Recording Connection student Kemal Erdem on Coachella & getting DJ career off the ground!
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Recording Connection student Kemal Erdem recently got a big boost to his emerging career as a DJ when he got the opportunity a few weeks ago to play an opening event at Coachella, one of the world’s most popular and well attended music festivals!
Kemal, who performs under his DJ stage name AXENZO, says the lead to perform at Coachella actually came from a representative at RRFC student services. Speaking of the event, he says, “I played a little bit of everything,” he says. “When I go, of course I prepare beforehand, but when I go there I just read the crowd, and I play however the crowd feels like…It was a very peaceful environment. Everyone had very good vibes. I had an extremely great time.”
Kemal’s interest in music started at an early age. He was composing music by the time he was 8 years old. Nevertheless, his family had different plans for his career. “My family wanted me to be either a doctor or engineer, but always in my mind there was music,” he says. “So after I graduated from high school I wanted to study music, but my family said there was no future in it, so just study something else. So I actually studied mechanical engineering at San Diego State University.”
Dissatisfied, Kemal says he tried to do a double major, adding music to his mechanical engineering studies, but he wasn’t pleased with the result. “I took multiple classes in the music department, but unfortunately everything was very, very theoretical,” he says. “There was absolutely nothing practical, and it didn’t improve me to a level where I could actually perform.”
Kemal decided to look further, and when he discovered the Recording Connection would train him in a real recording studio, he decided to apply. Because of his interest in electronic music production, he was placed with producer/engineer Patrick Heaney at Phaser Control Recording in San Diego.
“We connected right away,” says Kemal. “He did audio engineering on one of the songs by Tiesto, he worked with Skrillex, which are my idols. I am extremely thankful to have had the chance to learn from him. My journey of producing electronic music and performing started with him.” Under Patrick’s tutelage, Kemal learned Logic, the program he composes his music on, as well as Pro Tools which he uses to record bands and master various projects.
Kemal says working with Patrick has really helped him hone his skills, and when he got the opportunity to do the opening event at Coachella, he couldn’t pass it up! Since that time, Kemal has been working non-stop, growing his career as a DJ, landing a recent gig at Hard Rock San Diego and a number of gigs in Vegas! Meanwhile, he says he’s still growing and is focused on developing his own signature sound as a DJ.
“With every song, I’m trying to be unique, and if I’m not unique, I feel sad about it,” he says. “I’m trying to create something that, every time people listen to my tracks, they are going to say, ‘Okay, this is AXENZO.’ So that’s my focus right now.”
As Kemal continues to push forward with his DJ career, he credits Patrick and the Recording Connection for giving him his start. “I love Recording Connection,” he says. “Anyone…I talk to, they give me the feeling of family…they are extremely helpful. I couldn’t say more. I am extremely thankful.”