On The Record: DJ Wish
BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Mike “Wish” Quering taps into his creative consciousness whenever possible and credits the obstacles he experienced as a youth for shaping the artistic visions he has today in the DJ realm and art world. The appeal to push the boundaries of an idea to the brink, both visually and musically, begins with concepts he articulates best with his hands.
Quering is a fixture at local car show events, has played at events hosted by popular sneaker tour DunkXchange and national skate culture brand DGK, while his signature art pieces have been showcased nationally on the Discovery Channel and in the latest edition of Lowrider magazine.
Born in Cherry Hill, N.J, Quering said his childhood was far from perfect. If he wasn’t on restriction at home, he was getting into fistfights outside. Despite all the disfunctionality that surrounded him, doodling and sketching always provided the perfect distraction.
“We occasionally would get toys for Christmas, but my stepfather would break them,” he said. “We had great imaginations from being locked up in the house with no toys. We always had some pencils and paper so we would draw a lot.”
Quering was exposed to hip-hop through breakdancing with his older brother and had an instant fascination with giant murals he would see splashed on freight trains in his neighborhood after his family relocated to Jacksonville, Fla. His DJ aspirations began in the third grade when he stumbled upon a dual cassette tape mixer in a trash can. The same day, he was knocked out cold by an older boy while walking home from school.
“I woke up on the side of the road and found this box, it had a 2 Live Crew tape in one deck and an Eric B. and Rakim tape in the other,” he said. “I plugged the box in, figured out how to pause and record all of the cuss words out out of the songs and made my first real mixtape. I took it to school the next day and all my friends were tripping out.
“I was a dreamer as a kid all the way ’til this day. I’m glad I kept dreaming; that is why everybody I knew started calling me ‘Wish.’ That started when I was a little boy.”
His inspiration and raw talent for art matured at Douglass Anderson School of Performing Arts. DJing became a reality a few years later when he landed a radio job at Florida State University, where he opened up for Digital Underground, Kool Keith and GZA of the Wu Tang Clan. (He still has the flyers to prove it.)
While he feels fortunate to be successful in two of his greatest passions, he said it’s due in part to being a student of each craft.
“I train my mind day in, day out,” said Quering. “I like rocking music like Yellow Claw, Diplo, Flosstradamus, A-Trak, DJ Shadow, Kaskade, anything that is fresh. When it comes to painting art on motorcycles and cars, it is the same mind training.”
On the wheels of steel, however, he said he turns into a completely different person.
“I transform into this mad scientist marvel comic type character,” he said. “My turntables become instruments of sonic power.
“I like to electrify people’s eardrums in a good way. I pay special attention to the bass drums and love to boomerang the synths and rhythms. After 20 years of spinning I still love to give the crowd loads of enjoyment.”
The self-proclaimed perfectionist said his lifestyle is based solely on his imagination.
“I am very hard on myself and find flaws that can be criticized all the time,” said Quering. “I just try to execute to my best ability. I do it all to make people feel good.”
Kalani Wilhelm covers nightlife and music for the Pulse. Contact him via email or follow him on Twitter.