DJ Tranzit on His Alter Ego, New CD, World Travels, and the Current Oversaturation of EDM
The future 's looking pretty damn bright for Steven Chung, which is probably why he's wearing those Von Zipper shades in the picture above.
Over the next 72 hours alone, the 31-year-old house music maestro (who performs as DJ Tranzit) will open for EDM wunderkind DallasK this evening at Wild Knight, hold a gigantic release party for his latest mix CD tomorrow night at Madison Event Center, and then stage his regular Switch Sundays gig at the Dollhouse. Chung also has an EP coming out on German EDM label Plasmapool Entertainment, some potential gigs around the world might take place in the coming months, and he's going to be teaching a few courses for SCC's renowned DJ program this fall. Whew.
Chung found some time is his busy schedule (which also includes creating a monthly podcast and spinning on 101.5 Jamz) to talk to Up on the Sun about his career, the future of house music, and his feelings about the EDM world.
Name: Steven Chung
AKA: DJ Tranzit
What EDM styles do you specialize in?
When I play as Tranzit, its all electro, progressive and house. Under my alter ego [Juheun], it's all techno, tech-house and minimal stuff.
How did you get involved house music?
When I was 16, I did the whole house party, [doing the] hanging with your friends thing. I always found myself by the stereo, picking out CDs and playing the next song. This led me to buying a mixer and one of those "DJ in a Box" setups. Did that for a year or so, then just felt the need and desire to move to a bigger city. So I packed my shit, and moved to Chicago from my hometown of Albuquerque. When I got there, everyone was all about house music. Went to my first underground rave party, and its pretty much downhill from there.
Have you changed up your style in recent years?
Overall, no. My background has always been turntablism and hip-hop, so my style still remains the same in that aspect. It has changed though in terms of music. What I love about EDM is that it's always evolving. Technology is getting better, people are always pushing the envelope and there aren't that many rules to it. Music I played two years ago, is a little hard to play now just because the music now is a bit heavier and harder [with] harder kicks and basslines. So in that aspect, yes, it has changed a little bit.
Do people ever mistake house for other genres?
Yeah, it definitely happens. It's like when EDM first hit the scene everyone called it techno. It's because to some people it's just good music. Most people don't even care what genre it is, just that it makes them get crazy. There are so many genres and subgenres in EDM now, it's hard for me to even know what some of the stuff is.
House music has been around forever. Do you think it will ever die out?
I don't think it will ever die out, but it will definitely take a step back. The genre "house" is definitely not as big as it used to be, but electro, progressive, [and] EDM in general is all based on the same backbone and all created on a computer, so in a sense it will always be here.
You've performed at venues around the world. Where have your travels taken you in the last year?
This past year was spent mostly in the studio working on my solo stuff. I started a side project under the alter ego "Juheun." Its more minimal/techno stuff, so thats kept me quite busy on top of my usual Tranzit stuff. I picked up gigs earlier this year in Las Cruces, Austin, Las Vegas at Tao Beach, Tucson, and I got a chance to play in Havasu this year for Spring Break with Rockstar Energy Drink for two weeks.
Where are you off to next?
My agent is working on locking down some international gigs this year, hopefully making my return to Egypt. And there are talks about touring through India as well.
On top of that, I will be touring to promote my new EP for "Str!ke" the later part of the year.