Zoyzi: Out of the Shadows & Behind the Decks

Amber Long

The role of the DJ is undeniably a fundamental to the makings of a good party. A good DJ carries the crowd, takes them on a journey. A line up of good DJs do this throughout the whole night. DJing is a skill unto itself. Communicating through music and the mixing of tunes is something that comes naturally to some, but the proof is in the delivery.

Producers need DJs to play their music. If there are no DJs, who will play the tunes? Some are gifted with stage presence and an ear with flair, matched with an innate ability to intermingle tracks into a sonic atmosphere that takes people away, the whole reason they left the house in the first place.

Fact is, the world needs DJs!

This is how I met Hungarian-born DJ Zoyzi. With the organizer or Progressive Astronaut Events, Jessica Shepherd, singing her praises, I was fortunate enough to meet this kind, humble soul in London. Before leaving, we made the deal that should a spot open at the Modern Agenda showcase at ADE, it was her birthday and she would play.

Zoyzi heard from me the day before the showcase and despite a busy schedule for ADE, she was on board immediately and came prepared to rock a full house at Kashmir Lounge. That she did. At first meeting, Zoyzi is quiet and a bit reserved but put her behind the decks with a sound system and we see a different side of this normally timid self-proclaimed wallflower.

So, how does this work? What motivates Zoyzi beyond her comfort zone into becoming a powerful purveyor of Progressive House music? She took the time to answer a few questions for us… I told her I was asking for a friend. She also delivered her live set from the Modern Agenda Showcase for us to enjoy as well. Tune in November 1st @ 10PM EST [convert timezone] or listen on-demand anytime after with a FRISKY Premium Subscription. Press play and read on…

What motivated you to start DJing? How did you start?

My motivation is music and I can’t live without it. My dad loved listening to music and dancing with us. He had a pretty cool vinyl collection which I still carry with me no matter where I go. During my childhood music was playing every day and we were singing, dancing or taking long road trips by car while listening to it and I was looking out the window and dreaming.

I started going to parties and I fell in love with the sounds I heard. Soon after this I realised that I wanted to listen to my favourite tracks in my own sets, and I bought my first CDJs and started practicing regularly.

How long have you been mixing?

Honestly I can’t remember!….probably about 10 years. It was around 2009 in my hometown in Hungary when I played for the first time at a club. Before that I was DJ’ing at private house parties and making mixes for my friends, and they were encouraging me all the time, so I thought it was time to take the next step!

It’s a lot to learn, a new skill, what are some things you did (or do) to help you be a better DJ?

You learn something new every day. I don’t want to be perfect because mistakes make us human but I’m a perfectionist in every part of my life, and I am always learning and working to get better. I really like to talk to and observe other talented DJs; how they are mixing and take the best parts out of it and use it if this technique fits my style.

What have been some obstacles along the way? How did you work through them?

My biggest obstacle is that I’m shy and get nervous easily in front of new people. I feel like sometimes I can’t properly represent myself and so many times I was hiding in the shadows. Crazy, right?! But when I’m playing in front of many people I don’t feel this way because the love and attention that I get from the crowd gives me confidence.

Where does your ambition come from? What’s the ultimate goal?

My ambition comes from my heart. If I can change people’s state of mind and cheer them up then it’s worthwhile to do music. My only goal is to play more gigs, visit more places and meet with people through the music and express my feelings. Also, I will focus more on producing and starting a new radio show so stay tuned!

What’s the scene like where you live?

The progressive sound really seems to resonate with the people in Hungary. We have many big artists from around the world coming to play here and also more and more amazing producers and DJs coming out of our country. I think we have a really open minded and energetic crowd that just loves it, and also, we support our own talents.

You’ve played some big gigs, which have been your favourite and why?

Hard to choose really but playing warm up for Guy Mantzur & GMJ at the Progressive Astronaut Party in London was something special. Also, I was honoured to play for the first time at ADE this year at the Modern Agenda Showcase, it was magical! I felt like I finally made it and I’m pretty sure my parents would have been so proud of me!

What is special about the music you choose to play? How do you want people to feel, listening to you play?

I can only wish that my style is special for others. Sometimes people say to me I have a different style and they put a tag on it “Zoyzi style”. I don’t know if it is true but I’m happy when people can tell the difference. I’m just picking tracks that I feel at that moment, and I like to take my listeners on an atmospheric and happy musical journey filled only with positive vibes.

In your opinion, what makes a good gig a great gig?

For me every gig is the same. I want to give my best, it doesn’t matter if it’s a small venue or a large festival.

Do you have someone you’d call your inspiration?

I can call many talented people my inspiration, but my biggest role model is Hernan Cattaneo! He is not only incredibly talented, but his personality is amazing, and he has a huge heart which makes this scene all the better for the example he sets.

What and who keeps you going in tough times?

My true friends keep me going through tough times. Without them I would be lost.

Where can people find your sets?

I’m on Mixcloud and uploading my sets & live shows regularly so check my channel here: www.mixcloud.com/zoyzi

What’s your advice for any new and aspiring DJs?

My advice is to believe in yourself no matter what! Never let anybody pull you back or bring you down. Just listen to your heart and learn from your mistakes and always keep moving forward!

Where do you see yourself in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years? When you’re 80?

In 1 – 3 – 5 years hopefully I’ll still be doing what I like to do the most – music! Also, when I’m 80 I think I would still be crazy enough to dance all day long. This makes me healthy and keeps me young! 🙂

Listen to Zoyzi’s mix from Modern Agenda’s ADE 2018 Showcase on [Re] Live, airing November 1st at 10PM EST [convert timezone] or listen anytime / anywhere after with a FRISKY Premium Subscription & FRISKY Mobile Apps.

[Re]Live – Zoyzi