There are a lot of reasons why one might decide to get into the DJing business. I mean, who wouldn’t want to acquire fortune and fame through partying, right? Because that’s essentially wat DJing is: leading a party. It’s having utter control over a venue, its atmosphere and its people, by changing and manipulating the music while simultaneously being a participant of the whole ordeal. It’s as fun as it is enticing.
Fame, fortune and excess weren’t why Salomao Nunes (better known as sa.lomaonun.es in the club scene) decided to give DJing a go, though. No, his partying career had much more humble origins: his love for friends. If it wasn’t for his fun-loving, life-embracing amigos and his desire to entertain them even after the clubs‘ closing times, he probably never would’ve touched a set of turntables himself.
That said, he has always had an affinity for danceable music. Electronica has been a staple of his musical diet since day one; in his earlier years he even listened to a lot of rap and hip hop. It’s when he started going to clubs as a young adult that he realized that he didn’t just wanted to consume music, he wanted to be an active part of it. Unfortunately, it was almost as if the universe was trying to stop him from doing exactly that: not only was beat matching with CDs and vinyl proving to be a more arduous task than he initially imagined, but his mother also threw his prized vinyl collection out the door one day.
At that point, it was easy for Salomao to think that, maybe, he just wasn’t meant to be a DJ.
He stopped pursuing the DJing business for a while, but that didn’t mean he didn’t still regularly fantasize about it. After all, partying was in his DNA, since, ironically, his mother used to give parties at their house all the time. Once an inhabitant of Angola, she enjoyed playing music with very distinct African roots at those parties, which helped shape Salomao’s relationship with ensnaring rhythms and immersive beats (even if he wasn’t particularly fond of his mother’s choice of music back then).
Always hungry for more music, he discovered psychedelic trance and goa in 2002 and became instantly infatuated. Especially in a country like Portugal, which seemingly has always been more into rock than dance music, Salomao’s discovery of the genre truly felt like a revelation. This spurred him to attend the Boom Festival, which he calls a “true turning point” in his career, after which he was 100% sure that he absolutely could not live without electronic music in his life.
The lack of dance events in Portugal was still being a major problem, though. Furthermore, he was in a steady relationship at that time that almost forced him to settle down. So despite his newfound determination to become a DJ, in 2005, Salomao got the feeling that his partying life was coming to a sad halt.
... But then Amsterdam happened.
Salomao’s job had given him the opportunity to work abroad and he embraced that opportunity immediately. Could moving to The Netherlands mean a revitalization of his partying spirit? It most certainly could! The country’s capital turned out to be such a fantastic breeding ground for his passions, that, within a year, he decided to stay there for good. He started going out again, to parties, festivals and other cultural gatherings where electronic music could be found in abundance. And he loved it. He was back with a vengeance.
On a fateful night in 2009, Salomao decided to go clubbing in one of Amsterdam’s most well- known clubs, where, all of a sudden, he found himself standing in the DJ booth. He decided to use that opportunity to study the DJ’s actions. He kept listening to the music and the changes that occurred every time the DJ touched a button, knob or fader, until he said to himself: “This is actually not that complicated. Maybe I’ve been looking at DJing the wrong way. I need to give it another go.”
The next day, Salomao immediately bought some DJ software.
A few months later, after loads of experimentation and building a library of great music, Salomao finally started feeling like a real DJ. He started making mixtapes and really long mixes for the sole purpose of seeing how long he could work the decks without needing a break. He was not just developing an ear for mixing, he was also training the rest of his body to respect his new passion.
His first real gig took place in November 2009, when a friend asked him to show off his new skills at a birthday party. “I’ll happily do it, but if you think the music sucks, let me know and I’ll stop”, Salomao said humbly and nervously. But he didn’t need to worry, as he played a fantastic two-hour set that flew by and got everyone at the party in a fun frenzy. The feedback was amazing. It was time to step up his game.
Confident that he had finally developed a unique mixing style, he started giving parties of his own and accepting gigs at small venues, with varying degrees of success. It helped him further cement his position as an upcoming DJ and to iron out the kinks in his sets. But after acquiring professional gear and throwing some well received Queensday parties, he realized that there was one more thing he needed to focus on if he truly wanted to DJ on a satisfying level: organizing his own events.
“I love to play for friends and with friends”, Salomao always says with a smile. No other sentence could explain his growing popularity more eloquently. Read more