This is the fourth year in a row that DJ Stickybuds has done an Australian tour at this time of year. He's still jetlagged, having just arrived home to Kelowna less than 12 hours earlier.
"It's a lot of the same crews I've played for in all four years now and we're really starting to see good followings there. Some great outdoor parties, including Breakfest (in Perth) with 20,000 people there. I played to 5,000 at the stage I was on," Stickybuds says.
He describes it as a one-day megaparty with "awesome production values" located in a natural amphitheatre, a really amazing space.
His current look is "super tanned," thanks to Australia; it sounds like he could stick with summertime forever.
"I try to do that," he admits. "I'm not really a big fan of wintertimes, I try to get as much sun as possible, though this time, at the Earth Frequency Festival (in Brisbane) it was 55 degrees C. There was a 28-degree C difference between shade and sun. It was so intense there."
Building this international career from the Okanagan was an "organic" experience.
"I've been doing this for nine years now. What I attribute a lot of my success to, and you have to do it these days, is you have to be producing work and putting it out on labels."
Stickybuds, who headlined Shambhala last summer, says he has released between 25 and 30 major recordings on record labels and given away "heaps of free music" on SoundCloud.
"I look at my pieces on SoundCloud as being like business cards. Three SoundCloud giveaways can come to over 100,000 downloads. They're little pieces of music travelling all over the world," he says.
This means Stickybuds ends up being known in some interesting places, like Romania.
"Little seeds get planted and help grow your foundation. I go to Europe in two weeks, after Whistler, and it's the fifth year in a row that I've gone there. Just from the Internet you'll find you have pockets," he says.
"In Romania it was crazy. All the people there were big fans. They really knew my music because the DJs there were playing the mid-tempo funk stuff. It's totally random. In Australia, I have a really big following in Perth, but then I'll go to Sydney or Brisbane, big cities, and it has spread out a lot more.
"People will make a connection with the music, play your mixes to their friends and it translates so that in one country, or city, you can have a huge following and then go to another place and not that many people know your stuff."
When he started — and Stickybuds has a concert poster on his wall with the exact date, Jan. 15, 2005 — he didn't expect his fan base to grow this way. But it means he can be almost surgical with where he chooses to appear.
"It's been a big thing on my part to go to these places year after year and grow this scene. At first you tour and you are sleeping on couches and definitely not making any money. If you broke even on the first couple of tours you'd be happy," he says.
"Now, fortunately, this is my career. It's all working out good."
That he got into DJing at all came down to the fact that he'd been going to raves since he was 14 and he didn't like some of the music he was hearing. He thought he could do better. His first vinyl came out in 2008.
Now 29, he is years along from the first moment he bought himself turntables and a mixer and taught himself to play.
Stickybuds plays Tommy Africa's on Feb. 26 and Whistler can expect "a lot of different kinds of music:" funk, turntablisms, drum n bass and reggae.
"People can expect a party," he says.
And afterwards Stickybuds is on another plane.
"I also have heaps of collaborations in the works right now. Two months in Australia meant I wasn't producing that much new music. I kind of gave my brain a break after nonstop touring for five years, but there's lots of stuff in the pipelines... it's a bit challenging when you are literally touring all the time. I am sitting in my studio for the first time in two months."
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