anyone who has ever been a part of Thre3style will tell you that they came out a better DJ, so this event really enriches DJ culture the world over.
What can fans expect from Adam Doubleyou at the finals this weekend in Vancouver?
They can expect a fantastic party at the Commodore Ballroom and everyone should come. I always like to have a couple of surprises in my sets, but if I told you about them they wouldn’t be surprises.
Any final thoughts?
Shout out to Red Bull for everything they do for music culture. I really encourage DJs who wants to step their game up to apply to Thre3style in 2015. I might see you there!
My thanks to Adam Doubleyou for this enlightening interview! I wish him the best of luck at the upcoming national Thre3style finals happening at the Commodore Ballroom this Saturday in Vancouver.
If you live in Vancouver, then I highly suggest that you check out this dynamic event out. There will be a lot of DJs competing, and fans will have a hand in deciding (Crowd response matters!) who moves forward to represent Canada at the World DJ Championships next month in Azerbaijan. For more information, click below: