Modern Day Disc Jockey: A Conversation With UberDriver
Zayyar: So Freddie we’ve been friends for a long time! Tell our audience what do you do and where are you based currently?
UberDriver: I’m a DJ and beat maker going under the moniker UberDriver but what I really do is just share the music I love to all those trying to hear something they wanna dance to!
I’m from Wellington, New Zealand originally and that will always be home but currently I’m living out in Europe - Edinburgh to be exact, completing my degree and trying to hustle a few gigs along the way.
Zayyar: How did you get into DJ’ing, was this something you always wanted to do?
UberDriver: Officially, it was after studying at MAINZ (Music And Audio Institute of New Zealand) under the tutelage of the legendary Frank Booker. I never really knew what I wanted to do, but growing up I knew I loved collecting and cataloging music and realised that showing someone a song that then becomes their favourite was the biggest thrill for me, so it was a natural progression.
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Zayyar: That’s awesome how it stemmed from sharing and a more community driven aspect. So what was the type of music you listened to growing up? And do you to listen to that today as well?
UberDriver: I was a Hip Hop baby! Few people knew about my extensive Lil Wayne collection haha. As I grew up I was introduced to Dilla, Madlib, DJ Premier, Pete Rock but I ended up falling in love with House music a couple years ago. Since then it’s completely consumed me and lead to discovering Techno, Breaks, Jungle, Garage, Footwork and all that.
Zayyar: How was it playing as support for international acts such as Chaos In The CBD, Ross From Friends, Peanut Butter Wolf? I’m sure that must’ve been a big achievement.
UberDriver: Even recounting it feels like a dream sometimes… It’s been absolutely nuts! These are some of my heroes and main influences so it was a trip and massive honour to share the same stage with them and do my thing, especially so early in my career you know. Really can’t thank the family at Club 121 enough for being the instigators in setting that up. They’ve been massive in helping me get to where I am currently.
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Zayyar: And you went back to back with DJ Boring?
UberDriver: Yeah! While I was opening for him, Olly (Club 121) tapped me on the shoulder and told me he wanted to play back to back for the last hour and I just nodded and carried on mixing but inside I’m doing backflips. So at 3AM I jumped up with him and we went tune for tune until 4AM, just playing our own ideas of party bangers! Unreal to have done that, for the Wellington crowd that have supported me since the beginning, with such a prominent name in House music… Truly was a blessing!
Zayyar: That’s amazing, would’ve been such a sight to see! I’m sure you’ve played in some pretty hectic clubs and parties, what's your favourite memory from a gig you’ve played?
UberDriver: In July, after the historic Warehouse Rave at Avalon Studios, we were having an after party at San Fransisco Bath House, but in Wellington you gotta close up at 4AM because of liquor licenses.
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But for about 40 to 50 of us we didn’t feel like the night was over so we ended up rolling down to Club 121 and had a private lock in with all the homies, a bunch of artists who headlined the rave played and just partied hard till like 9AM, only to emerge looking so shot, just as normal people were going about starting their days looking at the group of us like what the hell… haha.
Zayyar: Your upcoming EP is being released through Heat Rockers Records, talk us a little bit about that. What’s the vibe and what was the process like developing the project?
UberDriver: It’s going to be a four track EP, with the A side being a pair of quite dark, introspective and ominous club tracks and the B side on the more emotional, lo-fi sound plus a more ambient-minded track, a sound I’ve been moving towards. I think of this EP as a formal introduction to UberDriver the producer. It’s touches on what I’ve been listening to recently as well as what I’ve found exciting and where I’m heading in the future.
Zayyar: Can’t wait to listen to it! What do you think 2019 will hold for you? An exciting year for you I’m sure with the move!
UberDriver: Hopefully international gigs! New Zealand is super small so if you wanna make it you have to find an audience overseas. I’ve been cooking up plans for a record label, Racquet Club with Deejay 1337-Speak, which is on the horizon so expect to see more on that in the coming months. I’d like to get a lot more original productions released in as many different channels as I can and just trying to keep the work rate up! No time like the present!
Zayyar: Finally where can our readers find you and your music?
UberDriver: They can check me our via SoundCloud under UberDriver, Instagram: @ubr.drv and finally Facebook as well!
Interview: Zayyar Win Thein
Photos: Lucas Owen & Club 121