ahead of releasing explorations 25 we sat down with Richard...
Owen: Tell me a story. What was the Hayward household listening to growing up?
Richard: Honestly, all we did was listen to music, we didn't have much English T.V. So it was always music in the Background my Dad was always rocking R.E.M, Simply Red and The Police - which I fell in love with from a young age.
My dad has always been a big influence in music as he loved 90's Deep House to 90's rock. I used to take all the Vinyl in the house and then play them in an order I made up at Family BBQs. I suppose you could call that DJing. Hah!
Then as I got older he used to steal my CDs and drive around listening to Less Than Jake and NOFX smoking ciggies secretly in the car thinking he was cool.
Owen: You're pretty musically inclined. What do you play and why?
Richard: Yer well I am also very ADHD so it changes a lot. If you're a DJ or Promoter you know you don't always stick to one thing. For me, I play to the place and crowd, do my homework on the Venue and Event which is crucial and that's going to help you get booked again.
I started DJing Drum & Bass back in the day which I still love, anything liquid, I am sold!!!. Then I moved onto Dubstep. I witnessed in my London DJ days it go from UK afterparty sounds to dominating charts (still to this day). As I grew up my taste just changed.
Owen: What do you play and why?
Richard: Pfft well, that's tough to answer. I feel I have 2 sides. I have the side which is orientated around the Afro Tribal House/Tech/Techno which is generally for Movement events. Or the other side, I am kinda myself as to what I would play, lots of House & Techno with flavors of Dirtybird Rec, Box Of Cats, etc. I feel sometimes I get put into the box of 1 genre of Afro/Tribal as push that for Movement. I am obsessed with music and listen to it all the time.
Owen: Tell us about your other passion, food.
Richard: Well, I left home at 17 and worked in kitchens from a young age and climbed the ranks to be a Chef. I have always enjoyed food and cooking (mainly because my mum cannot cook), also kitchens were a good influence because I learned to work and be disciplined. My favourite years and most influenced were probably working in some amazing restaurants in London. You're just surrounded by talented Chefs who inspire you to cook and create.
Owen: How and why did you start DJing?
Richard: I started when I was 17 on turntables after seeing my friend's older brother and his friends playing Drum & Bass at a party. I just became obsessed with Drum & Bass and then got sucked into the world of buying and collecting vinyl. Back then life was all about going to London and spending my days in record stores buying white labels and dubplates. I still have some of the fattest DnB tunes in my record collection.
When I moved to London and was playing out, you just get that itch to collect and play out.
Owen: So you no longer play vinyl why is that?
Richard: I do but I have not really had an event to do so. Also, my collection these days is so random that I just enjoy the sentimental value of vinyl and listen to the records for fun. Also, a fair portion of them are pretty high value like Bowie Records that you can't get anywhere else. I'd 100% play an event somewhere if the opportunity came up.
Owen: What are the differences between London and NZ music scene?
Richard: London is a massive city with a whole lot of cool shit going on..... daily. I found the music scene when I played there to be a bit clicky, it is a big place with a lot of people so it's hard to be a regular face. But as a whole it's an amazing place whether you are artist or DJ or even a businessman with potential everywhere. Auckland's the same in a lot of ways, just a lot smaller. Building recognition here is much easier and people in the scene are always around you and you can build a network of friends a lot easier.
Owen: Why is vinyl having a resurgence do you think?
Richard: I'd say it has a lot to do with technology. When Vinyl DJs were around CDJs showed up and then people started to get into them. Life became easier because you're not carrying around 4 milk crates of vinyl. I had a bloody granny trolley I would use. Then people got into CDJ with CD's (god showing my age here) who then moved onto USB's which made life so convenient. Then came along controller and things just totally took off with because you could go to the Closest Sound Store and buy a $200 controller run Virtual DJ ...
BOOM! You're the sickest bedroom DJ
That being said, now we have everything we could possibly want and have reached our current musical DJ potential (unless VR Synthestia DJing kicks off). We have almost done a full circle of where we want to go, back to collecting those records and finding those weird obscure heaters that no one else has. Playing vinyl is also a different sound and feel, you have to use your ears and it's a lot to do with touch and feel.
Owen: Career highlights?
Richard: Probably Rythm and Vines playing to 5,000 people and being live-streamed on the internet to so many people. It's a big jump from small bars and clubs to playing a stage with big production and being a headliner. Really since then, I have felt a lot more aligned with my music outlet by having a network of friends and people in the Auckland scene. It's very communal and I am so stoked and pretty happy with the people I am surrounded by.
Owen: DJ name?
Richard: Oh man, I have had some funny ones in the past like Foreign Oddysey, Phizix, Landan lol. Dusa is literally a word that popped into my head. So it stuck.
Owen: Why did you start/ be part of Movement? What is it?
Richard: This is a really good question and I haven't really had an opportunity to explain my role and also what we are doing etc. For me, the reason why I became part of it musically is that I feel the music resonates with me a lot. I am half South African, half English (just have more of an English accent) and spent until the age of 13 in SA then moving to the UK. But my whole family is still there. A lot of music especially dance music as a kid always had that influence in the background, even on the radio you would hear it especially with SA being such a multi-national country.
I met Riccardo/Boss man who runs the Sydney Team through a good friend of mine as she mentioned we had a similar taste in the music of Afro House. From there we just clicked and he had a project which is Movement which is a fully functional entity with some amazing passionate humans on the team. Things all really kicked off during Lockdown which we never anticipated, so our only reach for the brand was Livestreams, especially as we were all bound at home. It all worked out as that's how we met some of the Movement Team to this day with Jateen who is an epic DJ and now helps me run the Media/Mixes/Podcast side of things. Along with Jimmy who is our Graphic Designer and the Brains behind the graphics of the Brand. Also Kanak who is our Deep and Prog DJ who also does all things accounts and admin.
We had or do have some members elsewhere in the world but they are still restricted by COVID but it's a good reach. That being said, it's a real team, we all have job, we have deadlines which is what I like and why I am a part of it because it has serious progression and a real team effort.
I got appointed to run the NZ Channel which has been tough but I have enjoyed it. I am lucky to have our Resident DJs who help out massively where they can. We are a team and a family that anyone can be part of. I suppose it kind of gives me an identity in the Auckland scene as not a lot of people are playing that style or even putting events on. We as Movement really lean more towards the House, Techno, Prog side of the genre with reference to labels like Moblack or artists such as Black Coffee, Pablo Fierro, Daniel Ratueke, Saab, Nenahalena, &Me, Rampa, Floyd Lavine, and a friend of ours Enoo Napa. Funnily enough, we get a lot of interaction and support from these artists.
I could rattle on a lot more but leave it with that.
Owen: What do you think of our electronic music scene good and bad?
Richard: Look I have an opinion and I will be honest but try not to offend anyone. I came to NZ not knowing anyone, handing out mix CDs on Auckland Viaduct, and didn't play out till 1 year or so later. I think the scene is thriving and we are incredibly lucky to have so many amazing people and music of allllll kinds. We are small and you have the usual bullshit of ego's and Tall Poppy Syndrome which is a part of life more than anything.
Personally, I feel there could be more support for each other and our brands, we wall want the same thing right! So if your a larger brand and they're your friends why wouldn't you do a post to support or maybe collaborate a gig. If they're an up-and-coming DJ and they want to play BOOK EM because they're probably just as passionate and loyal the same as anyone else.
I feel Clubs use the same formula or promoters who yes bring them a good cash flow but why not allow the newer brands to put events on!
Also, equality in bookings of male and female events is a whole conversation in itself. But that has to change or better itself. Which in recent weeks has A LOT. Overall it's good and I can't really complain.
Owen: I feel this is a chicken and egg scenario. For me, you need to show you are proactive and a positive force and then we know where you're at. We get behind anyone who shows passion and initiative. I find there's always a lot of "here is my sick mix, now book me" which unfortunately doesn't work. We have seen You and Movement grow in the last two years so hats off and take some credit. But at the same time, there is nothing stopping guys from going to a club and saying I'm a good DJ, I can bring 80 people how about you let me have a night....
Richard: If we just talk about DJing for a moment, yes you have to go to events and support, yes you have to make your face known, yes you have to get involved. I am pretty sure we have all been in this situation and all felt the same way. You're passionate, hungry, and in love with the music and you just need that opportunity to show yourself. It is hard in the scene at the start. I feel we could just support the next generation by giving some warm-up slots to people who show interest and passion. I know some crews are putting on new and upcoming nights leaning towards newcomers.
Actually, I have a story which might explain why I personally feel strongly about it - When I first moved to Auckland I knew noooooobody. I remember stumbling across Tiki Hut at the Viaduct which at the time was always pumping with House and Techno. I didn't even know Ink existed at this time. I thought to myself this is where I'd like to play. So yer, I went in talked to people gave out my bloody mix CD's (lol) and got talking to some DJs and mentioned I wanted them just to listen to the music I played.
The night went on and I ended up being introduced to the 2 people who ran the night (not going to mention names). So fuck, here I am, it's my opportunity to talk to these 2 promoters and I'm giving them my shpeel of who I am and how passionate I am blah blah. I was shitting myself!!!
The woman says to me "so who's your favorite producer etc" my first thought and thing that came to my head was "err yer you know a bit of Tiesto and Dusky" thinking I was out there with my vast range of music influences..... They both burst out laughing and my heart fucking sank! I laughed it off with them and gave them my mix CD asked them to give it a listen.
To make things worse, for some WEIRD STRANGE UNKNOWN reason I decided to bow!!!!
Then awkwardly scurred off with my tail between my legs, overheard them saying something laughing and them chucking my CD into the Auckland Viaduct water....... So really I suppose having had such a traumatic start I wouldn't want anyone to feel that way. It can be scary and hard and a bit of a juxtaposition and I really wanted to meet cool people and get some guidance which I eventually did. I met Logan Baker and stuck with that crowd and Dean Davis and it all snowballed for the best there.
Owen: On your comments about equality. What has changed and why? In your opinion.
Richard: Well let's be honest, we have all noticed in the past year a lot of movement and out-spoken talk about this. It should be brought to light. More importantly, if a gender in the scene is feeling a certain way then we should address it. Honestly, as a guy I am scared to talk about it because I'm worried my inexperience or knowledge will lead me to say something and get me in hot water. I 100% support it women and female DJs/Artists. They have a different essence about their playing presence I feel.
One thing I will say is I have no time for anyone who expresses their thought and emotions on a topic by being cantankerous, fictitious, aggressive, or rude. You're just being a dick end off. That's not the way to go about anything ever.
Owen: Follow-up question do you think there will be a time when it's 50/50 and also should it be?
Richard: Yep, and it's getting that way if it isn't already. I know a lot of people who are proactively saying to book more female DJ's, also seeking out more. I will say again my perspective and my experience, I have asked female DJs to play at our events and you know I am polite respectful, explain who we are, also who else would be playing but I have noticed similar responses of "yer that could be cool" or "maybe, I will let you know" and "I might think about it". Whereas guys just being guys are literally yes or no. But hey people are different with their own personalities and behaviors be it, men or woman.
Owen: From our point of view, we are spoiled by the female talent in our underground scene, which gives us a clouded view. Do you have any experiences from the drum and bass scene say...?
Richard: I think it's the same across the board for all scenes and genres.
Owen: Sum up your sound and how did you approach this mix?
Richard: Varied from deep, dark and heavy to light and uplifting.
With the mix, I basically just put all sorts of music I like in there. Some Afro stuff but as I mentioned it's not all I play. So I threw in some chilled breaky/2step stuff in there by an artist called Foxglove who I looooove. Then kinda built it up from there going deep, build it up to be heavy heavier, and finish off on a bit of an uplifting note. I think it's so important to have a structure in some way when mixing, especially to a crowd. Get their attention maybe focus on 1 or 2 people and get them hooked, and take them on a journey. People remember that!!
Owen: Last question, did handing out those mixes work and do you reckon someone out there is still rocking one of them in a diskman somewhere?