Before Saturday night I had never been to Aura nightclub on Mill ave. Plus, I hadn’t been on Mill in a minute so it was nice to go out. Before the place was Aura, it was School of Rock. Now the space is a legitimate nightclub, not a sports-bar-frat-spot turned nightclub.
When I walked up, it didn’t seem like it belonged on Mill. It’s very dark with soft neon backlights. The green leaves all over the walls are a nice touch, too. That night I walked into a room full of techno lovers and house heads and I was really happy.
Normally, I go to Shady Park for this kind of vibe, but tonight was different. I came to Aura to enjoy an event put on by my friends at OCTIV Entertainment. They do this really cool thing now where they have this subdivision called Octiv Below. Basically, they present shows with deep underground vibes. Like…Dirty Bird Vibes. All the DJs in store were local heroes so you could tell that the room was full of people who love and support these artists. The lineup for the night went as follows: Briggs, Lujan, Frank Terry, and then Elwer b2b Ekonovah.
It was definitely a great atmosphere to be in overall so I’m glad I stayed the whole time. Luckily, I had the chance to interview each DJ after their set. If you haven’t had a chance to check out these artists yet, you definitely should. Each of these DJs take the crowd to house heaven in their own unique way. They all have their own unique sound.
When I arrived, Briggs had just started playing. The crowd was buzzing. The man has been DJ-ing for about 13 years now. When describing his sound he says, “It’s fun. I tend to lean a little more tribal…Lately at least. I just like to have fun. Fun bass lines. Fun everything.”
Briggs set was crazy good. He definitely set the mood for the rest of the night. When I asked Briggs his favorite thing about playing live he told me this: “I love seeing the crowd dance. There’s no better feeling.” I honestly didn’t see a single person standing still during his set.
Next up was Lujan. His beat was super funky. If you haven’t checked out his music, you should. He characterizes his sound as melodic tech. Be sure to listen to his live set from Pitch A Tent, it was super amazing! He’s even got his own Podcast: Lujanic Podcast. “I always like to consider myself the Lujanic sound. I kind of have my own way of doing it. So, I play a little of everything to make my own sound.” Lujan considers himself a big tech nerd so he says messing with the sound equipment always keeps him on his toes.
When I asked him what his biggest influence was for his music he told me that the purity of music itself was the influence. “The music itself has actually been a huge driving force for my entire life. People tend to go to festivals to do drugs…it’s always been about the music for me.” When I asked Lujan what his favorite element was about playing live, he said: “I give the crowd energy and they feed me energy back. And that just keeps me going. And I just have a big smile on my face.” Lujan truly lives by the beat of his own drum, or rather the beat of his sound equipment. I can see that other people, at least for a night, got life from it too.
Frank Terry was definitely a name I knew. I’ve seen him play at other events around the area before. I know his sound. The sound he describes as: “house music with a dash of booty, tech, and some deep.” Frank Terry has gotten some recognition from some major artist too! Ever listen to Claude Vonstroke’s The BirdHouse? (Obvious question, I know.) Frank Terry’s sound was featured as a guest mix! “I was very emotional. It was a great experience. And I’m pretty proud of that set because it has a lot of listens comparatively. And to be featured with all these amazing DJs and producers, and to know that I made it in to there is amazing.” Frank Terry definitely represents Dirty Bird people well with his sound. “They saw something in me and they heard something in me and I just want to contribute to house music more than I am right now – besides just being a DJ.” Frank Terry has a very exciting message for everyone too. “I want to start producing and I am working with some people right now. This year for sure, there will be some Frank Terry originals.” I know I can’t wait to hear what’s in store for this guy!
When I asked him his favorite part about playing live, he told me this: “You know, I like playing music really loud. And it’s a blessing to be able to play music through loud speakers. And to couple that with my friends and family out in the audience, vibin’ and new people coming in- it’s awesome. I feel blessed and I’m trying to do the best things for it. “
The last set of the night was Ekonovah back-to-back Elwer. Their sounds had great chemistry. Ekonovah’s sound has a nostalgic, low-fi feel to it, he says. “I think a lot of dance music doesn’t have any dance in it anymore. I think it’s just hype. So, I’m trying to combine nostalgia and low-fi sounds in a dance setting.” Check out his remix of Yellow by Coldplay and you’ll hear precisely that. Which, by the way, Coldplay is a huge influence on his music. Other influences of his include Skrillex and Phlegmatic Dogs. His favorite part about making music? “I make music in my bedroom and then I go and watch people dance to it. It’s crazy. That’s my favorite part for sure.” What a feeling that must be indeed, Ekonovah. I’m glad you shared your music with us at Aura.
Okay, but I have to give some major credit to Elwer. This man was on crutches! Crutches!!! And he still threw down. That’s dedication. Ekonovah’s nostalgic, low-fi sound paired well with Elwer’s deep, dirty, grungy sound. When they combined forces, it brought out a dark bass sound that was techy and groovy. Elwer’s music is influenced by the likes of Armin Van Buuren, Hardwell, CamelPhat and Bijou. When I asked him his favorite part about playing live, ?]“Literally the energy. Just making people come to the dance floor and just fill it up with good vibes. Controlling the crowd. Crowd control.” Elwer was definitely able to do some major crowd control with Ekonovah for sure. Especially when they busted out a Justin Timberlake remix of Señorita. I was all over that.
To say the least, on Saturday I danced all night long, thanks to all of these amazing local artists. Be sure to give them a listen. Also, if you haven’t been to Aura, there’s some really awesome OCTIV Below events coming up within the next few weeks. The first weekend of September you can catch Lujan, Ekonovah and Elwer back on stage there!
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