Illich is an architect by day and a DJ by night. He has been DJing over ten years, specializing in Techno and House music. He talks to us on his journey and how it has been like so far.
You have been DJ-ing for over 10 years. Tell us more about what got you into this, and your style of music.
I loved Electronic Dance Music since I discovered it via the Winter Music Conference in Miami, and when I backpacked through Berlin. By the time I got to Architecture Grad school I met my friend Luis Padron who loved the music and was a DJ already. I went record shopping with him and bought 2 records simply because I thought anyone could mix 2 records that “sounded the same”. I was so wrong! It took me a year to mix 2 records without train-wrecking and by the time I succeeded my record collection was already so big. Also at that point it wasn’t a challenge anymore but an enjoyable, meditative activity. Like therapy. So I kept going! Man, has it been 10 years already?!
What does a typical morning look like for you?
I work as an Architect during the week and a DJ on most weekends. Weekdays equal, trying not to be late for work; rushing through making breakfast, cooking my lunch, feeding the beasts (the kitties) and deciding if I should wash my hair or not. (I let my hair grow recently and had no idea how much more time it adds to showering.) On a weekend it would entail either going to Yoga, preparing music for the evening, or coming back from last night… Haha.
Let’s say at a fork in the road you took the other path instead of this one. Where would you be instead and what would you be doing?
I used to play Baseball during a Summer for a minor league team with association to the (now defunct) Montreal Expos. At one point I realized the competition was so fierce that I decided to bow out. Who knows, maybe if I had stayed the course I would had been a millionaire Baseball player.
How did you get from Venezuela to New York City?
I arrived to the U.S. from Venezuela on a sports visa from being drafted to play Baseball for the minor league Montreal Expos farm team. From there I decided to study English and eventually applied for Architecture school in Miami. The problem was Suburban life. By the time I graduated I hated the Suburban life in Miami. The party was great, but the city itself didn’t have much more to offer culturally at the time (plus I lived almost all the way by the Everglades!) That’s when I applied to do my Masters of Architecture at Columbia University. UCLA had accepted me as well, but New York City was the winner over Los Angeles. I’m all about interacting with other people and not cars or highways.
One song/track that describes your journey so far or where you’re at right now (or both).
Dental Floss, and headphones for the music in my phone. But really, dental floss, no doubt.
We are inspired by Illich’s vision and passion, and are proud to have him as Fieldtester, a group of inspiring friends that regularly test MATTER products in their workplace and travels to help us improve durability and design. Illich wears The Modern Monpe + Chambray Black, Size 2.
All photos credit: Sarah Graham