On The Record: DJ Tide
BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser
There was a time where Percito “DJ Tide” Del Castillo stunted his own growth as a DJ. He didn’t realize it at the time, but his close-minded thinking was a detriment to his dance sensibilities. Had he not learned to adapt to the times, his dirty displays of funky electro may not have developed to the point they’re at today.
Gravitating to the lifestyle of underground electronic music was a natural process for Del Castillo. It didn’t take long for the avid house and breakbeat enthusiast, who got the name Tide after wearing a T-shirt with the detergent brand’s logo on the front, to understand what the culture stood for. From dedicated raver to DJ, to helping with promotions, he was intent on helping the scene flourish.
“I used to be the biggest introvert,” he recalled. “Getting into the culture as well as DJing has improved my self confidence tremendously. I’ve always considered myself to be a party kid at heart.”
Adapting the open-minded philosophies of rave culture as a DJ was a challenge, he said.
“When I first started getting into DJing, I only liked what I played; I would never adapt my song selection on the fly,” said the Mililani resident who moved to Oahu from the Philippines in 1988. “I learned after a long time that thinking like that limits one self in being creative.”
Once Del Castillo turned the corner and began constructively looking at his abilities, he discovered he was holding his potential hostage in many ways. One of the moves he made that really allowed his imagination flourish was to utilize popular DJ software Serato and Traktor. With creative blinders removed and tools of the trade at his disposal, his ability to read a crowd, change tempo and play outside of the box have all improved.
“I think of it as a personal challenge to myself to continue to try new pieces of equipment and techniques,” said Del Castillo, who also recently added a drum pad/sequencer to his repertoire. “I know a lot of people hate on it, but the sync-beat matching feature really helps one focus on picking out songs in advance. Using Traktor I am able to be a lot more experimental.”
Far removed from his own faults, all the good music that exists has become even more pleasurable to not just himself but to his sometimes fickle audiences.
“I think the hardest (people) would be the ones who have been in the scene for awhile, as they are much more experienced in their musical tastes,” he said. “The ones who have started to just get into EDM are easier to deal with as they tend to be much more open to learning.
“I never really thought EDM would be as popular as it is now. While it has ballooned to the state of being mainstream, the core underground aspect of it has slowly decreased as well. It has been very interesting to see how much EDM has grown over the years and I will probably still be around in the future to see how it progresses.
“The scene has always gone through different phases. If you want to be a part of the scene you just have to learn to go with the flow.”
Kalani Wilhelm covers nightlife and music for the Pulse. Contact him via email or follow him on Twitter.