The Coffs Coast Advocate

Kid Kenobi ready for Coffs gig

THERE'S no disputing the transient nature of the DJ: many hopefuls come and go, but few actually remain.

But Australian turntable royalty Kid Kenobi has not only proven his longevity with a string of hits and dance anthems, but with his increasing passion and dedication that has slowly brought the art form that is dance music into the forefront of mainstream music.

But why - and how - did Jesse Desenberg come to be one of the biggest names in Australian dance music?

“I started out purely for the love of the music,” he said.

“Ever since I was a kid I was into music, my whole life it's been second nature to me. When I was 13 and 14, I was into hip hop and I just loved it. From there I got into raves, then I started buying more and more stuff on vinyls. My mate had some decks; I had some lessons with him and it just kind of snowballed from there. I never had any intent of making a career out of it.”

Jesse says it was the idea of fantasy mixed with reality that led him to call himself Kid Kenobi.

“I guess it sounded good, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. I was throwing around a whole bunch of names to do with fantasy, kid wizard - I was a bit of a Star Wars fan and the idea of being a wizard fighting for youngster's love of music was cool,” he said.

“I guess it worked out in my

favour though, because I did look really young. I remember when I grew a beard; there was this big thing, with everyone focusing on me having grown a beard more than anything else. It was quite funny.”

And while most people make a point of keeping business separate from partying, Jesse has made his living out of doing the exact opposite.

“I guess those two things are inseparable for me - partying is my business. I used to buy into that, I used to listen to people when they said, 'C'mon, you gotta party with us after the show,' but I guess now I've grown up a little and I have a bit more respect. I don't want to be one of those people,” he said.

“It is hard though. You get to about midnight and you kinda get a second whim, and it's really easy to stay up, but I've made myself go to bed early and get up early and do some exercise. It makes me a lot more focused.”

Jesse has proven he's the king of re-mix with a number of mixes for Ministry of Sound, and having re-mixed tracks with some of the biggest names in the industry (Krafty Kuts and Hook n Sling to name a couple). But he's also produced some great original tracks. He denies he has a preference of the two.

“It really depends. If you've got a really good original track to remix, it's good for performing. In the long run, most re-mixes end up originals, anyway. But an original is probably more of a challenge, and it's definitely something I'd like to focus on.”

It's been a long road since Jesse started way back in the '90s, and in that time dance music has come a long way. Dance tracks are becoming increasingly prevalent in mainstream music charts.

“It's definitely a lot more commercial now. People like The Presets and Cut Copy have become hugely popular, they're kind of half dance and they've crossed over, which is both a good and a bad thing.

“It's good in that they're making money and getting their due respect. But it's a bad thing in that most people are getting their entry into dance by radio or TV. It used to be that you got into dance through dance, probably in a club. I guess we're at risk of losing that cultural aspect when it turns into a pop thing.”

But there's no risk of that when he hits The Plantation Hotel with MC Shureshock this Saturday.

“We always have an awesome gig in Coffs, I haven't been back there for a while and I'm really looking forward to it. It's going to be a great party with MC Shureshock. We'll be playing some new stuff, as well as some stuff people will know.” 

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