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Born in Oxford, raised in London, DJ Bluewolf came to Japan to visit family during a “short break” during summer 2001. 4 years and several needles later (needles of the turntable variety), Babur Mohgul, AKA DJ Bluewolf, is making a name for himself on the Nagoya club scene as a dynamic DJ with a flair for a variety of genres. ETJ caught up with the Bluewolf to find out what makes him tick.

ETJ: What brought you to Nagoya?
Bluewolf (BW): My mom and my family were living here and the idea was that I would come over here for a break and then head back to the U.K. I loved it so much that I ended up staying. I chose Nagoya because it seemed to have a decent nightlife and club scene.

ETJ: What is it that you love about
BW: Well, I really love music. I just love messing around with it. I mean, music can have such a big influence on a person’s mood and feelings and I just want people to hear my sound. For me, there is almost nothing greater than getting into a really great groove and looking out to see a large crowd really excited and moving. I mean, when I see that, I just can’t help feeling so good and saying to myself, ‘Wow! I did that.’

ETJ: How did you get started DJing in Japan?
BW: At first, I had a lot of help from Lorna and Pete, they were the previous owners of Manga Frog, Nagoya’s Nightclub information site. Anyway, they helped me organize a gig at an event called Skunk that was held at Club JB’s. That was back in the Fall of 2003.

ETJ: What events have you been playing at lately?
BW: Earlier this year, I played at a Tsunami fund raiser event at The Bottom Line. Also, I have been playing at The Plastic Factory where I have put on several of my own parties over the last year. Recently, I have been at Creek regularly, putting on an ongoing show called Two Hand Magic along with DJ Susumu and Leon.

ETJ: What challenges do you face being a foreign DJ in Japan?
BW: Well, I could be off here but I kind of feel like the Japanese crowd might need a bit more coaxing to get out and start moving on the dance floor. I mean, this just makes it so I feel even better when I do see a jumping crowd on the floor but I think it does add a bit more challenge to DJing here in Japan.

ETJ: What are the most important aspects of being a DJ in Japan?
BW: Connections! Connections are really important in this business. I figure it is really important to make friends with other DJs because, I mean we are all in it together. Also, reputation! It is really tough to shake a reputation once the word gets out on someone. Then there is publicity and image. I kind of feel like these carry more weight than actual talent. I mean, if word gets out that there is a DJ out from Tokyo, everybody gets all excited about that even if that person isn’t really, well, even if their skills aren’t yet at their peak, everybody still treats it as a huge event just because the person is from Tokyo. I think for the Nagoya club scene, there needs to be more focus on actual talent. There are quite a few really good DJs here in Nagoya who have great talent but who take a backseat to someone with a bigger name, regardless of skill level.

ETJ: Who are some of these other talented DJs in Nagoya?
BW: Well, I could tell you about some of the big name DJs in town but they get enough promotion as it is so I would rather just focus on some of the talented DJs that are close to me but that have yet to receive the recognition they deserve. I don’t want to forget anybody here but I will just start off by mentioning these guys. They are all often playing in the Nagoya area.

Gutsu: Always wearing his trademark flamboyant hat, this guy is really flashy. He puts on a really good show with the way he moves and really gets into his tracks. He is known for playing hard house tracks.
Tomoho: I really rate this guy because he just never makes mistakes. His beat matching and scratching skills are among the best you will ever hear.
Owen AKA DJ Smith: Owen is really the new blood on the scene in Nagoya. He has toured a lot of the bigger cities in Canada and has a great stage presence that gets the crowd really pumped.
DJ Leon: This guy is about as diverse as a DJ can get. He plays such a wide range of tracks from drum & bass to funky house.
DJ Susumu: He really has his own distinct style. Where else can you hear rock music jammed into a set. Totally unique, full stop!

ETJ: So what kind of tracks do you like to spin?
BW: I am the kind of DJ who likes constant variety so I don’t really like to slot myself into one category of music. You know, there are DJs who describe themselves as hard house, progressive house, or break beat DJs but I don’t really do it that way. I kind of like to mix genres and do a bit of everything. You know, keep it fresh.

ETJ: Are you the kind of DJ that has a set play list or do you like to work your set based on the crowd?
BW: Before I turn up at a party, I have a few ideas of what I want to play and the mood that I want to create eventually. But really, when I am about to start, I try to sense the feeling in the crowd. However, a lot of that [feeling in the crowd] depends on what the DJ before me is playing and the mood he or she has created. So, I usually like to start out playing something similar to what the DJ before me was playing and then shift it away gradually so that the crowd stays feeling good and isn’t shaken off by any abrupt changes. Then I can take it down to something a bit mellower before getting a huge beat going.

ETJ: What do you see for your future in music?

BW: Well, ideally, I would really like to make it big on the international scene but for now, I would be happy to make my mark on Nagoya by putting on an event at Oasis 21 downtown in Sakae. Anyone out there want to work with me on making that a reality?

Whether playing at a charity event or swapping vinyl at a club or bar, Bluewolf strives to keep it fresh and is carving out a name for himself here in Nagoya. Keep an eye out for him and be ready to hit the dance floor when you do.