Here is a interview that I did with DJ and FanimeCon veteran Stormy Rayner:
Q) How did you start out as a DJ and producer?
A) I started out fairly young. Around the age of 10, I heard Electronic Music for the first time and it blew my mind! It was the real underground stuff because around that time is when the rave culture and underground dance music was rising in popularity. A few years later, I attended my first underground party and got to see some local artists. I decided I wanted to give it a go, and around the age of 14 I purchased my first turntables and started buying vinyl. When I was about 17, I started working for a local record store. By then, I knew I was in for the long haul because I simply fell in love with everything about Electronic Music. As things progressed I began writing my own music - a long, hard process. And eight years later, here we are!
Q) What would you consider to be your "break out" moment?
A) In 2006 one of my friends suggested I play for FanimeCon. As I was still trying to grow as an artist, I figured it was a good idea. I had been going to the Con for many years prior to that and had seen their dances, and I thought it would be a great way to learn more, as well as get my name out. So I sent in the application. They were interested in trying out new DJs, so they hired me. I think I played for around 200 People that year. I thought it was a huge number, I never thought a few years later I’d end up playing in front of a thousand!
But the real moment that launched me further than I ever thought possible was in 2007. I recorded a guest mix for a radio show, “Lithium303,” hosted by Aryn Sing, which was aired on a college station in Leicester, UK. The show didn’t receive much support but shortly after, I posted the mix on message boards and promoted like crazy, hoping for some positive feedback. Suddenly the mix blew up! The amount of feedback I was getting was unlike anything I had received before, or ever thought I’d receive. Apparently the mix just hit the spot! And it was receiving acclaim from almost everyone who stumbled across it. After all these years, the number of downloads for that mix are still off the charts in comparison to my newer mixes. Speaking of which, it’s still available to this day on my website along with the entire catalog of my radio show ''Static Senses'' - http://www.stormyrayner.com
Q) What is your inspiration behind your monthly show "Static Senses?"
A) The co-owner for Pure.fm used to shop at the record store where I worked. We had lost touch since then and randomly ran into each other again last year. He offered me the chance to help with the station. I had already been considering a radio show for quite a while, ever since my guest mix for Lithum303 years ago, and I accepted the offer. When I began ''Static Senses'' (now in its second season), I wanted to represent artists who were local, unknown, underrated, or forward thinking producers.
Static Senses is about true Underground Progressive, Psy-Trance & Techno music. It has featured guest mixes from some of the top international DJs/producers, as well as local and underrated favorites who I feel deserve the exposure. The show airs on every fourth Sunday from 12PM-PST/9PM-CET on http://www.pure.fm's Dance Channel. It’s something people have to experience for themselves!
Q) What separates FanimeCon dances from other dances in your opinion?
A) The thing about Fanime compared to clubs and raves is that most of the attendees are fairly new to electronic music. They either usually don’t go out to clubs or raves, or just don’t know where to find it. So they have a sort of new fresh view, which is interesting, because that’s how it used to be years ago. Electronic music was new and everyone was going out for the first time and hearing it for the first time. It reminds me of when I was first starting out! But these days you go to a club or rave and the people there have probably been going for years and have experienced it all.
Q) What is your favorite aspect of FanimeCon outside of dances?
A) The main thing I love outside of Fanime's dances is the fact that my friends from all over gather together in the same place. No matter what, Fanime gives people a mutual ground to meet on, and gives everyone a holiday they can look forward to sharing together, no matter the distance between them, because it’s at that time of the year when everyone rolls into town! That’s what the Con is truly about, in my opinion, sharing the weekend with your close friends and taking the time to make new friends, connected by something you all love.
Thanks for the interview, and I hope to see you next year!