WMC Rookie

WMC Rookie

Hey fellow SoundClouders!

We hope you’re enjoying our Debbie release. This one actually had a secret second name: “Miami”. Yes, that’s right, “Debbie” was released just after the Winter Music Conference and we managed to represent (rather briefly) the best music site on earth in the heart of the WMC!

I was lucky enough to take part in a little US Tour with my Quarion project and I actually had a one day stop in Miami, playing at the Buzzin Fly event with Michael Reinboth and Christian Prommer from Compost.

I was flying in from Boston via Charlotte and I arrived in Miami around 3 PM. My first mission: get to the “Beach Place” Hotel, a holiday resort that I thought would be in the heart of the WMC events. That was my first mistake: the place was a good 15-minute taxi ride from the main Conference site…

After dropping my bag at the hotel, I was ready to work: the WMC is all about promoting and hustling for your projects, so I was wearing a Drumpoet T-Shirt, carrying a little bag with 20 CDs and in my pocket I had about 100 SoundCloud invitations. Let the Hustle begin!

The plan was to meet Michael Reinboth at the Giant Step party, where Carl Craig was spinning. After a taxi ride, I arrived close to the spot and for the first time since my arrival in Florida, I encountered the Miami “vibe”: sun, sea, over-tanned people, pimped-up girls and pumped up guys. Wow. Every stereotype I could think of Miami just materialized in a few seconds. I swear I saw Don Johnson sipping a Mai Tai in a Café somewhere…

After my initial shock, I would soon discover the dark side of this materialistic city: if you’re not loaded with money or if you’re not on the guestlist, forget it honey. I couldn’t get hold of Michael somehow so I tried to hustle my way through the entrance, but the hostess (and her really mean-looking bouncer partner) wasn’t hearing it.

Since it was a pool party, I started thinking there must have been another entrance somewhere (or maybe a small wall that I could climb). I was lucky: just round the corner of the main entrance was a wooden door and it was possible to actually see some of the people behind it. And who did I see first? Michael Reinboth!  He managed to get me a bracelet so I ran to the main entrance and finally entered the cherished spot! Needless to say, I was really excited to finally get in there and I felt like a real WMC pro.

The scenery was not so glamourous: the crowd was a weird mixture of music people and hotel regulars wondering what the fuzz was all about. Nobody seemed to really care, although they all seemed quite happy to be there. Michael introduces me to some people so I started hustling: “Hey, I’m doing this deep house project named Quarion and I’m also working on a website named SoundCloud”. CDs are exchanged, SC invites are given, but the interest is not there: most of the people give me that “another-CD-and-business-card-I-won’t-keep” look. Miami is damn hard when you’re not famous! However, I soon discover that it’s actually difficult for EVERYONE: as Carl Craig was starting his set, there must have been 3 people on the dancefloor and behind the entrance I saw Erykah Badu trying to get in aswell but not succeeding…

After taking a pic with Michael and Alex from Jazzanova, we have to rush out of the party: our show is in 3 hours, Michael reserved a restaurant, plus I’ll need to get my gear at the hotel. One meal, two taxis and a bad surprise later (I found out that I forgot my iPod in a cab!), I arrive at the Shelborne Hotel which hosts the Shine club.

Ben Watt, Justin Martin, Christian Prommer and Rocco will spin in the main room, while Michael Reinboth, Shahrokh and myself will handle the small room. The location is ok, quite lush with a warm vibe, but there seems to be a grounding problem as an irritating “bzzzz” hums out of the speakers. Sound engineers come by, switch cables, bring new equipment but the problem remains…weird!

I leave the guys in order to check if I can meet some people in the main room. Some early birds are there, so I get my hustle on, giving out CDs and invitations to SoundCloud. It was much more productive than my afternoon adventure as people seemed to be more relaxed. After a while, I figured that it was my time to get behind the mixer and play my live act, so I go back to the second floor and as I set up my gear, I notice that our room was getting dangerously empty: only a few people were staying at the bar.

It got worse when I started my set, even less people remained and they really seemed to have no interest for my music. It was a quite depressing experience, as no one was dancing, only passing through the room to get some drinks at the bar. I could have stopped playing, but my set was being recorded for play.fm so the show had to go on…

After the set, I went to see what was happening in the main room: it was rocking, but it wasn’t so crowded aswell. I just figured that since there’s so much going on during the WMC (at least 30 parties every night), it’s really difficult to get the people to your own night. As I said before, Miami is hard…

Feeling tired and a bit depressed, I decide to check out what’s happening backstage. I meet Germany’s finest Deep House representatives in the person of Dixon and Marcus Worgull. They’re both really surprised to see me in Miami and they start sharing some of their previous WMC stories with me. It was a really nice way to end an otherwise difficult night…

After saying goodbye to everyone, I jump in a cab with Maurice from Compost. We first stop at his hotel, then I’m off to my “Beach Place” to catch a few hours sleep.

On friday, I wake up and call Michael so we can have breakfast together then go for a swim. Another Taxi later, I attack my plate of scrambled eggs and bacon with full voracity. Out of the blue comes Christian Prommer and he joins our table. Time goes fast and I have to catch my plane pretty soon. By the time we pay, I figured I have about 30 minutes to spend at the beach…but it was worth it: white sand, crystal turquoise water and of course girls, girls, girls. One of the nicest 20 minutes of my life.

After this speedy holiday, it was time to rush to the airport and catch my flight to New York. I left Miami feeling like I had acquired some experience through all these tough events and I promised myself that I’ll be back next year and be much more effective. The hustle goes on!

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