Leaders of the New School: Van City’s SKLA

Vancouver is home to one of the most eclectic music scene in North America, so when it comes to variety in the EDM scene it comes as no surprise that we would find someone like Dj SKLA who fills the dance floor with good vibes and great tunes.  Dj SKLA aka Bernard Magale got into the scene as a Hip-Hop promoter but quickly found himself in the driver’s seat in front of turntables and mixers … We sat down with SKLA for another exclusive interview for Bounce Radio’s Leaders of the New School Q&A section… So without further adieu here is SKLA…

EXCLUSIVE: In collaboration with Bounce Radio, Dj SKLA has given us the exclusive download for one of his latest remixes ‘Longo & Wainwright – One Life Stand (SKLA Remix)


Bounce Radio: First off, thanks for taking the time to sit down and answer some questions. You have been tearing up the Vancouver EDM scene as of late, What got you into Dj’ing/Production?

SKLA: Thanks for having me! I started Djing 6 years ago, I was at some house party and a buddy of mine, who was DJn at the time, had to take off for a few. He asked if I could take over. Man, I was freaking out, cuz at the time, I was a hip hop promoter
( I loved house music tho) with no House music/DJn skills. He told me, “don’t worry man.. half these guys are high, they won’t care if you train wreck!” at the time I hated him for putting me on the spot.. Now I thank him everytime I see em.. he really started my career, LOL! Lemme tell ya this, from the first time I beat matched 2 house tracks together, I fell in love with DJn. It was an amazing feeling and it still is.

Bounce Radio:  Not many cities have quite An eclectic music scene going on like Vancouver does, How do you separate yourself from the proverbial ‘rest of the pack’?

SKLA: I’d like to say I’d marketed myself pretty well. I mean I was a promoter before this whole DJn business came about and kept those old relationships going. I think it’s important for DJs to connect with people above and beyond music.. I mean, you gotta remain accessible to people in Vancouver, or they lose interest. What probably keeps me separate from everyone else is my diversity. I love music, Good music is GOOD MUSIC. It can come in forms of Underground to Mainstream, I think my ability to lock in on those tracks and present them to people is what sets me apart. I’m also one of those DJS that want to bridge the gap between mainstream and underground house music. You know, so we can all party together..;)

Bounce Radio: I’ve noticed that you have picked up on your production lately, Is that something that you have done consciously or do you find that creativity has just been creeping you back into the studio?

SKLA: I started making tracks about 2 years ago. I started edits on a few of my fave tracks, thought it was pretty easy, then I moved on to make some original tracks, yeah…not so easy. It took time to learn the software, learn music, and study the masters. I started making Electro House and Progressive House. I actually have a whole album on itunes called ‘Retro Tomorrow’ under my original DJ name ‘SKILLA’.. Check it out (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/retro-tomorrow/id314908414). I stopped producing for about 6 months.. got busy with travelling and gigs. I got back into it last September. I finally found the sound I love playing and producing.. and that’s tech house

Bounce Radio What did it feel like having one of the biggest legends in the game, Pete Tong, pick your song to be featured on their show? What kind of effect has moments like that and other big memory moments had on your career?

SKLA: It’s like winning the lottery man.

Moments like that really define you as a person. I mean some people’s egos get a huge boost, some remain humble and work harder.. I am the latter..it was super flattering at the time and I totally promoted the crap out of it, but I didn’t let it get to my head. I knew there was more work to be done on my part as a musician and more study, to keep the momentum going.

Bounce Radio:  OK onto some more musical geek questions, When you’re in the studio what kinda setup up do you use for your productions? and what about performing live?

SKLA: My studio consists of a Macbook pro laptop, Logic, 32 key midi controller, external monitor, pair of KRK Rokit 8 studio monitors, 2 CDJ 800 MK2s and DJM 800 mixer. For Djn.. I use CDs or Serato SL3 (depends on the gig)

Bounce Radio:  How do you feel about the rise in music sharing blogs on the net? Do you think they help the scene grow or take away from it?

SKLA: I’m for blogs. If you really want to support the artist, you’ll buy the music.. nuff sed.

If it was a perfect world, I’d make all my tracks free for download so I don’t have to stress about it… I know good things will come if my music is easily accessible. I’d love to just tour the world and play gigs and have some kid tell me he downloaded my track on a blog, loved it, and payed $$ to see the show.. that would be EPIC. But that’s just me. 😉

Bounce Radio: What is your favorite aspect of the music game? What about least favorite part?

Favorite part would have to be the creativity. Least favorite is the business/$ aspect.
Bounce Radio: With the Summer on our doorstep, what does SKLA have planned for Summer 2010?

SKLA’s summer 2010 consists of a beatport charting, more tracks and epic gigs!

Bounce Radio: Finally where can we all stay up to date on all news, music and tour dates?

Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/djskla/tracks

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