On The Record: DJ Anrky
BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser
The theft of Jules Washington’s DJ equipment put a halt to his career a few years ago. Little did he know that the unfortunate event would essentially force him to broaden his horizons in the music industry in other ways.
In what Washington believes was a well planned heist, thieves got away with two Mac Book pros and hard drives that contained his entire music collection from the back seat of his car.
The robbery occurred during a bad time financially and forced him to take a break from DJing completely.
“I can’t really place a dollar value on it truly because of all the time and hard work that went into collecting and making a lot of music that was on those hard drives,” said Washington, better known in nightlife lore as DJ Anrky.“I couldn’t just buy new stuff right away.”
Washington was devastated and was forced to venture away from the DJ booth. He worked in the studio and saved money to replace all that was lost, eventually regaining his place in the DJ and club scene.
“I’ve been DJing here in Hawaii since I was 14 years old. DJing is my first love and my passion,” he said.
His plans took a detour when he got an internship at Blue Planet Sound, a professional recording studio in the heart of Kalihi.
Washington’s interest in the behind-the-scenes aspect of professional recording began to surge. At the time his main responsibilities as an intern included client customer service, file management and assisting engineers when opportunities arose. He said no task was too small, including the lost art of making good coffee.
“Things for me were a bit different than usual internships because I was dedicating so much time everyday to it,” Washington recalled.
He would soon become the studio’s engineer then manager, his current position and the role he’s held for the last two years. Washington client list includes a who’s who list of Na Hoku Hanohano-caliber performers like The Green, Kimie Miner and Eli Mac.
“Just being a fly on the wall and observing until it was my turn to have a chance at taking on more responsibility,” is how he describes the work. “It worked out a little better than I hoped and I fell in love with it.”
Away from his main responsibility at BPS, Washington, who is also back in DJ mode at The District every Saturday, decided to assist in the launch of a production company called Lavengers, a collective of producers, songwriters and engineers.
“Lavengers kind of just came into place. I’ve known all of those guys for years. (We) decided to start working on tracks together and try to make something happen with our music,” he said.“The grind has been non-stop, running the studio 24/7 and then finding little glimpses of time to work on our own projects.”
The clique of creative minds released an EP last week by Hawaii-based rapper Tailz, the sole artist on the label, titled “Music Major.” The lead single, which features national rapper Glasses Malone from California, has received positive reviews from popular websites like hotnewhiphop.com and hiphopdx.com.
As Oahu faced torrential downpours of wet weather courtesy of Hurricane Ingnacio last week. Washington was busy in the studio. The power went out a few times but that couldn’t stop him from putting in work.
“I don’t want to be the guy that just talks. We’re still making a name for ourselves,” he said.“Our main thing right now is to make moves that make sense, not making them just to make them or because we can. Even with the DJing I’m in a position right now where I just want to do gigs that make sense and feel right.”