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DJ Selekt

Author: Chris Wheeldon
Thursday, 26 June 2003
Aaron Kowalik chats to an old friend, beer in one hand, the other in his pocket fumbling around with a silent mobile phone. He stands in a busy Velvet Lounge, a hip pub in an inner city suburb of Perth.

He is the reason the pub is busy, yet he fits into the crowd with no flare or want of attention. The people that surround him seem unaware they stand next to a current Australian champion and a recent representative at a World Championship.

Aaron, or as many would know him as DJ Selekt, is the current Australian DJ Mixing Championship (DMC) Champion and regarded as one of the premier DJ's in Australia.

As DMC Champion he is considered one of Australia's best turntablists and is ranked in the top eight of competition turntablists in the world.

He has two hours to kill before he headlines the night but is seemingly enjoying the down time, catching up with old friends and being ignored by people that are to cool to want to recognise him. He has returned to his hometown Perth to play a one off gig before heading back to Melbourne the very next day.

As a local DJ supply's a sombre crowd with sombre music, Selekt's presence begins to grow as more people recognise his face but few approach him to talk. Instead he is left to chat to obvious friends, catching up on gossip and the telling stories of his recent travels. As eleven o'clock approaches, the crowd begins to shift to another room, the Perth boy is about to show his skills.

As he hits the stage the crowd around the stage swells and as he begins many jaws begin to drop. Selekt is a world class DJ and turntablist, the audience could be nothing but amazed as he plays a quick tricks set and then settles down into simple mixing. But nothing about Selekt's abilities are simple, he just makes them look simple and does so with no real effort.

I sat down with Selekt just minutes after finishing his two-hour set; sweat covers his now trademark Ralph Lauren shirt and he sips on a yet another beer. He gives a few instructions to a man who seems to be acting as Selekt's roadie, however, the roadie turns out to be a proud father who just wants to help. As he finally relaxes and as the crowd begins to disperse the odd fan tries to build the courage to congratulate him but soon retort as they see the Dictaphone on the table.

Selekt, although now a native of Melbourne used to call Perth home and developed his skills while building a reputation as a DJ in the pubs and clubs of Western Australia.

However his musical background dates back further and encompasses more then just spinning records. As a student at Trinity College, Selekt enjoyed nothing else but music,

"I got turntables when I was 18. But all through school I was playing an instrument, I played saxophone all through school and studied jazz. I usually got straight A's in music but had no real interest in the other subjects," he reveals.

He was a member of the Trinity College Youth Jazz Band, touring throughout Europe playing and listening to jazz music. While touring he discovered another form of musical expression. He reminisces,

"I always wanted to battle, that's why I got in to DJing. I used to go to clubs with friends in Perth, clubs like D.C's and just get drunk and have fun. I went to England on a youth Jazz Band Tour and I bought a DMC Battle video and when I saw that I really did want to battle. So when I first started all I wanted to do was be a battle DJ."

And battle he did, after slowing building his name as a simple club DJ, Selekt began to develop his abilities as a turntablist and began to incorporate his scratching and juggling skills into a normal routine.

He gained residency at the former home of Perth Hip-hop, The Hyde Park Hotel where he was enabled to further enhance his growing reputation.

As a young DJ, Selekt could only learn form those that had gone before him, he did not have the option of learning through a DJ teacher so he gained knowledge through watching the
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