Oliver is best known as the one behind the mixtape of a local hip-hop duo, Krankšvester. He is currently listed among some of the most wanted Croatian DJs and he rocks our world on a daily basis with his awesome setlists. From his humble beginnings at Osijek’s Klub mladih to memorable performances at local festivals such as Ferragosto Jam, Backyard Art Festival and Pannonian Challenge, he always throws a party to remember.
Not long ago we had the chance to sit down with him and get an exclusive interview for the first time in his career. We talked about the beginning of his musical career, his passion towards music, including his collaboration with Krankšvester, how does he spend his free time and what he has lined up next.
What awoke your desire to become a DJ and when did all of this start?
As far as I can tell, this journey of mine started when I got a plug which allowed me to access the Internet. I started devouring music (especially boom bam hip-hop) and I haven’t stopped since. Nearing the end of my first year in high school I joined Klub mladih in Osijek as a volunteer, and here I spent most of my free time. I always had my CDs with me and, after a while, both members and directors praised my music and suggested I should do something with it. I’ve also held some of my first gigs there. Well, a gig is a powerful word; it was more of a listening party given that I had no professional equipment.
After some time I managed to save enough money to buy myself my first record players, on which I had practiced for months before arranging my first professional gig at the catacombs of Donji Miholjac. Called upon by Toxara, the only thing I am able to recall is that I was extremely nervous. While I was studying I got a job at Top in Tvrđa where I occasionally played some music. Soon after that, DJ Pips invited me to join Big Mama Kolektiv where I was able to hone my skills while surrounded by an experienced crew. The rest is history.
How come you don’t have a stage name?
Given that I would have most definitely chosen something stupid or childish, I found it silly to take a cool American name of which now I would be utterly ashamed. Mothers do know best (it was she who named me ). Greetings to my mom and dad.
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Besides this new music I’m preparing for my upcoming gigs, I find future bass quite enjoyable. It goes hard but is soft at the same time (hehe).
Who or what influenced you and your work the most?
It is impossible for me to single out one particular person or event, so the answer would be all the years of experience I’ve gathered and all the genres I was exposed to during those years. They have certainly affected my music in general – I started out with hip – hop and slowly progressed to different styles such as funk, reggae, drum and bass, breakbeat, dubstep, glitch hop, ghetto funk, and many others.
Given that you perform both in Osijek and Zagreb, where can one hear your music?
When it comes to Osijek, it is either Epic or Exit; basically, clubs that nurture alternative music and lifestyle. It variates with Zagreb, but I know for a fact that I’ll be performing in Tvornica kulture and Vinatage the next two months.
You’ve spent last three years collaborating with the guys from Krankšvester, 3ki Still and Sett. What lead to this collaboration?
It’s funny you’re mentioning the guys because I was just checking out some shots from my first gig in Donji Miholjac, only to find out that 3ki was also present. It then dawned on me – 3ki must have been blown away by my skills, so he must have spent two years gathering courage to invite me to join him and Sett. The first time we’ve performed together was at Špancirfest 2012, and I have also managed to ‘crouch in’ among the artists who were performing on the following after party. We’ve been inseperable since, even though they claim that they’ve traded an old stove for me (but don’t believe a word they say. )
Can you single out a particular event you’re especially fond of ?
I’ve been playing music for Pannonian since 2012, both at the park and in the evenings, so it definitely grew on me. Of course, it’s not only the festival that is close to my heart, people who organize everything and are a part of it are also very dear to me.
You started a project called Bassinga. What can you tell us about it?
Well, about a year ago, I was preparing a birthday party with some of my friends and I simply didn’t want only my name in the spotlight. I contacted Vjekoslav, one of my buddies who named almost every project I’ve ever undertaken (he will also eventually name my child, haha). After some brainstorming, we came up with a list of dozen names, out of which Bassinga resonated best with us. Initially, it wasn’t a name we would keep using, but we found it cool, the people liked it, so we decided to further invest our time into it. After some time we were joined by DJ Kula. He was the third muskeeter of our group, as we like to joke about it. Anyway, keep an eye on this name because we’re currently planning something big for Bassinga!
Is it hard to be a DJ? What are some advantages and disadvantages? In your opinon, is this a vocation people would admire?
It can be hard, especially when it comes to balancing the time between my regular job and gigs. Since I’ve been DJing I’ve been working six days a week. I usually find myself sleeping through Sundays because other days wear me out – I have to be the first one to come to a gig and the last one to leave. Though it is sometimes difficult, it is also very fun and engaging!
Any plans for the future?
Just to practice a lot and to do what I love with those who I love by my side.